Spotted Photo Theme: Leaves

Last month’s photo theme was nature, which is a theme that could probably describe 90% of the photos that I take.  I love taking nature photos not just because I love nature, but also because of all the diverse colours, shapes, and subjects that are found within it.  There is always more to discover, the closer and longer you look, and my camera helps me to become a better observer and connect with the essence of the place that I’m in.

Raking leaves

Raking leaves is an autumn ritual. I love raking leaves, which is lucky, as we have several large trees in our yard which drop many, many leaves every fall.

But if I had to name a particular subject in nature that I photograph most, it would be plants.  I’m a plant person and a tree geek.  I love to photograph the colourful flowers, but I also photograph the leaves, which I think are just as interesting, and not just in the fall when they turn colour, but all year long.  Leaves are the most important part of the plant, for they are the main part that performs photosynthesis (for more on this, see my “green” photo theme post).

Winter Leaf

Fallen leaves are even interesting in winter, when their colours are faded and they begin to become part of the humus and soil.  I think leaves at this time of year are an excellent example of wabi-sabi, the Japanese principle of beauty in things that are imperfect and transitory.

Spring Bud

Buds are what leaves (and flowers) are before they open. Although we usually associate buds with early spring, because that is when we notice them the most, buds are actually formed the summer before and are present throughout the fall and winter, waiting for warmer, sunnier days.

Trembling aspen

The leaves of trembling aspen (a keystone species) are among my favourite leaves. They are small and round, with a flattened stem oriented at a right angle to the leaf itself, allowing the leaf to flutter constantly in even the slightest breeze. The sight of these trees, with all of their leaves a-flutter, gives them their common name, trembling (or quaking) aspen, and it is one of my favourite images of summertime.

Whitebark Pine

Needles are also leaves, of course, although we might not always think of them that way. These needles are on a whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), a high-elevation species that I photographed on a recent trip to the north Cascade Mountains.

While I love leaves throughout the year, it is in autumn when I photograph them the most.  With the longer nights and shorter days, deciduous trees begin to withdraw chlorophyll from their leaves, revealing other pigments in bold colours of yellow and red.  The colourful display lasts for a few weeks, until the leaves finally fall, their colours fading to brown and grey.

Maple Leaves

The leaves of Norway maple, one of my favourite trees. These leaves are large and colourful, and cover our yard every fall.

Autumn leaf

Saying farewell to the leaves for another year.


Spotted photo theme

The post Spotted Photo Theme: Leaves is part of iHanna’s Spotted Photo Theme challenge.  If this post interests you, please consider joining in and sharing your own photo themes!

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4 Responses to Spotted Photo Theme: Leaves

  1. iHanna says:

    I love this post! Thank you so much for taking the time to assemble your leaf photos Heather! I love the image texts beneath each photo, where you’ve added your thoughts like a journaling exercise. Thanks!

  2. summertime dreams says:

    Ooo well I bet you could’ve guessed that leaves are my favorite part of plants too (so green)! And crevices in trees… or tree stumps. I love the mystery there. The mosses and mushrooms, the fallen leaves, the soil, little twigs. The wee little homes of the fae.

    Also, I see now that I didn’t get a notification that you replied to my last comment. Hrm.

    • Heather says:

      You’re describing some of my favourite places too! I especially love mushrooms. And hollow places under trees that look like they could be openings to hidden chambers…

      Not sure about the notification. Maybe you forgot to check the little box last time?

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