Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for January 4th, 2012

Like a green and white reptile

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Green and white algae; click for greater detail.

The picture that you saw two days ago of bubbles and algae came from a creek in my northwestern part of Austin, but because the tree-blocked light reaching the water was dim on that late afternoon of December 28, I determined to go back the next day at a time when the sun would be higher. So that’s what I did, and although I was disappointed to find that most of the bubbles had disappeared overnight, my compensation was discovering a type of algae I’d never noticed before. It had alternating green and white bands, and the first phrase that came into my head, based on the patterning, was zebra algae, but a closer look made me change that to snake algae and then reptile algae. Take a look for yourselves and see what you think. If there are any algologists* out there who know what this actually is, please let us know. In the meantime we’ll consider ourselves free to use our imaginations and see it as whatever we’d like.


* Several dictionaries assured me that there really is such a word; I learned that a person who studies algae can also be called a phycologist.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 4, 2012 at 5:05 AM

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