Snow trillium, Trillium nivale, are waiting patiently for the next warm day. Warm is relative for snow trillium. It does not take much but a few days above freezing, yet even with the first day of spring upon us now they have not had that opportunity. They are emertged, their buds are poised, but still they wait. They’ve been in this position for nearly a week. Snow trillium are among the very first of the spring ephemerals to bloom in this region. Skunk cabbage has it beat by a month, but skunk cabbage is skunk cabbage. Once these snow trillium finally break bud, they’ll be followed in quick succession by hepatica, toothwort, spring beauty, et al. Snow trillium is the vanguard of spring ephemerals, and is appropriately equipped to avoid damage from freezing. It famously withstands snowfall after it blooms.
Today’s One Picture a Day is not necessarily an outstanding photograph. Rather, it tends to the documentary. I simply did not want to miss a chance to photograph this flower. I do so just about every spring, even if the light is not the greatest or the buds not quite open.
This image was taken with a Nikon D90. The lens was the Nikon 70-300mm AF-S ED VR G Nikkor. I chose a telephoto because this patch of trillium is nestled beneath a multiflora rose bush several feet off the trail. The bush is a vigorous defender of these trillium. It keeps deer and photographers in their place. I could not get nearly close enough for a shorter lens. The tradeoff is that the image is a little flat in perspective. ISO 1600, 1/400 sec. It was a shady location and the lens fully extended, so I went with a higher ISO to prevent movement blur. The image is cropped somewhat. The 70-300mm has vibration reduction, though I am not of the habit to trust it yet below 1/300 sec. This telephoto lens is the newest and least-used of my lenses; I hope to become more familiar with it as part of my One Picture a Day project.