Trillium Woods

The Trillium

If you have ventured out for a hike in a forested area in the spring when the weather begins to turn you’re sure to have encountered a trillium or two, the official flower of the province of Ontario, Canada. The bloom of the trillium is fleeting though, usually about three weeks in May, and then it’s gone for a year so you have to time your visits accordingly.

The Trillium. The official flower of the Province of Ontario, Canada

A Carpet of Trilliums

Some locations are better than others to see a brilliant spot of these flowers. The best I’ve seen in this region is in the Brown Hill Tract of the York Regional Forest (thanks to Terry, a mountain biking friends of mine for giving the heads up on this spot).

Deep in this forest, there are spots where there truly is a carpet of these these brilliant white three leaved flowers which look spectacular against the lush greens of spring.

A Path Runs Through It

I took some pictures in different locations but soon found that the pictures which included the trail in the composition were stronger than those without. The trail adds contrast, becomes the focal point, and maybe even draws the viewer in, beckoning to take a step into the picture for a walk.

Pictures are a moment frozen in time that delights in only the sense of sight. But there was something else happening at this time too. With a bog nearby, the mosquitoes were in peak form. Deep in the forest, even stopping in one place for a moment meant a swarming unlike anything I had ever experienced. Which meant this would be a tough sell for the next chapter of this trillium adventure—models.

Models and Trilliums

After shooting the landscape, I thought it would be a great backdrop to use for some portraits. I envisioned a white dress to match the trilliums and purchased a crown of white flowers and green leaves to tie the whole thing together. But I also had to find some models that would brave the mosquitoes and sacrifice their blood for the sake of a shot, for no amount of deet was a deterrent for the blood suckers. I needed to make a viewer believe that this was the most beautiful, peaceful place in the world…the models had to sell the shot.

Cindy and Trilliums

First was Cindy. I have done lots of shoots with her so I knew she could handle it.  And she did not disappoint.

PJ and Trilliums

Then there was my next model, PJ. She develops hives to mosquito bites, and this being the first shoot with her, I really had no idea how this would turn out. But she was a pro.

As you can see in the pictures, the blooms of the trilliums were on their last days.  They had already begun to wilt and fade away which was too much of a contrast to the young model with her whole life in front of her. So we moved to some other spots with ferns, grass, and trees.

Was it Worth It?

On three separate occasions, I ventured deep into the forest and braved the swarms of mosquitoes that welcomed me in their own special way. But to see the carpet of trilliums in full bloom was magical. On two of those occasions, two models and their entourages joined me. To have the models look so beautiful and serene against the lush backdrop, you’d never know a plethora of pesky blood suckers were all around.

So in the end, and I think the models would agree, being in a forest in Ontario with the Provincial Flower in all it’s glory, yes, I would say it was worth it.

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