“Hilltop Hemlocks”

“Hilltop Hemlocks”

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” 
― Henry David Thoreau

At the crest of a hill, the trail drops sharply in front of me. In this region of wilderness, near Bancroft, Ontario, there are very few flat places. The landscape is dominated by steep, folded hills. The valleys are the realm of spring fed creeks and beaver ponds.

The walking in the high ridges is a bit easier, as the dominant hemlocks are fairly well spaced, yet it only takes one which has fallen to make for a long detour. There are few straight paths between the hills and valleys of the “Boreal Trails” and the only markers along the way are the trees themselves.

When I was younger, I used to have a fear of getting lost in the forest. My father, an avid outdoorsman, never balked at heading into the densest bush. I’m not sure when things changed for me, but I have acquired that same sense of direction that he had. But, I always have a compass with me, no matter how familiar the forest may be, as I have found myself turned around a few times.

In this forest, I tend towards the high ground, following the parallel ridges north and south. Trekking in the valleys, strewn with debris of slash and boulders, and choked with balsams, is tough walking.

Besides, the view from the ridges is much more appealing than the darkness of a tangled spruce bog.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@70mm
1/4 sec, f/11.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

Advertisements

“Birches at the Bend”

“Birches at the Bend”

“A cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things.” 
― George R.R. Martin

Welcome to “Boreal Trails”. I thought I’d start the series off with this image of a clump of birches at the bend in a trail. Figuratively, a turn in the seasons.

You will notice, as this series continues, a few splashes of colour against a duller green background. Gone now are the warm days of Indian Summer its bright colours. The Boreal forest is dominated by hemlock, spruce, cedar, and, pine. Small groves of maple and oak exist as well, but it’s a green cold forest at this time of year, with traces of snow in the air, falling from leaden skies.

As you can see in this image, the birches bring light to the gloom and a few hearty beech trees, add splashes of colour to the muted canvas and will continue to do so for some time, as the final bearers of colour.

It sounds a bit somber, but there is incredible beauty here. A beauty I intend to share over the next several days.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@75mm
1/4 sec, f/11.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“November Beaver Pond” – Hermon, Ontario

“November Beaver Pond” - Hermon, Ontario

“A moment of peace and silence, breathing in and out the frigid air, watching daylight seep into the forest, hearing the first chatter of distant crows, the wind sighing over the snow and through the fir and pine branches and the twittering of chickadees as they flitted in little tribes from tree to tree.” 
― Mike Bond

The quote above just about sums it up. On a chilly November morning, I stood at the shores of a small beaver pond, admiring the interesting patterns on the surface of the ice. It was a moment of peace, one of many, during my day of hiking and hunting in the forests of Northeastern Ontario.

This is the same region where my upcoming “Boreal Trails” series of images was made. I wanted to set the tone and show a broader view of the forest before I start sharing the short series of photographic abstracts I made this week.

As you can see, it’s quite dull, but that’s par for the course in November. Despite this, it is very peaceful and I thoroughly enjoy my time on these trails.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/1200 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“I Turn to Rust”

“I Turn, to Rust”

“Beneath the rust and grime which dulls the shine of our weathered hearts, joy patiently waits to be rediscovered” 
― John Mark Green

The Grand finale to the “Shift to Shiver” series is the final image made on a hike I took a few weeks ago. The scene felt like a goodby to the golds and yellows that stayed with us so long this year. But, what a goodbye it was. It seems the images got brighter as the season progressed, ending with this fireworks of orange, gold and, yellow. All that remains is browns and rust.

The following weekend, I was tied up at a show and could not get back out to document a marvelous event. Snow had fallen overnight and pulled down most of the remaining leaves. It was quite a scene, the ground covered in snow, with a layer of leaves on top of it. It seemed to be a reversal of the usual pattern.

I’m sad that I missed it but feel so blessed for the extended autumn colours this year. it would have been a challenge to pull this series off had it not been for that. So many wonderful days outdoors and on the trails. Now it’s gray and chilly. We really have shifted to ‘shiver’ in only a matter of days.

Despite the shift, I have a new series underway that was made this past week on a day trip north where I spent time enjoying and documenting North Eastern Ontario’s boreal forest.

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

1/4 sec, f/22.0, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Rising and Falling”

“Rising and Falling”

“And now, my poor old woman, why are you crying so bitterly? It is autumn. The leaves are falling from the trees like burning tears- the wind howls. Why must you mimic them?” 
― Mervyn Peake

As the weather continues dull and cool, I’m finding a few are pockets of light and colour. Here, the mix of beech and bright yellow maple rise on the hillside like flames, flames that have no heat to warm the chilly air, like the “burning tears” of the quote above. Among this carnival of colours, leaves continued to float to the ground, in the rising winds. A rising and falling of leaves, of temperatures, of light. The marvelous variability of autumn, all in one place.

It’s moments like this where I really appreciate the beautiful landscape I am so blessed to be living in and and the ability to bring some of that beauty with me in photos. Words often fail me, yet the images speak for themselves.

As a mentioned in a previous post, the “Shift to Shiver” documented here continues and soon enough, the images will be filled with snow covered branches, but not just yet.

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

1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“The Beech Beyond”

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

I enjoyed the variability of this image. The relatively sharp maple tree in the foreground is contrasted by the almost wispy texture of the interwoven beech shrubs beyond it. It’s the beeches that I was most fascinated with, as they gradually transition to their coppery winter tones. There are still a few hints of green, but that will be short-lived.

This past autumn has afforded images like this, as the change for summer to autumn progressed slowly, allowing me to witness subtle changes that I had not witness before. Despite being able to get on the trails only on weekends, the changes have been so slow that pockets of each stage seemed to linger for weeks.

In this image, there was actually a bit of mid-morning fog that swirled in the underbrush, creating an even more dream-like image, lit from within by the orange glow of the beech beyond. The fog is, of course the result of the cooler morning temperatures as I continue this “Shift to Shiver” series

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/16.0, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Beyond the Birch”

“Beyond the Birch”

“It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon.” 
― Sarah Addison Allen

As autumn progresses, the brightness fades by degrees. To capture the stunning light of the past weeks is proving more of a challenge over a few cloudy days on the trails. It all fits into the theme of this, my “Shift to Shiver” series.

By now much of the once golden canopy has fallen, the victim of time, wind, and rain, carpeting the forest floor with a rusty blanket. A few hearty maples still hold fast to their yellow leaves, while beeches gradually change from the bright green of a few weeks ago to a coppery orange. Some of the scant undergrowth still manages to show hints of green. These too will be short-lived as the days shorten and the temperatures inevitably drop.

I’ve been truly blessed by an unseasonably mild October and early November, which resulted in an extremely extended colour change. It’s been tough not be on the trails when conditions are like this. The image that I’m sharing today was made at North Walkers Woods, part of the Oak Ridges Trail system. It was to be the start of an unplanned fourteen kilometer hike and resulted in many photos to sort though, as I want to keep this series to about eight representative images.

As I write today, the temperature has dropped to -10 and overnight snow squalls have drastically changed the scenery. So, I’ll be on the trails again on Sunday, making more photos and drinking in what nature has to offer me.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/16.0, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com