November 8, 2017
I saw some Leptothrix discophora films at Schoepfle Garden last month. Here is one patch, with details of the overall photograph beneath.
November 16, 2016
November 15, 2016
November 14, 2016
November 13, 2016
November 12, 2016
Sometimes a shadow reveals a less-visible Leptothrix discophora film. Someone explained to me why this happens, but I’m afraid I didn’t quite get it. Perhaps one of you knows and can explain it again?
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.
October 25, 2016
An expert on mushrooms I’m not, but I do have an interest. I have never seen these little guys. Maybe when they grow up they will look familiar. Here on the pine stump the biggest one is about half an inch in diameter. . . . The more I look at this photograph, the more I wonder if they are puffballs. I’ve never seen pinkish-orange puffballs, and I’ve never seen puffballs growing on a tree stump.
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?