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Some serious dry-land lichen

 
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 2:06 am    Post subject: Some serious dry-land lichen Reply with quote


These lichens grow on little chunks of volcanic rock on top of "Red Mountain". That's a local landmark that is actually an 800-foot-high hill covered by grass and occasional bushes. This is in a small chunk of south central Washington State that gets around 7 inches total annual precipitation.

I really like the color of these critters.

Hope you do too!

--Rik

PS. I posted out a bigger version too, in case you'd like to see some more detail.

Canon 300D, 3.2X NA 0.10 microscope objective on bellows, stacked with Helicon Focus, 0.002" focus steps .
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Ken Ramos
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Joined: 04 May 2004
Posts: 4809
Location: Western North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A microscope objective on a bellows...works for me Very Happy You appear to be getting great results from it too! I do not know a great deal about lichens but have been reading up on them of late, "Lichens by William Purvis," not a large book about 112 pages, softcover. Well anyway looking at the apothecium, the more or less flat, cup or saucer-like fruiting bodies in the upper right of the photograph, I would venture a guess of it being a pruinose lichen, species I am not sure. Estimates of lichen biodiversity vary from a modest 13,500 to over 30,000 and I can not even pronounce a hand ful of their names Sad

The color of these lichens seem to suggest that they contain the pigmented algae Trentepohlia spp. but I am not positive, the somewhat darker or shaded areas of the apothecium may also contain calcium oxalate which helps to deflect the amount of light reaching a lichen and may help it to survive in harsh enviornoments. On some species calcium oxalate may appear chalk white. Amazing what you can learn from a little book. Very Happy

A great shot Rik and by the way, I once read somewhere that a mountain is not a mountain until is surpasses 1000' in elevation. Got that from one of my hiking manuals, I think. Think Maybe I read too much. Rolling Eyes
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken Ramos wrote:
... a mountain is not a mountain until is surpasses 1000' in elevation. Got that from one of my hiking manuals, I think. Think

Ah, but anything is a mountain if the USGS calls it one! And sure enough, that's what the USGS topo map says. The lump of ground is even known to the Geographic Names Information Service (GNIS). For example, see here, which is how I quickly found the USGS map by clicking on the "TerraServer DRG" link. The query was just Red Mountain, Benton county, Washington state.

Credit one to my wife, for showing me the GNIS resource last night. She uses it to track down genealogy stuff. GNIS knows about cemetaries by name, or by county, or if you're a glutton for info, you can get a list of all the cemetaries in an entire state in one query.

Ken Ramos wrote:
Maybe I read too much. Rolling Eyes

Can that be done?! Now whether it's the good stuff or bad stuff, that's another question! Very Happy Rolling Eyes

--Rik
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Sortvind



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 24
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen much macro, but not like this:D
Very interesting shape and color!
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken Ramos wrote:
...may help it to survive in harsh enviornoments. ... Amazing what you can learn from a little book. Very Happy

I'll have to get a copy of that book.

These lichens are tough little guys, no doubt about that. Around here, they're mostly found in full sun, in an area where the summer air temperature is often over 100 degrees F and exposed flat surfaces rapidly reach "you could fry an egg on it". Of course these critters aren't exactly rapid reproducers, either. Their growth rates are conveniently measured in millimeters per decade.

--Rik
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Ken Ramos
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Joined: 04 May 2004
Posts: 4809
Location: Western North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik wrote:

Quote:
Their growth rates are conveniently measured in millimeters per decade


I have read that the growth rate depends on the species of lichen. Some may grow 0.5mm/year up to 5mm/year. One species sometimes but rarely attains a growth of 9cm/year. The book I have states that dating surfaces using lichens is known as "Lichenometery." The technique has been used in dating moraines and the retreat of glaciers, how frequently earthquakes occur in Central Asia, ancient monuments such as those on Easter Island which were found to be c. 400years old. Surprised

Lichens can survive in extremely hot environments and the possibility of them existing on other planets, Mars for example (of course Confused ) is quite possible. These little plants can even grow on metal and if the weather doesn't start to improve so I can get out an about in these mountains, they may start to grow on me. Laughing

The book "Lichens by William Purvis" copyright The Natural History Museum, London 2000. IBSN 1-56098-879-7 is distributed by the Smithsonian Institution Press, Wash. DC in association with the copyright holder. Cost in my neck of the woods, $17.00 An excellent book, pretty easy to read and understand, although the names of lichens can be a real pain to try and pronounce. However it is definitely worth the money to add it to your personal library Very Happy
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MikeBinOKlahoma



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 1491
Location: Umm....Could it be Oklahoma?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting shot. Do you have any idea of the magnification? We have some very nice lichens on granite in southwestern Oklahoma, and (again) they are a subject I tend to ignore when I shouldn't!
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeBinOKlahoma wrote:
Do you have any idea of the magnification?

(Giggle!) Does the scale bar show up on your monitor? If so, then put a ruler against the screen... Very Happy

On my monitor, it works out to about 35X. Very Happy

--Rik
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a closer view, shown here at about 100X. I'm having fun pushing the magnification with some new equipment. This one is with a Luminar 16mm at f/3.5, stepped at .00033 inches.



See here for a larger image.

--Rik
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MikeBinOKlahoma



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 1491
Location: Umm....Could it be Oklahoma?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:

(Giggle!) Does the scale bar show up on your monitor? If so, then put a ruler against the screen... Very Happy


Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed

Sorry, not used to looking for scale bars, and saw right through that one. I'm reading a book on the brain and vision this weekend, and I just had an interesting illustration of the book's comments on how many things other than just the exact image content affect what you see!
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem, Mike! I have been a student of visual interpretation systems for many years, and I get high amusement from watching my own mess up.

In other words, "Been there, done that!"

I am definitely a fan of scale bars, and for lab work they're really pretty easy to do. For each setup, I just shoot a picture of a scale. Using Photoshop to measure distances, I figure out what the width of the frame was. Then I set that Width using Image Size without resampling. Once the Width is set correctly, Photoshop's measurement tool just reads out the correct values. More importantly, the Info panel does too, when I set a selection region. To create a scale bar, I just select a rectangle of a convenient size while watching the Info panel to make it a nice round number. New layer, fill with color, add text, blur the background if required, and the job is done.

I suppose if I did a whole bunch of the same thing, I would just develop a library of templates with the scale bars and text already in place. But I'm not nearly that organized yet.

Note that there can be some error in this process. With ordinary lenses (non-telecentric), scale depends on distance from the lens. If there is significant depth of field, different parts of the image may have significantly different scales, in proportion to their distance from the entrance pupil of the lens. Stacking greatly increases the maximum error, by increasing the depth of field. Even so, for the images shown here, the maximum error is probably around 5%.

--Rik
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