Monday, June 30, 2014

Sulphur Polypore

I found this sulphur polypore during a forest walk. The yellow color has a fascinating high contrast to the old wood.

Laetiporus sulphureus in southern Germany
Laetiporus sulphureus

 sulphur polypore, sulphur shelf, and chicken of the woods macro photo
Laetiporus sulphureus
Linked with Macro Monday.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Birds in Tennenlohe

The forest of Tennenlohe is a nature protected reserve near Nuremberg in southern Germany. Large parts of the area are heathland with shrubs that is kept open with the help of wild horses. The place is good birding area with species like Woodlark, Tree pipit or Red-backed shrike. 

Tree Pipit, Anthus trivialis, in southern Germany
A Tree Pipit.

Goldammer in Tennenlohe
Yellowhammers are always present.

Woodlark in southern Germany

Neuntöter in Tennenlohe
A female Red-backed Shrike.

Neuntöter in Tennenlohe
And a male Red-backed Shrike.

Pieper in Tennenlohe
Another Pipit.

Wild Horses in Tennenlohe
The wild horses, they are only males and come from a zoological garden.

Friday, June 27, 2014

the simple beauty of grass

Some black and white photos of different grasses.

Carex flacca monochrome photography
Carex flacca

Carex flava agg. monochrome photography
Carex flava agg. 

Dactylis glomerata cock's-foot or orchard grass monochrome photography
Dactylis glomerata, cock's-foot or orchard grass.

macro photo of grass in black and white

monochrome photography of grass

black and white photo of a sedge

Linked with The Weekend in Black and White.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Red Squirrel in black

I have seen this pair of squirrels in a park. One is melanistic and the other has also an unusual dark color. They were shy, but also very curious. 

black red squirrel
The black one.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel climbing a tree

Linked with Our World Tuesday and Sweet Shot Tuesday.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Birds of the Lake Tana in Ethiopia

Lake Tana is famous tourist site in Northern Ethiopia and known for the monasteries on the islands of the lake. Beside the cultural highlights, the area is also a good place for birding. The surroundings of the churches and the southern shore, in Bahir Dar where the Hotels are located, have dense vegetation and many old trees close to the water. During the typical one day trip to the islands, it is possible to see 20 or more different bird species. In the parks on the see was many Silvery-cheeked Hornbills and turacos (too far away for my camera) and on the islands a high variety of barbets. Excuse the quality of the photos; I had only a small bridge cam with me.

African pied wagtail at lake tana Ethiopia
An African Pied Wagtail.

 banded barbet at lake tana in ethiopia
Banded Barbet in Bahir Dar.

 double-toothed barbet at lake tana in ethiopia
A Double-toothed Barbet on a island. 

Sun squirrel lake tana ethiopia
A Sun Squirrel.

Silvery-cheeked Hornbill in Bahir Dar
A Silvery-cheeked Hornbill in Bahir Dar.

Silvery-cheeked Hornbill at lake tana in ethiopia

spur-winged goose lake tana ethiopia
A Spur-winged Goose on the sea shore.

Yellow Wagtail lake tana ethiopia
A Yellow Wagtail.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Corn Bunting

I have seen this male Corn Bunting during a walk. He was singing on a fence post and few away into the trees. Corn Buntings are common birds but there population decreases drastically. They can not adapt to industrial agriculture. 

male corn bunting on a fence

corn bunting on a brunch

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Asparagine extracted from lupines

Asparagine is a very common natural amino acid and can be found in asparagus, legumes, nuts, or soy. After an old method (described by Molisch 1913: Die Mikrochemie der Pflanze) it can be extracted with alcohol from lupines that are germinated in darkness. 

lupine close up photo
The results of the test can be seen on the photos. After drying some colorless crystals where formed from the alcohol extract. Under the microscope and in polarized light, they are very colorful and have a high birefringence.

Asparagine under the microscope (magnification 40x and polarized light).
Asparagine under the microscope (magnification 80x and polarized light).

Asparagine under the microscope (magnification 200x and polarized light).

Asparagine crystals
Asparagine under the microscope (magnification 80x and polarized light).

Longhorn Beetles

flying longhorn beetle on a flower

pair of longhorn beetles

Linked with Wordless Wednesday.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A bell pepper operation

On the first view bell pepper looks like a simple fruit, but in detail, the anatomy it offers some surprising structures. I dissected a red bell pepper fruit after line and thread to make photos in macroscopic dimensions or under the microscope.

macro photo of a bell pepper

fruit wall of bell pepper
The fruit wall in back light.

the seed of bell pepper
The seed.

bell pepper seed macro photo

The view through a microscope:

epidermis cell of bell pepper under the microscope
Epidermis cells.

endocarp cells of bell pepper under the microscope
The cells of the endocarp (inner wall) have thick meandering cell walls.

epidermis cells of bell pepper under the microscope
Another sample of epidermis cells. 

steam of bell pepper under the microscope
Steam cross section with stained cell walls (Etzold Staining Solution made of Astra Blue, Fuchsine and Safranin).

bell pepper fruit wall under the microscope
Section through the fruit wall, the small red dots are the chromoplasts that produce the red color, the upper part of the photo is the epidermis of the fruit.

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