Tag Archives: autumn

“Golden Shiver”

“Golden Shiver”

“A day’s brightness is determined by the light in our hearts.” 
― A.D. Posey

This ‘solitaire’ is not the same as the one I posted few days ago. Yesterday, after a morning of intense work, I needed to break free for a short time to regenerate, so I took to the conservation area just a few minutes walk from home and entered into the forest for some much-needed respite from the craziness of the day.

I’m frankly not sure what I would do if I did not have a forest close by to retreat into. Yet, I can still find myself uninspired in the familiar. This forest, at first glance, even at second, is a bit dull compared to the many other wonderful trails I have close by, but life does not always afford me the time to venture too far away, even briefly. So, here I stand, in such familiarity, within a commonplace wood, which I have sojourned so many times. You’d think there would be nothing left to discover, nothing of significance. Yet, nature astounds me in her diversity and constant surprises.

In a very familiar expanse of trees, this wonderful, singular, beech sapling presented itself to me, golden leaves shivering in the cold December breeze. I stood transfixed at this simple marvel. It’s just what I needed. Something to remind me of the boundless energy and beauty that surrounds me, even when I get caught up in the busyness of work and life.

As I sat processing the image, trying to adequately extract the ‘feel’ of the moment, a great smile came to my face and I just spent time with the image, recalling the wonder of the moment. I am blessed with so many of these moments and I am ever grateful for the privilege nature provides me. Simple, singular moments, when I’m privileged to enter, fully, into the life of the forest. It sustains me, moment by moment. Even on the dullest, coldest days, brightness reveals itself, even in a simple shiver of leaves.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@78mm

1/4 sec, f/25.0, 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

“Firsts and Lasts”

“Firsts and Lasts”

“The beauty of any first time is that it leads to a thousand others…” 
― Pico Iyer

This was the end of November, the first significant snowfall, enough to dust the ground in white and remain well into the day. It was also the last day of any noticeable foliage. The last leaf had fallen to the ground, adding to the blanket of rusty browns. It’s yet another transition time in the forest, an extended transition at those. For those who regularly visit this blog, you will have noticed a very extended autumn, filled with bright colours, which lasted from September, well into November.

Here I stood bidding that glorious time goodbye and hesitantly welcoming the first snows. As I stood there, what really resonated with me was that, despite the dormancy beginning, there was still a good deal of colour and vibrancy, something that is enhanced by my abstracting technique.

It’s not the first time I’ve noticed this, but I’m becoming ever more aware of this and it comes up in conversations with friends who do not spend much time outside. Their impression is that this time of year tends to be dull. Then I show them some of my images and they are surprised at what they don’t seem to see. Photography has given me new eyes, I perceive more, now that I am doing it deliberately and I’m really enjoying the experiences it has brought me.

So, as the quote I chose aptly says, these firsts lead to many more.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@78mm

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

“Pool of Light”

"Pool of Light"

“The Sun will rise and set regardless. What we choose to do with the light while it’s here is up to us. Journey wisely.” 
― Alexandra Elle

This is my final image in the “Spirit of the Spruce” series. One of the primary and surprising elements to this series has been the bold patches of light which show in each image; some more, some less. That, to me was the ‘spirit’ of the spruce bog as a hiked and documented my time here. it has brought an ‘energy’ to this often gloomy part of the forest.

This final image shows the tight tangle of spruce, cedar, and fir in the dim background light. Despite this, hazy sunlight manages to shine through from beyond and also in the focal point of the image, where it manifests as a bright pool of light, illuminating trunk and deadfall alike.

As the quote says, the sun rises and sets every day, not that every day is bright sunshine, but there is light, nonetheless. I choose to live in it and enjoy it, even if it’s doled out in small amounts some days. On others, like that not too distant November morning, I savour every ounce of it.

It’s been a wonderful journey, this hike through the spruce. Now, as the air turns chillier and the light cooler as well, I have sights on a few new projects which have not quite materialized yet.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@78mm

1/4 sec, f/9.0, 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

“Waves of Light”

“Waves of Light”

“We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.” 
― Leonora Carrington

Indeed, only the light moves, and it appears in waves, as mid morning sunlight streams between the branches, warming the chilled November air.

