Tag Archives: forest

“Large Flowered Bellwort”

“Large Flowered Bellwort”

“Along forest paths, bright wildflowers dance in the gentle breeze, and an ever changing dance of colours, fragrances, and textures.”
– Ed Lehming

This spring has been a joy for me, as I really enjoy the multitude of spring ephemerals. Those first few green leaves and bright flowers are such a welcoming sight after months of snow and dull days.

What I have found most enjoyable is the experience of discovering new plants every year and expanding my knowledge of those plants. I’m constantly surprised when a species that I had not noticed before seems to spring up when least expected.

This year, that plant was the Large Flowered Bellwort, a plant that I have only experienced in the boreal forests near Bancroft, Ontario and even then, only as single isolated plants. Last week I came across several large clusters of them, right night to the hiking trail and I wondered why I not not noticed them in the past. Now, they seemed to be everywhere, not as profuse as the trilliums but in larger quantities than I had ever experienced before.

Despite having hiked this trail for many years, it still offers me surprises,every time I return.

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

1/60 sec, f/9.0, ISO 400

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

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“Almost Ready for Summer”

“Almost Ready for Summer”

“Preparations are underway, chlorophyll fills the cells, rust turns to green, and leaves mature, ready to feed hungry trees, and produce oxygen.”
– Ed Lehming

Spring is truly underway when the slight yellow and rusty new growth turns deep green. As the leaves develop, the emergent colours fade, ever so slowly, except to those who are with them regularly.

The cycle continues, largely unnoticed by most these days, but when you spend time with the trees this conversion to mature leaves is a wonderful process to observe.

In the image above, faints patches of the former dark reds, which were so prevalent a few days ago, are still visible but are being replaced by the summer greens. As days get longer and the air warms up, each species in its time will be preparing to greet another summer.

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

1/250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200

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

“Group Huddle”

“Group Huddle”

“Opening ferns in spring remind me of that first stretch when waking up. You can almost hear them yawning after their long rest”
– Ed Lehming

It’s a joy to watch the grand opening of the forest, that time of year that we have named spring. The plants seem to be in a race to see which one can reach the highest, the fastest. Ferns are no exception to this.

For the past few days, the ferns have been small knobs on the ground waiting for the sunshine to warm the ground enough to signal them to start growing. The knobs soon expand into their ‘fiddlehead’ stage where they seem to pause once more, still close to the ground and shelter of the layer of fallen leaves; it seems like they are waiting for signs of frost to disappear, protecting the delicate leaves from freezing.

Then, suddenly, they begin to stretch up and unroll, the once tight fiddleheads riding atop ever expanding stems. In this image, the leaves within the fiddleheads are clearly visible and are just about to open. Within the next few days they will expand to their full size, drinking in the sunshine and adding more greenery to the lush forest floor.

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

1/160 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

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

“Above It All”

“Above It All”

“High above, the raven skims the treetops, gliding silently on wings of dark silk”
– Ed Lehming

After some time in the woods of Secord Forest, a local conservation area, I emerged into the brightness of an overcast sky and watched two ravens circling above me. After awhile they both perched at the top of trees near the forest edge and began ‘talking’ to each other.

Those familiar with ravens will know the broad variety of sounds these interesting birds can make. That is to say, they were not simply ‘cawing’ but were involved in a complex exchange of sounds high above. It almost seemed they were having a conversation about what lay beneath them. I’m not sure if they saw me, as I stood at the forest edge, obscured by low branches.

I watched them and listened for some time, simply enjoying the experience and decided that the raven on the closest treetop would make an interesting photo. The light made the shot feel a bit lackluster, since it was so flat and dull but I proceeded to compose the image anyways.

The first few shots I made were “OK” but not quite what I had envisioned. This soon changed as the one raven took off and the other stirred as well, about to follow the first one. It took this opportunity to compose a shot, anticipating the take-off and managed to snap the shutter at just the right moment in flight to show it with wings fully extended.

This image may appear to be black and white, but it’s full colour, simply the result of the lighting conditions and the stark contrast between the black bird and the bright sky.

What made this even more challenging was the fact that I had gone to the forest to get some close ups of the spring flowers, so only had my 90mm macro lense with me to make this image and my camera was still set at a fairly high ISO for lower light. It all worked out alright, I think.

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

1/2000 sec, f/10.0, ISO 400

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

“Spring Forest Trilliums”

“Spring Forest Trilliums”

“The vibrant greens and rust of new foliage competed with the pure white of the forest floor, carpeted in Trilliums”
– Ed Lehming

Over the past few days, which have remained cool and slightly overcast, I’ve taken advantage of my proximity to the local forests to spend my lunches on the trails simply enjoying the beauty of the spring forest.

Everywhere new life is appearing and the cool spring is taking it easy on the native wildflowers, prolonging their bloom. Plants that normally bloom in a bit of a sequence over a month are all blooming at the same time providing me with the opportunity to  enjoy and photograph them all at the same time.

Dominating this scene are trilliums. These beautiful flowers fill the forest floor in such a pure white that you can’t help but stop and admire them. Parts of the forest are literally awash with them.

I tried to capture that vibrance in this image, using my vertical pan technique. The slight movement and longer shutter speed adds a life to the image that is missing in typical static photos.

As I consider the image, I can imagine myself back in that place a few days ago, the smells, sounds, and colours of the spring forest return once more and I find it so peaceful.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90m
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 400

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

“Spring Delights”

“Spring Delights”

“Life and colour emerged from the ground with such abundance, you could fairly hear the leaves rustling with activity.”
– Ed Lehming

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love this time of year, when wildflowers erupt from the carpet of dull brown leaves. Within a few days, the dull and seemingly lifeless forest floor is festooned with colour.

Among the first, in my area, are the delicate Sharp Lobed Hepatica. Some locals call it “Mayflower”, which is incorrect botanically but so appropriate given its abundance in May.

As I made this image, I sat on a hillside absolutely covered with them. I chose this composition because I liked how they grew around the dead branch and it showed the old and new leaves nicely. This particular cluster is pure white, though I saw many variances of light pinks, purples, and blues as well.

It was a wonderful and relaxing experience, sitting on the warm forest floor, surrounded by this bounty of wildflowers which also included Trout Lily, Trilliums (not yet blooming), Spring Beauties, Wild Leeks, Wild Ginger, and Blue Cohosh. There will be several more photos and stories to follow this one.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/640 sec, f/10.0, ISO 250

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

“Shine”

“Shine”

“Through our dark times, if we have eyes open in hope, we can see glimpses of what might be, in what was.”
– Ed Lehming

The beautiful brightness of beech leaves in winter, and early spring for that matter is always a welcome sight. Even on the dullest snow-filled days, they glow with soft gold, a reminder of the rich colours of autumn. The sun, even in limited amounts, makes them seem to shine with an internal light.

Beech trees tend to hang onto their leaves throughout the winter, despite snow, and wind, most survive well into early spring, when warm and damp days tend to cause them to finally decompose. Many look pretty ragged by the time April arrives, yet some weather the seasons with surprising tenacity.

I’m always happy for them. They remind me of mild and colour filled autumn days and their shine is like a small beacon of life among the dark and frozen branches.

In this image, a recent, and unwelcome early spring snowfall on the final day of March clings to the delicate branches of a beech sapling, making the remaining leaves seem all the brighter against the snow-encrusted forest in the background.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 135 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

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