Tag Archives: starflower


“Small white stars dot the deep green carpet of the forest floor, a private constellation of purity.” – Ed Lehming

Starflower (Lysimachia borealis) was what I set out to photograph earlier this week. To my dismay, the hot dry weather had accelerated their blooms and I only found a few still flowering. But it was not a total loss, the few that remained were still in good condition and I was able to make this image.

The more time I spend hiking the more keenly aware I become of my natural surroundings. I’ve seen starflower plants emerging from between dried leaves since early May, making note of where the larger colonies where, so i could return at a later date. I’ve gotten better at identifying plants as tiny sprouts and flowerless greenery.

Part of my routine now is to seek out plants that I am not as familiar with, photograph them, and study them once I get home. That was the case with starflowers only a few years ago. They seemed quite rare at the time but as I became familiar with them, I find them to be quite abundant, which I a good thing, since they are such beautiful flowers, if every so briefly.

They can be a challenge to photograph since the bright white contrasts strongly with the deep green foliage. I tend to underexpose my images and correct in post-processing.

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

1/125 sec, f/16.0, ISO 1600

“Three Stars on the Forest Floor”

“Three Stars on the Forest Floor”

“Bright puddles of green foliage adorned the otherwise dull forest floor. Above them float delicate white stars, pure and bright; an elixir to the winter weary soul.”
– Ed Lehming

I try to make it a point not to revisit the same subject matter too often, but there is something about star flowers the touches something very deep inside me. As I consider the images I’ve made over the past few days, I suspect that it’s the visual purity of the plant and it’s lovely white blossoms.

They bloom just as the trilliums are beginning to fade, yet before the forest floor begins to really green up. So, they really show up among the winter litter of dried brown leaves, splashes of life on a largely lifeless background. It’s not enough that they are such a wonderful shade of green, it’s those beautiful, perfect blossoms. In this case, three on a single plant, which in my experience is a rarity, thus the photo.

They also only bloom for a day, so when I happen to catch them at the right time it makes me smile. Though not as large and showy as the earlier blooming trilliums, they still captivate me with their fragility and serve as splashes of brightness on a gradually darkening forest.

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

1/60 sec, f/9.0, ISO 400

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