Tag Archives: ontario

“Late May Lilacs”

“Late May Lilacs”

“The lilac branches are bowed under the weight of the flowers: blooming is hard, and the most important thing is – to bloom.”
― Yevgeny Zamyatin

It’s hard to believe that May is almost over. It seemed a long time coming and has passed all too quickly. I also tend to measure time in familiar events. An example is tied directly to lilacs. When my wife and I married twenty-six years ago, we waited anxiously, hoping that the lilacs and lily of the valley would be blooming. Plans had been made to incorporate white lilacs from her family’s home farm into our decorations, as well as her bouquet. So, we waited, as a cooler than normal spring passed and finally warmed, producing both lilacs and lily of the valley, just in time for our wedding.

This year followed a very similar pattern, and on our anniversary date, a few hearty lilacs where blooming, as well as a lesser number of lily of the valley. I can also recall the roadsides virtually festooned with lilacs as we drove south to Vermont for our honeymoon. It brings a smile to my face as I see the roads once more adorned with these beautiful, fragrant bushes and think back fondly to when  we started out on this journey together. All is as it should be and every year brings a promise renewed.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0 sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

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“Garlic Mustard”

“Garlic Mustard” - Alliara petiolata

Alliara petiolata

What at first glance looks like a scraggly weed, growing in profusion along railway tracks, turns out to be a beautiful, interesting plant close up. I find myself guilty, of late, of not taking the time to look at some of the more mundane plants that grow in my area, north of Markham, Ontario.

This is a prime example. I’ve seen vast patches of Garlic Mustard but never taken the time to really look at it.  I’m learning daily to appreciate the little things, which surprise me, when given time.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/400 sec, f/16.0 ISO 400

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“Allegheny Foamflower”

“Allegheny Foamflower - Tiarella cordifolia”

Tiarella condifolia

The above is another of what I categorize as the ‘second’ wave of spring blossoms. This, like the others I’m posting are predominantly white. The foamflowers are quite abundant this year. I really had no idea how beautiful they were till I got in close.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/80 sec, f/16.0 ISO 400

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“Broad Leaved Toothwort”

“Broad Leaved Tooothwort - Cardamine piphylla

Cardamine piphylla

With rainy days, busy workdays, as well as event filled weekends, I seem to have missed several days of spring blossoms. Despite this, the ‘next wave’ of blossoms is now starting to show. These tend to be primarily white flowers, starting with trilliums, which are well advanced as I write this.

These Toothworts are plentiful, yet I seem to have overlooked them in previous years, unless this is an exceptional cycle for them?

I’ve made a point, since photographing wildflowers, to research the names and habits of the flowers I photograph as well as to expand my ability to visually identify them. Fortunately, I have lots of books and online resources available, though I’m finding many books have sadly inadequate photos to help me identify the plants. I’ve also joined a local group of amateur field botanists, where I can post photos and ask for help in identification and hopefully, be able to provide good photos to the group for their own enjoyment.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/40 sec, f/18.0 ISO 400

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“Wispy Spring Blossoms”

“Whispy Spring Blossoms”

“If only these treasures were not so fragile as they are precious and beautiful.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I got out for a quick walk at lunch today and came across these delicate blossoms. I’m not sure of the exact species, but it looks like some form of wild cherry, perhaps Pin Cherry. The light was just right to use my portable background to isolate the blossoms from the background, giving the whole thing the look of a Japanese painting.

One thing that poses a real challenge in outdoor photography, using this method, is movement caused by wind, even a light breeze, so there is an element of careful timing and a slightly higher ISO to compensate for the faster shutter speed.

It’s a very simple composition and I’m often left a bit dumbstruck at how wonderful simple can be.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
0.5 sec, f/36.0 ISO 400

High Resolution image on 500px

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“Squirrel Corn”

“Squirrel Corn”

“The flower that wilted last year is gone. Petals once fallen are fallen forever. Flowers do not return in the spring, rather they are replaced. It is in this difference between returned and replaced that the price of renewal is paid.

And as it is for spring flowers, so it is for us.”
― Daniel Abraham

Several days ago, I posted an image of a plant known as “Dutchman’s Breeches” and mentioned that a similar plant also grew in the area. I recalled making an image of it and went in search of that image. Here it is. I’m also noticing, by going back a year, that my photographic technique and style has changed significantly.

I also noticed that it was a year ago when I purchased my Nikon D800 and I have become very comfortable with it. I’ve also updated lenses to be a bit more task specific. Last year I used my trusty 70-200 f/2.8 to make this shot, and now the rain has finally stopped, I’ll be heading back to retake this image with my 90mm macro.

The year over year comparison is interesting in several aspects: I can look back at how I photographed and what I photographed. I recognize that my knowledge of native plants and wildlife continue to grow, and I see the subtle seasonal differences in weather and growth patterns over the years. I thought last year was quite cool, but this year has proven much cooler and much wetter, with more than our monthly May rainfall coming down over the span of a few days, and now a brief cool down. I’m still waiting on trilliums which were plentiful this time last year.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200 mm
1/80 sec, f/2.8 ISO 220

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“Bloodroot Detail”

“Bloodroot Detail”

“A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably.”
― Ludwig Wittgenstein

I was hoping to get a few more images before the bloodroot stopped blooming and was happy to see I had not missed my chance. I took my portable studio with me in hopes of being able to find a few specimens that lent themselves to this technique. A small grouping, just off the hiking trail presented just such an opportunity and I set about making a few images.

The image above appealed to me the most, as it shows the freshly emerged plant, with the flower about to open, a very similar scene to my earlier post. However, the black background does its job in really isolating teh plant and forcing us to observe the details. It’s still my favourite method of photographing plants and works fairly well outdoors, if teh light is not too intense and the air is calm.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/6 sec, f/22.0 ISO 100

High Resolution Image on 500px

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