“April’s Delicate Reminders
“Do not assume that tender equates to weakness. There is often great resilience in things that seem delicate at first sight.” – Ed Lehming
The natural world continues to astound me. On the final day of March, I came across a patch of Hepatica, also known as Mayflower locally. Well, Mayflower seems to be ‘Marchflower’ this year. I had found this small patch and took a quick photo with my zoom lens, since that is all I had with me that day.
I returned yesterday, April 1st, with my macro lens, intending to do justice to these beautiful emerging blossoms. In the day I found them, the temperature was 17C or 63F, so quite mild. When I got back today, it was -5C or 23F, quite a different day, and a light snow had fallen overnight. The sunlight had melted most of the snow around the plants I wanted to photograph and had left some wonderful droplets of water to enhance the image.
There were several well established groups of flowers but I selected the ones above because they were nicely and evenly lit. One of my challenges in capturing this image, as is the case with most macro images, is that even a slight movement of air will make the image blurry, and I was contending with a fairly strong and chilly breeze, so had to wait between gusts to capture the photo successfully, so good light was critical.
Something that I really like about macro photography is the very fine details that are picked up by the lense, details often missed on casual observation without a magnifying glass. What really stands out in these blossoms is the delicate hairs that cover the stems and sepals. The plants leaves have not developed yet. These hairs protect the flowers from frost by trapping air close to the stem and blossom, which clearly works, given the cold temperatures when this photo was made. The cover of fallen leaves further protects the plant itself, which still has to develop.
The photo also bring to mind the photo that I shared yesterday of the Mourning Cloak Butterfly, which probably would not have emerged from hibernation, had here not been nectar available to feed on. It seems the butterflies are more aware than I am of the timing of this spring.
While making this photo, I had the opportunity to carefully scan the forest floor and noticed a few early Cohosh blossoms starting to form, also very early this year and also something I would not have noticed had I not been low to the ground to make this photo.
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/320 sec, f/16, ISO 800