Tag Archives: June

“Wild Basil – Clinopodium vulgare”

“Wild Basil - Clinopodium vulgare”

“My love affair with nature is so deep that I am not satisfied with being a mere onlooker, or nature tourist. I crave a more real and meaningful relationship. The spicy teas and tasty delicacies I prepare from wild ingredients are the bread and wine in which I have communion and fellowship with nature, and with the Author of that nature.” 
― Euell Gibbons

Every hike seems to bring a new discovery. As I walk familiar paths, some splash of colour or unusual shape pulls me deeper into my relationship with nature. This past week, I discovered this wild basil plant. Frankly, I did not know it grew in my area and this is the first time I’ve seen one. Strange, it seemed so familiar but I did not make the connection till later.

Since I did not know what it was till I researched the photo, I did not take the time to test the smell or taste. That will have to wait for a subsequent visit. For now, I’m happy to have the photo as a reminder to return.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/400 sec, f/10.0, ISO 320

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

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“Prickly Goosberry – Ribes cynosbati”

“Prickly Goosberry - Ribes cynosbati”

“Beware of those who are bitter, for they will never allow you to enjoy your fruit.” 
― Suzy Kassem

The gooseberries are not just bitter, but well protected. I imagine birds would do alright with these but I’m trying to picture a squirrel or some other rodent trying to deal with these spiky berries.

This native fruit bearing shrub is a new one to me, even though I have hiked past this location hundreds of times. Why I did not notice something so unique puzzles me, as I’m always on the lookout for something unique along the way. Perhaps I’ve walked past before the fruit was formed or after the birds had stripped the berries already.

The image is quite green in tone, the result of a lush green canopy overhead filtering the sunlight. Rather than trying to colour correct the image, I decided to leave it as is, a reminder of this warm day among the greenery.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/100 sec, f/5.0, ISO 320

“Outstretched”

“Outstretched”

“When you reach for the stars, you are reaching for the farthest thing out there. When you reach deep into yourself, it is the same thing, but in the opposite direction. If you reach in both directions, you will have spanned the universe.” 
― Vera Nazarian

It’s late June, yet many of the plants are still growing. This fern along the trail is a good example of this. In the warm breezes of early summer the fronds are still unfurling, still reaching for sunlight.

I chose the quote to go with this image to align with the concept of reaching outwards as well as the growth I experience, internally, every time I partake in these moments on my hikes. I reach within myself, trying to understand what I am experiencing. There are always surprises and I enjoy these. All this life and movement is energizing to me, the solitary hiker.

In the image above, if you look very carefully, there is an insect lurking behind the terminal frond. I don’t usually notice these when I make the image, they reveal themselves when I process the image. It would seem almost every plant and flower has an insect lurking somewhere. This one seems to be deliberately hiding from my lens.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/400 sec, f/100, ISO 320 

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

“Showy Lady Slipper – 2018”

“Showy Lady Slipper - 2018”

“The beauty of that June day was almost staggering. After the wet spring, everything that could turn green had outdone itself in greenness and everything that could even dream of blooming or blossoming was in bloom and blossom. The sunlight was a benediction. The breezes were so caressingly soft and intimate on the skin as to be embarrassing.” 
― Dan Simmons

Here we are, freshly into summer. I have found myself longing to get on the trails, to explore the changes the past month has brought. I sought to find the many groves of wildflowers, so familiar to me these past few years. Most of all, a craved the crunch of the ground beneath my boots and the sweet smells and familiar sounds of the forest.

Work has consumed my time, has left me drained and uninspired. I’ve been out walking,  in town, just to clear my mind and then back to the routine. My free time has been spendt simply trying to catch my breath and come down from the non-stop urgency of my job.

