Tag Archives: hike

“What a Difference a Week Makes”

“What a Difference a Week Makes”“Nature amazes me still. Some changes are so gradual that you barely notice them while others happen in the blink of an eye.”
– Ed Lehming

Last week I took a much needed break at lunch and headed for a quick walk through the woods at North Walker Woods. For those who follow regularly, you will know that this is a place I like to go to quite frequently. It’s close to home, the trails are well maintained, and it offers me a broad profile of southern Ontario forest flora. It’s also fairly open, so bugs are not too intense.

I was just there last week enjoying the multitude of trilliums and other wildflowers and the forest was just beginning to show its spring flush of bright green, yellow, and red emerging leaves. The forest was still very open and bright, allowing lots of sunshine to reach the forest floor and feed the delicate spring flowers. This ‘open’ spring forest and its delightful colours was shared in my “Trillium Trails” post only a few days ago.

As the title of this post states, what a difference a week makes. With a few warm and sunny days, the entire forest is now in full leaf. It’s also quite surprising how many trilliums are still in bloom, largely due to the cool weather we had up till a few days ago. They have already started to turn the pink-magenta colour that is their final phase of blossom and soon they will be replaced by ferns and other deep green undergrowth as the forest settles into summer mode.

It’s been a wonderful extended spring on the trails this spring, with almost all the spring ephemerals blooming at the same time and remaining in bloom for close to two weeks. A highly unusual but delightful season, yet things must progress and I am thankful for these times.

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

1/50 sec, f/11.0, ISO 400

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

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“Green Haze”

“Sometimes life is hard … so we have to squeeze it, touch it, play with it, and make it soft like a dough! Now it’s soft enough to be shaped in any way we want! Keep moving, touching life, as this will keep it smooth and fun!”

― Karina Fonseca Azevedo

This photo as sat in my draft folder for many months. I made it with my iPhone, as I hiked a favourite trail with my wife and daughters. I’m not sure what it is about this image that has kept it ‘on hold’ for so long.

I was experimenting with long exposure with my iPhone, seeing if I could recreate the abstracts that I make with my main camera. The resulting image is a bit softer, without the saturation I get with my Nikon, bit the image is still pleasing and effective. The real trick to achieve the effect I enjoy so much is in the movement of the camera itself. Basic settings remain the same, but the ‘feel’ of the pan or vertical ‘sweep’ that I use is different. With more practice I could probably get close.

iPhone 7

“Dominant”

“Dominant”

“Taking time in stillness is an essential part of my every day. It saves my sanity, it grounds and centers me. I can carry that peace with me wherever I go.” 
― Akiroq Brost

Welcome once more to a moment in the forest, this time a warm, dry, and largely mosquito free sojourn into the green.

As I hike these trails, often 10-15 km at a time, I pass many wonderful scenes and many, many trees, yet every so often a scene presents itself which makes my pause on my journey and a photo come together.

In this image, a large sugar maple dominates the scene just on the edge of a hemlock grove.

Titles for my images often come to me as soon as I start composing the image and I often find myself wondering what particular elements of the image prompted that though process. So, I consider this image. Dominant. Yes, this maple is the largest tree in the scene, it has more texture, and is in the foreground, but I see these scenes many times along my hikes. So, what is it about this particular tree that brings that word to mind above the rest of the moments I experience?

I think, in this case, it’s simply the placement of the tree, just to the left of a game trail. It almost welcomes me to enter an partake. The next thing I see is an exposed rock, reflecting the warm sunlight, followed by the glow of an exposed stump, and the journey continues. In the end, it’s the combination of light and line that seems to start with this one tree. It’s the anchor and the beginning and dominant, yet not imposing or threatening. Interestingly, a made another image of it from a slightly different angle and the scene lost all it allure.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/14.0, ISO 400

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

“Grounded Sunlight”

“Grounded Sunlight”

“Shafts of delicious sunlight struck down onto the forest floor and overhead you could see a blue sky between the tree tops.” 
― C.S. Lewis

Light does some amazing things. As a photographer, light is everything and my eyes are quite tuned to the unique characteristics of light. Anything out of the ordinary resonates with me and automatically draws me to it.

This was the case on a hot and rainy hike this past weekend. Despite the rain, sunlight regularly broke through and the effects were often magical.

In this scene, the sun caught a patch of undergrowth whose leaves had turned yellow from our recent drought. It’s like the sun saying, “Wake up!” or simply pulling me towards this patch of ground to spend more time considering it. Which I did, as I was curious about the early colour change among the canopy of deep summer greens. What was not apparent to me at the time was just how much of this golden light reflected back up to bathe the bases of the trees. This effect hows up nicely in the photo.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/11.0, ISO 400

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

“Spring Beauty and Twig”

“Spring Beauty and Twig”

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” 
― Anne Bradstreet

As I mentioned in my previous post, the beginning of spring was more like an extended winter. It was the kind of year where you wonder if it will ever warm up, but it eventually does.

But, spring proper, has been delayed. As I walked familiar paths, it seemed like the world was still in winter’s icy clutches. A few patches of green were starting to show. Some hearty grasses and sedges gave an indication of life, yet it still felt so much like winter had just ended.

Then, I came across a grove of hardwoods and the forest floor was suddenly filled with the bright greens of wild leek plants, freshly erupted from the dull brown forest floor.. Now this was looking more familiar! If leeks were emerging, then what else?

I inspected the ground closer and, sure enough, I spotted a small patch of pink, up close to a maple tree; a small clump of Spring Beauties were blooming. Soon, I saw many more and the forest seemed alive with flowers. Which again reminded me, if you don’t look, intently, you will often miss these small treasures.

So, the 5 km. hike, simply for the sake of getting outside again, has paid off; colour is returning to the world once more and I am encouraged again to spend more time enjoying and photographing this wonderful world I live in.

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

1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100

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

“Up and Around”

“Up and Around”

“And this is how the forest changes, one step, one day, one moment at a time. ” 
― Ed Lehming

The time of change is at my doorstep. Though flurries still fill the air from time to time, the inevitable change is palpable. Paths once completely ice covered are now more passable. Mud and leaves fill the spaces between, and the ice slowly recedes.

Even the evergreens are a bit brighter, as the sun brings freshness their winter faded needles. Birdsong returns to fill the air.

I love this time of year, watching the gradual shift from ice to green. It reminds me that life is a cycle; that there are times of growth and times of rest. The toughest part is just before the change, a time when my world is ice covered and dull; uninspiring. Yet, with patience and the knowledge that it’s temporary, I venture out for moments like this, moments where the change is visible and I look forward to the days ahead.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70mm
1/4 sec, f/10.0 ISO 250

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

 

“Winter Wandering”

“Winter Wandering”

“I love the scent of winter. I love the scent of winter enough to suffer the cold for it.” 
― Tiffany Reisz

It’s been a while since I posted, it’s also been a while since I’ve had anything to share. The cold snap finally eased up to the point where a reasonable person could venture out for a while. It’s felt odd, being cooped up and not making photos. So, I finally got back out for a 5 km hike this past Sunday and managed to capture a few images along the way.

What still makes me smile is the splashes of orange from the tenacious beech leaves, which, thus far, have managed to cling to the bare branches and bring a touch of colour to the otherwise stark landscape. They really are the only colour, other than muted tones of various mosses and fungi. Even the sky still hangs heavy and leaden, despite the milder temperatures. By milder I mean slightly below freezing but far more comfortable than the sub -20s we’ve had most of January.

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

1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 400

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