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Slime mold on tree

One of the things I love about teaching Science in this part of the world is the opportunity to observe the marvelous creatures in the world around us.  Just this morning my students collected a slime mold of a tree and then looked at what they found under the microscope. 

slime mold - up close

We saw as we expected the mass of cells that make up the body of a slime mold which is not actually a fungus but a Protistan. What we did not expect to find were mites (small arthropods) in all their stages of development from larva to adult.

As  small animals, they have tiny intricate little legs and we could see their internal organs with the bits of food moving through them.  To the naked eye they were simple specks of dirt on the slime mold instead of  moving functioning animals eating their meal.  Their wonders were hidden from view.

Earlier this morning , I and our school receptionist were checking our orchids for flower stalks and suddenly noticed eyes watching us. This little critter does a great job of blending in with his surroundings. This prevents him from being noticed and eaten by larger animals.

brillant green bug "hiding" in plain view

Camoflouge is typical of many living organisms – it allows them to blend in to their surroundings and to survive in locations where they need to hide.  Of course, it only works if they are in the right environment.  This bright green insect would stand out easily if it was sitting on the rusty color soil of this part of Cameroon.

I realize we too, like God’s other creatures, sometimes need to blend in, to hide so that we can be protected.  God tells us we can hide in the shadow of His wings.  At other times we need to be visible and take a stand and be like a peacock spreading its beautiful wings for all to see.  The key is to know when we should hide and when to be visible. 

 May God grant us the wisdom to know.

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