What are they?

These little guys (n' gals) were gathered during the summer months in the dry ponderosa forests near Mackenzie Pass, Oregon. These little subjects are not what attracts your attention to their home, but rather the fluorescent color. The subjects are vegetable, and the image's horizontal dimension is approximately 0.2mm. Clicking on this image will show you a higher resolution image.
If they are not baby PacMen, then I give up!

Wanderers in the forests near Mackenzie Pass can't help but notice the fluorescent green moss (actually a fungus) drooping from the limbs and bark of nearly all of the mature evergreen trees, especially the ponderosa pine. If you look closely, or with a hand lens, little cups with black interiors are noticeable, but only with the aid of the electron microscope are these little guys visible. Karen Wetmore of U.C. Berkeley informs me these are pine pollen.

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updated: 17 January 1997