November 20, 2022
Carrying on from the last post, these are more photographs taken at various locations near or along Ohio’s Vermilion River in 2008. The last nine of the 13 photos in this collection depict films of Leptothrix discophora, a largely benign bacterium that interacts with iron in water. To learn more about L. discophora, you may want to poke around this website, especially the “Links” tab.
1 The Lorain County (Ohio) Metropark’s Schoepfle Garden lies along the Vermilion River. In the park are two ponds. For many years the Back Pond offered reflections of the surrounding trees that varied not only with the seasons but also with the amount and direction of the wind. The park people installed an aerator three or four years ago, and now the surface disturbance is homogenized. Pity.
2 This photograph, the previous one, and the following one were taken of the Back Pond.
4 Mill Hollow, another park along the Vermilion, is where I found these leaves floating on the water.
5 Just one leaf here, on a bed of L. discophora film at Schoepfle Garden.
8 L. discophora film reflected nearby brightly colored autumn trees along the Vermilion at Mill Hollow. The water in this shallow depression about 20 feet long and three feet wide was just covered with the film.
12 The commingling of tree reflections and L. discophora film makes for unusual coloration.
13 The orange color under the surface of the water is an iron oxide produced by L. discophora and/or its cousins. My mentor for all things related to the iron bacteria, Norrie Robbins, says that as many as 50 kinds of mineral-breathing bacteria may live in the Vermilion River.