2015 Project: a Backyard
The 2015 project: a Backyard, epitomizes representing the natural world in and around Los Angeles in the most elemental form. Nature begins immediately outside everyone’s back door. Michael Caley has turned his camera to his backyard, as a microcosm of nature, primarily a cactus collection begun over 35 years ago.
Cacti come in unique shapes with striking flowers and colors. Close examination reveal ingenious botanical strategies like waxy flower petals to minimize transpiration; and thorns and fluted plant architecture that provide its own shade. The flutes also act as an accordion that expands while absorbing precious water from infrequent rain.
The cacophony of color was captured with only direct or filtered sunlight through a canopy of century old native Coastal Oak trees. The only day-lighting exception is for the night blooming cacti flower (another symbiotic strategy with nocturnal pollinators such as bats and moths).
The 2015 project: a Backyard is a natural extension of Michael Caley's 2013 "From the Ashes, A California Wildfire Recovery" G2 exhibit of the recovery after the 2009 Station Fire, the largest fire in LA's "backyard" history.