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Worlds Within Worlds


It being very hot and muggy today it decided to check out the microscopic goings on in one of the ponds. After dipping a paper cup into the water I proceeded to return into the house and sit-down by my nice cool microscope with a nice cool glass of scotch on the rocks…sip…sip. A few drops of water and material on a well slide was all it took to get going on this micro safari so lets see what we’ve got here…

What we see here are two mainstays and essentials for pond life. They are filamentous algae which provides oxygen to the pond and food for tadpoles and fish and the good old Ostracod, a crustacean, which is part of the basic food chain for fish, tadpoles, hydra, insects and other small pond life. They are also known as “seed shrimps”.

Moving on…WAIT! WHAT IS THIS?!
It’s my old friend the crosseyed worm who goes by the name of Planaria. The Planarians are very simple flatworms and very common in ponds and the oceans. It is not only my old friend but is an old friend to anyone who has taken biology 101 in high school or college. It is a very talented organism and has contributed greatly to the many facets of biological research and instruction.

Well I hope that you have enjoyed our little pond safari, I know that I did….sip…sip…HIC!

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That's fascinating - worlds within worlds within worlds. Even within the cytoplasm a universe awaits.

31 Jul, 2016


You are so right about that Bath. Schools out for the summer? Not really. For those of you with children or grandchildren the living school of nature is in session. Just for a child to learn a bit about the three life forms that I have presented here during the summer school recess will have them far ahead of their other classmates upon return to school. Don't believe me? Check it out for yourselves....if I were to chose just one it would be the cross eyed Planarian, what a fascinating creature it is! It's simplicity belies its complexity.
For those of you into microimagery, I used my digital microscope at about 200x with the sample placed in a well slide secured to a mechanical stage and made a video of the whole observation. Since the Ostracods and Planarians are speed racers I played the video and froze the frames that gave me good images of the subjects. I then lifted those single frames out of the video and placed them in my photoshop for cropping and pixel reduction so I could post them on my blog. Back in the old days PPC (pre PC ) I had to slow things down by cooling the slide in the fridge a bit for a photoshoot in dark field illumiation.

31 Jul, 2016


Fascinating blog Loosestrife , strange as I've been clearing a cupboard and found an old microscope from when I was a child , I'll be keeping it now sure it'll come in very useful for amusing our soon to be grandchild in years to come :-)
Love the crosseyed worm , amazing pictures !

31 Jul, 2016


Clever stuff. I just love that cross eyed Planaria! Looks like a little ghost doesn't it? You obviously need a sophisticated microscope to get pics like that - Wonderful.

31 Jul, 2016


Blimey..all above my head! But fascinating nonetheless!In the bottom pic, the cross eyed worm looks like he had some of your scotch or swam into the rocks!!

31 Jul, 2016



31 Jul, 2016


Fascinating aren't they ... it takes me back to my school days - most of which I'd rather forget, but not the biology lessons :)

31 Jul, 2016


still look at drops of water with awe. this sort of thing got me into my biology career.
still love it.
did you find any paramecium? they are amazing to watch especially their cilia, better to use phase contrast to see. them beating.

mother nature is amazing.

your images are excellent

3 Aug, 2016


Yes I did Seaburngirl but in a small number. This sample was taken directly out of the pond. For greater numbers of paramecium I would take a jar and let that sample stand in that for a couple of days. The most diverse samples come from dipping a bucket into the local natural pond mud , plants and all and pouring it into a 5 gallon fish tank. What one sees after a few days of settling is amazing. Also, no need for dark field I have found out. I can do either optic or photoshop staining. Once I give it a try I'll do a blog on it.

3 Aug, 2016


I'll look forward to that :o)

4 Aug, 2016

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