Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stuff I Like, besides lichen

I decided it was time to throw some new images out here. At least I do not belive there will be any duplicates form images posted before. I am just throwing these out there because I like them. Not necessarily going to win any contests with these. Just sharing some of my fun stuff. Hope you enjoy.

You just never know what I will take a picture of. A mineral display, a chuckwalla, or close-ups of just about anything. Some of the images are shot at the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum. Others out and about on our adventures. All are things that caught my eye and made me want to capture the moment in time.

Some photos come pretty easy to me. The composition comes into view and I know how I want to shoot it. Others are a little different. I take several images from differetn perspectives. I end up deleting a lot of these, though sometimes I like the different perspectives and keep multiples.

I figure I can take pictures of just about anyting that is out in nature and be pleased with the results. Honestly I think that if photography paid the bills, I would take pictures every day and be much richer for it. Not to mention safer than working in a prison. I have gone the route of taking pictures of only people to make a living and it went ok. But it was not enjoyable. I was using the nature time to defragment from the stress of the JOB. Kind of like what I am doign now. Some things have not changed, yet. I will keep working on that though. And enjoying my time shooting the stuff I like. Hope you like some of them too.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

More Minerals...

Minerals sure are cool to me. Seems like I have a growing collection of images containing minerals. One of these days I might be able to remember what they are. Or maybe not. ;) I guess I could take some images of minerals in my collection. The blog may never stop...

I received a pretty good response from the last group of minerals, so I thought I would throw a few out here for my enjoyment. Maybe you will like them too.

I never really know what folks are going to think of the images I share. I just try to put stuff out here that I find appealing. Every now and then I get to hear what others think of it as well.

All of these mineral shots were from a trip to the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum. All of them also happen to come from the Arizona area. Kind of cool.

There is so much in minerals that draw my attention. There is color, shape, pattern, texture, and form. These are essential parts of photography to me. It is also amazing to me to see all of the detail. It reminds me a great deal of the formations found in caves. That is a subject that I will save for a later blog though. Somehow I am sure I can find some images of caves in my digital work or in the 40,000 slides I have kicking around the house. :) Might find a few more to put out here on the blog. This madness may never end.

I quess I must like the madness though. Hmmmm...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lichen Lovin'

Hope you enjoy the new photos. Lichen are cool, but maybe that is just me.

My last post on reptiles did not seem to raise many comments or screams. Kind of surprised me, but I will keep adding posts as my time allows. Feel free to leave comments or requests. Trust me when I tell you I have all kinds of images. That will only get worse when I hook up my scanner and start downloading some of the 50,000 slides I have. I might be the only one having fun with this, but at least someone is.

I like to nature walks wherever I go. Now some folks walk all aorund in nature and really never take in anything except the big picture. They walk by all the cool stuff around them. Stuff like lichen. There is even a webpage dedicated to it. I have been a fan for a very long time. It helps growing up in the desert areas where this stuff is. Of course it is all over in all kinds of areas.

For more informaiton go check out http://www.lichen.com/. It is now on my favorite list. (imagine that) And for all you teachers out there I know I use poor grammar. Thanks for noticing. http://www.lichen.net/ is a site with Grateful Dead music and other stuff for all the DeadHeads and Hippies out there.

A lichen looks like a single organism, but it is actually a symbiotic relationship between different organisms. It is composed of a fungal partner (mycobiont) and one or more photosynthetic partners (photobiont). The photosynthetic partner is generally green algae or cyanobacteria. There are about 13,500 species of lichen on the Earth.

It is debated whether the relationship in a lichen is mutualistic or part of a controlled parasitism. On one hand, the fungus and the photobiont seem to be in a mutualistic relationship because when they are combined, they have the ability to deal with ecological conditions that neither part would be able to handle on its own. It also seems that neither partner is damaged by the other. Upon taking a closer look at a lichen, some might say that the photobiont is a captive of the mycobiont, not a partner. The fungal partner "enslaves" the photobiont to feed from the photobionts photosynthesis. I could not have said it better myself, so I used this from http://www.nybg.org/bsci/lichens/lichen.html.

For all of you other folks that use poor grammar like me, you might undertand this better. Structurally, lichens are among the most bizarre of all forms of life. That's because every lichen species is actually composed of two, possibly even three, distinct species of organisms. One species is a kind of fungus. Usually the other species is an alga, but sometimes it can be a photosynthesizing bacterium known as a cyanobacterium. Sometimes all three organisms are found in one lichen.
Since all three kinds of organism are profoundly different from one another, what lichens do is almost like merging a shrub with a dog to produce something that looks and lives unlike either shrub or dog!
In this amazing association the fungus benefits from the algae because fungi, having no chlorophyll, can't photosynthesize their own food. A lichen's fungal part is thus "fed" by its photosynthesizing algal part. The algae benefit from the association because the fungus is better able to find, soak up, and retain water and nutrients than the algae. Also, the fungus gives the resulting lichen shape, and provides the reproductive structures. This kind of relationship between two or more organisms, where both organisms benefit, is known as mutualism.