Monday, November 19, 2012

In a clump of moss

Seven years ago, my daughter gave me a miniature iron birdbath, suitable for a miniature succulent. I left it in a corner until I could buy a plant for it, but when I looked next, it had a lush, green mound of native moss growing, so I let it be. The moss grew there happily until this very dry summer, when it turned brown, shrivelled, and finally blew away in a lump when the fall winds came. It came to rest behind some plant pots and I left it again, until I do the final fall clean-up in the garden.

I noticed it again today; it was full size and bright green again.

I brought it in to look it over in the light. It's in full leaf, and the fruiting bodies are standing tall above it. And climbing on a stem was a bright, white spark.

Sporophytes on red stalks. With the light spots, they look like long-necked, long-beaked birds.

A mini-aphid. With the flash, it was pure, burnt-out white; here I am using the flash at 1/16 normal strength, with a diffuser added.

It has something clinging to one antenna. The two up-pointing "tails" are  little tubes, called siphunuculi. They may help with defense.

Heading down into the moss jungle.

Rear view.

The moss (and aphid) is now outside again. Tomorrow, I'll replant it in the birdbath.

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1 comment:

Heather said...

Love these macro photos. The aphid looks like a much larger insect crawling in an immense forest.