Reddish foam

 In the creek we have been exploring, I have shown you the iron oxidizing bacteria. Today I will show you what I found in the reddish foam that is in the creek.

This is the large picture of the foam in the creek.

Closer view!

Closer still! So what is it really? It could be pollution, but it is also caused by natural processes. This creek has the iron oxidizing bacteria which we have already found means the creek is healthy. So this foam, I bet is a natural process. Sometimes when I see it is more cream color but this was more reddish. I figure that must be from the iron, but there could be lots of sources. Decaying matter such as the tannin from trees and other organic matter that has dissolved. The foam is created by gas mixing with some of these impurities in the creek.
Looking under the compound microscope, this is what I saw.

There were lots of this matter. I figure it is something organic but no idea what. There were lots of chains of it. By the time I got home to look at this, it was all in the form of a liquid. No more foam!
I found this guy in the water. Some kind of protozoa. Maybe a ciliate.

Maybe hard to see but I could see movement around the main body so makes me think of “legs”, the hair-like organelles. Maybe you can sorta tell by the paler ring around it.

It was fast and about 35 microns in size.
Insect part.

The leg of an insect.

Not sure what this but looks squished, maybe not. Hard to say for sure.

A Centric diatom. (Just the round thing). The interesting thing about the foam was there was not a lot of diatoms in it.
   While I was sitting at the microscope today, I felt something bite me. 
Amblyomma americanum, The Lone Star Tick, the northeastern water tick, or the turkey tick, or the ”Cricker Tick” are some of the common names. (Wikipedia)

“A hypostome, is a calcified
harpoon-like structure near the mouth area of certain parasitic
arthropods including ticks and mites, that allows them to anchor
themselves firmly in place on a host mammal while sucking blood.” (Source: The hypostomes are the two middle things. The outer structures are the palps that allow the tick to detect an approaching meal. It was kinda convenient that it bit me. I had been meaning to take its photo but just never had gotten around to it. LOL.

A closer look. It has short hairs on palps.

Update on the bluebird nest…now got 5 eggs! The photo is from yesterday when the sun was out. No sun today. I didn’t want to leave you with the tick picture as the last thing you saw :-). 

Keep looking!


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