Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dull as ditchwater?

Ditches can be surprisingly interesting, on a microscopic scale. This diatom and filament of Spirogyra came from a ditch beside a disused railway line at Romaldkirk in Teesdale this afternoon. In one of the images you can see a diatom dividing.


  1. Nice work, Greenfingers. Seeing this makes me want to go out and buy a microscope - I am missing so much. Your description of the rotifer reminds me of the giant machines used to dig the channel tunnel.

  2. Fascinating. Keep it coming.
    Have you ever seen any results from the cheepish 'microscopes' which plug in to a USB port? I keep looking at them but would prefer to have the views of someone who has used one first.

  3. Reminds me somewhat of Agatha Christie's `Murder at the Vicarage' when Miss Marple's snotty nephew Raymond sniffs at her village of St Mary Mead as a dull "stagnant pool" and she retorts by pointing out that there is a lot of life in a stagnant pool which you see once you put a drop of water under a microscope.

  4. Thanks for your comments, Midmarsh John. I have borrowed a USB microscope to see how well it performs and have posted a few pictures. It takes a little getting used to but produces similar images to those you might get with a conventional low power dissecting microscope - but the big advantage is that it's as portable as the laptop its linked to and several people can look at the image at once.


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