Tag Archives: Trout Lily

“Secord Forest Trout Lily”

“Secord Forest Trout Lily”

“Shine brightly, so you can help those who have not found their path a way through the darkness.” 
― Jeffrey Fry

It would simply not feel like spring without Trout Lilies. These delicate little beauties are often slow to come to bloom, but not this year. Within days they went from delicate foliage to full bloom. Whole sections of the forest were filled with theses beautiful yellow flowers and it was hard to pick which one to photograph. They bring such brightness to an otherwise dull scene.

At one point in my hike, I simply sat for a while and enjoyed them. As I sat, looking across a large patch of them, I noticed many bees and flies going from flower to flower, enjoying the feast of pollen these early bloomers provide. The whole scene was abuzz with activity. It’s like watching the world suddenly come alive with sound and movement.

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

1/500 sec, f/11.0, ISO 400 

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“Alone in the Forest”

“Alone in the Forest”

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”
― George Gordon Byron

Alone, but not for much longer.

Very soon, this Trout Lily will be surrounded by a sea of yellow blossoms.

Once more, I came across an isolated blossom surrounded by many other plants about to bloom. What became evident to me, as I made this low angle image was just how alone the flower ‘seemed’ against the backdrop of the forest. yet, it is not alone at all.

I spend much of my time on trails, in the forest, on the water alone. It’s a conscious choice I make. Being alone, gives me all the time I need to create my images and simply drink in my surroundings, my schedule is my own, the moment, my own. While I do love the companionship of my wife, family, or friends while hiking, that is a different experience altogether. It’s nice to share my sacred places, and talk about the experience, but it’s not the same as the solitary experience. Perhaps my blogging practice is a way for me to share those moments with others in a way that still allows me to ability to recharge in my solitude?

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/1050 sec;   f/1.8;   ISO 20

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“First Trout Lily of the Season”

“First Trout Lily of the Season”

“Life is a first impression. You get one shot at it. Make it everlasting.”
― J.R. Rim

Another ‘first’ flower. This one was completely unexpected, which makes it all the more special. I had set out to make some more photos of the newly emerged bloodroot, which went quite well, despite wind gusts that interfered in my making the exposures as long as I prefer.

As I finished photographing a nice cluster of bloodroot, I noticed a small flash of yellow in my periphery. It turned out to be an early blooming Trout Lily. In fact, a very early trout lily. I was not expecting to see them for at least another week or so and this one is far more advanced than any of its neighbouring plants, which have just started to leaf out. Why it’s so far ahead will remain a mystery. Perhaps all the condition were just right and that small plot of soil got a bit more heat from the sun than the rest of the forest?

There was one more plant just starting to bud a few feet away but these two were the exception. I have a real fondness for trout lily, with their mottled leaves and delicate nodding yellow flowers.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/80 sec, f/20.0 ISO 320

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“Trout Lily”

“Trout Lillies” - Stoffville Reservoir

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.”
― Luther Burbank

The Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) is among my top ten spring plants. It looks almost tropical, with its spotted leaves and bright flowers, yet it grows in abundance in the moist woodlands of south-central Canada.

It’s an interesting plant, as there are often vast patches of Trout Lily with no blossoms at all. The young plants are sterile and have only one leaf. The mature plants have two leaves and bear a single blossom. It’s also known locally as Dog-Tooth Violet, though I prefer Trout Lily myself, as I believe it’s the white variety Erythronium albidum that actually resembles a tooth, but who am I to argue with local tradition? The name Trout Lily comes from the spotted leaves which resemble a trout’s skin and seems so much more appropriate to me.

When entering the forest, the Trout Lily is tough to spot, then you see one, and then another, each seemingly trying to outdo the last in their beauty, the forest floor a blanket of green wild leeks with spots of yellow everywhere. I love this time of year.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

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“Trout Lily” – Stouffville Reservoir

“Trout Lily” - Stouffville Reservoir

The next in my spring wildflower series. Yesterday I went for a lunchtime stroll to my local nature retreat, namely, the Stouffville Reservoir. This area was created as a water conservation site after Hurricane Hazel roared through the region many years ago, creating floods and taking many lives. So, conservation areas were set up to ‘moderate’ water flow through a series of holding ponds. These areas made wonderful nature preserves and allowed for the preservation of many natural environments.

It is in one of these areas that many of my favourite wildflowers grow. Yesterday morning I checked on this stand of Trout Lilies, also known as ‘Dog Tooth Violets’ locally. They were not quite ready to open. But, a warm day and some sunshine changed that and they were in full bloom at noon today. Above is the photo I made of three beautiful specimens. The name is derived from the colouration of the leaves, which resembles the colour of trout. Many stands of these delicate wildflowers do not bloom for years and then, suddenly, they are full of blossoms. I have yet to figure that one out.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm @ 220 mm
1/1600 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 250