Friday, April 18, 2008

Family pictures

I like to look at families--
notice the common characteristics between individuals and the traits that define their group.
The shape of a mouth, or the sound of a voice--that immediately identifies them as family.

It amazes me how, in even the youngest, the beginnings of these features become recognizable, long before they're grown.

These embryos in the Little Pond pool are salamanders (Spotted, I think)--with the hint of a tail and gills. In less than a week, they'll hatch into larvae, like the Jeffersons already growing in my tank, and begin their lives feeding in the shallow pool where their parents left these egg masses several weeks ago.

A bluish haze almost makes them seem magical.
And the changes I observe every day, are.

The Jeffersons' gills are now tipped in bright green--collapsing against their dark bodies as they swim and flaring out in the water as they settle in to wait for dinner. They look like tiny lions waiting in the brush, golden eyes glowing--
and act the part.

The Wood frog tadpole behind him glistens with coppery flecks--bumping carelessly along through the algae, grazing here and there.
The salamander, already the solitary hunter, would rather he graze somewhere else.

Suspended and motionless, with his widely-hinged mouth--
waiting for dinner to swim past.

And sprouting brand new front legs!!

If you zoom in on this picture you can see what looks like his spine developing!
I'm such a proud momma.

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Nora said...

Those are amazing pics of the embryos and they are magical looking like you say...I like the last picture when you click on it...really interesting in the smallest details is so fascinating and perfect in every way. You should be proud!!!

Tom said...

Hi Nina
These are amazing pictures.. sheer magic. I can well understand your love and interest in these.. you have certainly got me intersted in them.


Kerri Farley said...

Wow Nina! So fascinating! These shots are absolutely amazing!!!
What a proud mama you should be!!

PS - I posted a dragonfly on my blog today. Could you drop by and see if you can identify it? I would appreciate it!

NCmountainwoman said...

Yes, it truly is magical...the process, the pictures, and the post. Who else could pack so much knowledge in such a lyrical form? We learn so much from you, not the least of which is to stop and look at the small things around us. Thanks, we appreciate it.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Wow, what great pictures.

me ann my camera said...

The egg pictures are absolutely fascinating! Amazing!

Chris said...

What amazing development! They do look magical, it really is a miracle watch these little lives form!

Mary said...

I'm blown away with this. If I had a tank, I'd never leave it and wouldn't get much of anything done. Did you ever pursue a scientific career?

Marvin said...

Such amazing and interesting photos. Congratulations on your offsprings.

robin andrea said...

What incredible photographs, nina. I don't know how you could ever look away. I hope you'll keep documenting like this. It's pure magic.

Chrissy said...

Simply amazing photos.

Crafty Green Poet said...

These photos and the earlier ones of tadpoles, salamanders, frogs and toads are wonderful!

Anonymous said...

OMG . . these are such stunning shots of hatching and up close shots! WOW!

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Island Rambles--It's just so neat to be able to see through at what's developing inside--so many times we only see what is born.

Tom--I'm glad you're enjoying these--I try to space them with other things, but I find I'm always most intrigued by seeing the changes there.

Kerri--and they're right at the water's surface in the pool--what more could I ask for!

ncmountainwoman--I'll repeat Mary's sentiment and encouragement--you should start a blog, too--there's always something other learn from--so many "eyes" can see more when we're all watching.

Lisa and me and my camera--I've never captured the 2 membranes in the eggs before--how cool is that--really only seen when they're milky like this.

Chris--I took others a day later and tails were distinct--and moving!!

Mary--I am a little distracted, yes--but soon eggs will be gone and other things to move onto.--The scientific career?--This is it!

Marvin--I'm very protective of them--must be the maternal instinct--broke up a tangle with a predaceous diving beetle larvae yesterday--with a long-handled fork! I so want them to make it and increase numbers here!

Robin, Chrisss, and crafty green poet--I hope to have more soon--my aim is to be able to tell who's who and so many larval sallies look the same at this stage! Stay tuned!

Monarch--I'm always envious of your bird-in-the-hand shots, I had to get a closer look!

Susan Gets Native said...

Ooooooo! I wanna kiss them all.

They look like minuscule manatees!

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

Amazing pictures, Nina! Crows raided the pond I was watching this spring, so it's great to come here and see yours!

Q said...

Nina I am learning so much from you! Thank you!
These are wonderful!