Tag Archives: wildflowers

“Spotted Knapweed”

“Spotted Knapweed Blossom”

“Stretching his hand up to reach the stars, too often man forgets the flowers at his feet.”
– Jeremy Bentham 

What looked like delicate thistles from a distance turned out to be Knapweed. The dunes and roadside around Sauble Beach were filled with them. It’s yet another flowering plant that I seem to have overlooked in the past. I suppose it’s because I am deliberately looking for new wildflowers to photograph and learn about that I am finding these as well as many of the more obscure plants native to the areas I visit.

As I’ve said in a few previous posts, we’re now fully into the ‘purple phase’ of summer blossoms, with fields and roadsides filled with knapweed, thistles, vervain, and many more. I like this time of year for it’s diversity of flowering plants, though the rain and heat is taking its toll on the leaves and stems and I’m seeing many plants going dormant in preparation for the inevitable autumn, which thankfully, is still a while away.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/80 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200

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“Meadow in a Vase” 

“Meadow in a Vase”

“Take one flower that you like and get lots of them. And don’t try to ‘arrange’ them. It’s surprisingly hard to do a flower arrangement the way a florist does one. Instead, bunch them all together or put them in a series of small vases all down the table. “
– Ina Garten

As I finished my studio work with a few local wildflowers, I stuck them in a vase, to eventually sit on our kitchen table. That’s a secondary benefit of my studio work. There is almost always a flower or flowers in a vase after the shoot.

As I looked over at the small flower collection, I thought it would make a nice image as well, even though I tend to avoid showing the containers for my floral shots. This one, though simple, seemed to work well and shows of the flowers, Wild Bergamot and Yellow Coneflower nicely. So, here it is for your enjoyment and consideration.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
20sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

High Resolution Image on 500px

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“Wild Bergamot – Mondarda fistulosa”

“Wild Bergamot - Mondarda fistulosa”

“Little things seem nothing, but they give peace, like those meadow flowers which individually seem odorless but all together perfume the air.”
– Georges Bernanos

Have you noticed the summer shift to purple and yellow? The pattern repeats. There is a gradual shift from pinks to purples and yellows. Thistles, bergamot, vervain for purples, yellow coneflower, sunflower, wood sorrel, and sunflower for yellow.

It’s a definite shift in colours and the pollinators, which are plentiful this year, seem to favour purple.

Wild Bergamot, or Bee Balm is plentiful in the local meadows and conservation areas. The vast clumps are literally ‘abuzz’ with bees and wasps of all shapes and sizes. The Wild Bergamot flower is a fascinating thing, appearing quite ragged, yet wonderfully complex at the same time.

I thought it would make a nice subject for a studio shot and I was not disappointed. This image gives me a chance to look at the wonderful, intricate structures that make up the blossom. It could only have been better if a bee had come with it, I did try to use my portable studio setup, but it was just too breezy today for a good outdoor shot. So, here you have it. Let the flower work its magic on you, drawing you into the frills that the bees are so fond of.

This is an immature blossom, with many underdeveloped florets, but beautiful nonetheless. There will be more to follow, be certain of that. Hopefully, the next few days offer the opportunity for an outdoor shot, without the need to pick a flower. Perhaps a bee may join in?

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0 sec, f/36.0, ISO 100

High Resolution Image on 500px

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“My Purple World” – Bee on Culver’s Root

“My Purple World” - Bee on Culver’s Root

“With caps of regal purple,
the delicate blossoms gently sway,
on the tide of warm a summer breeze.
The sweet aroma of nectar,
wafts in the air,
an elixir for butterflies, wasps, and bees.”
 – Ed Lehming

In the meadow just up the street from my home, there is a patch of beautiful purple Culver’s Root (Veronicastrum sibericum), a hybrid of native wildflower, more common in warmer climes. However, I have the fortune of living in a Carolinian micro-climate, so some more southern wildflowers can and do flourish here, when conditions are just right.

This little patch is an anomaly, and I’m assuming, since it’s a hybrid, that it’s an escapee from somebody’s garden, since the images of true Culver’s Root (Veronicastrum virginicum) I have looked at show a predominantly white flower with broader leaves. It will definitely be included in my garden, once the bloom completes.

It’s a haven for bees and butterflies right now. The whole patch is a flurry of hungry, insects, competing for an open space, attracted by its bright colour and wonderful fragrance.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/10.0 ISO 400

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“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

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“Chicory Blossom Meetup”

“Chicory Blossom Meetup”

“The blues of summer,
flowers and bright skies.
Days of warmth and laughter,
and lakefront evening sighs.”
– Ed Lehming

This seems to be season of the hoverfly. They are everywhere I look. Not that’s a bad thing, by any means, they are an interesting insect and quite colourful too. Though, I have yet to photograph one in flight.

I found this pair while photographing a chicory blossom a few days ago. The one seems to be as deep into the flower as it can go, perhaps that’s where the nectar is to be found? It made for an interesting image, since it also gives a nice side view of the other hoverfly.

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

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“Floral Fireworks”

“Floral Fireworks”

“Assuming what people want is about as controlled as using fireworks to start a fire.” 
― Criss Jami

With all the recent celebrations of Canada’s 150th year of Confederation and the 4th of July in America these past few days, fireworks have been a bit of a theme. Many people have posted images and written about their country’s celebrations. So, when I made this image of a small group of Yellow Hawkweed, with a soft background, it reminded me instantly of fireworks.

It was such a quick and simple composition and I was not thinking fireworks when I made it. I just liked the bright yellow against the green forest background. I still find myself constantly amazed at the structure of so many wildflowers, that I did not notice at first. This is not my first photo of hawkweed, but for the first time I noticed that the petals, rather than being completely flat, start out as tubes and flatten into a scoop-like structure, with five pointed frills (ligules) at the end.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/640 sec, f/9.0 ISO 800

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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