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Small Wonders. April 29, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
Tags: , , , , ,

This time of year, mosses and lichens pitch their particular brand of woo by flaunting their engorged reproductive structures amidst the decaying detritus of Last Year’s Models.

Here are a few examples of what you might see if you were as low to the ground as I am (well, ok, I got down on my belly to see these intricate tableaus so you wouldn’t have to!)

Spore-bearing structures swell on a common moss:

(I called the photo “moss flowers,” but in fact mosses and lichen far predate the evolution of true flowers.)

Many types of small evergreen plants co-mingle in the moist forests of the Berkshires:

The new grow through the old, presenting a range of textures and colors:

Some spore structures are club-like while others resemble the flagellae of, um, much “higher orders” of life:

These whip-like structures are calyptrae,  and are spore bearing.

…and still others present as fleshy pink protuberances on a sea of baby-blue scales:

And to think that all of these amorous apparitions disappear at the straightening of a spine!

The moral:  Tread lightly on Mother Nature; Get Down and Go Slow – or you might never know what world of beauty just dissolved beneath your feet!


1. susan - May 1, 2011

I love all the pictures you post but the ones that kept me coming back from the beginning have always been the miniatures. Thanks for getting down.

Come to think of it I spent some time on my knees today too. In celebration of International Sunflower Planting Day I planted about 50 of them (half already sprouted) in Point Pleasant Park along some of our favorite paths. I’m hoping at least some of them will grow.

2. julianhoffman - May 3, 2011

I love the depth you find in so many of your images – the red trilliums and violets with maples in your current post are another fine example. While the flowers or other flora are the subject, they’re lent a kind of space that deepens our possible connection to them; you lift the elements of their existence to our eyes.

Thanks for these important and beautiful glimpses.


3. TheCunningRunt - May 3, 2011

julian, thanks for coming by. I’m really liking your page, the photos are so beautiful and the writing touches me deeply – I think we see things similarly when it comes to relating to Mother Earth!

Susan, this is the time of year when the Little Things reawaken and put on their finest faces!

Thanks for planting the sunflowers and making the world a more beautiful place. 🙂

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