Weekly Photo Challenge: Ooh, Shiny

When I think of Ooh, Shiny, I think of:

… flowers in India

… flowers in Seattle

… microscopic photos of flowers

… fruit from my garden

… and Kavita and Meera’s beautiful Navaratri altar

To view the previous posts in this series click here.

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New Microscopic Photos and More

Yesterday, I decided to accept the self-imposed challenge of taking microscopic pictures primarily with my non-dominant hand. Even under normal circumstances, I have trouble hooking up the adapter that connects my iPhone to my microscope. I wondered if adding a wrist splint to the mix would make the task impossible. I would, of course, stop if the endeavor caused any pain at all. It took some effort, but before long the equipment was ready for me to snap some photos.

Last summer, I took microscopic pictures of the orange Echinacea flowers in my garden. This year, my goal was to photograph flowers on all three of the Echinacea plants. Each plant has blooms that are a different color. I was able to accomplish that objective and more.

Plant #1

While I was taking the photos, I saw something I had never seen before. It was quite a surprise. Take a look at my first microscopic video!

I did not notice that the photos of that plant had come out pink, instead of light purple, until I created the photo gallery above last night. I wondered if that happened because of the light source I was using for the microscope. This morning, I decided to shine that light on the flower again to see if it changed the color.

When I went outside to retrieve the purple flower from the back deck, I was flabbergasted to see that it had turned pink during the night. It had not looked pink when I checked it last night.

Plant #2

I found another bug when I examined the second flower through the microscope. It was a different kind of insect, though, or was it a spider? It resembled a spider in the way it looked and acted but insects have six legs and spiders have eight. I only see six on this creature so I don’t know what it is. It was so small that I couldn’t see it on the plant even when I looked for it wearing my reading glasses.

Note: There is a point in the video below where the creature stops moving for a while, but it starts again.

Plant #3

I appreciate the iPhone camera and the beautiful photos it takes. I appreciate whoever came up with the way to connect the microscope and the iPhone camera. I appreciate the ease of the WordPress blogging platform. I appreciate how easy it is to create photograph galleries on WordPress.com blogs. I appreciate the dictation program for Office products that Microsoft released last week and the person that told me about it. I appreciate the neighbor who took the case off my iPhone so I had a chance of  making this project a success. I appreciate my willingness to take on challenges in difficult situations. And, last but not least, I appreciate all of you who read my posts.

Red Clover: Under the Microscope

At this point, most of the red clover blossoms are withering. I looked at three of the “flowers” under the microscope.

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These photos were taken with an iPhone 7 connected to a microscope with an adapter. You can click on any of the galleries to see a closer view.

Microscopic Views of Popcorn!

Two weeks ago, my friend Kathie from ChosenPerspectives sent me a link to a YouTube video, along with a note saying that she thought I would enjoy seeing it.

She was right, I did like the video and watching it gave me an idea; I would find out what popcorn looks like under a microscope. In order to do that I had to buy some popcorn. I, of course, wanted it to be popcorn that I would also enjoy eating, so I chose a bag of kettle corn.

Over the next few days, I nibbled at the popcorn, not stopping until the bag was empty. When it was gone, I bought another bag. At least this time I set up the microscope and took the photos before I finished the popcorn.

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A Surprising and Disturbing Discovery: Part 3

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In Part 1 of this series, I showed photos of the bird houses in my back yard and the nests I found inside of them. I questioned why one of the nests almost filled the bird house. I also wondered why the big one had a flat top leaving no place for a nesting female and her eggs.

In Part 2, I relayed that readers had informed me that it was a wren who had built the big nest and I shared information I had learned about wrens since my first post. In addition, I wrote about what I found when I took that nest apart.

In Part 3, I will share microscopic photos of all ten of the nest’s components and then let you know why I still feel disturbed.

(Note 1: The numbers near the photos below correspond to the numbers at the top of this post. Note 2: You can click on the galleries to enlarge the photos.)

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While I love the beauty the microscopic photos revealed, there was one material that greatly disturbed me. That was item #10, plastic. I was dismayed to see how much plastic was in the nest when I took it apart.

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I know that birds, fish and other creatures can get sick if they eat plastic. Here is a photo that was taken of the contents of the stomach of a dead albatross at Midway Island.

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia

I have to wonder if the fact that this wren’s nest had a top on it was because the bird was sick from eating plastic and its brain was not working correctly. There is no way to know.

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Shared with Senior Salon and Lets Create a Fine Chain…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

For the last year or so, I have thought about a microscope I owned as a child. I have no idea how old I was then, but I remember spending hours exploring the microscopic world and being fascinated by what I saw. Since it kept coming to my mind, I decided that “someday” I would buy another microscope.

Then this past summer I realized I could add microscopic shots to the photos I publish on this blog. I felt very thankful for the nostalgic memories that led me to that realization.

I purchased a dissecting microscope and began my new venture using an adapter that connects my iPhone to the microscope. I hope someday I have a system that allows me to take photos that more accurately reflect what I see when I look directly into the microscope, but this is a good beginning.

Earlier this week, I photographed a bush that drew my attention. It’s “flowers” were unusual to say the least. Below you will find microscopic views of three parts of that plant. You can click on the galleries to see an enlarged version of the photos.

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Red fruit

Brown “flower”

Black dying “flower”

This is what the whole plant looked like:

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Do any of you know the name of this plant? If you do, please share it with me and other readers!

Written for Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

More About The Guardian

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Yesterday, I wrote a post about My “Frame” Adventure. During that adventure, I discovered a tree that I named Guardian. When I first walked close to the tree, I noticed that part of its bark was very feathery.

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I took a small piece of the feathery substance and looked at it with a microscope when I returned home.

I also used the microscope to examine one of the tree’s dried leaves I had picked up from the ground.

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When I went back to the park today for my Tai Chi class, I visited the Guardian first. I noticed that the base of the tree has a circumference of about 20 feet. I touched the tree and had a sense of “home.” Such power and majesty it radiates.

I love having the Tai Chi class in the park. I hope the weather permits us to keep meeting there throughout September. Two days ago, some of the students made a Yin Yang symbol out of leaves before the class. Today they made this one! No wonder I feel at home with this particular group of people. A sense of home twice in one day, and both of them prior to 8:30 a.m. I knew this was going to be a good day.

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Wonders of Nature: Echinacea Flowers

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I have been fascinated by Echinacea flowers since I was introduced to them last year. I know that bees and butterflies love them too. In the last two weeks I have planted three Echinacea plants in or near my front yard vegetable garden.

The bees are already visiting the Echinacea. Next year, I hope the butterflies will come as well. I was so excited when I saw one yellow butterfly in my garden earlier this year. That was the first one I’d seen in years.

This afternoon, I decided to look at two of the orange flowers under the microscope. Most of the photos below are of one of the smaller, and younger, flowers. It was similar to the flower that you can see at the bottom center of the photograph at the top of this post.

 

I think the microscopic photographs are like works of art. This is my favorite of the shots I took today.

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The next group of photos show what the flower looked like when I cut the center part of it in half. I found the white photo particularly fascinating. (Click on it if you want to see a clearer view.) The intricacies of nature never cease to amaze me.

This last group of photos shows three views of one of the bigger and older Echinacea flowers.

Every time I look at my Echinacea flowers, I think of the Echinacea field at Amma’s Center in Chicago (M.A. Center Chicago) that I saw earlier this summer.  I will end this post with an aerial video that was taken of that field last year.