Tag Archives: wildflowers

“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

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“Up Close with Blue Cohosh”

“Up Close with Blue Cohosh”

“Barely visible on first glance, it’s alien form surprises the first time viewer”
– Ed Lehming

It is so nice to finally make images with no snow. The past few weeks have been cool, wet, and miserable, with more rain than I care for. But, the rain melted the snow and ice away and provided lots of moisture to promote plant growth.

Over the past few days, the sun has been out and the ground has warmed up to the point where wildflowers are everywhere. The plants are emerging so quickly that you can almost hear the leaves rustling with the rapid growth.

Among the first to emerge for the duff and loam is Blue Cohosh, which is actually purple. As I began understanding the local wildflowers a few years ago, I was always intrigued by this strangely wonderful plan. Then, I made my first image of the flower, completely by accident, as I did not know they flowered. Since then, I have made many images of the flowers, each one revealing more detail than the last.

This close up shows all the wonderful detail of the almost alien looking flower against the soft tan background of the leaf covered forest.

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

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

“Marble Lake Columbine”

“Marble Lake Columbine”

“Even the tiniest of flowers can have the toughest roots.” 
― Shannon Mullen

Wildflowers constantly amaze me, in their endless forms and the environments they thrive it.

The columbine above, is a native to Ontario and this particular plant was growing from a thin crack in the bedrock. I suppose there was just enough organic mater accumulated in that crack to create the rich soil the columbine prefers and a seed from nearby pants happened to land in just the right place. It’s surprising that such a seemingly delicate plant can thrive in the northern wilderness, in a region where there was still frost in the forest when I made this image.

My biggest challenge in creating this image, as with most macro images, is trying to get a shot between the breezes that kept moving the flower back and forth. Even slight movement makes the shot blurry.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/40sec, f/7.1, ISO 400 

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

“Hepatica and Beetle”

“Hepatica and Beetle”

“Ugly or beautiful, it is the little creatures that make the world go round. We should celebrate and appreciated them in all their wonderful diversity.” 
― Dave Goulson

Inevitably, if you make enough images of flowers outdoors, nature dictates that a bug will be in one of those images. That was the case last weekend, as I was photographing the many beautiful hepaticas that had just started blooming. Just as I was about to hit the shutter release, this bug, a blister beetle, I believe, landed on the flower.

Rather that wave it off or wait for it to leave, I decided to incorporate it into my shot. I think it adds a natural element and makes the image more ‘real’ and less static.

As I looked around, after the shot, I noticed that many of the hepaticas had some form of insect on them. Some, like the first honey-bee I saw, are pollinators of these early bloomers, which provide an  critical source of early nutrition for the bees, while others are simply looking for a meal, which I suspect is the beetle’s role here. Despite that, if you look very carefully, there is pollen stuck to this beetle too, so the plant wins after all. Everything has its role to play in nature’s cycles.

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

1/160 sec, f/16.0, ISO 100

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

“Early May Bloodroot”

“Early May Bloodroot”

“The places of quiet are going away, the churches, the woods, the libraries. And it is only in silence we can hear the voice inside of us which gives us true peace.” 
― James Rozoff

There is peace in the forest, a peace that I dearly need in this busy world. In the forest, I can participate in the natural cycles, I can anticipate the next species of wildflower to bloom, or to come to leaf.

Bloodroots, have become a spring rite to me. Since I discovered them a few years ago, it’s been a regular visit to my favorite groves, close to home, to simply enjoy them as they emerge from their leafy cloaks.

There is such a purity to them and they seem so delicate and so fleeting and they are among the first early spring blossoms to appear.

The more I see them the more I am able to create more natural looking images, rather than the typical straight on shots. Many grow out in the open in small bunches, but I am really drawn to those clinging to the shadows of logs or hillsides. Here, they grow next to a fallen tree, among the tangle of vines. This composition feels more natural to me that those out in the open, as it includes elements of the forest they flourish in and I chose to preserve this particular memory of this spring’s cycle.

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

1/160 sec, f/16.0, ISO 400

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

“Pink Hepaticas”

“Pink Hepaticas”

“It would seem from this fact, that man is naturally a wild animal, and that when taken from the woods, he is never happy in his natural state, ’till he returns to them again.” 
― Benjamin Rush

I am happy to be returning to the forest, which I’m never really away from for long. However, weather and work, have teamed up to make my brief forays into the local forest quite difficult. So, it was so pleasant to see life returning to the woods I so dearly love, this past weekend.

As I said in yesterday’s post, the forest seemed pretty much bereft of new life, as the carpet of dull brown detritus dominated the scene. And then, a small splash of pink, literally opened my eyes and I became ‘tuned’ into the subtle changes around me.

I was so pleased to see the Spring Beauties and then a few hearty Blue Cohosh along the trail. Then, I spotted what I thought, at first, were more spring beauties, which turned out to be Hepatica, also known, locally as Mayflowers. The same effect happened again. As I looked up from the first small clump that I saw, I noticed that the hillside was covered with many more, larger clusters, in wonderful bright whites and soft pinks. I chose the pinks for today’s image, since they are not quite as common.

It would seem spring has finally sprung here in Southern Ontario!

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

1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100

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

“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

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com