Tag Archives: life

“Out Like a Lion” – March 31, 2019

“Out Like a Lion” - March 31, 2019

“March teased and taunted with hints of spring, but ended with a reminder that nature is in command, not the calendar, as warm rains turned to sleet and snow”
– Ed Lehming

It has been a very odd March, a very odd March indeed. The month started out as many Marches do in this area: with lengthening days interspersed with snow storms and sunshine as the weather patterns swing towards milder days, yet winter hangs on with tenacity.

The trails I travel are covered with ice, slowly receding and turning to mud. This often leads to a much slower pace as I step carefully along the paths, here and there is an indication of life returning to the world.

It’s a time of transition, of change. This year more than any others, especially in my work life. Mid-March I got the notice that my job of 33 years was being outsourced and I found myself in the uncharted world of premature retirement and having to make some difficult choices in a very tight timeline. In the end, it all worked out and I retired from my previous employer and was hired by the company that the work was outsourced to. It turned out to be a happy ending but caused much stress and anxiety as my world was turned upside down.

So, I chose this image, made yesterday,. Something for me to reflect on, as my work world calmed down, the natural world was thrown backwards once more.

For me, the message is that the natural cycles always work out, eventually and what we consider normalcy returns.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/500 sec, f/11.0, ISO 400

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

“Who Has Seen the Wind?”

“Who Has Seen the Wind?”

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair” 
― Kahlil Gibran

The earth does delight in our bare feet and the trail rises ahead to greet me. I’ve spent the past couple of weekends back on the local trails, enjoying the fresh air and sound of the wind shaking the branches high above me, the air is filled with birdsong  and the scent of tree sap.

One of the things I try to communicate through my abstract photography is that the forest is a living breathing thing, it’s seldom still and especially so on windy days. Last weekend, as I was making a series of images on the trail, a gust of wind caught me, just as I snapped the shutter. I make these images freehand, as I like the natural feel and control I have of the creative process. The effect of this ‘gust’ was a very slight shift in the first portion of the my upward sweep, which at first bothered me, but the more I considered the final image, the more I liked it. The movement is a bit more distorted but adds a different axis of movement, caused by the wind which seems to make the whole scene spring to action, as if rustling in that same breeze. It’s like witnessing a deep exhalation of the forest, for a brief moment, and then it all settles back to the norm.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/25.0, ISO 400

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

“Three”

“Three”.jpg

“Three things are needed
For humanity to co-exist:
Truth, peace and basic needs.
Everything else –
Is irrelevant.” 
― Suzy Kassem

A reminder, along the way, of what is important. This cluster of tree brought to mind the quote above by Suzy Kassem. So relevant in these complex times.

I have a friend who builds hand crafted furniture, all his work, tables and chairs, have three legs. He jokes, two is just not enough, and four is too many. The number three, is balanced and just enough. The number three is in my mind. So, when I saw this grouping of trees, it triggered thoughts of balance, life, and the events happening in my world, outside the sanctuary of the forest.

Our world seems to be lacking any semblance of truth, peace is just a dream to many, and in a world of excess, basic needs seem to be forgotten, as we pursue the latest fad. Yet, it seems so simple, doesn’t it? We need all three, in balance, and it feels like one is always lacking, or diminished. concept.

At this point in time, as I place myself back in the forest vista, I hold onto this image and try to picture it with one tree missing, and it just isn’t the same. Three are needed.

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

“Vestige of Autumn”

“Vestige of Autumn”

“It’s the nameless who leave a vestige in their wake.” 
― Anthony T. Hincks

Spring, and as the wildflowers emerge from their winter’s rest, the survivors of the winter elements still cling tenaciously to their branches. The beach leaves, which have provided such wonderful hints of colour throughout the bitter, gray, winter months, are now showing the ravages of the season.

Leaves once bright yellow and copper, hang from the slender branches as desiccated shards, reminders to me of what once was, as they shiver in the breezes. At their bases, new buds await an extended warm spell to unfurl their contents and replace their predecessors.

New life, new growth, and reminders of what was and what will come again, in due time.

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

“The Return”

“The Return”

“Home is where you go to find solace from the ever changing chaos, to find love within the confines of a heartless world, and to be reminded that no matter how far you wander, there will always be something waiting when you return.” 
― Kendal Rob

“The Return”

The return of migratory birds and the return of spring. Two things that go together nicely. Here we stand, on the cusp of spring, recent snows blanketing the ground in a final reminder of the season, now passing.

Birdsong, fills the air, between the sound of trees groaning in the north wind, its bite now feeling less severe, sun shining into the depths of the forest, lighting the dark recesses.

I love this time of year, the warming light and the lengthening days. In mere weeks, new growth with erupt from the ground, as the sun thaws the now frozen ground. Soon, life in abundance will return to the forest.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 170mm
1/400 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

 

“Potential”

“Potential”

“To focus solely on endings is to trade conclusions for the very beginnings that created them. And if this cycle should persist, we will likewise miss the beginning that will follow this ending.” 
― Craig D. Lounsbrough

This year concludes, as it began, with a simple image of a hemlock cone. This was not intentional on my part, it’s simply how things work sometimes. It’s a different tree, in a different forest, three hundred and sixty five days apart.

The year for me as a photographer, artist, father, husband, and human has been wonderful. As I look back on that photo from January the first of this year, I had no idea where life was taking me. I’ve grown in my skill and resolve on so many levels and that tiny seed seems an appropriate symbol to reflect on. This diminutive seed has the potential to become a massive and wonderful tree, if the elements are correct, producing seeds of its own. So, as the year concludes, or rather, cycles into the next, I look forward to the potential outcomes and many more experiences which add to my life.

See you all next year!

