Photos of the week 2/26 (early edition)

This week when I took my dog for a walk at the local park I brought my camera along. Every other step I was wanting to pull out my camera and take a picture. A few things that caught my eye were the bright green moss and the white shelf fungus. Here’s my favorite two shots.

bryophyte 01

bryophyte 02

 

Master of Glass

Seaforms, Dale Chihuly

In December as a gift from my husband for Christmas, he took me to see an exhibition of prolific glass artist’s work, Dale Chihuly. This five room exhibit in Nashville’s Frist Center housed Chihuly’s Jackson Pollock like paint sketches, a short film showcasing his glass blowing process and many of his brilliant, organic, glass forms.

One form that I particularly fell in love with was his seaform. These delicate glass pieces captured the essence of aquatic life. Their see-through quality, vibrant color, flawless striations, and wavy form created a movement, light and life to these sculptures.

The exhibit overall was professionally executed, each piece was perfectly lit and considerately arranged. My only complaint would be that I would have liked to have seen more of his work.

If you ever get the opportunity to see Chihuly’s work, I would highly recommend seeing it! His combinations of color and form are really quite spectacular.

To learn more about Dale Chihuly visit:

http://www.chihuly.com/

Happy 2nd year Anniversary!

Today marks the second year for Artemisia tridentata! I never imagined that I could get over 30,000 hits in just two years. I really appreciate all my readers, those who started on day one, and for everyone else that have enjoyed a good post along the way.  Let’s have another great year!

Another year saluting the sagebrush

Likeable Lichens

Old man's beard lichen (The fruticose lichen I found in Minnesota)

These resilient fungi/alga combos come in many shapes and almost every color. They often thrive in very stressful environmental conditions and are generally a good indicator of air quality. These delightful organisms are lichens!

I have recently come to a greater appreciation of these little known fungi relatives while taking a Botany class at MSU. This was not my first exposure to lichens. I found crustose lichens inhabiting the A`a and Pahoehoe lava at Craters of the Moon in Idaho and fruticose lichens hanging from the trees in northern Minnesota. Little did I know I could find them in my own backyard…

As I mentioned above lichens are a combination of two or even three organisms. They can be cateogorized into two parts 1) a mycobiont (fungus, which can’t make its own food) and 2) a photobiont (green algae or cyanobacteria which can make its own food). Each provides a unique benefit to the other. The fungus is provided with organic food and oxygen from the photobiont and the photobiont is provided with water, carbon dioxide, minerals and protection. This relationship where two or more organisms benefit from the other is known as mutualism.

Lichens come in many different “shapes” (or more scientifically approved terminology growth forms). There are three main forms: crustose, foliose and fruticose. Crustose lichens form a crust over a surface such as a rock, soil or tree. Their entire surface is attached or embedded to the substrate. They come in many bold, vibrant, colors such as yellow, orange, red and green. Foliose lichens are somewhat leaf-like or ruffled. Fruticose lichens are more diverse in form they can be hair-like, shrubby or cup-like.

Here are a few examples of the varying types of lichens:

Crustose lichen

foliose lichen

Fruiticose Lichen (British soldiers)

Fruticose Lichen (British soldiers)

After realizing the diversity in form and color of these unique organisms I was able to find several crustose and foliose lichens on the trees and rocks in my own backyard. What an exciting find!

To learn more visit:

US forest service site – What are lichens?

Backyard Nature – Lichens

Lichen Biology and the Environment

Photo of the week 2/13

This week’s weather has been unbelievable! Wednesday I missed class due to the snow, and today I found myself walking around outside in 60 degree weather! (Obviously the photo below was shot before today, now all the snow has melted.)

canine footsteps

A tribute to the Pack

Last Sunday the Packers defeated the Pittsburg Steelers in a 31-25 victory. During the first half the Pack took hold  and maintained the lead, their adrenline seemed to keep on pumping .  The second half was more of a nail biter but luckily Green Bay maintained the lead and with minutes left on the clock their victory was destined.

Green Bay has been one of the teams I have loosely followed since their Super Bowl XXXI victory. Over the past few years (since I married a Cheesehead) I have followed them a bit more closely. Here are a few Green Bay players that have caught my eye over the past 2 decades.

Photo of the week 2/6

Lately, the  ground here has been changing from being frozen to a sloppy muddy mess on a day to day basis.  Which makes it fun for taking our puppy outside. So this week I was a little inspired to catch a shot of our soupy mess. Enjoy!

Leaf stew

Go Green Bay!

Today my husband and I will be cheering for the green bay packers in super bowl XLV! I hope to have a post up later in the week about our love of the packers and my thoughts on today’s game. I hope you’re able to sit back and relax and enjoy some football!