My post today is a bit longer than usual but in it I travel an immense distance into the mysterious. I hope you’ll stick with me.
Last year I made a photograph of a lovely little spring flower in my garden:
As I was processing it in software, I noticed the small yellow dot and enlarged it to see what it was.
It looked like pollen but seeing more closely it was clear pollen doesn’t have legs!
I don’t have any idea who this little creature is, perhaps a aphid of some sort! But just naming it is nothing compared to understanding the mystery I’m seeing. I’d bet, given what I do know about the natural world, that there are even smaller creatures living on this one.
Jump from a plant to a planet! Last week millions of people all around our big world cheered the amazing photographs coming back from Pluto. What a feat! To so clearly see an object that for centuries was unknown and for my lifetime was seen as little more than a fuzzy ball—astonishing! Our solar system “enlarged” under our very eyes.
Now let’s get into a time warp. My friend, Oz, a space devotee, sent a series of pictures (I’m sorry I don’t know the original source) that really brings me and our “big” world—and Pluto and the aphid on the flower—all into sharp focus. The first image shows Jupiter on the left. It is more than ten times the size of our Earth. Compare that to the orange Sun and, on the right, the star Sirius.
Whenever I think I know something about the immense mystery of life, I’ll remember this last image in the series and try to relate it back to the first and Pluto and the flower and the aphid and…so on and so forth.
Thanks for enjoying the mystery with me.