This was the scene that spread before me last weekend, as I took advantage of a sunny Sunday morning hike. Though the air was still very chilly, the sunlight was stunning, golden, and warmed my senses. The sky was bright blue between the branches and the cedars still green with life.

Though most of the hardwoods have now dropped their leaves on winter’s approach a few flecks of gold hang in the air, shimmering in the slight breeze. I drink in scenes like this. Many would just proceed down the path, but I find myself standing and savouring, knowing even this will soon be cast into the cold and snow of the approaching winter, which brings a beauty of its own. But that can wait.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@78mm

1/4 sec, f/9.0, 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

“Undergrowth and the Fallen”

“Undergrowth and the Fallen”

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” 
― Aristotle

After thousands of years, the quote is still so appropriate. The outward appearance of this spruce bog is well, quite bog-like, a bit muted, and a bit depressing. But, outward appearances can be deceiving, can’t they?

Even the title of this image is more than it seems. The undergrowth and the fallen are essential elements to the ecology of the forest, without death, decay, and regrowth, eventually only death follows.

This scene is a tangle of low growing spruce and cedar, interspersed with the dried trunks of fallen spruce. For anyone who has ever had to navigate this terrain, you will know the pitfalls of stepping over and between sharp tangled branches, only to find yourself knee-deep in the thick black muck of the spruce bog are tripping over the endless tangle of roots and slash.

Yet, this difficult terrain offers a safe haven to rabbits, grouse, and deer, who navigate it with ease, making barely a sound. The spruce bog is nature’s filter, where water seeps through thick mosses, depositing impurities along the way. Many local creeks begin their travels as cool springs in a spruce bog, just like this. There’s more than meets the eye and much more significance than its outward appearance. You just have to look and become aware.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@78mm

1/4 sec, f/8.0, 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

“Balsam Sunlight”

“Balsam Sunlight”

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” 
― Martha Graham

Welcome to the spruce bog. Though it may not sound exotic, the light and imagery that I experienced on this usually familiar hike was stunning, causing me to start this new series titled “Spirit of the Spruce”. The entire series was photographed in a small stretch of trail no longer than a few hundred meters. One dominated by spruce and balsam fir.

As I set out last Saturday, I had no idea what the day might bring, only that the light was wondrous, and with wondrous light, anything is possible.

I’ve hiked this stretch of the Secord Forest hundreds of times, usually favouring it in mid June, when the orchids are blooming and the mosquitoes are swarming. Otherwise, it’s just an area that I pass through to get to another destination.

I could not believe my eyes as I gazed upon the familiar sight of tightly packed spuce, mosses, and tangled underbrush, beautiful warm sunlight streaming from above. The sunlight was the only thing warm that day, as the air was crisp and cold, but very clear.

The way the sun lit the scene up was spectacular, bringing light to a forest floor usually locked in darkness, the realm of mushrooms and mosquitoes. Not that day, sunlight reflected throughout this tangle of trees, revealing details often missed in the shadows.

So join me once more as I explore yet another often ignored environment, the spruce bog on Southern Ontario.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@78mm

1/4 sec, f/9.0, 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

“Line Up”

“Line Up”

“To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.” 
― Aldo Leopold

This part of the world looks like nothingness on a map. While there is a town close by, it really is a wilderness area. A land of steep, nearly unnavigable hillsides, dense forest, and swampy wetlands. To me, it’s paradise, a place to unwind and just enjoy an unblemished space in this world.

It’s also a place to look around and let the imagination run. I see beauty everywhere, in the curve of the path, the marvelous variety and diversity of life, and endless patterns.

In this image I saw lines. I saw the way the trees, maple, yellow birch, and hemlock lined up. I also noticed the one darker, narrow tree that runs vertically up the photo. It is literally, a line upwards, yet I could not get the composition and lighting right without including it, so here it is, as I saw it.

This ‘place’, is one of an endless series of ‘places’, each slightly different, which make up the Boreal forest in this area. I see the entire forest before me, but my eye breaks it up into components. Each part, though an element of the whole, is a so unique. I could go back to this expanse of forest and go back to this exact spot with little effort. Even now, as I write, I can place myself along the trail, to this exact spot and the moment in which the photo was made. Except now, my fingers are warmer than on that chilly November day, enjoying the “Boreal Trails”.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@75mm

1/4 sec, f/10.0, 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