Tag Archives: wildflowers

“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

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“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:
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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

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

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