The adventures of a toy-microscopist (Part 2)

Microscoper? Microscopedist? Microscopist?

  • Microscopist –  a scientist who specializes in research with the use of microscopes.

Well strictly speaking, I shouldn’t be calling myself a microscopist, as I’m not a specialist in the field, but I have the feeling I’m really starting to get the hang of it when we speak strictly toy-handheld-microscopes. Narrow field it is, but as Miss Dolly Parton once said:

You gotta keep trying to find your niche and trying to fit into whatever slot that’s left for you or to make one of your own.

(Is it weird to quote Dolly Parton in a science blog? Not really since Dolly the sheep was named after the singer, and I loved Dolly so…. Rambling!)

Anyhow, as I biologist I always found microscopy of biological objects to be most fascinating. There are so many tiny details of all living things worth seeing that I can’t imagine why, if I have any type of microscope, wouldn’t I set out to snap micro-pics of plants, bugs and the like.

So here are few “waste” materials from the plants on my balcony. This all comes from my beautiful dahlias (or at least I was told that’s what I’m buying 😀 ) – few anthers, a leaf, a petal and a tiny little bit of pot soil.

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To put it simply, the anthers are the sexy-parts of many plants and the pollen – the genetic-currency they use.

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The edge of the leaf with visible trichomes

The trichomes are the little (in this case) cotton-like transparent hairs on the surface of many plants’ leaves. They have a million and one different functions in different plants, but in dahlias, they are thought to serve for stickiness and sometimes contain irritant compounds for protection.

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A slightly wrinkled petal
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A spec of soil from the pot of the same plant. No creepy crawlies in this shot – a little disappointing… 😦

Some salt crystals are visible in the soil and a bunch of unidentified (probably biological) remains – these pots have seen the change of quite a few plants by now.

I already have few cool pics of non-biological things, but this will be for another post. I hope you like the photos!


The Featured image is by photo artist Pavel Maltsev found here.

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