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Imagine my surprise when I first tried to photograph a small cluster of Micraterias cells. I saw them scattered within a field of view, and doing, what I had never seen a one cell organism doing before. Just when I was about to take a picture of this amazing micro stars something very remarkable caught my eye. Being initially in stable photogenic position, the plants glided away from it and suddenly seemed ashamed! My colleague Bill Porter inspired me to begin a conversation with a Micrasterias cell.

“Hi there, wait a moment, I would like to have a chat with you, Miss Micraterias!“ I said abruptly.

“Why not, I can spare a minute.ˮ

“Don't you like being photographed?ˮ

“Oh no! But there is too much light produced by an illuminator!ˮ

“You have no eyes. How do you find your way around?ˮ

“Some times I go up. Other times I go down.The way up and the way down are one and the same. I stole that last line from Heraclitus. I'm doing more with less, so I'll call myself a Zen minimalist if that's OK with youˮ

“Are you bothered by being the slowest organisms in this droplet of water?ˮ I asked, not very politely.

“Do I seem bothered? I think one of your top selling books says ʻThe race is not to the swift…ʼ! I have no time to hurry!ˮ

“Strategy without intelligence will always be a rather hit-and-miss affair!ˮ I protested.

“I think it was Stephen Hawking who said it is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value. I think Mr. Hawking nailed it! We Micrasterias have been here for millions of years now. How long do you think human beings are going to last...?ˮ

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Published on  October 6th, 2017

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