Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘algae

“Bloom” patterns at Inks Lake State Park

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On May 6th we drove the roughly one hour west to Inks Lake State Park, which by coincidence we’d visited exactly one year earlier. Because of the continuing drought, the place wasn’t the coreopsis-covered wonderland we’d found there in the spring of 2019. One thing that caught my attention last week that wasn’t there when we’d last visited, in November 2021, was bright green algae in several places along the lakeline, where the algae contrasted in color with the granite that underlies the region. Shape-wise I saw similarities to the many lichens on the selfsame granite in rocks and boulders.

  

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The Bill of Rights consists of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution of the United States. Perhaps the best known of the 10 is the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It’s become common these days to hear people say that the First Amendment came first because it states the most fundamental rights of American citizens. As conveniently symbolic as that justification sounds, it’s not true. An article on Thoughtco.com explains:

Drawing on the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and Virginia’s Declaration of Rights, mainly written by George Mason, James Madison drafted 19 amendments, which he submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives on June 8, 1789. The House approved 17 of them and sent [them] to the U.S. Senate, which approved 12 of them on September 25. Ten were ratified by the states and became law on December 15, 1791.

When the Senate’s 12 amendments were submitted to the states for ratification, the first two of them failed, so the remaining 10 that got approved all moved up two slots. What was originally the third of the 12 amendments became our First Amendment. To learn more of the details, including information about the two amendments that failed in 1789—one of which finally got approved two centuries later—you can read the full article.

 

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 13, 2022 at 4:30 AM

Not strictly a nature picture

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Here’s an abstract and not-strictly-nature picture I made showing algae, curtaining water,
and mineral deposits on a low dam at Berry Springs Park in Georgetown on January 31st.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 18, 2021 at 4:32 AM

North Fork of the San Gabriel River

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On November 30th we spent some time on the North Fork of the San Gabriel River near Tejas Camp in Williamson County. For lack of rain the river had gone down a lot, revealing bedrock that’s more often hidden. The dropping water level left some algae draped over a rock, which the sun did a good job of spotlighting:

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 20, 2020 at 4:35 AM

February 26–27, 2015

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Late in the afternoon four years ago today I walked down to Little Manly Beach, which lies on the south side of a peninsula that juts into the Hauraki Gulf north of Auckland.

You can see that the nearer sea-eroded cliffs and shore already lay in shadow. That didn’t stop me from taking some pictures of fascinating formations, a few of which I showed here after I got back to Texas. Nevertheless, I went back the next morning—my last in New Zealand on that first trip—when the light came from the opposite direction, so I could have another crack at the interesting patterns. Below are several.

Green algae

Rock swirls

Barnacles

I planned to go back at the end of our 2017 visit but unfortunately heavy rains caused mudslides that blocked both roads that would have let us leave the Coromandel Peninsula. We lost a day and made it back to Auckland only a few hours before we had to go to the airport for our return flight to Texas.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 26, 2019 at 4:22 AM

Cascade Ponds

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“These algae looked like… mosaic art to me!” is how one online reviewer described what he saw when looking down from a little bridge into the water of Cascade Ponds outside Banff, Alberta, in the fall of 2017. When we visited on September 2nd of that year I confirmed the mosaic look and also the presence of what another online writer called “neon green algae.” That green life had lots of abstract photographic appeal for me, though whether it was a sign of ecological health or distress, I don’t know.

What I do know is that Cascade Ponds was a good place to photograph the adjacent Cascade Mountain. Notice how water in fact cascades down the mountain in a chain of waterfalls.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 2, 2018 at 4:42 AM

More than waves

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In addition to waves shooting up from rocks along the Atlantic coast in the Schoodic section of Acadia National Park on June 8th, I paid attention to several shallow pools of water that had collected in depressions on top of the nearby rocks. The picture above, intentionally taken at a somewhat skewed angle, gives you an overview of how little pools form in the rocks. Below, seen more closely in other pools, you get a sense of the intriguing colors and textures sometimes found within them.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 10, 2018 at 4:46 AM

Like a green snake in the water

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The sinuous algae you see here looked to me on July 25th, and still today, like a green snake in the water of Bull Creek. Notice the tiny aquatic insects. The leaf may be from a cedar elm tree (Ulmus crassifolia).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 15, 2017 at 4:37 AM

New Zealand: Neptune’s necklace

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Something else that intrigued me at Cable Bay on February 13th and at other places on other dates was a type of brown algae known by the imaginative names Neptune’s necklace, Neptune’s pearls, sea grapes, and bubbleweed (Hormosira banksii).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 28, 2017 at 5:06 AM

Like a long mound of orange spaghetti

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Driving south along California’s scenic Highway 1 on November 3rd last year, we stopped at Carmel River State Beach, where I found this drying mound of seaweed that made me think of orange spaghetti. You’d have seen it that way too, wouldn’t you?

I take this to be a kelp, possibly Macrocystis pyrifera. Click the icon below to zoom in for some yummy details.

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 23, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Trentepohlia

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Trentepohlia on Monterey Cypress Branches 0129

Do you remember the Monterey cypress with the unusually long branch I saw at Point Lobos, California, on November 3rd? A few minutes later I came to a grove of those Cupressus macrocarpa trees with branches heavily covered by a green alga designated Trentepohlia aurea v. polycarpa (according to one online source). Don’t be fooled by the orange color: in Trentepohlia “large quantities of carotenoid pigments… mask the green of the chlorophyll.”

This intricate view strikes me as a good way to inaugurate 2017, which is a prime number. The last prime year was 2011, when this blog began, and the next one won’t come along until 2027.

If you’re interested in photography as a craft, you’ll find that points 15 (not prime) and 19 (prime) in About My Techniques are relevant to today’s photograph.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 1, 2017 at 12:01 AM

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