ago – remains standing, overlooking creek water that is covered with euglena.
This week's photo was shot along an ancient branch of Silver Creek, west of
Lebanon, Ill., where the stream's surface looks lime green because of a euglena bloom.
Euglena are unique, one-celled organisms that feature traits of both plants and
animals. They have chloroplasts and, just like plants, can produce their own
nutrients through photosynthesis. If they cannot produce enough food, they can
prey on other things, just as animals do. Those other things must be minute or
microscopic, such as amoeba, paramecium and algae. So, are euglena plant life or
animal life? That's still undetermined. Most scientists place them in Kingdom Protista, along with such other microscopic organisms as amoeba and paramecium, and classify them as Phylum Euglenophyta. OK, that's boring, but it's interesting to see euglena
change from green to red, which it can do in minutes. When I was a teenager, and
biology was my favorite academic subject, I reported on a euglena bloom – millions of euglena, as in this photo – covering the surface of a large marsh near Silver Creek; one day the marsh was an expanse of red, from the euglena, and the next day it was bright green. Now, if we could only figure out how to make food or fuel out of euglena!