Bob Belas Photography Blog

A single blade of grass...

Grass Spikelet

What one can see when one only looks deeply. Since I was a child, nature has always drawn me to it and fascinated me with its beauty, majesty, splendor, and complexity. I often see these qualities when examining flora and fauna up close in macrophotographs. Take for example, if you will, a grass spikelet. (Didn't know what a spikelet was? Me neither; I had to search out the name.) I photographed this one on a recent trip to the Gunpowder River in upper Baltimore County. The day was typical of autumn in Maryland: warm, light breeze, and plenty of life in the meadow near the river. This particular spikelet was one of hundreds (if not thousands) I saw that day, nothing special at first glance. But look closely at it and you quickly realize that it is home to other creatures: approximately a third of the way from the stem on the lower bend is a tiny spider web. Look closer and you will see the webbing on the spikes too. For reference, this spikelet could not have been more than an inch or so long. So that spider is quite minute. I would bet there are countless other small creatures, that are living in this niche, not to think of the myriad of microbes on and in it. Nature is cool.

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