Tag Archives: Herb Robert

“Herb Robert” – Secord Forest

“Herb Robert Blossom” - Secord Forest

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”
― Alice Walker

This diminutive member of the geranium family has been on my mind since I first encountered it a few weeks ago. I’m finding I’ve missed seeing so many of the smaller wildflowers in the past, then, suddenly, they are everywhere and in unexpected places.

The first time I saw the pale purple gem, was on a Secord Forest trail, where I photographed it, not knowing what it was, and then identified it by referencing my plant identifications books. The next time I saw it, was at the Royal Botanical Gardens, in Burlington, Ontario. I felt like such a botanist, being able to spot and identify this tiny purple flower among all the other plants on display. I’m not sure if they are deliberately included in the gardens or if they were placed there by nature.

On researching the plant I also discovered it has significant uses as a medicinal herb for the treatment of toothaches and nosebleeds and also to heal wounds. The crushed leaves smell like burning rubber, but make a good mosquito repellant. I tried this and it seemed to work, other than the fact that I smelled like burning rubber, which is not necessarily a desirable trait.

Nikon D800
Nikkor AF 28-70mm f/3.5~f/4.5D @ 45mm (28mm extension tube)
1/60 sec, f/5.0, ISO 200

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“Rock Garden Waterfall” – Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington

“Rock Garden Waterfall” - Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlingto

“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

A change of pace from all my recent flower and butterfly photos, though if you look closely, there are still flowers present. Can you find them?

I did set out to photograph flowers this day and have plenty to share at a later date, but I do like a good waterfall and the serenity small cascades like this create for me, even knowing it is man made. I used a slow shutter at 1/10 of a second to slightly blur the movement and had to go hand-held because I did not want to carry a tripod all day. That did pose a challenge because it was very bright and I had to shoot at f/32 to keep the water from being blown out.

This stepped cascade can be found at the rock gardens, which are part of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario. The rock garden is one of several gardens within this large complex of garden exhibits and is nestled in the base of a valley, forming a bit of a bowl. Much of the stone is native limestone and some material has been moved into place to create a garden with large limestone boulders and many stepped paths which run up and down the hillside. I enjoyed the inclusion of many native plant species, which those who are not hiking the backwoods trails would never experience otherwise. Including Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum), which are the small pink flowers visible near the base of the higher cascade. They are a native plant and are members of the geranium family. The crushed leaves can be used as a mosquito repellant, handy at this time of year).

The waterfall pictured here, feeds into some smaller stepped cascades and eventually winds through the lower gardens as a meandering creek which flows beneath bridges and around some wonderful large trees.

At this time of year, the garden also features some exquisite blooming dogwoods, which I have a real attraction to (more photos of those to come).

If you happen to be in the Burlington area and like plants, I would highly recommend this as a destination, but plan on a day, since it is a large complex that spreads over several properties.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 70 mm
1/10 sec, f/32.0, 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