Monday, April 26, 2021

tiny tiny Tiny

We had a hard frost Sunday morning. I thought I'd take a walk to the creek and around the pastures to see if I could find anything 'frosty' and cool. 

I pulled out my 30mm macro lens. The one that you have to get down and dirty with. Well, not really down and dirty ~ but only if you want to...and I often can be found nearly laying in the dirt or on the forest floor bugs be damned. 

First let me say that we have an incredible forest around us. There is so much to see that it is overwhelming. I have to go to the ridge to get a landscape shot. The woods becomes a place of little things to notice and see. The tiny flowers, the moss, the lichen, the fungi, and the insects. I seem to notice and enjoy finding the little things sometimes more than the Big Picture.

Here is a dandelion from the yard on Saturday. Those little curls just beg to be photographed. The flower on its own isn't impressive, but what is inside

[Shot with the microscopic feature on my TG6 Olympus pocket camera.]

I have no idea what kind of insect this is, but it has pollen on it from the dandelion so I imagine it uses it as food? Shot with the 30mm lens. The frustration of this lens is my inability to 'get' all of the insect in focus.

So I went searching for frosty things and bugs. The sky was unremarkable other than the sun just coming up. I spotted a doe who whistled at me and ran off. But I was more interested in the tiny things I could find.

I was pretty excited over the dandelions. When I showed these to Rich his reaction was rather ambivalent. 

The ice crystals were pretty damned awesome.

I decided to head on down into the woods and see what I could find along the creek. Was it warmer near the creek? Or was it colder? 
My shadow in the frosted pasture.

It took me a while to get to the creek. I kept stopping to peer at tiny flowers coming up and looking at the violets that were still closed against the cold. Berry briars had frost on some leaves as did the multi floral rose bushes. 

The sun was peeking into the creek and a tiny bit of steam was rising from the water. By mid summer this creek will be obscured with Jewel Weed and other plants. The view in early spring is always amazing.

I went in search of moss. Who would have guessed?
This type of moss had leaves like cups that caught the moisture in the air. I thought this was ingenious. No wonder moss could live through droughts. This moss was just above the creek on a rock.

And this moss was on another piece of wood. I noted that it was 'flowering'. Well they really don't flower but do release spores. The blue is the creek just below the moss covered log. I have NO idea what type of moss it is. 

Imagine my delight to find some more moss that looked like the little spore things had exploded!

I think the proper name for this may be Sporophyte but do not hold me to it.

Here it is cropped in tighter....

I also found many ferns beginning to unfurl. The maidenhair fern is one of my favorites but I found about four different kinds.

I do like tiny things. That world is so fascinating.

Looking forward to today's weather as we are supposed to warm up to nearly 70!


  1. You are fortunate to have a creek nearby to enjoy. It no doubt enhances the variety of tiny life in your woods. We didn't get that cold. There was a short period of rain that started to ice up in the afternoon, but quickly stopped. We really need rain here in sand country. It is in the forecast this week, will see. I might have to go out and do a rain dance ;) My fav fern is Japanese painted fern, not native. Looks like what I transplanted near our house (from our previous home) is coming back. There is some kind of native fern growing throughout our pines, probably a Lady Fern. Pretty sure it is all the same kind. I will have to take notice!

    1. Oh wow, can't wait to see the fern. The sandy part of WI sure does get dry without rain...eeeks...
      We did have some sleet while I was out watering some transplants. It was so strange to think it was rain and put my hand out to see sleet!
      I have seen photos of the Japanese painted fern. What a beauty.

  2. Frost on the Dandelions! Must have been cold there, just like the northern state we recently visited. ( it snowed!) The insect looks like an Assassin bug. there are lots of versions, ( I just did a google search) but the Proboscis is very telling. They eat caterpillars and aphids, I think. Though, they may eat anything, give all those forms Google threw at me. I doubt I could get a tight focus like that with my camera. It is impossible to focus on small things. (Dogbane beetles...) Perhaps I should upgrade sometime in the future.

    1. It was 28 degrees at sunrise and we had some sleet during the afternoon which was kind of strange.
      Ahhhh! An Assassin Bug! Wickedly cool!
      My favorite strange book was about a guy who wanted to use Assassin Bugs to do Pest Control. It is still my favorite book to date. Clever and funny.
      I love seeing insects and wandering with my neighbor's daughter who wants to be an entomologist when she grows up.
      I know folks who have some pricey cell phones that can take macros. Not for me though. I still think of the cell as just a handy phone and way to check the weather.

  3. Yeah for 70! Hope you made it there were had about 38 for a high...a tad chilly. I really enjoyed the macro shots...and you have dandys already!!

  4. I love the dandelion macro pictures and the one with the ice crystal is fantastic. Of course the ferns are great too.