Category Archives: Plants & Flowers

“Freshness”

“Freshness”

“Spring is like the opening of a window on a bright sun-filled day. Freshness replaces the stale air and fills us with energy and promise.”
– Ed Lehming

Ferns are a real pleasure to watch in the spring. Seeing them gently unroll on the forest floor is an active part of the spring. For me, it symbolizes the season so well. It’s a gradual, carefully timed. and repeated process.

This image captures the ‘fiddlehead’ of an ostrich fern as it begins to stretch upwards to the warming sun. The more it open, the more energy it absorbs in early spring, developing the plant before the canopy of trees high above blocks the sun’s light and puts the ferns into shadow for the summer.

I used a fairly narrow aperture to keep most of the fiddlehead in sharp focus while allowing some softness further down the stalk.

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

1/40 sec, f/14.0, ISO 200

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

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Starflower (Lysimachia borealis)

Starflower (Lysimachia borealis)

“Delicate white flowers hover above the deep green leaves as the next wave of spring flowers emerges, replacing trilliums and bloodroot. The canopy overhead thickens, and filters the light that makes it to the forest floor. Starflowers now add drops of brilliant white into the deepening gloom of the undergrowth.”
– Ed Lehming

As the trilliums mature and fade to soft pinks and magenta, the forest floor is once more transformed. The light is now filtered by maturing leaves. I’ve been noticing the starflowers along the trails for a few weeks now. They are quite unique with their seven pointed leaves.

They seemed to sit there, poised to bloom but needing a bit more warmth to start the cycle. Yesterday, they all seemed to bloom at once, the forest filled with these lovely small white flowers.

Here I was able to capture a group of three, growing on a moss covered stump and touched by a narrow shaft of sunlight. It was a good day to be in the forest, the air was filled with a warm and gentle breeze and the mosquitoes and blackflies were pretty much absent, a blessing at this time of year, especially when getting down low to make photos of the smaller wildflowers.

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

1/60 sec, f/9.0, ISO 400

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

“Spring Blanket”

“Spring Blanket”

“A blanket of white blossoms flowed across the forest floor in an endless sea of trilliums that filled my vision with it’s beauty.”
– Ed Lehming

This spring, I set out on a few occasions, hoping to get some spring wildflower images and after a few fairly disappointing visits the forest erupted with trilliums like I have never experienced before.

I think this is primarily due to the cool, wet weather conditions this year. Flower development was delayed or just slow but it seems that everything just ‘pooped’ at once. Where a few days ago the forest floor was simply a mat of dried leaves, thousands upon thousands of wildflowers pushed through and bloomed. It was quite a stunning transformation that reached as far as I could see. The woods were literally blanketed in wildflowers, with the trilliums brilliant white dominating.

In the image above, I got down low to depict the trilliums as a wave that flows  across the small rise and continues to the horizon. I tried numerous shots at various aperture settings to try to capture this stunning scene and finally settled on this one, though it still does not do justice to what I witnessed.

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

1/320 sec, f/7.1, ISO 400

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

 

“Trillium Trails”

“Trillium Trails”

“As the days warm, fond memories of spring walks remain with me. Bright greens and the freshness of wildflowers whisper from a recent past.”
– Ed Lehming

Memories of this spring will stay with me for some time to come. The cool and damp days provided ideal conditions for the spring flowers to emerge and remain fresh for a long time. It was as if a month was compressed into a week.

There is also the freshness of the new leaves forming, a kind of lime green with splashes of orange. It’s like no others colours in the year; it’s just ‘fresh’.

The photo above is a scene I see quite frequently as I hike the ‘perimeter’ trail in Ontario’s North Walker Woods near my home. I go there frequently because they are so close, access is easy, and the woods offer me a great amount of subject matter for my photography. The woods also provide me a peaceful place to be when the stresses of life build. I’m able to easily immerse myself in these woodlands and criss-crossing trails.

This view has now changed, the trilliums are almost all gone and the undergrowth has thickened to a deep green wall of leaves, limiting the view deeper into the forest.

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

1/60 sec, f/9.0, ISO 400

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

“Large Flowered Bellwort”

“Large Flowered Bellwort”

“Along forest paths, bright wildflowers dance in the gentle breeze, and an ever changing dance of colours, fragrances, and textures.”
– Ed Lehming

This spring has been a joy for me, as I really enjoy the multitude of spring ephemerals. Those first few green leaves and bright flowers are such a welcoming sight after months of snow and dull days.

What I have found most enjoyable is the experience of discovering new plants every year and expanding my knowledge of those plants. I’m constantly surprised when a species that I had not noticed before seems to spring up when least expected.

This year, that plant was the Large Flowered Bellwort, a plant that I have only experienced in the boreal forests near Bancroft, Ontario and even then, only as single isolated plants. Last week I came across several large clusters of them, right night to the hiking trail and I wondered why I not not noticed them in the past. Now, they seemed to be everywhere, not as profuse as the trilliums but in larger quantities than I had ever experienced before.

Despite having hiked this trail for many years, it still offers me surprises,every time I return.

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

1/60 sec, f/9.0, ISO 400

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

“Almost Ready for Summer”

“Almost Ready for Summer”

“Preparations are underway, chlorophyll fills the cells, rust turns to green, and leaves mature, ready to feed hungry trees, and produce oxygen.”
– Ed Lehming

Spring is truly underway when the slight yellow and rusty new growth turns deep green. As the leaves develop, the emergent colours fade, ever so slowly, except to those who are with them regularly.

The cycle continues, largely unnoticed by most these days, but when you spend time with the trees this conversion to mature leaves is a wonderful process to observe.

In the image above, faints patches of the former dark reds, which were so prevalent a few days ago, are still visible but are being replaced by the summer greens. As days get longer and the air warms up, each species in its time will be preparing to greet another summer.

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

1/250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200

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

“Group Huddle”

“Group Huddle”

“Opening ferns in spring remind me of that first stretch when waking up. You can almost hear them yawning after their long rest”
– Ed Lehming

It’s a joy to watch the grand opening of the forest, that time of year that we have named spring. The plants seem to be in a race to see which one can reach the highest, the fastest. Ferns are no exception to this.

For the past few days, the ferns have been small knobs on the ground waiting for the sunshine to warm the ground enough to signal them to start growing. The knobs soon expand into their ‘fiddlehead’ stage where they seem to pause once more, still close to the ground and shelter of the layer of fallen leaves; it seems like they are waiting for signs of frost to disappear, protecting the delicate leaves from freezing.

Then, suddenly, they begin to stretch up and unroll, the once tight fiddleheads riding atop ever expanding stems. In this image, the leaves within the fiddleheads are clearly visible and are just about to open. Within the next few days they will expand to their full size, drinking in the sunshine and adding more greenery to the lush forest floor.

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

1/160 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

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