Happy Valley in Macro

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by Skip Via

This article has two purposes: to illustrate my July 2022 newsletter post about macro photography and to highlight one of the multitude of opportunities we have here in the valley to view nature’s wonders.

All of the photos in this post were taken during and just after a light rain in Happy Valley (see Locations) on June 21, 2022. For the photographically inclined, I was using the Halide app on an iPhone 12 Pro for the macro shots. Aside from cropping some shots, no additional editing or filters were used. What you see is exactly what came out of the camera. Please notice the minute detail that can be captured with macro photography–the raindrops on the mariposa lilies, the feathered edges of the tailed-blue butterfly’s wings, the fuzzy leaves and stem of the cinquefoil, the backlighting on the forget-me-nots, etc. It’s a whole new world down there at the macro level. Also notice that the backgrounds of most shots are blurred. This is called the “bokeh effect” and it’s a natural function of macro photography, which uses a shallow depth of field. It does make for some dramatic photos, calling attention to your subject matter.

Purple vetch

On May 12, I posted this article on our website highlighting some early blooming flowers in the valley. Many of those images were taken in Happy Valley. Except for a few arnicas still holding on to their last remaining petals, none of the blossoms in that article were still in bloom in Happy Valley when these images were taken. Similarly, none of the images in this post were beginning to emerge when that article was posted. Another reminder that it’s good to revisit places at different times of the year. Things change so quickly.

Wood rose
Slender phlox
Western arctic skipper
Western tailed-blue
Mariposa lily
Cox mariposa lily
Creamy peavine
Cox mariposa lily with caterpillar
Cinquefoil with short-faced bee (I think)
Gall wasp egg sacs on wood rose
Field forget-me-nots
Virginia pepperweed

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