Tag Archives: wildflowers

“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

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“Musk Mallow”

“Musk Mallow - Malva moschata L.”

“I must have flowers, always, and always.” 
― Claude Monet

I’ve seen these pretty clumps of pink flowers along the roadside before. Many times. I’ve just driven by, last year I saw some and turned the car around to make some photos, but they turned out to be quite disappointing, a bit out of focus, and not showing the characteristics of the flowers well. They are quite pretty and really stand out because of their moderate height and large pink blossoms.

This year I found a few along a local roadside and took the time to gather a few for studio work. It was a hot day, so I carefully clipped them and placed them on the passenger seat floor, in a box to keep them cool, hoping they would not wilt too much. When I got them home, I place them in a vase for a few minutes, though they did not seem to have suffered much from the short journey home.

I made a few images from different angles, but as is usually the case with my compositions, the first, intuitive shot was the best, showing the nature of the flower, with it’s frilly pink petals, a partially emerged blossom and a group of buds, not yet opened below. To this point, I had no idea what type of plant it was, the buds looked a bit like holly-hock. So, as I always do, I went to my wildflower books and found out that it is a musk mallow. I found that a curious name, till I gave it the ‘sniff test’. Yes, musk mallow is indeed a good name for this. So, one more mystery plant identified and documented.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
0.8 sec, f/40.0ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

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“Canada Thistle”

“Canada Thistle - Cirsium arvense

“I am so grateful to be here on this awesome planet with it’s diverse life – everything we need to not just survive but to thrive. I am excited to continually learn more about it, and always curious to see what is going to come up next.”
― Jay Woodman

What better image to post for Canada’s 150th Birthday? I have several, but this Canada Thistle seemed quite appropriate. Despite its name, it is not a native plant, much like many of the citizens of this great country.

When doing my research, if found that of the twelve thistles that grow in Ontario, only one is native. I see it as an analogy to Canada’s people as well. We all came from somewhere else, but you’d think we’ve been here forever, a part of the county’s nature. We become part of our communities, creating a diverse and rich culture, a landscape of people, if you will. Though the country has gone through some bumps along the way, it’s a great place to live and I could not think of anywhere else I’d rather live.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
0.8 sec, f/40.0ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

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“Morning Feast”

“Morning Feast”

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”
― Joseph Addison

Yesterday morning, my son and I went for a hike to see how a patch of Showy Lady Slipper orchids were coming along. More on that in a future post. On the way into the forest, the wildflower lined path was abuzz with nectar seeking insects, crowding onto the blossoms dining and sunning themselves.

We’ve had yet another wave of rainy days and I’m sure the wildlife is also feeling the effects of wind and downpour. So, when the day dawned bright and clear, the opportunity to feast opened up.

In the image above, a Pearly Crescent butterfly works its way around a fleabane blossom, a small bee dines next door, the the next visitor arrives from above, to share in the bounty of this single plant. The pattern repeated throughout the meadow as the world eagerly greeted the sun once more.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/500 sec, f/7.1 ISO 100

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“Anemone Blossom”

“Anemone Blossom”

“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.”
― Edna St. Vincent Millay

Before they fade with the heat, I thought I’d make a quick image of this anemone blossom. Which, like all the studio close-ups, reveals wonderful details and complex structures. This blossom, a bit ‘mature’ has dropped a lot of pollen on the petals already. I’m not sure what pollinates them, but have not seen any bees pay them much attention.

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

High Resolution image on 500px

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“Canada Anemone”

“Wood Anemone”

“Humans do artificial things
But nature always hits back naturally !!!”
― Akshay Shinde

I decided to give this one the studio treatment, to show all the complex textures apart from the ‘clump’ growing in my front garden.

The Wood Anemone is a native plant and through a natural process, ended up growing my gardens. I enjoyed watching it flower a few years ago, till it started taking over the entire flower bed. The next year, I waited for the bloom and then pulled them all out, their time in my garden being past. Yet, nature is not to be daunted, and the few root fragments that I missed took hold once more and I have two large clumps flowering away.

I’ve resigned to pulling just a single clump out this year, leaving the other for another season. At the very least, the beautiful white flowers are a pleasure to look at and have now provided me more photography material.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
0.5 sec, f/32.0 ISO 400

High Resolution image on 500px

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“Water Avens and Guest”

“Water Avens and Guest”

“Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.”
― Samuel Johnson

I’m revisiting this interesting flower one more time. When I first discovered it, I was not sure what it was, so I took several photos, hoping to identify it when I got home from my hike.

Sometimes, a surprise awaits, as in this image, which shows the Avens flower very nicely but also includes a guest, in the form of a black beetle merrily eating away at one of the leaves.

It surprises me every time, that I do not notice these little subtleties, while focussing on my primary subject. Of course, since I did not notice it, I also did not try to bring it into focus, which I why it’s a bit soft.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/30 sec, f/10.0 ISO 800

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