Aurora Borealis in the Flathead

by Denise Silva (text and images)

The Aurora Borealis is often referred to as the Northern Lights because we see it to our north. But this is a bit of a misnomer, as the “lights” are also seen in the Southern Hemisphere, where they are referred to as the Aurora Australis. In fact, not only does Earth have auroral displays, but auroras can be seen on images of other celestial bodies, such as Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.

Aurora over Kalispell
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Happy Valley in Macro

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
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Barns are Noble

By Skip Via

If you came here looking for the latest Harry Potter book, you probably should go to Barnes & Noble.

But if you came here because you, like me, can’t pass a barn without thinking about the stories behind it and the practical structural aesthetics of the building, then welcome. I have a thing for barns—old, new, and falling down.

This is just an uncommented photo essay—some images taken around the valley (and slightly beyond, in a couple of cases)—and not a history. But I hope that any readers that know anything about any of these barns will leave a comment and tell us a story.

This is part one of a photo essay series of West Valley barns. You may view the other parts here:
Barns, Part Two
Barns, Part Three
Barns, Part Four
Barns, Part Five

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