As I sat reviewing some of the photos from last year, it became clear to me that I was sacrificing something precious. I was abandoning the very thing that gives me energy and creativity. I was giving up being ‘in’ nature. How I got to this point is simple, it was a slow and steady increase in keeping up with the increasing demands of a job that requires years of acquired knowledge and a great deal of creativity, combined with increasingly tight deadlines. But, I have come to realize, that the pace is only sustainable for so long. I began feeling tired, irritable, and uninspired in other aspects of my life. A few times, I took the time to set up a studio shot or two, grabbed some quick images with my iPhone, but that was it.

As I sat looking at the calendar this past weekend, I realized that it was Orchid time. The brief period in late June when the Showy Lady Slipper Orchids bloom in a local conservation area. I simply had to get out to check on them. So today, I made a point of starting my day early and taking time at lunch to step away from the desk and into the forest. As soon as I stepped off the trailhead and into the forest, the outside world slid away around me and I felt the ‘oneness’ of the trail. Even the clouds of mosquitoes were welcome, though only briefly. I was blessed by a cooler day and a slight breeze, just enough to cool me and disperse the biting insects. Within 20 minutes I stood before these lovely flowers once more. The conditions were perfect and I was able to get the shots I wanted. It’s so good to be back!

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/200 sec, f/11.0, ISO 320

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

“Foxglove” – Royal Botanical Gardens

“Foxglove” - Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington

“My favourite plant is the foxglove. I think they are a perfect balance between being a garden plant and a wild plant, as at home in woodland as they are in a city.”  
– Clive Anderson

Keeping on my recent departure to flower photos, above is a wonderful foxglove blossom that I found at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario. The gardens are divided into several sections, which cover a large area. This plant was in Hendrie Park, which is a garden directly attached to the main gardens entrance. The entrance way leads to a long walkway that runs the length of the park. The foxgloves were among many bright and beautiful flowers on display along this walkway on a very hot June afternoon.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/400 sec, f/2.8, 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

“Flowering Dogwood – Square Dance” – Royal Botanical Garden

“Flowering Dogwood - Squaredance” - Royal Botanical Gardens

“A lie has many colours,
while white is the only faithful colour of truth.”
― Munia Khan

This year has been an interesting shift for me, photographically. I tend to lean towards natural places, such as forest trails, rivers, and lakes. This year I’m finding myself also taking in more man-made gardens and cultivated flowers.

Perhaps this is because I’ve been spending more time in my own backyard and going to botanical gardens with my wife for gardening ideas and simply to enjoy the blooms. Of course, I’ve had my camera with me to capture and share those experiences.

Till now, I had not paid much attention to all the flowering trees. It seemed to me that the flowering phase lasted only for a short period, yet now I’m seeing blossoms will into June.

Dogwoods hold a special appeal to me, since I first witnessed the Sierra Dogwoods blooming in Yosemite National Park a few years ago. There is something about the bright green leaves and delicate large blossoms that draws me to them, especially the bright white ones. The variety pictured above is a hybrid called “Square Dance” because of the blossom shapes, they almost form a perfect square. This particular plant was found in the Rock Gardens section of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario.

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

“June Daisies” – Whitevale, Ontario

"June Daisies" - Whitevale, Ontario

“Daisies, simple and sweet. Daisies are the way to win my heart.”
― Patrick Rothfuss

As the quote above says, “Daisies, simple and sweet”. Daisies abound at this time of year. They seem as commonplace as dandelions, yet there is a beautiful simplicity to them that sets them apart from their meadow companions. Perhaps hearkening back to childhood, when I would pick bunches for my grandmother on my way home from school. They lent themselves to that kind of activity, never wilting or seeming to care about their rough transport in the hands of a child.

Or, perhaps it’s the purity of the white petals and the sun-like centres. I don’t know for certain, but I don’t believe I’ll ever tire of daisies. For me they symbolize purity, innocence, and the promise of warm summer days spent wandering through nature, drinking her sights and sounds. Just the thought of it brings a smile to my face.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 300mm

1/160 sec, f/5.6 ISO 220

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