Tag Archives: Thistle

“Bull Thistle Blossom”

“Bull Thistle Blossom”

“If you want the beautiful moments to shine, you have to contrast that with dark and gruesome moments. That’s the way life is.”
– Tony DiTerlizzi 

One of the many common blossom in this ‘purple phase’ of summer blooms is, of course, the Bull Thistle. Though, it could almost make it for the ‘pink phase’ as well. During my drives north, I have seen many Bull Thistles blooming and wondered what was delaying our local thistles. Well they seem to have caught up and I found many wonderful specimens to photograph, including this ‘pristine’ flower, blooming next to a walking path just south of my home.

There were many blossoms with active bees, but I will save those images for a later date. For now, I’m just enjoying the conflicting textures of this flower. So seemingly delicate on top, with its pink/purple frills, yet so obviously painful to touch just below them’

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/40 sec, f/14.0, ISO 100

High Resolution Image on 500px

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“Busy Bee”

“Busy Bee”

“Everyone is busy, yet we all have access to the same amount of time.” 
― Chris Guillebeau

The prevalent activity around here lately is bees and blooms. It’s so nice to see bees after a few years where bees, particularly honeybees, seemed to be quite scarce around here. I returned to my patch of Canada Thistle and simply stood for a while, watching all the activity, including the numerous species of pollinators.

From small to large, plump to thin, the bees, wasps, and various flies were busy collecting the bounty of nectar these wildflowers had to offer. It was not till I spent a few minutes standing there, observing, that I noticed the sweet smell emanating from the thistles. It’s something I had as yet been unaware of. As the fragrance drifted around me it is no small wonder that so many insects were drawn to this large patch.

Of all the harvesters, this mid sized bee is the one that caught my eye. Most bees and wasps would land on a blossom and spend quite a while going to each individual component flowerette and collecting the nectar. This bee, on the other hand, flitted from blossom to blossom, spending mere seconds on each. It truly was a busy bee. The image above represents a split second where it slowed long enough for me to capture a sharp image of it.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 ISO 200

High Resolution Image on 500px

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“Hover Fly and Canada Thistle”

“Hover Fly and Canada Thistle”

“Not everyone takes action to harvest the experiences of the seasons of life in order to enjoy their bounty.” 
― Andrea Goeglein

This image is quite similar to yesterday’s Bee and Thistle image, but the thistle here is white and the pollinator is a hover fly. I made the photo a few minutes after the bee image, and in a different patch of thistle. I was quite surprised to see white Canada Thistle and it’s the first time I have seen this variety in my many years of hiking.

This patch, as with the pale purple ones, was teeming with life, all anxiously drinking in the bounty of nectar. The hover flies seem ore partial to the neighbouring chicory but did not pass on the chance for a meal from the thistles as well.

Out of focus, in the background, the bright orange soldier beetle is only one of thousands partaking in the bounty as well. More to come from this hive of activity.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0 ISO 200

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Bee and Thistle”

“Bee and Thistle”

“Mindfulness is not the path of chasing. It is the path of beautification. When flowers blossom, the fragrance spreads, and the bees come.” 
― Amit Ray

I stood among this patch of Canada Thistle, enjoying the activity of bees, bugs, and beetles, noting just how much activity there was. One could stand for only a few minutes and see the incredible diversity of life drawn to a single species of flower in bloom. As I stood and scanned over the thousands of tiny blossoms, I could not help but be amazed at just how important this colony of thistles really is.

To many, this weed field would be a wild and unkempt eyesore, were it not for the tiny purple flowers. The thistles stand over a meter tall, shaggy and thorn covered, yet they provide sweet, life sustaining nectar to a multitude of insects. It was also nice to see so many species of bees, from honey bees, to carpenters, and bumble bees, each busily gathering nectar and distributing pollen.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 ISO 200

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Bull Thistle Revisited”

“Bull Thistle Revisited”

“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

This is an image of the same thistle I shared a few days ago. The previous image showed more of the surrounding foliage and associated thorns. I wanted to isolate this single stem more. So, I clipped it back and changed the angle slightly. Care had to be exercised to get the angle right, since I’m working with sunshine and not adjustable studio lights. I had to move around teh plant to get the angle and light right and after a few test shots this was the result.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/5 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px:

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“Bull Thistle”

“Bull Thistle”

“For millions of years flowers have been producing thorns. For millions of years sheep have been eating them all the same. And it’s not serious, trying to understand why flowers go to such trouble to produce thorns that are good for nothing?” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Here’s a new one, studio style wildflowers. I was able to get my portable background to work and I’m looking forward to being able to capture more wildflowers in a similar fashion

Though I may not have mentioned it in recent posts, we are experiencing a significant drought here in Southern Ontario. After a fairly wet and cool spring, summer arrived and it’s been hot and dry for three months.

Because of that, the plants are starting to look ‘tired’ and stressed. As I walked today, most of the wildflowers had gone to seed early, and the grasses are dry and yellow. I was hoping to find some chicory, which is usually plentiful this time of year, but even that was sparse and lacked good blooms. I’ll have to expand my hike beyond my neighbourhood to find some more variety over the next few days.

Until then, I’m pleased with how this image turned out and will keep developing by technique.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/5 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200

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