Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Corrugated algae

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Corrugated Algae 5466

Corrugated is just my word for it.

March 24th, Old Lampasas Trail: you can take my word for it.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 21, 2014 at 5:56 AM

19 Responses

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  1. I will..take your word for it. But I can’t help wondering if this is how Rapunzel’s hair looked when it was cut off and the enchantress had no more use for it.


    April 21, 2014 at 7:00 AM

    • You may have inside information, but I’ve never pictured Rapunzel’s hair being this color. Okay, I’ll grant that you’re probably referring to the shape and texture rather than the color.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 21, 2014 at 7:31 AM

      • Shape and texture and how the colour might be after some time in the discarded pile. Interestingly, it is Rapunzel’s mother’s longing for a Rampion (wild flower?) that sets the whole story in motion.


        April 21, 2014 at 7:56 PM

  2. Brains.


    April 21, 2014 at 7:20 AM

  3. Looks amazing.


    April 21, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    • It’s quite a sight, and not all that unusual for creeks in Texas, where hot weather frequently dries them out.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 21, 2014 at 9:58 AM

  4. This looks like something from from a seaside expedition … but I know that’s not the case. What sort of stagnant, nutrient-rich, body of water gave rise to this luxuriant growth? Is this the natural growth-form or did rough weather cause the filaments to ‘felt’ together and form the tufts? So many questions … but the forms intrigue me. D

    Pairodox Farm

    April 21, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    • I’m afraid I know more about algebra than algae, Dave. My guess is that this is the form the algae takes when the small creek it’s on begins to dry out, which is the stage at which you see the creek here. As far as I know—which isn’t all that far—no rough weather had a hand in this. (And now I’m wondering if weather has hands.)

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 21, 2014 at 3:53 PM

  5. Half brains, half mass of hairy slugs… very cool picture!

    Journey Photographic

    April 21, 2014 at 7:29 PM

  6. […] the bank of the little creek with the “corrugated” algae in it was this Erigeron philadelphicus, called Philadelphia fleabane. A flower head of this species […]

  7. If this was a nice, rusty brown, it could easily be mistaken for buffalo fur. Until I gave mine a good look, I didn’t realize it wasn’t one big pile. It was a multitude of little bits, held together by the roughness of individual hairs.

    It doesn’t look at all the same, of course, but the randomness of its sprawl reminds me of dodder, which is showing up now.


    April 22, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    • Another coincidence: I photographed a buffalo last Tuesday (and will post a picture of it here in the days ahead). I’ve also recently begun to see some dodder but haven’t come across a good enough bunch to take any pictures of it yet this year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 22, 2014 at 7:36 AM

  8. Ew! I’ve handled algae in my day, and that’s about all I have to say on the subject!


    April 22, 2014 at 8:59 AM

  9. I think your word for it perfectly describes how the algae looks!

    Susan Scheid

    April 24, 2014 at 6:19 PM

  10. […] Yep, stringy green brains, that’s what some types of algae look like when they begin to dry out. Perhaps no one else has seen algae quite that way because when I did a Google search for “stringy green brains” I got asked if I meant “stringy green beans” or “string green beans,” but there were no hits for my “stringy green brains” search string. Coincidentally, when I recently attended a talk by physicist Steven Weinberg, who lives in Austin, he said there is so far no good experimental evidence for string theory. And I’m not stringing you along when I say that the picture above is from a tributary of Bull Creek on January 29th, and that two years ago I referred to algae in this configuration as corrugated. […]

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