May lilies, or maiathemum, form a wonderful ground cover in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington in mid-April, and push forth their flowers in early May. They then last throughout the summer, completely disappearing by early October, as if they were never there. But for the spring and summer months that they enliven, they are a real joy, contributing immensely to the richness of the lowland and mid-level forests.
I have photographed these heart-shaped leaves in both color and black-and-white over the years, sometimes on my own property and nearby, and sometimes farther up in the mountains near my home. I found the cluster that I photographed here (in 1992) alongside a trail about seven miles from my home, but it easily could have been found right in my own backyard.
It was a tight cluster, with the shiny green leaves just as perfect as could be. The flower buds were standing straight up, fully formed and ready to burst open. This time, I chose black-and- white as my medium, for the color seemed less important than the richness of the silvery mid-tones that I felt could make the black-and-white image really sing.