Field of Science

Pond Microforay part 1.5

More pond pictures (part 0.5 is here). The first hour or so was dedicated to putting up with very shitty DIC because some moron decided to 'frobnicate' with the bottom polariser, which is not meant to be touched very often. Luckily, I eventually managed to out-'twiddle' their frobnication and adjust the scope properly. In that first hour I did find some cool stuff, so please excuse the embarassingly shitty image quality. The polariser was misaligned, grrr!

So here's some Difflugia-like amoebozoan. They're amoebae which ingest and secrete random particles to make a test. (sometimes, those can even be diatom valves!)

A random amoeba. Don't expect me to ID amoebae... especially with shitty lightning! (still sore about that, yes!)

Then the slide was drying out, so I decided to add a drop of water.

Everything stopped moving, and finally I got a shot of a euglenid (remember that our camera is painfully sloooow!) By stopped moving, I mean I could even get an awesome shot of a flagellum, and a badly deformed cell (another euglenid):

By now I was confused. I look at the water dropper - it's labelled 50% glycerol. Shit. Who knows what was actually in it, as it induced a diatom to blow up rather impressively:

Somehow I doubt glycerol is supposed to do that. Probably screwed up the osmotic pressure drastically - I'm guessing typically one uses ~10% glycerol to slow things down in microscopy? Anyone know? Plants don't need slowing, so the glycerol there is added to help match the refractive index more than anything else...

Made a fresh slide. First off, Difflugia-like amoeba in mitosis(? or they redistribute test material during division?):

(REALLY sore about the shitty image quality - this would've been so amazing under proper DIC!!!)
Something vaguely looking like an Actinophryid... (although not as vacuolated as it should be, but who knows...)

And what appears to be an abandoned Bicosoecid lorica:

And then I had an encounter with what appears to be a dividing ciliate!

Damn I want my DIC by this point. A ciliate in mitosis - how cool is that!? Grrrr! You could even see the oral ciliature! Can't wait to work on ciliate morphogenesis/development (if they're crazy enough to let me in, that is...)

Speaking of ciliates, the armoured Coleps:

A few random amoeboid things:

Random flagellates: (there were a lot of Cyclidium (ciliate)):

And I really need to brush up on my euglenids!

Being beyond fed up with the lack of DIC, and knowing our scope is actually quite good, I finally twiddled my way to the problematic polariser. Suddenly, life was good again!

"HOLY SHIT, IT ACTUALLY WORKS NAO!" I even allowed some blatant overexposure to creep in... >_>

So here my images actually started to suck less. And more cool stuff was seen. Now that we're all waiting in suspense for marginally acceptable microscopy, I'll call it a day here. Stay tuned for part 2.5: This time with DIC! ^_^

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