Macro Photo Monday: Sulphur Flower from Silver City

Sulphur Flower Macro Photo

Canon G12 with Raynox macro lens. ISO 80, f/4.0, 18 mm focal length, 1/640 sec shutter speed.

It’s time for … Macro Photo Monday! There’s a lot of backstory first, but it’s interesting, and we’ll eventually get to the macro photos. I promise!

Silver City Macro Photos

Bubbles and M-bug at the Silver City welcome sign.

In early August, my mother-in-law brought our girls back from visiting her for a few weeks. She was going to be with us for three days, and she wanted to do something that we’d never done before when she’s visited. We decided to make a day trip to Silver City, Idaho.

Silver City is essentially a ghost town. It was founded in 1864, and was, as its name suggests, a silver and gold mining town. It was once considered one of the largest cities in Idaho Territory, but once the mines were depleted it began a slow decline. It’s rather difficult to get to, and it just didn’t make sense for regular commerce to set up shop there.

Silver City Church Macro Photo

Bubbles and M-bug at the Our Lady of Tears Catholic church, high on a hill in Silver City, Idaho.

Today, Silver City still has some of the original buildings, many owned by descendants of the town’s original citizens. There are a few small businesses open, and you can stay at the old hotel. Don’t expect any french fries with your hamburger at the hotel restaurant, however, because the hotel runs on solar power, and it just can’t generate enough heat for deep fat fryers.

You can visit Silver City in the summer, but the road is essentially impassible from late fall through spring. The citizens pay for one watchman to stay in the city during the winter to try to discourage any adventurous (and crazy) looters, but otherwise during the winter it’s a complete ghost town.

Silver City Church 2005 Macro Photo

M-bug in front of the Our Lady of Tears Catholic Church in August, 2005.

I’d been to Silver City once before in 2005, with my sister-in-law, Auntie H. She was doing a college history project on ghost towns and had already visited several. One day while Bubbles was at school, Auntie H., M-bug and I got into Auntie H.’s red Ford Mustang, and set off down the highway. It’s truly not far from where we live, but the road there is treacherous, even in good weather. I still can’t believe we made the trip in a Mustang. There’s a steep hill right at the town entrance, and we almost didn’t make it over. And don’t even ask about the cow in the road! It was pretty funny (and a little embarrassing) to see her Mustang parked next to all these huge 3/4 ton pickup trucks with huge tires in front of the hotel. I can’t imagine what the locals thought.

About the Macro Photos

This trip we went into one of the many cemeteries in Silver City, and that’s where I got the majority of my wildflower pictures. Here are two macro photos (one at the top of the post, and one below) of Erigonum umbellatum, or Sulphur Flower. It’s a type of wild buckwheat that’s related to one that I took a picture of near Sandpoint.¬†As always, don’t take my plant classifications as 100% guaranteed, because I’m not a botanist.

I love the tiny little blossoms. These were almost lemon yellow, while some of the others I saw had more of a canary hue. Here’s a picture of a plant whose blossoms were beginning to die.

Sulphur Flower Macro Photo Silver City

Canon G12 with Raynox macro lens. ISO 80, f/4.0, 18 mm focal length, 1/640 sec shutter speed.

I really like how the blossoms all wilt into a pattern. Pretty, as far as a dying flower goes. I’ll have more macro photos from Silver City next time!

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