Seeing the Invisible

Microscopic ”Beasties” from Barr Hammock

The trip to Barr Hammock Preserve revealed further spectacular “wild life” with the help of a microscope to view water samples I cautiously collected while on the hike. There are gators in those waters, but there is so much more. Myriads of microscopic creatures inhabit every drop and could be seen through the microscope cavorting about or simply lying stationary as they live out their tiny lives.

On the upper right, a water mold shows some of its structures with a 400X closeup superimposed. On the upper left, this cluster of microbes, known as volvox, rolled about the field of view dragging the green oval below it around as it went. The middle left organism has filaments radiating away from it like the Sun’s rays and is called a heliozoan. It remained sedate, not moving. Below that the brown organism, a type of dinoflagellate, rolled and swam about actively making photography a challenge.

In contrast, the algae oval in the lower center rotated round and round in a clockwise direction without traveling across the field of view. Finally, the fat little ”ciliate” on the lower right swam about bending, turning, and twisting as it went, contorting into all sorts of shapes, and occasionally swallowing a smaller algae. It was great fun to watch.

Published by eskildoodle1

Retired physician with interests in writing, photography, music, and astronomy. I have written multiple stories of life experiences, travel, and astronomy, and have been playing the ukulele for 10 years. My wife Fairy and I travel frequently to the Pacific Islands of Hawaii, and French Polynesia, and I have learned several of their native-language songs. This blog will be a forum to share experiences with family and friends.

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