Pinesap

It’s pinesap season! I love how these flowers emerge from the ground, uncurling and unfurling as they grow. Saw a few along the Sea to Summit trail at the weekend, and on Mt Gardner the previous weekend, and more on our hike to Mt Harvey a couple of weeks ago. Alice Lake is a great place to see them at this time of year.

Much like coralroot, I was intrigued by these colourful flowers that grew in the shade of the forest. I don’t remember exactly when I first saw one of these flowers, but I could immediately see it was unlike any other flower I’d ever seen. Varying from creamy-yellow to salmon-pink in colour, this tiny flower unfurls directly on the forest floor, starting out as a tiny coloured bump before growing up and straightening out to a full height of about 30 cm. Like coralroot, there’s not a hint of green anywhere. They sometimes grow alone, but more often in small groups, two or three, maybe half-a-dozen. Since then I’ve found a place where it grows in profusion, and the trail becomes one of the slowest half-miles I’ll ever walk 🙂

So keep your eyes open – they’re picky about where they grow, but when they find a place they like, they can spread out and colonize the area.

Advertisements

Coralroot

Coralroot galore along the trail up Mount Harvey – I have never seen so much in bloom before, it was growing everywhere!

I took a lot of coralroot photos on this hike; which turned out to be a good thing as most of them were blurry! Like many small-flowered, err, flowers coralroot is really hard to photograph well. For a start, they’re forest flowers so the light level is always quite low (except for when they’re in a nice sunny patch, like this one). Then being flowers, you have to get down low to capture them, which puts you in an awkward position for holding the camera steady. And since the flowers are small, you have to get quite close which means there’s a risk the camera won’t actually focus on the bit you’re interested in, and the depth of field may be too low for the entire flower to be in focus.

A tripod solves the stability issues, if not necessarily the framing and focus. And using a tripod means you can use a smaller aperture to gain depth of field. But when you’re on the move, it’s already time-consuming to stop and even take a crappy photograph, let alone try and set up the camera properly for a good one. As a result I almost never use a tripod when hiking. And so I end up relying on a scattergun approach – take lots and hope that one will be in focus, and sharp! Thankfully, that was indeed the case, and for more than one flower (or group of flowers) too, so I came away with quite a few good shots.

But I particularly like this photo as it has one single flower perfectly in focus, something I’ve rarely achieved, so I’m happy to say my approach worked – this time!