Airy resurrection…

This resurrection is an air Fern known for going dormant or dead-like during times of drought and then vibrantly returning with a little rain. The Resurrection Fern (Pleopeltis polypodiodes) is an air fern, attaching to live Oak trees and obtaining it’s nutrients and moisture from the air.

Remergence of the Resurrection Fern. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Mini ecosystem on this tropical tree including the Resurrection Fern. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Dedicated to learning…

I thought my Japanese Anemone painting was done. But, thanks to a wonderful teacher I spent 3 more hours on it and I have to admit it IS better than before. Learning is exhausting and yet always fun too. Now for a nap.

Japanese Anemone acrylic painting. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Last week’s 6 hour work of Japanese Anemone. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Everglades Swamp…

Funny how long it sometimes takes the mind (mine in particular!!) to make connections. Looking at these images from the Cypress Swamp in the Florida Everglades it dawned on me that I used to live next to (probably officially “in”) a swamp. In the Chicago area we called it “wetlands” but it was also considered a marshland or swamp. Quite a few of my older posts show this swampy nature of what we incorrectly called “woodland” in the springtime (see springtime posts prior to 2016).

The swampy part of the Cypress Swamp on the Seminole Reservation. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg.

“Wet feet” plants only reside here. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Winter blessings…

May your days be

full of miracles,

large and small.

I wish you faith, hope and love.

May you have faith as

You set hope-filled goals which

Include love

Love for yourself and

Love for others.

Faith that spirng will arrive at winter’s end. Hope that the robins’ return as plants waken from dormancy. Love for all of God’s “routine” miracles. ….nothing is routine about miracles. Each is wondrous. Happy New Year. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

A different naked lady…

My southern sisters are proud of their Naked Ladies (Amaryllis Belladonna), while here in Chicago the Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale) is our “Naked Lady”. Both gained their nickname because when the flowers are in bloom their leaves already have become dormant, so are no longer present. These bulb beauties were at Lincoln Park Zoo several weeks ago and drew attention from the Lion Den.

Close up of sunlit petals. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Vibrant autumn color. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Prolific blooms. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Garden bouquet of flowering fall bulbs. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Dangerously cute…

Cute but with powerful built-in defenses. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg.

While we walked through Starved Rock State Park we came across this oh, so cute caterpillar. It was moving rapidly down the length of a rail making it a challenge to photograph. This is when I’m grateful for digital imagery; I can take multiple images in hopes of a few “good” ones and the cost is no obstacle as it was in the days of using film.

Fortunately, I did not choose to hold this fuzzy fellow. It was the larva of the American Dagger Moth (Acronicta americana). If I’d known the name I would have thought twice about its cuddly appearance. The decorative black spikes are its defense containing a poisonous liquid that quickly causes irritation and swelling when it touches one’s skin. So, if you see this fellow, look but don’t touch!

On closer inspection…

The Winged Loosestrife’s (Lythrum alatum) vibrant color stood out on the cliff’s wall across from our descending path to Wild Cat Canyon in Starved Rock State Park. Only later when I was home and reviewing these images did I realize the plant was a resting spot for this winged insect. Such is the joy of photography. My eyes often miss seeing all the subjects in my compositions. Sometimes what I capture is distracting to my desired focus (unwanted elements in the background). This added subject was a wonderful surprise.

My initial thought was that this insect was a dragonfly or damselfly. But those insects have two pairs of wings. I am guessing that this is some variety of Crane Fly (Tipula) instead. The other joy of nature photography is that I am always learning!

I zoomed in to get the original picture (bottom image) and found a new and more interesting composition when I zoomed in still closer (first image).

Posing nicely for my picture. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

I spo

Longer view of this Loosestrife and Crane Fly scene, to show more of the habitat. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

tted

 

Under-valued communities…

Fungi (mushrooms) and algae produce lichen on this dead tree stump. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Yesterday’s post of Lichen was witness to what happens when fungi and algae live together. The fungi benefit from algae that make food through photosynthesis. These images show the lush diversity within these miniature communities. I always feel the presence of a superior entity (God, to me) when I observe such creations.

Colony of mushrooms appear after rains; on less moist days the fungi thrives underground. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

 

Never seen this kind of fungi. The variety at Starved Rock after a few days of rain were many and diverse. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Fungi ring around the tree stump. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

This tree hosts a prolific, rich community. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

The moist walls of the canyon supports more miniature communities. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg.

Too often ignored…

Lichen on top of cliff’s edge. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

This Lichen lives atop a rock at Lover’s Leap in Starved Rock State Park. Though its tiny, its resilience merits appreciation.

Difference between fungi, lichen, moss and algae: https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/blogs/you-moss-be-joking-if-you-lichen-this-to-fungi