Label: Plants

February 21, 2014

Earlier this week I posted a photograph of a blade of grass as seen under an electron microscope. The structure of the cells looks like smiley faces. This prompted a number of my readers to wonder how this could be. Or as Josephine from Shanghai put it:

 

I wanted to ask you that why are there smiley faces on the blade of grass and how?

 

It’s simple, Josephine. I told a joke to the blade of grass just before it went under the microscope.

Kidding! 

They really aren’t smiley faces, of course. This is just how a the cellular structure of a blade of grass looks under a microscope. But when we humans see it, based on our own experiences and what we know, we see a smiley face. 

 

I wrote a book called OUT OF SIGHT that is all about amazing things that are too small to be seen by the human eye. The photographs are quite extraordinary and you can see them because the eBook is a free sample book on StarWalk Kids Media - that’s the website for my eBook company. You can try out the book and see lots of these kinds of fascinating microscopic photographs at this link:  Out of Sight. I think you’ll be amazed by what you see!

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(5) Comments  •   Labels: Kids Write, Photography, Photomicrography, Plants   •  Permalink (link to this article)

November 1, 2012

Good morning. It’s Thursday, so it’s time for SeeMore Explorers.

A couple of weeks ago, Seymour Simon and I took a walk up to Bash Bish Falls, the highest waterfall in Massachusetts. As we were walking along the creek, heading up the trail to see the waterfall, we came upon this interesting looking thing growing on the side of a tree. I took photographs from both above and below.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

It looks like a fungus, or maybe a mushroom. I decided to use the SeeMore Explorers Observation Log to try to find out what it is. 

I typed the words "orange brown tree fungus spongy bottom" into Google. The first website that came up in the search was a "Mushroom and Fungus Identifier" on a website called Healthy Home Gardening. This seemed promising. I opened on the website, and started clicking through lists of photos, looking for images that resembled what I had seen.

I soon found several things that looked quite a bit like what I was looking for, and I noticed that all of them had the word "shelf" in their name. I could tell that what I was seeing was either a Shelf Mushroom or a Shelf Fungus.

Back to Google, where I typed in "shelf mushroom" and did a Google image search this time. Sure enough, I found several credible, scientific websites with photographs of shelf mushrooms that looked very much like what I had found.

What interesting things have you seen outdoors lately? You can download your own copy of SeeMore’s observation log here. Fill it out and share it with your friends, your classmates, your teacher or your family. Let people know what interesting things you are seeing, and what a good nature detective you are!

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: SeeMore Explorers, nature, Plants, Observation   •  Permalink (link to this article)

September 20, 2012

It’s Thursday, so it is SeeMore Explorers day! Last week, we used an observation log to try to figure out what kind of animal we were seeing. But some weeks, I just want to go somewhere and enjoy many things I can see. I may not know exactly what they all are, but I can enjoy the experience of being out in nature.

That’s what I did last weekend when I visited the Innisfree Garden, in Dutchess County, outside New York City. Innisfree Garden was created in the hollow surrounding Tyrrel Lake - a large, deep natural lake. The garden keepers pump water from the lake through a huge system of underground pipes, so that there is water everywhere you look in the garden. There are fountains, pools, streams, waterfalls, and sculptures that spout water (you can walk under them on a hot day!).

I walked all the way around Tyrrel Lake, and here’s what I saw:

 

 

A lovely lake full of lily pads, puffy cumulus clouds dotting the blue sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A turtle sunning on a log.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A pink lily flower, one of the last of the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A green frog just before he leaped with a squeak to try to catch a dragonfly (he missed).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A water sculpture shooting streams of droplets into the air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A rotting log, covered with moss, full of life inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A blue heron gingerly wading through the lily pads on delicate, long legs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A mossy path leading to more beautiful sights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My lovely wife Liz, smiling at me.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: SeeMore Explorers, Animals, Seymour Photographs, nature, Water, Plants   •  Permalink (link to this article)

August 16, 2012

 

An old favorite of mine is back in print. Dover Books has just published a new print edition of THE SECRET CLOCKS. In it, I look at all sorts of unexpected animal behaviors and answer questions like: Why do some plants blossom only during the day? How do certain birds know when and where to migrate? And what about humans? Why are some of us "early birds" (like my wife) and other of us "night owls" (like myself).

I always loved this book, and I’m so pleased to see it available again! We will also be publishing a digital edition, with narration, later this year.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, New Books, Plants   •  Permalink (link to this article)