Category Archives: Plants & Flowers

“Final Traces”

“Final Traces”

“Winter’s parting left us traces of its touch; a bit of snow, a hint of frost, and cool breezes, as if someone had left a door open.”
– Ed Lehming

I wanted to revisit my beloved beech trees one last time before they wither into spring. Here, a closer look at the beautiful structure of the leaves, dusted in snow, from this past weekend’s unexpected dumping.

The brightness of the pure white snow almost enhances the golden glow of the leaves clinging to a single branch.

Many times I find myself spending particular attention to these leaves, always looking for the best angle to photograph them from, as light and background play a large part in the final composition. In this case, I used a moderate aperture setting to ensure the entire leaf was in focus while softening the background details, comprised mostly of snow-covered branches.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200 mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

 

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“Shine”

“Shine”

“Through our dark times, if we have eyes open in hope, we can see glimpses of what might be, in what was.”
– Ed Lehming

The beautiful brightness of beech leaves in winter, and early spring for that matter is always a welcome sight. Even on the dullest snow-filled days, they glow with soft gold, a reminder of the rich colours of autumn. The sun, even in limited amounts, makes them seem to shine with an internal light.

Beech trees tend to hang onto their leaves throughout the winter, despite snow, and wind, most survive well into early spring, when warm and damp days tend to cause them to finally decompose. Many look pretty ragged by the time April arrives, yet some weather the seasons with surprising tenacity.

I’m always happy for them. They remind me of mild and colour filled autumn days and their shine is like a small beacon of life among the dark and frozen branches.

In this image, a recent, and unwelcome early spring snowfall on the final day of March clings to the delicate branches of a beech sapling, making the remaining leaves seem all the brighter against the snow-encrusted forest in the background.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 135 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Simply Delightful”

“Simply Delightful”

“When you can take pleasure in the simple beauty life offers, then you are truly blessed.”
– Ed Lehming

Often, even the most mundane things draw my attention. Though I have stood on rugged vistas and surveyed sights that have left me in awe and speechless I’m still fascinated with the very simple beauty of my everyday surroundings.

In this case, a single small red berry hangs from a vine in the sunshine in early spring. A drop of dew clings tenaciously to it, further enhancing the feeling of freshness. The isolation of this single berry, the last one remaining on the vine is in such contrast to the dull gray world around it.

In the background, the world is awakening from its winter slumber, colour slowly returning, yet traces of snow remain to remind us that winter is not such a distant memory.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm

1/60sec, f/4.0, ISO 200 

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“End of Autumn?”

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” 
― Jim Bishop

I know, I’m a bit behind. This image was made on December 20th of last year. This image keeps popping up as I review my photos and I knew that I wanted to post it at some point soon. That time has now come.

This is actually an odd image in that the leaves are actually compressed by multiple snowfalls and thaws, three or four to my recollection, to the point in time when I made the image. The oak leaves, which dominate this scene hung onto the trees until early November this past autumn, which is odd as well.

The main reason I keep going back to this image is that most of my time spent on the trails is enjoying the scenery around me; the trees, the sky, the rolling hills, and such. Yet, I do spend even more time looking at the ground, as I navigate my way along trails, watching my step. Yet, I rarely consider the ground as a subject for my photos. I could actually create a whole series of interesting images documenting even a small section of the trail, since the composition changes so much over even a few meters.

The forest floor documents the surrounding forest so well. All the species of trees are proportionately represented here. In this case, it’s primarily red oak, with some sugar maple, and a smattering of poplar. There is also great variation in the colours of the leaves. Here the oak leaves vary from deep copper to pale yellow.

It’s like a painting made of leaves and I’m disappointed that I have not made more of these. They are so interesting and, if composed correctly, a very natural form of art.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/120 sec; f/1.8; ISO 40

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Beauty in Stress”

“Beauty in Stress”

“I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.” 
― Steve Maraboli

Some strange things happen when plants are stressed. One of those is a switch to dormancy and loss of the chlorophyl that gives the leaves their green colour. The result, is fall colours and shedding of leaves.

In one particular patch of forest, some of the poplars have started to drop leaves due to the recent heat and drought-like conditions, littering the ground with brightly coloured leaves, which really stand out against the dry, sandy soil. They are quite stunning, and even more so because they are so spread out and out of season.

For humans, stress manifests in different ways, and in most cases, they are far from beautiful. So, I need to spend some time, in my stress filled life to appreciate the beauty I find along my journey, where I find it, and seek out more, to balance my own life.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“My Shady Place”

“My Shady Place”

“It is in the shade that you look up at a tree and appreciate its efforts.” 
― Matshona Dhliwayo

The versatility and adaptability of nature is endless. Here, a small fern has found a place in the shade that allows it to grow, protected for the heat, and largely isolated from competing plants.

I often see theses mini gardens, some filled with ferns, others with small trees or mushrooms. It seems that all it takes is for a little soil to form and a seed to fall in the right place to create these private places of growth.

This one caught my attention along the trail as the sun was reflecting brightly from the fern’s leaves and the moss encrusted bark of the fallen tree in an otherwise shaded and green forest floor. As you can see, the moss is quite dry since we have had very little rain over the past few weeks and the forest is showing the stress of this weather. But, this little fern seems to be doing quite well init shelter.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/50 sec, f/3.5, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Pondside Tamarack”

“Pondside Hemlock”

“It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for a reason to be happy or sad, you will always find it.” 
― Kamand Kojouri

In this hectic world, I am usually looking for things that bring me peace. I find this peace in simplicity and often in the most obscure things.

Last weekend I went out with the intention of going on an extended hike and make some photos of my experience. It’s been too long since I have been on the trails. Between extremely hot weather and a chaotic work schedule, finding the time and conditions to get out has just been a challenge lately. So when I found a few hours, I decided to take that time and get out there, simply to recharge. It was still hot and humid, but bearable. As I entered the familiar forest trail I was greeted by a cloud of mosquitoes unlike anything I have ever experienced. Despite a healthy application of bug spray, I was still overwhelmed by them and resigned myself to head back to the car.

Disappointed in the conditions, I decided to head to a different trailhead and try my luck. Despite this disappointment, my eyes are always drawn to something unique, some play of light, or interesting from, and as I walked back to the car I noticed this tamarack branch, covered in cones with a large pond in the background. I looked through my viewfinder, the composition formed nicely and offered me this image.

Such a simple moments brings peace to me and looking at the photo now, a few days later, it transports me back to that moment and the calm that ensued.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com