Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

Evidence of Iron Bacteria in October 2016—1


November 11, 2016

I found some of what I had come looking for last month when I waded across the river. The first image is the way I saw the patch of Leptothrix discophora film as I approached. It was surprisingly large for such a young film. Young films look blue or silver or silver blue. The prismatic colors arise when the film thickens as a result of more of its being produced by the Leptothrix discophora bacteria or when the film is broken and pieces of it slide over and under other pieces. The second image is the same patch of film seen from the opposite side. You can appreciate the importance of the angle of the sun relative to the viewer in how the film appears.

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4 responses

  1. The angle of view is important, isn’t it? Does anything eat this bacteria, does it just dissipate?

    Like

    November 13, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    • I don’t think anything eats them. Their numbers can decrease when conditions change (current becomes too fast, water disappears, temperature gets too cold) but apparently they sort of never go away completely. I guess they go into some sort of dormancy. As soon as the environmental conditions that favor them reappear, they’re back in numbers large enough to create visible signs, like the prismatic film.

      Like

      November 13, 2016 at 12:59 PM

  2. The first shot is impressive, Linda, but what surprises me is how its visibility is so dependent on the angle of the light.

    Like

    November 13, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    • Thanks, Andy. As much as I know that the angle of the light makes a difference, I’m still pleasantly shocked to see the difference as I move around.

      Like

      November 13, 2016 at 1:01 PM

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