Tag Archives: Trillium

“Spent”

“Nature is impermanent and cyclical. Where once beauty and freshness abounded, desiccated petals remain and leaves begin to lose their freshness. This too will change, following a set pattern, and a new cycle will begin, in its time.” – Ed Lehming

I can’t say that I have ever witnessed this before. Two weeks ago the forest was alight with the pristine blossoms of white trillium (three weeks ago it snowed). Generally, my observation has been that within about a week, the white fades to a pale and mottled pink, causing some observers to think the trilliums are a pink variety. Once the pink fades, the petals fall off, leaving a bright green plant and a seed pod.

This year, the summer heat came quickly and since it been hot and dry at the same time, the petals simply dried in place. The whole forest is filled with these dry petal trilliums. They are actually quite pretty, but unexpected. It’s been a strange year all around so far. I’m wondering what new surprise is around the next corner?

For my photography community, you will see some ‘unorthodox’ settings. I had just entered the forest when I found these and had my ISO set to 400. Because I wanted to get the majority of the image in focus, I set the aperture to f/10.0 and the camera did the rest. Fortunately, I was using a tripod and the slight breeze I experienced the rest of the hike was not present at the time.

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

1/6 sec, f/10.0, ISO 400

“Freshness”

I think I like spring the most. Everything is fresh and pristine, time and weather have not made their mark yet.” – Ed Lehming

I believe this may be my final trillium image for the season, the air has suddenly turned hot and muggy and what was once pure and white will already have begun to deteriorate. The white petals will turn a pale magenta but the pristine beauty they displayed last week will have faded.

This year has been a bit strange, very cool and dry. I fondly recall last year where cool temperatures lasted well into early June. I was enjoying trilliums for two weeks with a complete absence of biting insects.

The purity of this time of year is a special balm this year. With the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic the freshness of the forest has restored me. I’ve extended my hike, taking time to really enjoy my forest surroundings and paying particular attention to all the new growth; leaves opening up, flowers filling the brown-gray forest floor with colour, and the sounds of birds returning. It really is a breath of fresh air.

From a photographic point of view, I had forgotten to turn my ISO back as I’d been shooting in mostly low light all day, so used a high shutter speed and moderate aperture to compensate. Sometimes these things happen.

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

1/2500 sec, f/10.0, ISO 800

“Spring Glides In”

“Spring Glides In”

“Like a deep exhale, a flush of bright green, dotted with trilliums sweeps over the forest floor” – Ed Lehming

It’s a remarkable event to see unfold, even over the span of a few days. A mere two weeks ago snow was falling in the forest, the air was chill and only a few hearty plants poked from the cold ground.

Now the air has changed, the snow is a memory and the forest world is transformed. Around me trilliums flourish and fill the fill the scene as far as I can see. New growth emerges in the forest background as trees eagerly leaf out, creating a greenish mist between the limbs. It’s difficult to capture just how beautiful this is in a single still photo so I added some movement to bring some life to the scene and try to portray the feeling of this event.

Those who spend time in nature regularly will understand. There are things that are so difficult to convey accurately. The forest is not a still thing, it’s alive with movement and an energy that’s had to describe. I hope this image does that some justice.

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

1/4 sec, f/32, ISO 160

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

“Sideways Glance”

“Sideways Glance”

“One clear moment, one of trance
One missed step, one perfect dance
One missed shot, one and only chance
Life is all…but one fleeting glance.”
― Sanober Khan

Being literally surrounded by trilliums poses a challenge: they all look so lovely and so perfect. How do you present them differently. It’s so tempting when composing shots to photograph them straight on or slightly off-centre. They are just so lovely. There are literally thousands of opportunities for a nice photo and I was not about to shoot dozens of images to sort through.

I just happened to catch the movement of a squirrel behind me, as I looked over my shoulder I spotted this blossom, slightly shaded and in profile. It was, just like it’s multitude of companions at this time of the year, perfectly and wonderfully formed, without blemish.

A bit of sunlight lit up the base of the flower and created a bit of shadow on the veins. After a quick setup, I had my image. Not typical, but I like how it turned out, all from a sideways glance.

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

1/180 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200

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

“Spring Snack”

“Spring Snack”

“As the world opens to springtime, hunger is a constant.” – Ed Lehming

All around me, the forest stirs to life, wildflowers open prompted by warmer days and sunshine and bees eagerly feed on the offered nectar. It’s not just bees, it’s every form of flying and crawling insect. Flowers and the forest floor are now teeming with life. As I was making photos of the trilliums, honeybees eagerly burrowed deep into the blossoms, almost disappearing into them.

There were also some comical scenes as bulky carpenter bees landed on flowers so tiny they simply folded under the weight. The bees did not seem to mind. I was hoping to get a photo of this, but the bees were moving from blossom to blossom so quickly I did not have time to compose a good focussed image. So it will remain a memory for now.

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

1/640 sec, f/13.0, ISO 250

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

“Green Variations”

“Green Variations”

“Never the same twice and endless possibilities, nature continues to surprise me.” – Ed Lehming

Green Trilliums? Yes, I’ve seen them on a few occasions but there seems to be a high portion of them along the trails at North Walker Woods. The first time a saw these interesting variants of the white trillium I began studying them to understand why they look so different. It turns out that the green is caused by mycoplasma-like organisms, a kind of bacteria and will eventually cause the plant to die. I have not gone in depth on the topic but is seems this bacteria affects the plant at the genetic level and prevents the white petals from fully forming. These white-green varieties also have a lot of variability, two shown here, from full green petals to a thin green streak down the centre of the petal. I’ve also seen them as ‘doubles’ where there are six petals rather than three. All these ‘doubles’ have quite a bit of green in them.

