Tag Archives: hope

“The Days Are Brightening”

“The Days Are Brightening”

“Flowers bring to life even the dullest days” – Ed Lehming

The first day of May, in the midst of pandemic lockdowns, and I am blessed with the beauty of a single blossom from a Gerbera that I somehow managed to coax through the winter.

It’s been a bit, no, actually very distressing to not be able to get out and photograph local wildflowers like I have in the past few years. The photos I have posted recently were all taken on a single hike last weekend; which I’m hoping to repeat this weekend.

Till then, I am quite satisfied to be greeted every morning by this lovely plant, which I have noticed has two more blossoms forming. Hopefully, as sign of things to come.

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

1/6 sec, f/20.0, ISO 200

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

“May Hiacynths”

“May Hyacinths”

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

It’s spring, and finally mild enough that it feels like spring, the gardens, which till now, have been waiting patiently for some warmth to stir life into them are now erupting with perennials.

This is such a needed reprieve from the past weeks of of staying home and waiting for signs of life. I know the cycles of nature will continue, but everything seems to have been delayed by cool weather and feels even more so with the monotony of being in self-isolation as this COVID-19 pandemic runs its course.

The warmer weather and blossoms also mean I can spend more time outdoors working on the gardens and getting rid of the winter’s litter. This time of preparation is therapeutic for me; it keeps me busy and focussed on the future. I’m looking forward to having a bit more time to nurture my garden this year, as I expect we will not be venturing far from home any time soon.

With the flowers now in bloom I’m also able to enjoy capturing the beauty with my camera and sharing it with others who may also be in need of some spring cheer.

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

1/60 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200

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

“First of the Season” – In memory of Marjorie Fretz

First of the Season (low res)

“There is something special about the first trillium of the year. As I walk the trails, I keep a keen eye open for this marvelous harbinger of spring, and when it see it, I know, warm days and beauty follow.” – Ed Lehming

Here it is, the first white trillium of the year. The original was a ‘nice’ photo, but I was looking for more, something to personalize it this year. This bizarre year of COVID-19, isolation, and emotions I still can’t process. So, I decided to render it as digital art, not something I do very often, but somehow it felt very appropriate today. I wanted more than a photo. I wanted something that connected me personally to this beautiful moment where I beheld this single, wonderful blossom. For me, some sign of hope of normality, and a future that I can look forward to.

I’m hoping that this image can bring some joy to others. Joy seems to be a rare commodity these days.

“The Inevitable Transition”

“The Inevitable Transition”

“All things change, it is inevitable, even the things that appear to be constants eventually pass into history. The cycles of time and nature cannot be stopped.” – Ed Lehming

I’ve written a few times about the beauty of beech leaves in the dead of winter. As other leaves have long since fallen to the ground, these leaves cling to the branches with incredible tenacity and offer much needed brightness to otherwise dull winter forests.

They hang on all winter long, and then, within days, they are gone, their purpose served. I’ve often wondered about this phenomenon and set out to understand it better. This spring I spend some time observing the ‘fall’ of the beech more closely and now understand the process better.

The previous years’ leaves are attached to the stem at a ‘bud point’. I’m sure there is a scientific term for this junction, but I’ll use my own expression here. Where other species’ leaves loose the connective fibres that attach the leaves, beech leaves do not. They remain connected to this ‘bud point’ all winter long. The connection is not broken till a new bud forms and pushes outwards, severing the connecting tissue. That’s why they all seem to fall off at the same time. Their cycle ends and another begins.

I can’t help but relate this analogy to what’s going on in our world right now. We are clinging with all out emotional strength to the world we have known for so many years and we will, by human nature, resist the change, each in our own fashion. But the change is already underway, all we can hope for is something better.

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

1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

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

 

“Fragile”

“Fragile”

“Human spirit is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future with curiosity and optimism. It is the belief that problems can be solved, differences resolved. It is a type of confidence. And it is fragile.”
― Bernard Beckett

As I observed these dried beech leaves a few days ago I saw many allusions to my current state of emotional well-being and my pursuit of calm and hope. There have been days recently when I have felt dried out, bereft of joy, and just waiting for the next message of bad news to push me to the brink. I’ve felt like curling up and hoping this all passes me by, trembling in the wind.

Yet, at the same time I realize just how tenacious these leaves can be. They cling to the branches all winter long as other leaves have long since fallen to the litter of the forest floor. I’ve previously commented on how the beech leaves are bright and colourful beacons of cheer in the otherwise dull, gray winter landscape.

It’s about perspective, I suppose; a matter of directing my thoughts to the positive and the belief that we as humans are able, resilient, and fully capable of solving this most recent problem. I need to remain confident and focus on the image of tenacity rather than fragility. I also know that these wonderful leaves will soon fall as well, but released by new growth rather than death, a continuing cycle of ebbs and flows; a balance. It’s all about how we look at it.

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

1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 400

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

“Bloodroot’s Spring Gift”

“Bloodroot’s Spring Gift”

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

In these uncertain times, the Tolkien quote resonates with me. There are so many things that are fair, and there are more and more every day. I’m making it my habit to actively seek them out.

Yesterday, I finally ventured back onto the local trail because they bring me joy and refresh me. They are infrequently travelled and allow lots of space if a fellow hiker happens to pass by. My purpose, aside from just getting outdoors is exactly what Tolkien alludes to; the quest for signs of beauty and renewal.

From my many years outdoors, I know the cycles of spring and which plants flower at specific times. Bloodroot is usually among the first to bloom, preceded by Coltsfoot. I was a bit disappointed as I scanned the forest floor hopefully. I saw many Bloodroots emerged from the dry brown debris of the forest floor. Usually they are in full bloom by now. After hiking a few more kilometers I was greeted by this beauty, still tightly wrapped in its leafy shroud. yet in full bloom; just what I needed; a gift of beauty and of hope. The cycle is delayed but I know with certainty that it will continue, just as nature always does. The symbolism of a gradual ‘opening’ inspires with me as we begin looking forward to something closer to ‘normal’.

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

1/25 sec, f/20.0, ISO 400

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

“Old and New”

“Old and New”

“As doom and gloom pervade our lives it’s difficult to feel freshness. Yet, nature shows us that just as one thing dies off, another appears. Our path need not be wearisome if we open our eyes in expectation to the new rather than the old.” – Ed Lehming

Such was my experience today, as I returned to my beloved trails. It’s nearing the end of April, the world is locked in a battle with a pandemic and much of the news is less than positive. The forest is my source of energy and I have missed it so much through this uncertainty.

My expectations as I set out was that I would see a few of the early blooming spring ephemerals. At first not much was visible but I soon noticed some trilliums starting to emerge, some even had traces of flower buds, but it will be a while before they actually bloom. I was hoping to see a few Bloodroot by this time of year, but most were still tightly bundled up.

As my hike progressed I started noticing a few Spring Beauties blooming among the patches of Trout Lily leaves. The Trout Lilies will also be a while before they blossom. I figured that was the best I could hope for, as it has been rather cool this spring and being home I have fallen out of sync with the timing of the spring blooms.

Then, as I resigned to this rather scant showing of blossoms, I saw a splash of white against an old log and could not believe the that I was seeing a Hepatica (Sharp-Leafed Liverwort) blooming this early, and more advanced than other plants that generally bloom a few days before them.

The bright, fresh white against the rotting log brought me back to my recent mood, looking desperately for some brightness to see me through these times. This beautiful flower was just what I needed, but I would not have seen it had I not been actively looking for it. So, I will head into the next few days with the same philosophy of keeping my eyes and ears open to beauty and freshness.

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

1/25 sec, f/20.0, ISO 400

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