Tag Archives: TRCA_Trails

“Wild Ginger and Blossom”

“Wild Ginger and Blossom”

“It’s life that matters, nothing but life—the process of discovering, the everlasting and perpetual process, not the discovery itself, at all.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Oddly enough, I’ve gone out looking for these and stepped over them, not making teh connection. Yet, this past weekend while photographing a group of Wake-Robins, I noticed this fuzzy broad leafed plant with a little ‘bud’ or nodule at the base. Curious, I took a closer look and noticed that the ‘bud’ was actually an unopened flower. When I got back home I looked at one of my plant books and discovered that this was, if fact, the elusive Wild Ginger I had been looking for.

So, today at lunch, I made the quick walk to the forest and re-visited the plants, to be pleasantly surprised that the flowers were in bloom. How I could have missed them in the past still puzzles me, but as I looked around, I noticed that this small grove  is quite limited in size. I’ll have to get back out on the weekend and see if I can find some more.

In the meantime, I am quite happy to have found them and be able to document their unusual blossoms, which are quite firm and bulb-like. The petals, similar to the Wake-Robin are a dark red to maroon colour, similar to flesh. This seems to be a common trait with some early blooming wildflowers which are pollinated by flies. The flower looks like a piece of meat. I did not stoop down to sniff them.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/115 sec, f/16.0 ISO 400

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“Hepatica”

“Hepatica”

“Oh, the joy, the joy of Spring, a joy so grand, so absolute, so lavish and engaging, dipping my humble soul in magic, uplifting and exhilarating, instilling beauty and virtue into my days.”
― Amelia Dashwood

Here’s another one of my region’s ‘early bloomers’, Hepatica or Sharp Lobed Liver-Leaf. It seems to manage well in the cool spring temperatures because of the long hairs on the stem. As you may be able to see from this image, the leaves are just starting to develop.

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with my mother-in-law who’s approaching her 90th birthday and grew up in this area. She told me they called these May Flowers and that they were plentiful and sought after by the young girls for bouquets because of their long stems. And, of course, they were one of the first blooming flowers available in the spring.

These are quite a bit ahead this year and are just a few days ahead of their companion trout lilies, trilliums, and wild ginger, though I did spot an early Wake-Robin, which I will post tomorrow.

I had to shot at a slightly higher ISO than I prefer, since there was a bit of a breeze in the forest, forcing me into a higher shutter speed.

Can you tell, I love spring flowers?

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/100 sec, f/40.0 ISO 400

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“Unaccompanied”

“Unaccompanied”

“I just like to be alone sometimes, no I’m not angry, no I’m not sad. I just like to be alone. It’s how I recharge” – Unknown

I’m still finding myself reflecting on some of the wonderful moments of late December 2016, including the many solitary hikes on our local trails. I was amazed that there were no other hikers out on several beautiful days after Christmas. The trails had obviously had use prior to these days, as they were nicely packed down by snowshoes and boots, the new snowfall remained undisturbed.

I am absolutely not complaining about this, it just seemed odd for me to have this all to myself. I often find myself hiking unaccompanied, since I tend to be a bit excessive when I get on the trails with my camera. it’s not unusual for me to travel six to ten kilometers in a day. I’m in no hurry and tend to make a circuit of it. Be it summer, winter, spring, or fall, I love being in the outdoors, enjoying and documenting the ever changing  sights. This past December was a treat for me, the trails were clear, temperatures were not extreme, and I had an extended vacation time which allowed me more freedom to do what I love.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/50 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100

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“Out of Darkness”

“Out of Darkness”

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
― Plato

This is the fifth and final image from my “God-light” series.

On that most wonderful day, where the sun and leaves provided me with a brilliant show of light and colour, I emerged from a darker part of the forest into what was to be the final bright patch of light. Around the bend the path drops, into a cedar grove, where the leaves are not as bright, the sun is filtered and only a few bright yellow cedar boughs litter the mostly green pathway. That’s the nature and diversity of the forest, always revealing something new around the next bend or beyond the next hill.

If the forecasts are correct, there will be a few more mild days but I’m afraid all that remains will pale in comparison to the experience I had a few brief days ago, stored in my memories and documented in five photos. That said, I was surprised by this show of light and hope to be blessed by another, slightly different experience.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 70 mm
1/5 sec, f/25.0, ISO 200

High resolution image can be viewed on 500px

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“Among the Pines”

“Among the Pines”

“Travelling the road will tell you more about the road than Google will tell you about the road.”
― Amit Kalantri

My third installation from my autumn walk in the woods. Once more, the image was made in a very brief time frame when the sun shone brightly between the trees, lighting up the forest floor with an unbelievable ‘glow’. C.S Lewis referred to it as a “God-light” and I can’t think of a better term for it. There is a life and energy in this light that is so utterly profound. You want to stand there and just absorb it. The light strikes the trees, yet leaves barely a shadow, as it reflects softly within the forest.

It was one of those days you wish could go on forever because it is so awe inspiring. I was happy to have witnessed it and even happier to be able to keep some of it as more than just a memory. Something to share and, hopefully, brighten someone elses day, when they need a bit of light to get them through.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

High resolution image can be viewed on 500px

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“Birch”

"Birch"

“I loved sitting on the pile of freshly cut logs, running my hands over the different shapes and smelling their woody fragrance. To this day I think that there is nothing as interesting to look at as a heap of newly cut logs, the delicate colouring of their veined insides telling their life story, while they wait to bring warmth and comfort.”
― Alice Taylor

A very simple title for a simple composition that caught my attention during a brief hike this week. There is something about the white birch bark and the orange leaves and cedar that make this “pop” for me. It was one of those images that I liked straight from the viewfinder and the composition was relatively simple, yet appealing.

Given the abundance of fungus on these logs, I don’t believe they would be appropriate for firewood, they simply make a nice photo.

Sadly, I’m also envisioning this image with a light dusting of snow, which we had last night. Fall is moving all too quickly to the inevitable winter, which does have its own beauty.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200

High resolution image can be viewed on 500px

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Chanterelles”

“Chanterelles”

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul”
John Muir

It’s that time of year again. Time to wander the forest paths and refresh myself. Cool days, plenty of moisture provides the stuff for mushrooms. I’m not sure where my strange fascination for fungi comes from. Perhaps it’s because they are such temporal things. A ‘prime’ specimen may last mere hours and then fade away into a slimy ooze. They also offer such wonderful colours and textures.

I’ve also noticed that I’m not alone in my interest in the fungus among us. Fellow blogger Pete Hillman shares this fascination as well as many of my photographer friends. There is usually the additional challenge of light, or lack thereof, when photographing mushrooms, they are not big fans of sunshine and the best specimens often inhabit the darker recesses of the forest. This means tripods and long exposures, not to mention some narrow aperture macros to capture all the textures crisply.

I’ll try to limit my mushroom posts and try to spread them out, but it’s a short season.

The Chanterelle above brings back fond memories of growing up in a German household where Pfifferlinge were considered a rare treat, usually purchased in their dehydrated form from the local delicatessen. With a slightly nutty, yet peppery flavour, these tasty mushrooms were saved for special occasions and usually served with a nice pork roast. While I was tempted to harvest them, there were no other colonies to be found, so I left them and took only the photo, noting the location, and hoping they spread around the area for a future visit.

Nikon D800
Nikor 24-70mm f/3.5-4.6 @ 55mm (12mm extension tube)
0.4 sec, f/20.0, ISO 400

High Resolution image on 500px:

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