This Bud’s For Me

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Western Trilliums

Yesterday evening I walked down our woodland path to check on our small patch of Western Trilliums, Trillium ovatum. We have them in three or four places along the paths in our woods and I’d seen the first two stems, with their leaves just beginning to unfurl, among the Bleeding Heart a few days earlier. Those were a bit further along and I spied a third stem a couple of feet away.

What I hadn’t seen a few days ago was this little clump of four stems among the moss on the other side of the path. But here they were, leaves unfurled and tiny white dots suggesting flowers would be coming along soon. Why didn’t I see them before? Probably because they were a couple of feet further back from the path than I’d remembered.

Anyway, I decided the evening light was nice enough to grab my camera from the studio and make some images with my 100mm macro lens. It’s my favorite tool for flower photography.

Western Trillium tight flower bud

I spent about 15 minutes exploring a variety of compositions of the tight Trillium buds. This one ended up being my favorite.

I’ll keep an eye on these plants each day to see how they develop (and hope the deer find other things to munch). If last year is any guide, our Trillium flowers will be looking pretty good through much of April, although they’ll be mostly faded to purple by the end of the month.

Pacific Bleeding Heart flower buds

I continued ambling through the woods, checking up on the progress of the Bleeding Heart. Just a week ago the flower buds were still all below the foliage. That’s what I photographed on March 23 and shared on this blog a couple of days later. Now the flower scapes were elongating, with buds beginning to expand and dangle above the leaves.

Pacific Bleeding Heart flower buds

Now that the buds are a little bigger you can easily see the shape of the flowers as they develop. It’s still going to be at least a few days before the first precocious bud opens for us. I’ll be watching. And I’ll be back on my knees photographing them as they go through their bloom cycle and set seed.

Western Trillium is native to all the west coast states and several others in the west. Pacific Bleeding Heart is native only to the states and province bordering the Pacific.

Photo Note: These photos were all made with a Canon 100mm macro lens on a Canon 5D Mark IV body mounted on a tripod. The light was very nice last night so no modifiers were needed. I bracketed f/stops so I could choose later how much depth of field looked best.

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