certainly appearing to be a pile of gemstones, this is actually a extreme closeup shot of a flower anther. within the middle of a gladiolus flower, you'll find four long and narrow stems protruding from the center of each bloom. three of these have a tiny banana-shaped pod (anther) on the end, and the remaining one (stigma) has three tiny fingers on the end. if you zoom into the anther, it appears something like a long canoe-like boat heaping full of cargo. zooming in more (and from the side), you can get a clear view of the 'cargo' of cells stacked up in the anther/boat. this photo is a tiny portion of that cargo and each 'gem' is about half the area of a human hair. (check out our "Sea Monster" shot to see the neighboring stigma up close.)
home grown soda bottles? well, not quite. laying across the bottom of the photo is the edge of a daisy's stem, and the 'bottle' is a single hair/fuzz (1/60 of an inch in height) protruding from that stem. daisy plants have bristly stems (in between soft and prickly) so the fuzz has a larger diameter making it more stiff, and as we recently discovered... it's also hollow and uniquely shaped. to add a little colour, we placed a small piece of yellow tractor-feed paper as a background, so that the out-of-focus hole created a nice glow on the horizon.
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