Saturday, June 28, 2008

Invisible Garden World

On every stem, on every leaf...and at the root of everything that grew, was a professional specialist in the shape of grub, caterpillar, aphis, or other expert, whose business it was to devour that particular part.

~Oliver Wendell Holmes


When I was sizing this photo for my blog entry, I saw a tiny translucent insect of some sort on one of the leaves of this Senecio ficoides. The yellowish insect is to the left of the bud. I went out and inpected the plant closely, and could not see any bugs. I took a couple more photos, looked at them full screen, there they were, dozens of them crawling around on the plant leaves! I don't have the best eyesight, but I didn't think it was so bad that I could miss them. It's that they are absolutely minuscule. I'm not sure if they are damaging the plant, so I just left them alone.

This has happened often when I take extreme close-ups. I don't see anything in the lens, but when looking at the photos full size, I've seen insects, new buds or leaves, scars, mineral deposits, debris, and plant exudations. It's really amazing what's going on in the garden out of view of the naked eye. Every now and then, I put on my husband's OptiVisor (a 10X magnifier designed for jewelers) and go out to the garden to check things out. I blink, and I'm in whole new world!

6 comments:

WiseAcre said...

I hear ya. If it wasn't for my camera I'd never see a lot of things. While getting older has it's rewards it also has it's drawbacks. Even discounting the fading eyesight there are so many flowers that need blowing up to see the details.

Barbara said...

Isn't it wonderful to get this special feeling of being in a whole new and different world, when looking a bit closer. As you, I'm often astonished to see details on my PC screen which I almost haven't noticed when taking the picture. This is one of the good things of modern and always improving techniques..

nikkipolani said...

What I usually miss isn't nearly as exciting as your interesting yellow bugs. I miss things like floating cat hair or spider's webs...

Julie said...

What a great idea to take a magnifier out into the garden! I may try this at the first sign of cool air!!! (Maybe by Oct. 31) LOL

kate said...

That's what I enjoy about taking photographs - the things that I miss seeing when I'm just looking. If I wasn't so stubborn, I'd start using my reading glasses and might notice more.

My experiences tend to be like NikkiPolani's = except substitute dog hair for cat hair.

Ottawa Gardener said...

I quite like that quote and I guess for every specialist devourer is a one peering over their shoulder ready to make them supper. So life goes on in the garden. I try to remind myself of that before fearing the death of my plants