October 10, 2017
October 9, 2017
October 8, 2017
October 7, 2017
October 6, 2017
October 5, 2017
If you’re new to this blog and want to know more about the iron-breathing bacterium called Leptothrix discophora, please see this FAQ.
October 4, 2017
The small patch of Leptothrix discophora film in the bottom left of this photograph gives you a taste of the run of images that starts tomorrow on this blog.
July 7, 2017
Kendal at Oberlin publishes a literary magazine, called Eureka!, three times a year. All the artwork and writing is by residents of this retirement community. I’m lucky enough to live at Kendal at Oberlin, and to have had an article with photographs published in the latest issue. The piece reveals the origins of my fascination with the iron bacteria. Since many of you have seen on this blog my photographs of the iridescent film that Leptothrix discophora creates on the surface of water, I thought some of you might be interested in reading about how my engagement started. Just click on the link below to find out. And please forgive my crude post-production edit on the next to the last page. I thought it made the story easier to understand. Below the link to the article is a photo of Leptothrix discophora film that I took last month at Schoepfle Garden.
July 31, 2016
Here’s the last of the Leptothrix discophora photos for a while.
July 30, 2016
Now I’ll tell you my theory about why I didn’t find mature Leptothrix discophora film on the Schoepfle Garden side of the river and why I did find it on the other side. Two things you need to know. 1) L. discophora lives at the interface of water and air: one end of each rod-shaped bacterial cell sticks into the water, and the other into the air. 2) L. discophora thrives best in/on a mixture of water that contains a lot of oxygen and water that contains little oxygen. (Long story; I won’t go into it now, but ask if you want to know why.) River water, in running over rocks and other objects in its path, gathers oxygen. Ground water that seeps into the river has little oxygen because of the time it spends in the soil. (Although rainwater, which contributes to ground water, picks up oxygen as it falls through air on its way from clouds to earth, other microbes and roots in the soil consume much of it.) There has been so little rain lately that only larger seepages of ground water make it as far as the river. So guess which side of the river has more and larger seepages?