11 Apr 14. Electing a late morning start, we left around 1100 Thursday morning to drive to the most northwesterly corner of the lower 48. The 280 mile round trip encompassed roughly 10 hours, during which we saw spectacular coastal scenes, pond views, lots of beautiful native wild flowers, among them one of my favorite, skunk cabbage, and a large herd of elk enjoying their evening cud. More about the trip next week. But for all of you PNW photographers, the skunk cabbage and horsetail are at their prime, and they are truly lovely. Several other species are also showing well, including another favorite, trillium. Three weeks ago we made another visit to Rialto Beach, about 30 miles south of where we were Thursday. Alongside the road, as it narrows to approach the beach, we came across a couple small groupings of skunk cabbage. This was the first time this year I had seen them and I took the opportunity to squeeze the SUV onto a narrow piece of "shoulder," large enough for perhaps a child's wagon, turned on the flashers, and proceeded to shoot the few specimens there. It had been raining some, big surprise there, and as such I was able to shoot them with water droplets on both the petals and the leaves. Today's submission for Macro Friday, one of those shots, is more along the lines of a close up than a macro, but I think it will suffice. I've cropped off some of the original to leave just the plant and very little of its surroundings. I've also added a small amount of micro contrast enhancement to make the rain drops display better. The location for the shot was in very dark forest, so there was very little light available and I had to make some choices as to what I would sacrifice to get the shot. I elected to sacrifice depth of field, so the spadix, not being on the same plane as the rest of the flower and the leaf, took the hit. Since it is soft, my hope is that the sharp water droplets will draw your eyes away from the soft center of the image and concentrate on them. Nikon D300s; 18 - 200; Aperture Priority; ISO 320; 1/60 sec @ f / 5.6 with full flash on a tripod.