Tag Archives: Durham

“Early May Bloodroot”

“Early May Bloodroot”

“The places of quiet are going away, the churches, the woods, the libraries. And it is only in silence we can hear the voice inside of us which gives us true peace.” 
― James Rozoff

There is peace in the forest, a peace that I dearly need in this busy world. In the forest, I can participate in the natural cycles, I can anticipate the next species of wildflower to bloom, or to come to leaf.

Bloodroots, have become a spring rite to me. Since I discovered them a few years ago, it’s been a regular visit to my favorite groves, close to home, to simply enjoy them as they emerge from their leafy cloaks.

There is such a purity to them and they seem so delicate and so fleeting and they are among the first early spring blossoms to appear.

The more I see them the more I am able to create more natural looking images, rather than the typical straight on shots. Many grow out in the open in small bunches, but I am really drawn to those clinging to the shadows of logs or hillsides. Here, they grow next to a fallen tree, among the tangle of vines. This composition feels more natural to me that those out in the open, as it includes elements of the forest they flourish in and I chose to preserve this particular memory of this spring’s cycle.

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

1/160 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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“The Day Breaks Brightly” – Durham Forest

“The Day Breaks Brightly” - Durham Forest.jpg

“The true optimist not only expects the best to happen, but goes to work to make the best happen. The true optimist not only looks upon the bright side, but trains every force that is in him to produce more and more brightness in his life….”
― Christian D. Larson

Despite it being late November there has been a bright, golden theme in my photos recently and I’m pleased with that. I do tend to look for that brightness, despite walking through dark groves and solitary paths, I always seem to find some brightness. In this case there’s the wonderful effect of nice light and the bounteous oak and beech leaves glowing all around me, which have as yet to be buried in snow. Though we have had some light snowfalls lately, that snow has melted off and temperatures remain relatively nice, for November.

This image was made a few days ago in Durham forest, not far from my home. It was mid morning and the light was filtering brightly through the sparse canopy, lighting up the remaining leaves in bright tones of gold and orange. This particular section of the trail is unique in its abundance of tightly packed hardwoods, a mix of oak, maple and beech. Though only a few years old the grove has a very unique feel and lends itself well to my vertical pan abstractions.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/18.0, ISO 200

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

“Elecampane” – Seaton Hiking Trail

“Elecampane Stem and Seedhead” - Seaton Hiking Trail

This was a typical shot from this past fall / Early December; bright golds and yellows, almost ‘aglow’, as the soft sunlight reflected from the dried plants. This Elecampane plant stood out to me because the leaves were darker and more gray than the surrounding yellows, and the seed heads varied from gray to a pale orange. The plant also stands out in sharp contrast to its neighbours since it is quite tall and generally survives the winter still standing due to its almost woody stalk. In the summer this is a beautiful plant, with flowers resembling small sunflowers, so it should not surprise me that it is also known in some areas as Wild Sunflower.

This plant has a long medicinal history dating back to ancient Greece. The latin name Inula Helenium is taken from a legend that Helen of Troy was carrying a bouquet of these flowers when Paris stole her away to Phrygia. The root, in particular, has been used in herbal medicines since ancient times and there are many mentions of its use in historical texts. It seems to be a cure for many different ailments, depending on how it is prepared.

It was also a common herb grown in the gardens of early north american settlers, as it could be used as an herb or as food. Thus, like many other plants, it has moved from gardens to wilderness paths quite well.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 122 mm
1/60 sec, @ f/4.0 -0.33, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website
http://www.edlehming.com

“Meadow Poplars” – Secord Forest Trail

“Meadow Poplars” - Secord Conservation Area

About mid-way through this trail are several groves of poplars, which I have photographed and shared in the past. This particular grove is in the middle of a meadow, which the trails grows around. Because of the nature of this area, it’s also difficult to get an unobscured view of these trees, without some branch interfering with the overall shot. That becomes a common issue for photographers, at least in my experience. You can envision a great composition, but the reality is it does not alway play out as planned, since that perfect angle and lighting is tough to achieve because of the surroundings.

Fortunately, I did find a narrow slot between the trees which provided the attached image. There are still a few stray branches in the foreground, but they don’t interfere with the image as a whole.

As I look at the photo, I once again see it as a painting, even without any manipulation. So, I pulled it into Photoshop and the following is the result.

“Meadow Poplars” - Secord Conservation Area

I’m not sure which I like more?

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/200 sec, @ f/7.1 -0.33, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website
http://www.edlehming.com

“Glowing Beech Leaves”

“Glowing Beech Leaves” Durham Forest, Uxbridge

Did I mention I love the light in the fall?

During one of my hikes this fall, I was covered with a glowing canopy of golden beech leaves, brightly lit by the sun. All the light around me was this beautiful, warm yellow/orange and the entire forest just glowed.

Amid all this warmth, it was difficult to isolate a single image that showed the source of this wonderful light. This image is probably the best representation of what I saw. Multiply this image by thousands and that would give a good idea of just how glorious the light was. The leaves literally looked like they were made of gold. Granted, some had some decay and did not look their best, but that was not noticeable till you got up close.

This particular cluster showed its finery the best, with nice structure and clean lines, against the darker  pine forest in the background.

Whenever I look at this photo, it brings me back to the place and time when I made it and fills me with a warmth and longing to return, knowing it was just one of those fleeting moments that we can only return to in memory, but I’ll hold onto it, nonetheless and look forward to the next season with hopes that nature repeats her show once more.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 165mm
1/250 sec @ f/9.0 -.33, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“November Frosting”

"November Frosting"

Now that it is finally warming up, I thought I’d take one last look at how this past year’s winter came in. November was fairly mild and offered one light snowfall that quickly melted away in town. The day of the melt, I decided to go out to one of my favourite local trails (East Duffins Headwaters) to get some vertical pans in a grove of trees I have enjoyed on a few occasions. I was surprised to see how much of the snow cover remained in the forest. The grove of tress was my destination, and like so many other hikes, the journey is much better than the destination. The grove of trees, as it turns out, was a disappointment in the end, but I was able to make several beautiful photographs on the surrounding trails, which I will share in subsequent posts.

On this occasion, the trail in was covered in wonderful orange oak leaves and the snow had largely melted off, due mainly to the foot traffic. The bright leaves, combined with the late day light, made the entire scene glow. Even the yellow-green undergrowth seemed alight with sunshine as an archway of snow covered branches stretched above ahead of me. The colours where incredible and I look back on this moment as one of those special times when I was fortunate to have my camera with me so I could save and share the moment.

Nikon D300
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 @ 34mm
1/80sec @f/9.0, ISO 400