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Collection of interesting natural things

I took the picture above to see if I could get a good shot of the ocelli - three secondary eyes between the big ones. They are just about visible. Why spanning tree? It's a routing term, from each user's perspective the network looks like a spanning tree - with no loops and only one route to any place. Every user's spanning tree is unique.


Science Posted on Mon, June 18, 2012 20:17:09

Here are a couple of splendid orchids… a bee orchid

and, a real man orchid after I was kindly informed of what they look like and where to find them…

Fire-stick Tree

Science Posted on Thu, June 14, 2012 02:56:38

Last week I pruned a Pencil (or as I now know) Fire-stick Tree Euphorbia tirucalli.

I have a visor attachment on my helmet and as it is a sappy tree, and I was also wearing glasses, sunglasses unfortunately, not the correct safety glassed seen on my colleague in the photo (the ‘roof’ of these spectacles cause them to mist up when exerting yourself as you do when climbing). As you can guess from the photo, some-how, despite my knowledge that the sap was nasty and my precautions, a tiny amount of the milky sap must have flown off the saw, or dripped down as I looked up to my anchor point (it falls almost as heavy rain at first) into my (blue) eye.

It was very painful. Unfortunately I had this in my eye for 23 hours, as I was unable to effectively irrigate with my eye bath on site, and my G.P. only treated it with local anesthetic. On my second visit, the next morning to another doctor, I was sent immediately to hospital and the eye was irrigated with 8 litres of saline solution via a drip and cannulla (and thankfully I was loaded up with pain-killers). On observation there was a lesion on the cornea 6.5mm x 4mm, which affected my vision (this was not the case on my first visit to the Doctor at 3 hours after the incident). (It was also noted that the local anesthetic’Tetracaine’, was not a good treatment as it softens the surface of the eye, facilitating a ‘burn’ irritant.)

Hopefully my eye will make a full recovery, it is still a bit blurred as I write but much better than it was.

I looked into this biological alkali, treated as chemical burn, and far more virulent than any other latex sap I have had in my eye (pruning huge figs you get lots of it) and wonder, it would take a considerable process and energy to produce such a chemical, can it be harvested commercially?

I would gladly drive the harvester!

Ocelli (again)

Science Posted on Wed, June 06, 2012 21:25:21

I can’t stop taking pictures of bee’s heads – here’s another, fine set of ocelli.

The little chap was dead.


Science Posted on Wed, June 06, 2012 21:22:59

Interesting day today with the Box Hill Volunteers, we spotted some interesting orchids… the rare butterfly orchid
and as a bonus extra, a birds nest orchid… this is in full flower and you can see the pollen on the flowers – but it seems devoid of chlorophyll, and apparently derives its energy from a symbiotic relationship with some fungi

I saw this, as yet, unnamed orchid – perhaps a man orchid, but I’m not sure…

and finally… a white Helleborine (Cephalanthera damasonium)

More urchinary

Science Posted on Mon, May 21, 2012 13:27:22

Here’s another fossil urchin I found yesterday. It is embedded in a flint matrix – I chipped off a corner and the flint is continuous through the fossil.

Mason bee

Science Posted on Sun, May 13, 2012 12:25:25

Can clearly see the 3 ocelli on this little bee.


Diary Posted on Sun, May 13, 2012 12:21:56

On the bird table…

Great spotted woodpecker

Science Posted on Sat, May 05, 2012 10:59:05

Likes the fat balls

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