Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

Visiting the Vermilion

May 8, 2022

Last Saturday my whole fam damily* visited a nearby park on the Vermilion River. It was lovely to share the day and the river with all of them. I am blessed with relatives who not only tolerate but encourage my photographing tendency. Here’s what we saw.

*If this phrase has the ring of a dad joke, there’s a reason for that. My father almost never swore, but he delighted in saying “fam damily.”

1 We hadn’t gone far down the trail before we were inundated with bluebells. These don’t look like bluebells to the Texans among you because they are Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginicarather than Texas bluebells (Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum).

2 The ground was also covered in invasive fig buttercups (Lesser celandine, Ficaria verna). The botanist with us was afraid it had replaced bluebells in the area.

3 This oxbow is a former channel of the river.

4 The Vermilion River proper was just ahead. My daughter beat me to the shore and yelled something right away. “What?,” I yelled back.

5Leptothrix discophora!,” she repeated. Indeed, as the next few photographs show.

6 Here’s a close crop of #5.


8 And a close crop of #7.



11 Some iron oxide, produced by the iron bacteria, rings this patch of a Leptothrix discophora film.


13 This patch is mostly dried out.

14 A close crop of #13

15 With so little evidence of Leptothrix discophora nearby, this patch of iron oxide in the water may signify the presence of other iron-oxidising bacteria.

16 We also saw pollen deposits in the river.

17 David says something else mixed in with the pollen is causing the bubbles shown here.

19 responses

  1. Your daughter has a sharp eye. You can never have too many photos of Leptothrix discophora. These are really nice.


    May 8, 2022 at 4:12 PM

    • Thanks, Ken. You can tell that I agree about never too many photos of Leptothrix discophora. Still, I had a lot more that I didn’t post . . .


      May 8, 2022 at 6:28 PM

  2. It looks like that oxbow is silting up and won’t be long in the world. That’s some heavy-duty pollen; any clue what’s causing the bubbles? That Leptothrix sure looks metallic. As for common names of wildflowers, you’re right that bluebells here in Texas conjures up something quite different from what your lead picture shows.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 8, 2022 at 10:02 PM

    • Even though the oxbow may be silting up, you can see how it still functions to accept some of the flood water by how many little wads of leaves are caught in branches at the sides of the waterway. It’s apparent in the large version (click on the image) on the left side of the image. The only thing I can think of that might be making the bubbles is algae caught up in the pollen froth, or maybe lying just beneath it. But that’s just a guess. I was thinking of you when I posted the bluebells.


      May 9, 2022 at 10:54 AM

      • Now that I’ve looked at #17 again, it reminds me of how bubbles form when a pancake is cooking.


        May 9, 2022 at 1:41 PM

  3. Enjoyed them all; great set!

    Liked by 1 person

    May 9, 2022 at 2:26 AM

  4. Incredibly good as always! The top image could just as easily be by an Impressionist painter. The other photos also have strong painterly qualities.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 9, 2022 at 2:39 AM

  5. I like famdamily and could picture that in my household-of-origin, too. It’s great that your obsession has infected the family. 😉 Happy Mothers Day!! Thanks for starting with the flowers….and those two photos of the river show that quality I was trying to describe in my current post, the fuzzy lime green color that happens when deciduous trees are budding out in April – oh, I love that! I think #7 is my favorite here. I appreciate the way you did a few closer crops and included the iron deposit and the pollen. #15 and 17 are both quite beautiful. It’s a very unique view of the Vermillion and I’m glad you’re out there photographing what you see.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 10, 2022 at 12:19 PM

    • I am so lucky about my family’s tolerance. That fuzzy lime green is around for such a short time; I was especially glad I caught it when I noticed that suddenly everything was green green. There’s a lot going on in #7. Happy to know it wasn’t too much for you. In my experience, it was early to be seeing Leptothrix discophora films. I’m glad to be able to get out and photograph what I see. Thank you, Lynn.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 14, 2022 at 3:13 PM

  6. Lesser celandine is a plague here too although I haven’t seen a swath of it like that which you posted. I enjoyed the Leptothrix discophora images and especially the closeup in number 6 with the prehistoric fossilized dinosaur. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    May 14, 2022 at 2:37 PM

    • Darn, I can’t find the dinosaur. But I’m glad you like the Leptothrix discophora images, Steve. Thanks.


      May 14, 2022 at 3:14 PM

      • Just to the left of center, Linda. Four legs and a long neck. Loosely translated. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        May 14, 2022 at 3:17 PM

        • Um, er, you mean #7. I see her but didn’t realize she was a dinosaur. 😉


          May 14, 2022 at 3:21 PM

          • Oops! I always get lost in the numbers. 🙂 Yes, number 7. Well, it’s open to interpretation. If the back was humped a bit more she could be a turtle.

            Liked by 1 person

            May 14, 2022 at 3:29 PM

  7. George Rogers

    A vicarious river trip, lovely, from Mertensia to bacteria!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 17, 2022 at 11:56 AM

  8. Thanks, George. I’m glad you enjoyed it.


    June 17, 2022 at 1:20 PM

It's a pleasure to read your comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.