Goldenrod seeds

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rjlittlefield
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Goldenrod seeds

Post by rjlittlefield »

The seeds of goldenrod (Solidago sp.) disperse on the wind, like dandelion or milkweed.

The seed heads are not as tidy as those other species, but I think they're both interesting and attractive when you get close enough.

Canon 300D, 80mm Olympus bellows lens at f/8, stacked at 0.0075", 12mm frame width.
Image

The brown things sticking up seem to be left over flower parts. They're just papery husks that come off with the slightest provocation.

The seeds themselves are almost completely hidden from view in the photo above. There are about 20 of them, standing on end, each with its own "parasail" to catch the wind. That's assuming that the seeds ever actually get separated. They seem to be pretty thoroughly interleaved and I'm not sure just what it takes to get them apart!

Here is an individual seed.

38mm Olympus bellows lens at f/5.6, minimal stacking just to cover the seed itself.
Image

You can see that the fibers of the sail are sort of feathered.

Here's what the fibers look like at much higher magnification (about 140X, as shown here).

20X NA 0.40 microscope objective, stacked at 0.0002", cropped, treated with PTLens to remove most of the CA, background cleaned up in Photoshop
Diffuse back lighting with fiber optic illuminator & pingpong balls..

Image

--Rik

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

Nice series of shots here Rik. :D I have tons of these things growing at the edge of the front yard near the woods but have never given them much thought, except for cutting a gall or two open to see what was inside of them, not much this time of year but who knows. :roll:

MacroLuv
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Post by MacroLuv »

Great magnification. :shock:
I can see two brown miniature spots on the middle branch, third photograph. Wonder what it could be? :-k
... or maybe four if I look better.
The meaning of beauty is in sharing with others.

P.S.
Noticing of my "a" and "the" and other grammar
errors are welcome. :D

beetleman
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Post by beetleman »

Excellent series of shots Rik. You did a wonderful job of capturing the beauty of something most people just overlook :smt023
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Thanks for the feedback, guys! I'm pretty pleased with the way these turned out.

Initially I tried shooting the high magnification picture through my microscope, but I couldn't get the lighting right. I tried kludging a darkfield stop into my condenser, but the result ended up kind of "sparkly". (Come to think of it, I've seen a lot of other darkfield shots that had the same effect.) It reminded me of what I've seen with front lighting when the source is too small & not diffused. So I figured maybe I should go back to my macro setup. Dual-fiber illuminator with ping-pong balls near the tips, one on either side of the subject and slightly behind it. I like the way it rendered the transparent fibers. Wonder what else it's good for? :-k

Nikola, good eyes! Short answer is that I can't tell. I still had the specimen mounted, so I put it in my microscope and took a closer look. The brown spots are real. They seem awfully round to be dust (as in broken rock). If I had to guess, I'd say pollen grains, though they're pretty small (around 5-7 microns diameter). See this post over in the micro forum.

--Rik

MacroLuv
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Post by MacroLuv »

I knew it would be challenge for you Rik, so I've willingly reported my observation of those tiny brown spots. :wink: :smt023
The meaning of beauty is in sharing with others.

P.S.
Noticing of my "a" and "the" and other grammar
errors are welcome. :D

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

I figured you were baiting me. :wink:

But it was a good question, and a good excuse to try getting better at microscopy.

Good questions are valuable things! :D

--Rik

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