By Richard Headstrom
Sincerely written advisor to watching and learning flora and grasses, fish scales, moth and bug wings, egg situations, buds, feathers, seeds, leaf scars, moss, molds, ferns, universal crystals, etc.—all with a normal, low-cost magnifying glass. 209 special line drawings relief on your discoveries.
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Extra resources for Adventures with a Hand Lens
But I will let you discover all this for yourself. As you become better acquainted with the lichens, I think you will become fascinated, too, with the many curious names that have been given to them. Old Man’s Beard, the Dog Peltigera, the Crumpled Bat’s Wing, and the Mustard Seed are only a few. They are all well named, too, as you will observe when you find them. The most interesting of all the lichens is, perhaps, the Rock Tripe. With every change in humidity the lichen curls and uncurls, writhes and twists, alternately covering the rock on which it grows with a green and black coating.
Unlike the alder, the pussy willow is dioecious, that is, the staminate and pistillate catkins occur on separate plants. Thus it will be necessary for us to locate two separate pussy willows, but this should not be difficult, since the plant is common and abundant. We can easily recognize the staminate plant because the catkins are profusely covered with yellow pollen. When we examine the flowers with our lens, we find that they each have two stamens (Figure 31). Figure 32 PlSTlLlAtE FLOWER OF PUSSY WILLOW Figure 33 STAMINATE FLOWER OF ASPEN 50 Now let us examine a pistillate catkin, which we can identify by the absence of the yellow pollen and by the very shape of the flowers themselves.
Almost any flat or ruffled and rootless growth of almost any color is likely to be a lichen, particularly if it bears flattened dish-shaped or saucer-shaped colored disks or cushions or if it branches like a coral or if it hangs like fringes from the branches of a tree. tht:ir best in spring and fall or even in the winter, for they like moisture and in the dry atmosphere of summer tend to dry out. In the summer, too, many of them are hidden by the foliage and other leafy vegetation and sometimes are rather difficult to find.
Adventures with a Hand Lens by Richard Headstrom