Tag Archives: Columbine

“Canada Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)”

“Columbines in the lush green forest is a sure sign that summer is on our doorstep.” – Ed Lehming

As I set out for a hike recently, to photograph Starflowers, I was surprised to find an early patch of wild columbines. Most were in the shadow of the forest but a few dangled like faery bells in the sunshine.

These perennial flowers are always a delight and are so different in structure than most of the low-lying wildflowers usually associated with Southern Ontario woodlands. Their colour alone makes them stand out dramatically against the deep greens of the forest.

Of course, with late spring heat, the mosquitoes were also out to welcome me to their home. I was more concerned with blackflies, which are usually still quite active this time of year, but they seem to have burned off early. The abundance of mosquitoes surprised me, since the spring has been cool and dry, limiting their ability to breed, but they seem quite adept at overcoming such adversities and there were still enough to be an annoyance as I crouched low for this shot. Next time, I will bring bug spray, but for now, I’m just happy to have captured a few pleasing images.

For my fellow photographers, I was not particularly challenged by the light, but there was a slight breeze, which forced me to increase my shutter speed to limit the effects of the motion for this tight macro shot, but had to bump the ISO quite a bit to properly expose the image.

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

1/1250 sec, f/15.0, ISO 1600

“Columbines from Mom”

“Columbines from Mom”

“Flowers will always try, and look their best, no matter what the season or reason.” 
― Anthony T. Hincks

Every spring I get to enjoy a gift from the past. My mother and I are both avid gardeners and sharing seeds connected us in a unique way by having some similar plants in our gardens. I live in Ontario and she lives in British Columbia, so our growing zones are quite different, so there is a limit to our ability to share. Many years ago, she shared the seeds of this particular plant with me, and it has grown in may garden ever since.

One in particular, that  has worked remarkably well for both of us is this variety of Columbine, which we referred to as Mountain Columbine is actually Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata ‘Nora Barlow’

This ‘frilly’ columbine, one of the so-called rose or clematis flowered aquilegias, where the sepals are doubled and the outer ones have an attractive green tinge. Nora Barlow was a granddaughter of Charles Darwin and this plant, popular for more than 300 years, was found growing in her garden by the nurseryman Allan Bloom.

So, there is also the pleasure of finding the history of our shared flowers, which likely came from her mother or grandmother. I never did ask where the seeds came from. Interestingly, hers did not propagate one year and she came to me asking if I could send some seeds back her way.

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

1/400 sec, f/7.1, ISO 800

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

“Morning Freshness” Columbine – Nora Barlow

“Morning Freshness” - Columbine - Nora Barlow.

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love—then make that day count!”
― Steve Maraboli

As I sat, yesterday morning, sipping a coffee, on my back deck. I looked over my now lush garden. The rains have stopped, the temperatures are climbing and I can savour these moments, if only on weekends.

One of my columbine plants, is enormous, probably the result of several plants growing in a single location. Even at that, it towers almost a full meter in height, three times the height of its neighbours, and it is thick with blossoms.

I got up to take a better look at all the blossoms and noticed that the morning mist still clung thickly to the petals, like little jewels, adding further drama to the scene. Not wanting to miss this moment, as the lifespan of the blossoms is quite brief, I grabbed my camera and made a quick image to preserve this image to share today.

It reminds me of what a privilege it really is to be alive,as said so well in the quote I chose today.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/40 sec, f/10.0 ISO 100

High Resolution Image on 500px

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

 

“Mom’s Columbine”

“Mom’s Columbine”

“A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”
― Michael Pollan

Many years ago, my mother brought me some columbine seed from her home in Vernon, BC. She referred to them as Mountain Columbine, but they are actually Aquilegia vulgaris Nora Barlow. For me, the fact that they come from her garden, in the mountains of BC, made the name stick. They are so different to the garden varieties we have in our area and they grow very well here as perennials which seed themselves out. They produce what I call a ‘mobile’ garden, since they are seldom in the same location twice and have surprised me in how far afield they travel. I just found one plant on the opposite side of the house from last year’s crop.

They have also travelled back to BC, as my mother asked me if I had seeds to spare. Hers had been winter killed and she now had none in her garden. It’s nice to be able to send them back to the source, knowing our gardens have these same shared plants in them every year. A connection over the miles. Yes, a love of gardening and flowers seems to run i the family. My grandmother’s garden was a thing of wonder and many of her seeds have found their way to my garden, though mine is a far cry from the stunning flower beds she once had.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

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

“Wild Columbine” – Marble Lake, Bancroft

“Wild Columbines” - Marble Lake, Bancroft

“The columbine and iris bowed down to make way for bolder sprays of red valerian, and a mingled profusion of clustered Canterbury bells and sweet william, pale blues and pinks intertwined, danced at the feet of more stately spears of deep-purple foxglove and monkshood.” 
― Susanna Kearsley

On the trend of pinks and pastels, yet another beautiful native spring flower, the Wild Columbine (aquilegia canadensis), is found on rocky outcrops in the Bancroft, Ontario area among emerging ferns, jack-in-the-pulpit, and a few late trilliums. I really enjoy finding these little jewels on my walks in the woods. A little splash of coral catches my eye, then another. They seem to favour cracks in the rock over flat soil. They are such delicate plants and seem almost fragile compared to their thick stemmed and fibrous companions.

The only shortcoming of getting out to enjoy these lovely wildflowers is the ever present company of black flies, the bane of Canadian forests in spring time. However, based on the very warm weekend we just had here, they should be gone in short measure and their associates, the mosquitoes, will take their place in the stinging insect category.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 500

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