Tag Archives: purple

“Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)”

“Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)”

“Tiny hints of purple between the undergrowth draw me in. Wild geraniums are beginning to bloom as the forest darkens under a thickening canopy of leaves.” – Ed Lehming

I still recall vividly the first time I discovered these beautiful little blooms along a forest trail. At first, easy to overlook, but once you see them they seem to be in every nook and cranny. Not knowing what they were, I took a few photos and researched them when I got home.

It turns out that these are wild geraniums. They look nothing like their highly modified domestic and highly hybridized counterparts, but when you look at them side by side, some similarities start to show.

I’ve gotten to the point where I begin to note the foliage in late spring and make a point of going back to the denser patches around blossom time, which began last week. Once you notice them, like many of the other diminutive forest floor blossoms, it’s hard not see more. They do tend to like the shade, thus the unusually high aperture setting on my camera in order to facilitate the narrow aperture, and slightly moist soil but are quite adaptable and are a hint at the many forest wildflowers still to bloom.

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

1/80 sec, f/16, ISO 3200

“For the Love of Rockets”

“For about a week in June, my world is filled with wonderful seas of purple.” – Ed Lehming

Dames Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) has always been a late spring favourite of mine, even before I knew what it was called. I fondly recall drives into the country with my parents and seeing fields of purple, pink, and white along the roadside.

“Rockets” form dense patches in fields and meadows for about a week in early June. They seem to appear out of nowhere and then they are gone. It may be that fleeting nature that makes them so appealing, especially at a time where there are not a lot of wildflowers blooming yet. It’s even nicer when the occasional daisy blends in. They have a beautiful fragrance which is more pronounced in early evening leading it to also be known as night-scented gilliflower.

I like them so much that for a few years I tried to get them established in my garden. That exercise finally worked out, but they cannot be contained and seed out wherever they want. So a nicely placed patch will soon move to a different part of the garden the next season. They are also not particularly attractive plants when not blooming, so I have since removed them and simply enjoy them in the fields where I first found them.

Like so many of the wonderful wildflowers we have, it was imported from Europe and Asia in the 17th century as a decorative plant and then escaped. In many locations it’s considered an ‘invasive species’ and cultivation is discouraged. Despite that moniker, I like like it and would hate to see it dissappear.

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

1/100 sec, f/10.0, ISO 800

“Drive Shed and Dames Rockets”

The whites, yellows, and pale purples of early spring begin to fade, yet purple holds on, larger and more brilliant than before.” – Ed Lehming

We have spent the past two weekends starting a fairly significant garden.

As we worked, tilled, and planted a scene that we simply could not ignore was the profusion of deep purple Dame’s Rockets. The literally surround the one-acre garden plot (we did not plant the whole acre). The Rockets a tall and lush and remind us that spring is soon to end, and the summer plants will take over.

The building I chose for the background is a drive shed, used to store tools and implements. It’s a wonderful, weatherworn structure with a tin roof. I have no idea what the little belfry is about. I don’t think it ever held a bell but was attached as a decoration. It does add interest.

I enjoyed the scene so much that I also rendered it as an impessionistic digital painting.

I find this is such a beautiful calming image. Though we were all tired from toiling in the field, scenes like this bring us joy and getting a garden going is very satisfying.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/1900 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

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

“Lovely Lobelia”

“It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season.”
― Kate Morton

Now that the garden is starting to fill in, I find myself spending more time enjoying some of the simple blossoms that I often take for granted. Some of these, like the tiny lobelia often go unnoticed because they are so tiny, yet they add some beautiful splashes of colour.

Photographing them and reviewing the images also gives me the opportunity more closely observe the flowers themselves and I find myself researching them more than I would if I just glance at them from a distance.

Lobelia erinus, or trailing lobelia, is the full name of this particular variety and was was surprised to find it is native to South Africa/ Though I really should not be that surprised as most of the garden plants we take for granted have come for overseas at some point in time and have been imported for a particular trait. In lobelia’s case, it’s the beautiful shape of the flowers and the fact that it naturally trails, making it ideal for hanging baskets and planters, which is exactly where this one resides.

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

1/50 sec, f/10.0, ISO 800

“First Blue Cohosh Flower”

“First Blue Cohosh Flower”

“Alien yet familiar, careful observation shows us things we had not expected.” – Ed Lehming

Blue Cohosh is one of the first wildflowers that made me begin to better understand the natural environment around me. When I started spending more deliberate time in the forest, starting to see it as a participant rather than a casual observer, I could not help but notice this purple-blue plants that emerge with the rest of the spring flowers but standout because their colour is so different.

Among the bright greens of the surrounding plants, these appear very out of place. As a botany newbie, I had no idea what they were, so I set out to find out what I was seeing. This simple act started me on a path to learning much more about my environment than I had thought possible. My standard routine now is to constantly seek out and study new finds.

Back to the Blue Cohosh. For the longest time, I did not even think they have flowers, because they are so small; as with many other plants, you need to look closely to see details that are at first not obvious or easily observable to the naked eye. The Blue Cohosh looks almost alien when you get close up. Bear in mind, these blossoms are tiny, less than a centimetre across and they are a deep purple-blue that makes it difficult to observe details. This is the first one of the season and not quite as plump as others I have seen, so I’m hoping to collect a few more images before this year’s bloom is finished.

