Tag Archives: Durham Forest

“Trillium Variations”

“Trillium Variations”

“Nature is filled with surprises. It’s the unusual that we notice. That’s what I love about being in it, there is always something new to make you wonder, How did that happen?”
– Ed Lehming

This is a new one to me, and as I stated in the quote above, nature always has surprises for me. Now, I have seen a single variant like this. Right behind our camper and directly outside the window, there is a single trillium which has blossomed green and white for the past few years.

Recently, I came across a variation of this where the entire flower was green. Here I found a bonanza, all the variations in one spot, though unfortunately, the white blossom had not opened fully.

Of course, once you spot a variation like this, in a forest filled with thousands of trilliums, you come to expect the unexpected and notice it far more often.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/400 sec, f/9.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
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“Light Along the Way”

“Light Along the Way”

“Let me bring you songs from the wood:
To make you feel much better than you could know
Dust you down from tip to toe
Show you how the garden grows
Hold you steady as you go
Join the chorus if you can:
It’ll make of you an honest man.”
– Jethro Tull

Strangely, the Jethro Tull song that I chose for my quote kept going through my head for much of this hike. How appropriate is that?

One of the things that I really notice as I hike is the marvellous play of light through the canopy, high above. I’ve talked about this before, how the forest floor fairly glows as beams of light penetrate the leaves.

This light is nearly always present, wit the exception of overcast or rainy days, and even then some stray light seems to make it through.

On this day, an extended 14km hike gave me lots of time to drink in this light as it reflected off the trail and cast a warm glow on the surrounding trees. It’s this wonderful contrast of light and shadow that I enjoy so much as a photographer and participant in the life of the forest. This was a fairly hot yet breezy day and the light was constantly shifting. As I did not have my wide angle lens handy, I resorted to my iPhone to try to capture one of these moments along the trail.

The resulting image was OK, but as I find with many stills, they fail to portray the light an energy of the living forest, so I used a Photoshop plug-in called Topaz Impressions to modify the photo till it ‘felt’ right. Which reminds me, I need to pick up my paint brushes again 🙂

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/30 sec; f/1.8; ISO 25

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
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“Chanterelles”

“Chanterelles”

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul”
John Muir

It’s that time of year again. Time to wander the forest paths and refresh myself. Cool days, plenty of moisture provides the stuff for mushrooms. I’m not sure where my strange fascination for fungi comes from. Perhaps it’s because they are such temporal things. A ‘prime’ specimen may last mere hours and then fade away into a slimy ooze. They also offer such wonderful colours and textures.

I’ve also noticed that I’m not alone in my interest in the fungus among us. Fellow blogger Pete Hillman shares this fascination as well as many of my photographer friends. There is usually the additional challenge of light, or lack thereof, when photographing mushrooms, they are not big fans of sunshine and the best specimens often inhabit the darker recesses of the forest. This means tripods and long exposures, not to mention some narrow aperture macros to capture all the textures crisply.

I’ll try to limit my mushroom posts and try to spread them out, but it’s a short season.

The Chanterelle above brings back fond memories of growing up in a German household where Pfifferlinge were considered a rare treat, usually purchased in their dehydrated form from the local delicatessen. With a slightly nutty, yet peppery flavour, these tasty mushrooms were saved for special occasions and usually served with a nice pork roast. While I was tempted to harvest them, there were no other colonies to be found, so I left them and took only the photo, noting the location, and hoping they spread around the area for a future visit.

Nikon D800
Nikor 24-70mm f/3.5-4.6 @ 55mm (12mm extension tube)
0.4 sec, f/20.0, ISO 400

High Resolution image on 500px:

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“Autumn Delight” – Durham Forest

“Autumn Delight”  -Durham Forest

A final (possibly) view to the autumn of 2015, though there are so many more memories to share. The image above was made on one of the many wide trails that criss-cross through the Durham Forest. I like the feel of this scene. The wide trail meanders through the forest, following the general contours of the land. There is something about a meandering trail that I like. Perhaps it’s that there is a destination, but the straight line may deprive you of some deeper experience. I enjoy ‘wandering’ through the forest and taking in all it has to offer. It’s a deliberate wandering though. I always have a destination in mind and am generally in no hurry, other than when sunset nears. As J.R.R.Tolkien said, “Not all who wander are lost.”

There certainly was no hurry on this particular day. The trails were uncrowded, at least not where I was, and it was absolutely beautiful and mild, the late day sun glowing between the branches and warming the ground. This past fall will be well remembered as one of the nicest I have experienced.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm

1/100 sec, f/5.0 -0.33, ISO 250

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“Uphill Journey” – Durham Forest

“Durham Forest Uphill Climb”

This photo is a slight flashback to mid-November, when I went on a long hike through the Durham Forest, south of Uxbridge, Ontario.

At the time, we were in the midst of a wonderful, extended fall and many of the maple and beech leaves were still on the trees, but enough had fallen to let ample light into the forest. I had been hiking for a few hours and decided to take a lesser path, as a shortcut, back to my car. The shortcoming of this decision was that the trail went up a steep incline, but saved be about half an hour of additional walking. By this point, I’d already walked about 20km. But, I’m not complaining, because the trail also went through a wonderfully diverse hardwood forest, filled with poplar, birch, maple, beech, and oak.

The photo above shows the incline with the trail gradually fading away behind the canopy. It also reveals many of the bright colours of the remaining leaves, as the branches reach across the trail to form a bit of a tunnel above me. What a wonderful day that was to be out on the trails.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/60 sec, f/4.0 -0.33, ISO 250

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