As studies show, this bacteria affects whole colonies and I’m seeing some small groupings filled with it. Hopefully it does not spread.

It’s funny, once you start down the rabbit-hole of this variant, it seems there are several others who took it to a new level and have published papers on the subject:

Hooper, G. R., Case, F. W. and Myers, R. 1971. Mycoplasma-like bodies associated with a flower greening disorder of a wildflower, Trillium grandiflorum. Plant Disease Reporter, 55: 1108–1110.

Bertaccini, A., Fránová, J., Paltrinieri, S. et al. European Journal of Plant Pathology (1999) 105: 487. doi:10.1023/A:1008745206438

Arocha-Rosete Y, Morales-Lizcano NP, Hasan A, Yoshioka K, Moeder W, Michelutti R, Satta E, Bertaccini A, Scott J (2016) First report of the identification of a ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni’-related strain in Trillium species in Canada. New Disease Reports 34, 19. doi: 10.5197/j.2044-0588.2016.034.019

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

1/500 sec, f/11.0, ISO 250

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

“First of the Season” – In memory of Marjorie Fretz

First of the Season (low res)

“There is something special about the first trillium of the year. As I walk the trails, I keep a keen eye open for this marvelous harbinger of spring, and when it see it, I know, warm days and beauty follow.” – Ed Lehming

Here it is, the first white trillium of the year. The original was a ‘nice’ photo, but I was looking for more, something to personalize it this year. This bizarre year of COVID-19, isolation, and emotions I still can’t process. So, I decided to render it as digital art, not something I do very often, but somehow it felt very appropriate today. I wanted more than a photo. I wanted something that connected me personally to this beautiful moment where I beheld this single, wonderful blossom. For me, some sign of hope of normality, and a future that I can look forward to.

I’m hoping that this image can bring some joy to others. Joy seems to be a rare commodity these days.

“Hello Springtime”

“Hello Springtime”

“As Trilliums fill my view, I take a deep breath and say farewell to winter.” – Ed Lehming

It’s that time at last. After a seemingly endless, cool spring, the first white trilliums have begun to open. They are still small and a bit sparse but they are a very welcome sight indeed.

Trilliums signal milder days ahead. They have been delayed by about a week, as days remained and dull. There has not been enough sunshine to warm the still chilly soil and prompt them into bloom.

Today’s hike took my back to the hardwood forests of Uxbridge’s North Walker Woods, a favourite place of mine to unwind and enjoy nature’s beauty. As I drove to the trailhead, I occasionally glanced into the forest seeking a splash of white, meaning trilliums might be blooming along the trail. It’s only been mild for one day and last week’s visit offered me red trilliums (wake-robins) and thousands of white trilliums just in bud, but not ready to open yet. I was very pleased to see so many in various stages of opening and look forward to the coming days where the hillsides will be filled with white.

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

1/800 sec, f/14.0, ISO 250

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

“Wake-Robin Pose”

“Wake-Robin Pose”

“Sometimes nature creates its own compositions, using what’s on hand, usually with wonderful results.” – Ed Lehming

This is my second red trillium (wake-robin) photo, but I do like them so much. For those who have tried to photograph them, they tend to pose two challenges: first, red is difficult to expose properly against the greens and browns of the forest floor. Most images are overexposed or details are lost. Second, red trillium blossoms tend to droop or face the forest floor, so it’s tough to get a straight on shot, unless you are willing to get real low to the ground. With the more and more present ticks, many of us now hesitate to do this without taking special precautions.

This past Sunday, nature helped me out. It was a cold sleet filled day and I was surprised that they were even blooming; all the other spring flowers had closed for the day. However, despite the overcast sky, there was good diffused light to photograph by, meaning I did not risk blown-out or overly contrasty images. I was also helped out by a fallen branch that this blossom was resting on, showing the full face of a nicely formed blossom. The stick also runs diagonally through the frame making for a lovely, naturally occuring composition. With a few minutes properly framing the image for a good angle and light balance, the resulting photo is shown here.

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

1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200

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

“Any Day Now…”

“Any Day Now...”

“Nature knows. Nature understands the cycles and adjusts.” – Ed Lehming

I was out last Sunday, Mothers Day, hoping to see even one or two open White Trilliums, that was not to be on that chilly, sleet filled day. It felt more like March than May and was in sharp contrast to the previous Sunday which was mild and sunny. Last week was filled with so much promise and so many spring flowers had begun to bloom as trilliums sat seemingly ready to open too.

If I pay attention, really pay attention, to the natural signs around me, I know there will be a delay, regardless of what I hope for and how nice a particular day may seem. The ferns are still in tight ‘knuckles’, not yet at the fiddlehead stage, and trees were in bud, but not leafing out yet. It’s a sure sign that frosty days are still coming, as these plants would be susceptible to frost damage of they opened too soon. Yes, the cycles continue, but the timing varies, nature knows and plants will not rush to open, knowing they will sustain irreparable damage. We as humans can learn a lot from them if we actually pay attention.

That said, the trilliums really are set to open soon. I this image the petals of the flower are clearly visible, but still tightly bundled to protect the petals from frost damage. I’ve suer they will fairly explode in the next few days as the temperatures warm up and remain warm, even overnight.

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 website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com