Our recent vacation brought us into the wilderness more than once, exploring short(ish) hikes of the kind where you’re back in the car within a couple hours … and also carrying a couple of nice cameras is not overly burdensome.

On one hike specifically, I found myself distracted by the filtered sunlight shining on the variety of miniature flora and fungi on the bed of the forest. Some of that inspiration is wound up in this creative tangent I often find myself following towards a background magic-type faux-history of nature, a place where little sprites or creatures dwell in a hidden microcosm of the world: tiny trees, rolling mossy hills, nooks and crannies in the trees and stone.

I wasn’t using a macro lens, per se. My general purpose 24-105mm has a lot of flexibility in closer quarters and the low perspective combined with a tight focal approach created a small collection of otherworldly textures and shapes from a few steps off the beaten path of the forest.

We were hiking our way up to a small mountain cirque, where a crystal lake was nestled into the round at the base of a small rocky valley a few hundred meters up the side of a range. For most of the time, the mid-morning sun was beating down on our backs through the gap in the path. Off to either side, a lush alpine forest, a mix of poplar and fir, was growing from a bed of flowing mosses and various small fungi. Stones protruded from the green, punctuating the seemingly-manicured landscape.

I walked and snapped, and paused and stepped a careful-not-to-disturb pace into the shade to snap some more. The result was a small collection of curious pics in a blend of greens, browns greys and yellows, so different from the blues and forest greens of the landscape photos I’d been snapping all weekend.

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