Photo essay: fawn lilies in Lighthouse Park

It’s that time of year again when the white fawn lilies (Erythronium oregonum) are blooming and I’ve been coming to Lighthouse Park every year but two since 2012 to see and photograph them. My favourite place to view the lilies is at Eagle Point, easily reached at the southern end of the Valley of the Giants trail, where they grow in reasonable numbers. It’s not the only place they grow – and I’m finding more all the time – but it tends to be a bit quieter than some of the other spots. I’ve visited the park three times in the last two weeks alone and have really enjoyed witnessing the growth and development of the different patches of flowers.

One patch in particular attracted my attention as it was out in the open, and thus easily photographed without resorting to stepping off the trail. It also had the benefit of having a simpler background; many of the lilies grow in spots protected by other shrubs such as wild rose, salal, or Saskatoon berry which adds lots of skinny stems to the picture, often crowding out the lilies in the frame.

The triptych below shows the photos I took on March 27, March 30, and April 9, and how more flowers sprang up in the meantime. It started with five, only a couple of which were starting to bloom. Then all five in bloom with three or four new buds beginning to show. Finally, on April 9, there were at least a dozen flowers nodding in the breezy sunshine, with still a few more buds yet to come.

In fact, I went a bit overboard with capturing this little bunch of flowers… But how could I not? I mean, just look at them! I think I came home with over 40 photos, just of these lilies…

On my previous visit, I’d tried a couple of different ways of capturing them, trying to be a bit more creative than just taking simple flower pictures, and to create some of that soft blur so common in the photos of professional photographers. I don’t have the gear to get the same effect, but I still like how these turned out.

Of course, I took many more than just those above, which I’ve put in a slideshow (with all of the above photos as well), just to make it easier to view them together. No words, just flowers. Hope you enjoy!

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