They Breathe Iron
Artistic and Scientific Encounters

with an Ancient Life Form

Table of Contents


Foreword, by David W. Orr

A Biogeologist’s Remarks, by Eleanora Robbins

Introduction: Gaze and Wonder

The Science: Some Answers

Chapter One: Colors in the Water
Chapter Two: Geological Beginnings and Biological Developments
Chapter Three: Iron Bacteria in the River
Chapter Four: When and Where You’ll See Them, When and Where You
Chapter Five: Leptothrix discophora: A Multiplicity of Appearances
Chapter Six: Variety in Rusty Deposits
Chapter Seven: Other Bacterially Transformed Substances in the Vermilion River
Chapter Eight: How the Iron Bacteria Compare with Other Living Things
Chapter Nine: Redox Cycles of the Iron Bacteria
Chapter Ten: The Importance of Iron Bacteria

The Art: Some Reflections

Chapter Eleven: My Photography
Chapter Twelve: The River
Chapter Thirteen: More Than Photography
Chapter Fourteen: Larger Issues of Place and Time

The Backstory