Trillium Species of Ontario


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Ontario has more Trillium species than you might be aware of – Five to be exact. I’m reposting all of my photos in one complete set – enjoy!

To start this post off, here is the flower that everyone knows and loves, the White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum):

The White Trilliums are the symbol of Ontario (used in the logo for the province and the provincial flower) and a symbol of spring. They bloom before the deciduous trees in the forests come back to life, taking all of the sunlight for themselves and away from the forest floor. They can be found all throughout Ontario.

Next up, the Red Trillium (Trillium erectum):

Red Trilliums differ from the white variety in a few important ways. Their colour and smell are designed to imitate rotting meat – this is because these flowers are not pollinated by bees, but rather by flies. Red Trilliums are also observed to bloom earlier than White Trilliums, the change in pollination might also be because flies are out sooner than bees are, giving these flowers a better chance for success in early spring.

A little less common, but very beautiful: the Painted Trillium (Trillium undulatum):

Painted Trilliums have a splash of colour near the base of the leaves, redish purple that appears to be almost painted on (hence the name). This variety of trillium likes very acidic, humus-rich soils. You can find it around species of trees that like the same soil conditions, including eastern white pine, red maple, red spruce and balsam fir (thanks, Wikipedia!).

You have to look very carefully in Simcoe County to find the next one, though they are common the further northwest you travel: The Nodding Trillium (Trillium cernuum):

The Nodding Trillium’s white flower hangs below the main pedals of the plant, making it difficult to spot from far away. The flower is also much smaller than any of the above species and is found in rich, moist soils.

The next is the rarest of the bunch; It is on Ontario’s Endangered Species List and only found in two small patches in Sourthern Ontario – the Drooping Trillium (Trillium flexipes):

The Drooping Trillium was once found as far north-east as the Niagara Falls area, and as of 2009 is a protected species. It still exists in various parts of the United States, where it is often protected as well. The plant is quite similar to the Nodding Trillium, though it grows through a different range and has a noticeably different structure in the center of the flower.

I was in contact with a biologist who works for the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority, Muriel Andrae. She has this to say about the difference between the two flowers:

“The taxonomic distinction between the Drooping and Nodding relates to the stamens, the pollen-bearing structures in the flower.  The “stem” of the stamen is called the filament and the “head” which has the actual pollen is called the anther.

In Drooping Trilliums (Trillium flexipes) the filaments are short, about a third as long as the anthers and not exposed in the fresh flower

While in the Nodding Trillium (Trillium cernuum) the filaments are 2/3 as long as the anthers or longer and plainly visible in the fresh flower.”

So there you have it, all of the Trillium species in Ontario – from the common White Trillium to the endangered Drooping Trillium. I hope you enjoy the photo series and the information that goes along with it!

Huronia Lookout


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One of the projects I have been working on lately is a video, promoting Huronia Lookout. Huronia Lookout is an ongoing project to showcase the best vantage point in Simcoe County. The video was a blast to put together, and you’ll see a lot of my images in there. I also did all of the videography (except for the aerial video – I can thank Eye in the Sky Photography for that), and all of the editing and production work. Check out the video:

Let me know what you think. As always, comments are greatly appreciated!

Surprise at the Door


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I was coming home from listening to some great speakers at Georgian College, kicking off the Canadian Conference of Photo Educators. As I approached the front door, I spotted something unusual – and this is why I always bring my camera with me:

The poor baby bunny was hiding in the shadows, hoping to remain unseen. Its mother may have been nearby, as I had seen a rabbit hopping across our neighbour’s lawn as I pulled the car into the driveway. The baby bunny was scared, but I was able to pick it up, pet it, and even brought it inside the house to show mom. It was small enough to hold in the palm of my hand.

Before sending it off into the shadows where I saw the other rabbit run off earlier, I decided to try my luck in photographing the baby bunny on the steps, lit only by the porch light:

I then sent the young, frightful bunny off into the darkness to enjoy the rest of its evening. I must say, I came home with a smile. 🙂

Infrared Forest


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I love to see the world through my camera – the views it can give me are often beyond what I can see with my own eyes. This is especially true for infrared photography, something that I have played with a bit in the past.

Recently on an outing with the Barrie Photo Club, I thought I would try it again. The scenery was right for it, as was the weather. Infrared photos tend to look the more surreal with bright sunlight hitting green foliage. Parts of leaves related to photosynthesis reflect a lot of IR light, making them glow. The water and sky reflect it less, creating some very interesting landscapes:

There is still a small amount of the dark red visible light in this photo, combined with the infrared light which we cannot see. Therefore, the colours in these photos are false, and are simply remapped to colours that we can see with our own eyes. “True” Infrared Photography is black & white, as the light is completely outside of our visible spectrum. However, I find the false colours to be quite cool. Thoughts?

Welcome to Barrie


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Recently, I had an opportunity to photograph the “Welcome to Barrie” sign along Highway 400, North of the city. I was asked by Canpages if I had a photo of the sign, and I said that I would have a photo shortly. I rented a special wide-angle lens (Canon EF 14mm F/2.8 II) for the occasion, and waited for the right day. The weather was awful all week, and only started to clear up on one of my final days with the lens.

To get the angle I wanted, I had to put my camera on a tripod, fully extended, and then lift it as high over my head as possible and shoot blind – hoping I got the right composition.

This was the result:

The shot couldn’t have turned out better – but don’t be fooled! That image is the result of some extensive editing. Take a look at how it came out of my camera:

Knowing my way around editing programs such as Lightroom and Photoshop definitely come in handy. Touching up paint, turning grass green, cleaning up clutter, and not to mention the sky. While I am a huge proponent of getting things perfect in-camera, sometimes it isn’t possible.

Trillium Encore

I had some great comments about my trillium post, so here is one more:

This is a Painted Trillium (Trillium undulatum) which I found in the Copeland Forest near Craighurst. Painted Trilliums are much less common in the area, and enjoy acidic soils and bogs. There are a few more species of these flowers in Ontario, some of them on the Ontario Endangered Species List. I’ll track them down eventually!

Trillium undulatu

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