Too small to see

Sometimes people hint that taking so many photos interferes with truly looking at what is in front of me, but for me the reverse is often true. Consider things that are too tiny for my unassisted human eye to see, and that I often don’t notice until I look at the photos later on my computer.

This tiny lichen is called the Red-fruited Pixie Cup, for obvious reasons. Each cup is 6-25mm tall, and the bright red protuberances are the fruiting bodies.P1070345Or consider these ants. A child knocked over the rotting tree stump by mistake, exposing these pupae. Out rushed the ants to move them one by one to safety. Each pupa looks like a perfectly formed white waxy proto-ant.

Ant pupae. If you zoom in, the pupae look like white waxy complete ants.

So I defend my right to take photos.

Mushrooms in Wonderland

Mushrooms grow with astonishing speed, and the fully-grown mushroom often looks quite different from the baby version. The photos below are both amanitas. As the mushroom grows, the universal veil usually leaves patches stuck to the cap, and the partial veil (which encloses just the gills), often leaves a ballerina-like skirt around the stalk. And just so you know, these are poisonous.

Tuesday lunchtime
Watch the little one on the left…
SAME mushroom Wednesday morning.
Same one, 24 hours later.

This is a different species, but it grew nearly as fast (I was away for a day, so it might have been less time than my photos show). But the transformation is even more dramatic, from something that looks like a cottage-loaf (or a puffball), into a true toadstool.

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This cottage-loaf-shaped one turned into..

 

48 hours later
.. this, 48 hours later.

Starting off..

This is the post excerpt.

For some time, friends have been suggesting I start a blog, and I have finally got around to trying. I live in two wild and beautiful places: Western Maine , USA, and the Cotswolds, England.  I also travel to far-flung much wilder places.

I take photos with my trusted Panasonic Lumix, sometimes beautiful photos, more often photos that tell a story.

The blog will be erratic, depending on what catches my eye.

For my first post, from Maine, here are the tree swallows that nested in our old purple martin house and raised four young. They fledged two weeks ago.

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Cruising along…
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She often fed them without touching down at all
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It took a while to ram this down the throat of the largest chick