Tag Archives: white

“Starshine”

“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

“A Sea of Stars”

“Before my eyes was a sea of white stars, bright yellow anthers, and deep green foliage. With the warming air, summer can’t be far off now” – Ed Lehming

The image that I selected today was made in my garden this afternoon. The subject: Star of Bethlehem, a beautiful perennial that I acquired a few years ago from my mother-in-law’s garden. When she downsized and moved to a condo I offered to provide a new home to many of her garden treasures.

This plant was a surprise for me, as she moved in the summer and I simply transplanted what looked like a thick grass, having no idea what variety of plant it actually was, till the next spring, when two of these plants filled my front garden with wonderful white stars.

It does not bloom for long and only blossoms in sunlight, aften waiting till near noon before the flowers open; when they do it’s simply beautiful. They bring a bit of purity to the garden, which is just transitioning to late spring blossoms. They are a splash of freshness among the currently flowerless foliage and ferns and have become one of my garden favourites.

To get a nice composition is a challenge since there are so many near-perfect blossoms to chose from.

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

1/500 sec, f/10.0, ISO 800

“Squirrel Corn – Dicentra canadensis”

“Always something new and interesting. Nature offers so many exciting possibilities” – Ed Lehming

It’s time for the next wave of spring blossoms to make an appearance. I’ve been watching the little clump of leaves for the past few days, waiting for the blooms and was surprised to see blossoms already. It seems a few days of warmer weather makes a difference.

Squirrel Corn is an interesting plant, related to Dutchman’s Breeches, but with a slightly different shape to the flower. Even the blue-green leaves look similar and I was not sure which species this was till it bloomed. Sadly, they won’t last long as the temperatures warm and they will fade quickly.

Much like my photos of the white trilliums, getting good images without the white completely blown-out is a challenge, especially on bright days. I had to push my ISO setting down quite a bit and move my shutter speed up to expose it correctly as this plant was in full sunlight.

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

1/1250 sec, f/10.0, ISO 160

“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

“Bloodroot Blossom Close Up”

“For no particular reason, the purity of Bloodroot blossoms brings a smile to my face.” – Ed Lehming

I have found myself returning to Bloodroot blossoms for as long as they last, which is not long. Perhaps it’s this very brevity that makes them so appealing to me. They bloom spectacularly for a single day. By the next day they are withered or gone completely, dropping their petals as the shroud that encases them opens further.

It’s a fond memory, recalling the first time I ever saw one, a splash of the purest white along the trail. I was really just starting to explore the native wildflowers in my area and had not seen one before, again, it may be simply due to the fleeting nature of the blossoms and my timing. I may simply have missed the narrow window in which they bloom. They also seem to favor some areas more than others, forming small clusters that fill a space and then disappear in the spaces between. There are a few spots that I return to year after year because I’m always assured of some blossoms, provided I time it right.

This year has been a bit odd, they were delayed by the cool and dry conditions, but were plentiful this past weekend when it was a bit warmer. It was so nice to see pristine blossoms like the one pictured here. Again, they are quite delicate and it does not take much to damage or wilt the blossoms, most have sustained some frost damage, but not this one, it’s about as perfect as they come, with the exception of the tiny bug deep inside the blossom, which I did not notice while composing the shot.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/160 sec, f/10.0 ISO 200

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

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

1/160 sec, f/10.0 ISO 200

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

 

 

“Star of Bethlehem”

“Star of Bethlehem”

“Bright white blossoms greet me from the morning garden, as the sun warms the early June day with it’s own brightness.”
– Ed Lehming 

The gardens are beginning to come alive. I enjoy this time of year, watching plants and flowers begin to thrive as the days warm up. It’s always nice to see that everything has survived yet another winter.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, spring here has been cool, damp, and extended. In fact, it really has not warmed up much till only a few days ago, and it really shows in the gardens. It seems everything is racing to catch up. Daffodils were blooming until only a few days ago and a few gardens still have tulips blooming.

The Star of Bethlehem was a surprise addition to my garden. It came here unannounced when I transplanted several other plants from my mother-in-law’s garden a few years back. It’s a pleasant surprise and a welcome addition since it fills the flower beds with such lovely blossoms.

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

1/80 sec, f/16.0, ISO 400

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

“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

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

 

“Spring Delights”

“Spring Delights”

“Life and colour emerged from the ground with such abundance, you could fairly hear the leaves rustling with activity.”
– Ed Lehming

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love this time of year, when wildflowers erupt from the carpet of dull brown leaves. Within a few days, the dull and seemingly lifeless forest floor is festooned with colour.

Among the first, in my area, are the delicate Sharp Lobed Hepatica. Some locals call it “Mayflower”, which is incorrect botanically but so appropriate given its abundance in May.

As I made this image, I sat on a hillside absolutely covered with them. I chose this composition because I liked how they grew around the dead branch and it showed the old and new leaves nicely. This particular cluster is pure white, though I saw many variances of light pinks, purples, and blues as well.

It was a wonderful and relaxing experience, sitting on the warm forest floor, surrounded by this bounty of wildflowers which also included Trout Lily, Trilliums (not yet blooming), Spring Beauties, Wild Leeks, Wild Ginger, and Blue Cohosh. There will be several more photos and stories to follow this one.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/640 sec, f/10.0, ISO 250

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

“Japanese Beetle on Queen Anne’s Lace”

“Japanese Beetle on Queen Anne’s Lace”

“Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain. “
– Henry David Thoreau

There is no shortage of insect life on the Queen Anne’s Lace this summer. It seems to be especially popular to various bugs and beetles. Here, a Japanese Beetle tours the outer flowerettes, I’m assuming looking for a meal of nectar.

I found it interesting, while editing the image, that the reflection of my red tee-shirt shows up on the beetle’s metallic shell. I’ve got to be more careful in the future.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/640 sec, f/10.0 ISO 400

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