Tag Archives: woods

“Wild Columbine” – Marble Lake, Bancroft

“Wild Columbines” - Marble Lake, Bancroft

“The columbine and iris bowed down to make way for bolder sprays of red valerian, and a mingled profusion of clustered Canterbury bells and sweet william, pale blues and pinks intertwined, danced at the feet of more stately spears of deep-purple foxglove and monkshood.” 
― Susanna Kearsley

On the trend of pinks and pastels, yet another beautiful native spring flower, the Wild Columbine (aquilegia canadensis), is found on rocky outcrops in the Bancroft, Ontario area among emerging ferns, jack-in-the-pulpit, and a few late trilliums. I really enjoy finding these little jewels on my walks in the woods. A little splash of coral catches my eye, then another. They seem to favour cracks in the rock over flat soil. They are such delicate plants and seem almost fragile compared to their thick stemmed and fibrous companions.

The only shortcoming of getting out to enjoy these lovely wildflowers is the ever present company of black flies, the bane of Canadian forests in spring time. However, based on the very warm weekend we just had here, they should be gone in short measure and their associates, the mosquitoes, will take their place in the stinging insect category.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 500

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“First Up” – White Trillium, Stouffville Reservoir

“First Up” - First White Trillium of the season, Stouffville

Yesterday I talked about the cycles of nature and how wildflower blossoms follow a sequence. I posted a series of photos recently, documenting the blooming of several local wildflowers in a bit of a sequence and noted that the white trilliums should soon begin to show. Alas, show they did!

I went back to the reservoir trails today, at lunch, to check on a stand of Trout Lilies, also known locally as ‘dog-tooth violets, which were not quite open yesterday morning. They were in full bloom today, and after making several photos of the lilies, I ventured further into the woods. Of course, the Red Trilliums were still in full bloom, and there were plenty of Spring Beauties, also referred to as “May Flowers” by some. What I was not expecting, quite yet, was the small clusters of delicate white trilliums interspersed between the wild leeks. By the looks of them, this was the first bloom of the season, and the photo above is the first one I saw, thus the title, “First Up”. I spent the rest of my lunchtime walk enjoying and photographing the abundance of flowers on the forest floor and will share them in subsequent posts.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm f/45.-5.6 @ 220 mm
1/160 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 250

“Blazing Hillside”

"Blazing Hillside"

Part two of my November 2014 hike. As I said in yesterday’s post, I was actually hiking to a small grove of trees that I had photographed successfully in the past. The light conditions where not good in that location but it was spectacular on my hike in and out of the forest.

The photo above is testament to that. The late afternoon sun was close to setting but bright enough to make everything it touched glow with light. Doing vertical pan photo abstractions has become a favourite technique for me and the results can be quite astounding and unpredictable.

This grove of planted pines was found along one of the many paths leading through the Walkers Woods Conservation Area north of Pickering, Ontario. There was still snow on the ground from the previous day’s snowfall as well as a smattering of bright orange oak leaves. It seemed the elements all came together in this photo. When I got home and previewed my photos it looked like the whole hillside was on fire, thus the title of this piece. Many people have commented that it looks like a painting and I would agree. I am very pleased at the results and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Nikon D300
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 @26mm
1/4sec @ f/32, ISO 200