Walking Downriver in September—3
November 19, 2019
Yes I always look for Leptothrix discophora when I’m at the river (see Sunday’s post), and yes our destination was the waterfall (see Monday’s post). But along the way many other things caught my eye. Here is a sampling. You’ll notice that I have a thing for rocks.
1 I don’t know what made those yellow-ish marks on the riverbed. Maybe it’s where mudstone is showing through algae that was scuffed up by a crayfish. Except that mudstone is grey—at least all the mudstone I’ve seen is.
2 I love seeing plants growing on other plants—even on dead ones. Logs that harbor other growth are called nurse logs. Isn’t that cool?
3 Many cliffs along the Vermilion River show where the earth has been formed or deformed over the eons—layers bent or upended. The white stripes are limestone layers in the shale that hold broken stalks of crinoid fossils.
4 The shale shore fractures in such interesting shapes. You’d think this is poured cement.
6 We have glacial erratics all over Ohio. They are especially visible in and along river beds.
7 Along one section of the river, rocks were patterned with white lichens. At least I think these are lichens.
8 This plant, bedded down in the moss covering a rock, will have a short life. But what a pretty one.
Lovely pictures, my friend – and crinoids are very familiar to me, from my fossil collecting boyhood. A 🙂
November 19, 2019 at 4:16 AM
Thank you, Adrian. I keep hoping to find more than a short cross section of the stalk. A full crinoid would be nice . . .
November 19, 2019 at 3:40 PM
Full crinoids are rarer than the single stem ossicles because the organisms tended to break up in most cases after death.
November 20, 2019 at 10:17 AM
Oh. Thanks, Adrian. I wondered.
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November 20, 2019 at 5:15 PM
Thanks for the term nurse log and for the link to the article about crinoids. What fascinating creatures—and I never get tired of seeing Ernst Haeckel’s intricate drawings.
I often have the same reaction as you in nature: I see something interesting but don’t know what it is or what caused it.
November 19, 2019 at 8:52 AM
That’s part of the fun, isn’t it, Steve: finding something you don’t understand. And then it’s even more fun if you can find an answer. I just learned the term nurse log a year or two ago. It never occured to me that there would be a term for what I’d observed many times.
November 19, 2019 at 3:46 PM
I share your interest in rocks, too. Wonderful subjects and they usually sit pretty still for photos. #5 is gorgeous and unusual.
November 19, 2019 at 2:14 PM
When people ask me what I photograph, I usually say, “Things that don’t move.” Rocks are pretty good at that, I agree. As for #5, I was baffled as to why that smaller piece of shale would be dry. How did it come to lie atop the wet shale? Alas, the answer is not Google-able. I think it may have moved there somehow from a drier area, but how? Why?
November 19, 2019 at 3:52 PM
That first image is really glorious: Nature’s stained glass window. — Larry Porter
November 19, 2019 at 8:04 PM
Thank you, Larry. I never quite know what I’m going to get when I photograph the surface of moving water in a river or pond. This was a pleasant surprise.
November 19, 2019 at 9:35 PM
I enjoyed this. 🙂 A nurse log – we have them all over the place here, and stumps, etc. This one is lovely for the way it’s growing flowers, plus an assortment of other plants. I’m really glad to see more of the shale – I don’t see it much at all here, and you make great photos of it. #5 could be an all-time favorite – wow, wow, wow! The real made unreal. 🙂 The little guy on the moss is charming, and I agree about the lichens – seems that what they must be. And there’s something about the fallen leaves in all the phtos that is beautiful – they seem so graceful.
November 21, 2019 at 6:57 PM
Oh, yes, the nurse logs, etc., of Washington that you have photographed are really dramatic and beautiful. Glad you like this little modest one. I love shale, and the shale in #5 was such a surprise. I think if I’d thought of moving a dry rock on top of wet, I might have done it, but what a treat to discover that nature or someone else did it for me.Thanks as always, Lynn.
November 22, 2019 at 5:37 PM
I couldn’t een tell from the photo that is was “just” a rock that wasn’t wet like those around it. Go figure! 😉
November 24, 2019 at 2:00 PM
Well, now, I hope I was right in my deduction. Even if I were able to go back and look again, the top rock would probably be somewhere else.
November 24, 2019 at 8:34 PM