It’s dark in the valley

(10 images, click to enlarge) – After a busy day, as the golden orb of heat and light slipped behind the hill leaving the valley in shade and suddenly cold, I rugged up and headed off down into the steep, deep folds and dampness of the rivulet. It was silent except for the babbling stream which sometimes sounded like children playing, or muffled voices. The hunt began.

I found it odd that something rather camouflaged would catch my eye first hidden among moss on a log as my nostrils soaked up the wonderful smells of decaying vegetation feeding new life in the dark, damp under-story.

Like a solar panel parasol, reaching up to collect the limited light.

Desert under a rotting log, such a dark spot I used a torch to add a little light on what looked to me like a golden syrup dumpling. It felt soft and spongy, not really photogenic but … different.

Flammulina velutipes

Clambering over a log, I fell almost head first into this one. In fact, there were four growing from a crevice in a living tree trunk.

Flammulina velutipes

I almost didn’t take this one, it was more as a challenge to see if it would work. The light was fading and these were hidden in what little distinguishable shadow was left, long stems searching. With the sound of wallaby thumping around me, it was time to head home – while I could still see.

As I gave up and pushed on for home while I could still find my way, I spotted a tiny pale shape some 10 meters off on a suitable rotting log among a tangle of scrub. Surely not … I approached to be greeted by not one, but two little blue faerie parasols – Mycena interrupta!

This image took around 10 minutes to take with no extra lighting and is edited from two exposures totaling 30 stacked images. The first 15 images at 15 seconds each, focused on the closer right fungi, the second set at 8 seconds focused on the left fungi, both at f4, ISO200.

By the time I finished, still and silent, four wallaby had moved in, not more than six feet away, watching me. It was dark when I got home.
The resulting two in-camera focus stacked images were blended in Photoshop, with dead and stuck pixels from the long exposure manually removed.

2 thoughts on “It’s dark in the valley

    1. Thank you 🙂 Finding them can be tricky but you are right, getting too them and balancing a tripod on the right angle sure can be a contorting challenge! I try very hard not to disturb the area.

      Liked by 1 person

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