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

1/160 sec, f/6.3, 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

“Respite” 

Because forgiveness is like this: a room can be dank because you have closed the windows, you’ve closed the curtains. But the sun is shining outside, and the air is fresh outside. In order to get that fresh air, you have to get up and open the window and draw the curtains apart. – Desmond Tutu

After hiking through a fairly dark and dull patch of forest, I was greeted with this ‘gateway’ of light, a respite, from the dark. Though dark shadows still lurk at the periphery, they merely ‘lurk’. They are inconsequential, yet necessary, as they frame and  actually ‘enhance’ the golden light streaming from ahead and above.

This is yet another one of those places I’ve passed through many times. Yes, the forest is always a bit dark and foreboding here, though I know I will emerge soon. Yet today, the light was incredible, tinted yellow by the thick poplars which line the edge of the forest, the slightest slivers of blue sky adding their voice as well. Small patches of cool, bright light, shimmer from the path just in front of me, but they pale in comparison with the warm, golden light ahead.

I’ve spent some time considering this photo and the many analogies which can be drawn from it and will be spending more time with it, though the journey along this “Golden Path” must also continue forward. I will revel in this brief respite from the darkness and move forward to see what the light has to offer me next.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 100

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

“Golden Moments”

“Golden Moments”

“Do you know how there are moments when the world moves so slowly you can feel your bones shifting, your mind tumbling? When you think that no matter what happens to you for the rest of your life, you will remember every last detail of that one minute forever?” 
― Jodi Picoult

While on an extended hike yesterday, making photos for my next series, I entered a large meadow, filled with bright yellow Goldenrod. The plants were in peak condition, having just started blooming a few days ago. The entire field in which I stood, from treeline to treeline, was alight with gold. As I stood looking across the expanse of flowers, my ears became aware of an incredible buzzing sound. Upon looking closer, I noticed thousands of honeybees at work, extracting nectar and collecting pollen. I was literally engulfed in a sea of flowers and bees. Wow!

For a few moments, I stood there, eyes closed, the sun shining warmly on my face, savouring the moment, thrilling in the warmth and listening to the thrum of the bees. Everything else melted into the background as my senses drank in the sounds of life. I was blessed to be part of this moment, also thinking how awesome it was to see a significant population of honeybees, which have been on the decline for the past few years.

After pausing to enjoy this experience, I set out to make a few images to remember it by. It did not take long, as every flower has at least two bees on it. That is how many there were. As I said in previous posts, I used to have a fear of bees. What I have experienced lately is that honeybees are very gentle and could care less about me as I lean in close for a photo. I also noticed that as I pushed though the bee laden goldenrod, they simply flew into the air and landed back on the plants after I had passed. They bounced off my arms and chest as I waded through the flowers, simply another participant in the life of the meadow. By the way, for those not familiar with goldenrod, it grows on tall stalks and the flowers are at face level to me. I’m six foot one. So, the bees are right in front of me as well.

So, here it is, a “Golden Moment” to remind me of my time with the bees and the joy of that moment, in the flowers.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/640 sec, f/13.0, 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

 

 

“Beckoning”

“Beckoning”

“All of us have had the experience of a sudden joy that came when nothing in the world had forewarned us of its coming – a joy so thrilling that if it was born of misery we remembered even the misery with tenderness”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

As I have worked on this latest series of images, it has become clear to me that I must be ‘in’ the forest, a participant in its life. To merely stand along the edges and gaze in, does not satisfy the need to immerse myself under the enchantment of its Green Veil. I need to be engulfed, to fully experience it.

By being in the forest, there is a ‘feel’, an energy, which is difficult to convey to someone who has not felt this life force personally. As I step onto the trails, even briefly, there is a rush of joy which is inexplicable. To be surrounded by such vibrancy is a blessing which I wish everyone could feel at some point. It’s a connectedness, a ‘oneness’ that is experienced within the woods.

So, as I close this series off, I chose this image. The image which beckons me to step in, or conversely, beckons me to return, as I look back on it on parting. In either case, it’s an invitation that I am glad for and which I will eagerly accept, the next time the forest beckons me.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/16.0, ISO 200 

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

“The Ragweed Bee”

“The Ragweed Bee”

“Mindfulness is about love and loving life. When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life, and your actions happen in accordance with that. “
– Jon Kabat-Zinn

It’s allergy double jeopardy, a bee on ragweed.

Strange, I used to have a real aversion to bees and wasps. Now that I am pursuing more macro images, I find myself surrounded by them, as I strain for that next ‘shot’.

That was the case a few days ago, as I was making images of a few Japanese beetles. I looked up and found myself in a dense patch of ragweed, filled with bees. And guess, what, the bees were not even vaguely interested in me, as they harvested the bounty of nectar from the plants around me. I had honeybees right next to my arm, and they cared not that I was there. We were simply occupying the same space, each with our own purpose.

It really was quite an experience for me; I never gave the bees a second thought, and I believe the feeling was mutual. This has opened up a whole new world for me. I find myself making more and more images of bees busily harvesting for the bounty of wild flowers. It is certainly not something I would have considered even a year ago. I suppose you could say I’m in my element. The thought of being stung does not cross my mind as I simply enjoy being a spectator in this activity. At this point, they could land on me and it would not bother me one bit. This really is living in the moment, and I love it. I am at peace. Oh ya, I’m also, supposedly, allergic to ragweed, go figure.

This simple image, of a bee, clinging to a ragweed blossom is so peaceful and enjoyable, having experienced that unexpected moment. It is a moment of time where I am simply ‘in it’ and fascinated by the processes of life and it’s simplicity. We all need more of these moments, so I thought I’d share it.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/800 sec, f/6.3 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