“Star of Bethlehem”

“Star of Bethlehem”

“Bright white blossoms greet me from the morning garden, as the sun warms the early June day with it’s own brightness.”
– Ed Lehming 

The gardens are beginning to come alive. I enjoy this time of year, watching plants and flowers begin to thrive as the days warm up. It’s always nice to see that everything has survived yet another winter.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, spring here has been cool, damp, and extended. In fact, it really has not warmed up much till only a few days ago, and it really shows in the gardens. It seems everything is racing to catch up. Daffodils were blooming until only a few days ago and a few gardens still have tulips blooming.

The Star of Bethlehem was a surprise addition to my garden. It came here unannounced when I transplanted several other plants from my mother-in-law’s garden a few years back. It’s a pleasant surprise and a welcome addition since it fills the flower beds with such lovely blossoms.

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

1/80 sec, f/16.0, ISO 400

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

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“Painted by the Wind”

“Painted by the Wind”

“Cool spring breezes blew past me and set the wildflowers dancing, like purple paint brushes on a canvas of green leaves.”
– Ed Lehming 

Some things look so much more interesting if you look at them differently. We are so used to seeing things as stationary, even our eyes compensate for movement. So when that compensation is removed by the eye of the camera a new view appears.

I wanted to capture the wind patterns in the patch of Dame’s Rockets, so I left my shutter open of a quarter of a second to allow the movement to translate back to the image and I ended up with this somewhat impressionistic version. My biggest challenge over a few attempts was to get the exposure right in the bright sunshine.

It appears to me like the flowers and leaves are individual brush strokes of colour and the wind is the artist. Something worth pursuing a bit more deliberately in future images?

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90m
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 100

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

“Spring Flowers at the Ramer Farm”

“Spring Flowers at the Ramer Farm”

“Simple beauty can be found anywhere, you simply need to be receptive to it.”
– Ed Lehming

Spring is slowly pushing out the cold and damp that has been so dominant here for what seems like months. With the warming air more and more wildflowers are beginning to show their faces.

Fading now are the forest dwelling spring ephemerals which are being replaced by the taller and more colourful field flowers. The flowers pictured here are Dame’s Rockets, which seem to bloom wherever they please. They prefer to move about, from place to place, popping up where there was nothing the previous year.

As I noted a few weeks ago, my wife’s cousin and close friend, Paul, passed away and we are now in the process of cleaning up his home and farm. There’s lots to do, lots of memories, and short time to do it. One of the benefits of being on the farm though, is being able to walk around and enjoy the property. Between farm equipment and aged buildings some very beautiful scenes emerge and I could not resist bringing my camera with me to capture some memories of these times.

So, spring appears to be in full swing here, punctuated by this patch of Rockets, some white choke cherry blossoms in the background, and the farm buildings, with their rusty roofs, to complete the composition. There is beauty everywhere, even in sad times.

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

1/1000 sec, f/3.2, ISO 100

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

“Early Meadow Rue”

“Early Meadow Rue” - Thalictrum dioicum

“The soft spring breezes played with the tiny flowers of the plant causing then to dance and twinkle in the light.”
– Ed Lehming

As I’ve said a few times in the past, one of the great things about being a photographer is having an eye for the fine details. I’ve found myself becoming an astute observer, noticing things that I would have passed by a few years ago.

These smallish plants grow along the trails and are not particularly eye catching, until the blossoms appear in early spring. In this case, a male plant with dangling yellow flowers. I did not notice any female plants, which have bluish-purple flowers, in the area, but my timing may have been off by only a day. It’s interesting that there are two distinct plants, male and female. The species name: dioicum comes from the Greek word that means ‘two households”.

So, I have discovered another plant to research and to be on the lookout for next year, leading me to be able to make even better photos of them when I know when to expect them.

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

1/250 sec, f/9.0, ISO 400

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

“Three Stars on the Forest Floor”

“Three Stars on the Forest Floor”

“Bright puddles of green foliage adorned the otherwise dull forest floor. Above them float delicate white stars, pure and bright; an elixir to the winter weary soul.”
– Ed Lehming

I try to make it a point not to revisit the same subject matter too often, but there is something about star flowers the touches something very deep inside me. As I consider the images I’ve made over the past few days, I suspect that it’s the visual purity of the plant and it’s lovely white blossoms.

They bloom just as the trilliums are beginning to fade, yet before the forest floor begins to really green up. So, they really show up among the winter litter of dried brown leaves, splashes of life on a largely lifeless background. It’s not enough that they are such a wonderful shade of green, it’s those beautiful, perfect blossoms. In this case, three on a single plant, which in my experience is a rarity, thus the photo.

They also only bloom for a day, so when I happen to catch them at the right time it makes me smile. Though not as large and showy as the earlier blooming trilliums, they still captivate me with their fragility and serve as splashes of brightness on a gradually darkening 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

 

“What a Difference a Week Makes”

“What a Difference a Week Makes”“Nature amazes me still. Some changes are so gradual that you barely notice them while others happen in the blink of an eye.”
– Ed Lehming

Last week I took a much needed break at lunch and headed for a quick walk through the woods at North Walker Woods. For those who follow regularly, you will know that this is a place I like to go to quite frequently. It’s close to home, the trails are well maintained, and it offers me a broad profile of southern Ontario forest flora. It’s also fairly open, so bugs are not too intense.

I was just there last week enjoying the multitude of trilliums and other wildflowers and the forest was just beginning to show its spring flush of bright green, yellow, and red emerging leaves. The forest was still very open and bright, allowing lots of sunshine to reach the forest floor and feed the delicate spring flowers. This ‘open’ spring forest and its delightful colours was shared in my “Trillium Trails” post only a few days ago.

As the title of this post states, what a difference a week makes. With a few warm and sunny days, the entire forest is now in full leaf. It’s also quite surprising how many trilliums are still in bloom, largely due to the cool weather we had up till a few days ago. They have already started to turn the pink-magenta colour that is their final phase of blossom and soon they will be replaced by ferns and other deep green undergrowth as the forest settles into summer mode.

It’s been a wonderful extended spring on the trails this spring, with almost all the spring ephemerals blooming at the same time and remaining in bloom for close to two weeks. A highly unusual but delightful season, yet things must progress and I am thankful for these times.

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

1/50 sec, f/11.0, ISO 400

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

“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