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Moss And Sundews. August 1, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in macro photos.
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Along the road today I noticed a patch of moss clinging to a road cut and stopped – I’ve found sundews here in the past and hoped to find them again.

Well, I did, though it was the Sphagnum moss which caught my eye:

…with sundews poking through on the left.  The moss is in a sort-of jelled state of development (it goes through some significant changes in the course of its life cycle) and has hung onto a few of its spore-bearing structures:

…and of course there’s that little spatulate sundew leaf, obligingly red.

The sundews have magnificent (albeit tiny) flower spikes developing:

I hope to see them bloom soon.

Ruby Tuesday – The Strange Yet Beautiful Edition! June 1, 2010

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Here are a few shots from the week, plus one I published back in July ’09, though not as a Ruby Tuesday shot.  They’re all ruboid and plantalicious, with a critter tossed into the mix.

First, a fading red peony on the Bridge of Flowers:

And then, two of our local “carnivorous” plants, some Northern Pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea ):

…which sprang up in 90 degree weather early in May and got hammered by a hard freeze at mid-month, and some beautiful little sundews (Drosera rotundifolia ):

…which had the good sense to keep their heads down ’till the freeze had passed.

Actually, both of these plants are opportunistic omnivores, getting as much nutrition as they can from both the minerals and organics in their environment and the odd passing flitty-thing.  Sundews, despite having sticky pads only about a quarter-inch across, trap large-ish flying things like moths and dragon flies, whose struggles prompt uninvolved paddles to arch inward and join the fray, ensuring the fate of the hapless insect.

Don’t get me started on the tactics of the wily pitcher plant; that’s a whole ‘nother post!

And to end on a gentler note, here’s a shot of a sweet little butterfly alight on a red hawkweed blossom:

I originally posted this in July of ’09 or so, but not as a Ruby Tuesday photo, so here it is again for you Rubyphiles.

Thanks to Mary over at Work of the Poet for the impetus for this fun meme!

Sundews. May 9, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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High up in Florida, an oozing rock-cut overkooks Route 2.

There be sundews:

sundew and succulent

A tiny Drosera takes heart and hold in the lee of a neighboring succulent.

Drocereae comprise the largest family of carniverous plants, with over 170 species populating six of our seven continents.  They’re easily identified by their abundant spines tipped with a sticky fluid which captures insects to supplement their earthly nutrition:

sundew

I think that’s pretty cool.

Sundews! June 13, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in macro photos.
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High in the Hoosac Range, as the road winds upward through the hills, there’s a road-cut which catches full sun for most of the day, yet remains perpetually wet because of the expansive forested slope above it.

It’s one of my favorite places to photograph Little Things, like these strange and beautiful little Sundews:

The last time I saw them they were barely 20mm across; now they’re nearly 75mm (three inches for you ‘Muricans!)

Hope you like ’em.  🙂

Baby Sundews! April 21, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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Spring springs, and things bloom.

On the schist road cuts delineating the northerly edge of Route 2 in Florida, a relatively rare colony of sundews thrives on the perpetually wet biomass draping the soft, digestible rock. I’d photographed them before, with my fancy point-and-shoot, and the results were gratifying.

So I went back there today, scheming to catch the beginning of the seasonal cycle of these cool little plants.

After some crafty parking in a pre-improved pull-out (I specialize in Minor Modifications to Existing Structures) I got out my ladder and camera kit and started walking the narrow space between the traveling lane and the jagged rock wall.

Ten minutes later, I saw what I came for and set up for the capture:

This will be the inside cover photo for my forthcoming book, “Half-Assed Photography: The Rube Goldberg School.”

My prey was cornered, cut off from escape, powerless as I trimmed away last year’s intertwining grasses, now brown with memories of their season. I opened her up for Spring to see, for the Sun to see, for You to see:

This little beauty is a thumb’s width across, but will soon be three times that.

At the risk of setting the bar where life doesn’t lead me, I’m planning on a seasonal goal of visiting selected natural sites repeatedly over the course of a year, and trying to discern the changes. This and the Green River Moss photos will be the first installments.

…But Stayed For The Carnivores October 5, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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And while I was gawking at the red moss, I became aware of some rare and beautiful plants eking out their morbid living on the rock facets below – carnivorous little fuckers lying in wait for the slightest touch of a winged meal:

carnivores1.JPG

…Yeah, that’s what I came here for!