Incremental Spring


AfterWinter2These little seed heads in my garden keep calling me back to look at them and I like observing their changes as they advance through the seasons and work their way out of the snow. Somehow they still hold a whisper of the faded colours of summer.

Spring is in no hurry, really, but under the trees there are finally circles of earth, damp and tarnished from the winter. These hopeful patches might hold a gentle robin or a few starlings jabbing hungrily at the ground, and today for the first time I am hearing the lovely lilt of a red-winged blackbird. We are grateful for any bits of spring that we find even if it is simply the incremental folding back of the snow or a few pussy willows breaking through their skins.

Below: The first pussy willows, a couple of weeks old now…

© Karen McRae, 2014

Ragged February Flowers




FebruaryFlowers5After a bit of warmer weather a few days ago, I noticed some of the tiny seed heads from last year had managed to make their way up through the snow for some air. I think it will be a while before any more of them show their ragged little heads; we are back to winter and that snow is still thick over the earth. I like seeing how they change over the seasons so I took a few photographs this morning as we shivered together in the wind. Happily, they are still filled with little seeds of hope.

© Karen McRae, 2014

September Songs 2





SeptemberSong5Photographs of the seedheads of Lactuca Canadensis (which sounds slightly more elegant than Canada lettuce). These wild plants are not particularly beautiful at first glance, but as with many things, there is often beauty to be found in the details.

SeptemberSong7One of these things is not like the others – a layer of raindrops has been added to one image – at this moment I can hear the last day of summer being washed away by the autumn rains.

© Karen McRae, 2013

Late Summer Seedheads





LateSummerSeedheads4The weather is shifting already and last night we had frost. It seems far too soon(!), but anyway, the flora is shifting with the temperatures, too.

I’ve been photographing these particular type of seedheads from my garden for over a year, through all the seasons (I don’t know what they are called). I can’t seem to make interesting photographs of them when they are still blooming, though. These are just some of the small remnants of summer, each one about the size of my thumbnail. I might try again while there are still a few blossoms left but it seems to be the transforming seedheads that my camera loves.

There are always new shapes and colours developing as the seasons change so I always find them interesting to photograph. I like how the tiny ‘tentacled’ seed forms look a bit squid-like in these images.

Many previously posted images of these (and other) seedheads can be found here.

© Karen McRae, 2013

This Side of Winter



LastYearsBlooms4These are the last of the little seedheads from my garden that I have been documenting through the seasons. Somehow a few of them survived the weight of winter relatively intact. I had left them in the garden so I could photograph them on this side of winter.



LastYearsBlooms7These little remnants of flowers have been through many transitions over the last few months. They have been frosted, covered in freezing rain, and buried under snow.
I have photographed them in different light where they have taken on the colours of what is around them. I haven’t edited the photographs much at all, the tones you see in each set are from the surrounding growth .

You can see the beginning of the series here, here, here, and here.




© Karen McRae, 2013