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

1/400 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200

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

“Up Close with Blue Cohosh”

“Up Close with Blue Cohosh”

“Barely visible on first glance, it’s alien form surprises the first time viewer”
– Ed Lehming

It is so nice to finally make images with no snow. The past few weeks have been cool, wet, and miserable, with more rain than I care for. But, the rain melted the snow and ice away and provided lots of moisture to promote plant growth.

Over the past few days, the sun has been out and the ground has warmed up to the point where wildflowers are everywhere. The plants are emerging so quickly that you can almost hear the leaves rustling with the rapid growth.

Among the first to emerge for the duff and loam is Blue Cohosh, which is actually purple. As I began understanding the local wildflowers a few years ago, I was always intrigued by this strangely wonderful plan. Then, I made my first image of the flower, completely by accident, as I did not know they flowered. Since then, I have made many images of the flowers, each one revealing more detail than the last.

This close up shows all the wonderful detail of the almost alien looking flower against the soft tan background of the leaf covered forest.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/10.0, ISO 250

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

“Purple Tulip”

“Purple Tulip”

“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.” 
― Leo Tolstoy

As the world becomes more complex, on a seemingly daily basis, I find myself drawn to simplicity.

Even the title of the image, while quite simple, suffices. This is a single blossom from a larger bouquet and a found myself liking the isolated flower more than the whole arrangement

I enjoy spending time with the subjects of my photos, often moving around them and finding the angle and light most pleasing to me. I may be breaking some composition rule, but if it resonates with me then, hopefully, somebody else sees it for its beauty as well.

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

3 sec, f/29.0, ISO 100 

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

“Iris 2018”

“Iris 2018”

“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

I’ve always loved this Tolkien quote, and I’ve now found an image to pair it with. Given all the dark news we hear about in our world, the brightness and beauty of flowers is a welcome reprieve.

As I noted in yesterday’s post, I’ve strayed away from this technique over the past few months, but find myself being drawn back to it, for the sheer pleasure of the results. Making these photographs is second nature to me and so satisfying. Even after months not using my studio setup, I had success after only a few shots, using just a simple velvet background.

I did find, that even thought the images are beautiful, they do not sell as larger prints, unless they are printed, VERY big, on canvas, as statement pieces. Those are quite stunning. Imagine this image over a fireplace as a 40″ x 50″ piece! So, for most of my photo sales of these “isolated” flowers, I stick to 8x 10 or arts cards.

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

2 sec, f/25.0, ISO 100 

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

Hi resolution image on 500px: https://500px.com/photo/257918717/iris-2018-by-ed-lehming

“Monarch on Purple Coneflower”

“Monarch on Purple Coneflower”

“There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself.” 
― Lemony Snicket

For the past several days, I’ve watched one or two monarch butterflies on my purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpura) and I have not had my camera handy. By the time I gathered my camera and got outside, it seems the butterflies had flown off. Or, they fly off as I slowly approach the flowerbed, not to return that day, to my knowledge.

Today, fortune was with me. I was on my way to gather a blossom to photograph in my studio and I noticed a Monarch as busy feasting on the flower’s nectar, along with many honeybees. Once more, I did not have my camera with me and, once again, I went inside to get it. On my return the butterfly was still on the flower, but flew away as I approached. I decided to wait it out by photographing the blossoms and the bees, seeing the butterfly floating around in my periphery. Well, it paid off, and the butterfly, unable to resist this large cluster of Echinacea, returned once more and gave me the opportunity to snap a few shots before taking off once more. This is one of the three images I made while it fed.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/160 sec, f/10.0, ISO 320

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (images are available for purchase)
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“Purple Loosestrife” – Sauble Beach, Ontario

“Purple Loostrife” - Sauble Beach, Ontario

“When one with honeyed words but evil mind
Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.” 
― Euripides

Continuing on my “purple phase” theme, here’s a beautiful invader. Though a beautiful flowering plant, in Ontario and other areas where it was introduced as a garden flower, this garden escapee soon established itself in meadows and wetlands, crowding out native plants.

It spreads through rapidly spreading rhizomes and seeds. Each plant can produce over one thousand seeds. It also has no naturally occurring predators, so it spreads uncontrolled, though something, likely earwigs or slugs, seems to be feasting on the leaves below the blossoms.

The plant was spreading like wildfire a few years ago, but recent dry and hot summers seemed, coupled with human efforts to eradicate it, seemed to be taking its toll on the population. This year, which has been extremely wet, seems to have enabled it to bounce back and I’ve seen much more of it an areas where it has not previously occurred. SO the battle goes on.

It’s a shame that such a pretty plant needs to be so aggressively invasive. But, that seems to be a common theme. Plants are introduced from overseas because they are beautiful in gardens, but once they escape, without natural controls, they can quickly take over. The dandelion is perhaps the best known example. Imported for its food value centuries ago, it has now spread to every corner of the continent. However, as evidenced in this image, local insects wildlife also adapts and soon begins to eat the introduced species. Nature is quite adaptable, but with limits.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/60 sec, f/10.0, 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