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View Diary: The Daily Bucket - Long Term Study (81 comments)

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  •  I've had terrible allergies this spring, (9+ / 0-)

    and thought it might be interesting to look at some of the pollens are out there right now. I started with a spent alder catkin; just brought it home, whirled it around in an ounce of water and waited until I could see debris at the bottom of the glass. Then pulled up the debris with a pipette, put it on a slide and took a look under the microscope:

    25 Mar 2014. Red Alder pollen. The Wetland.
    And just to be sure that what I was seeing was really Alder pollen, did a search on Google image and came up with an matching image:
    alder pollen
    posted by Ocean Diver in a diary she wrote on March 9,  2013. Is that cool or what?

    "Sometimes when things are beautiful, I just want to fall down." - begone's 4-year old grandson

    by bwren on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 08:33:54 PM PDT

    •  Yay! The scope is working as you hoped! (8+ / 0-)

      Way cool. I'm so pleased :)))
      I like how you're using the green filter.

      Perhaps we'll see some lake plankton this summer? That would be so fun to compare fresh and salt.

      Alder...argghh. Our nemesis too. Mr O had a terrible time mowing the lawn yesterday, being hardly able to see out of streaming eyes. Mine are scratchy too. Alder is a bad one, and we have a while before it finishes.... :(

      •  How about pond algae from the Wetland? (8+ / 0-)

        I collected some pond water last week and figure on doing the same every couple of weeks over the summer. Mostly detritus so far but there have been some neat self-propelling critters.

        Lake plankton would be fun, too, especially if you could guide me as we compare.

        In any case, it's all utterly new to me.  I have no clue what I'm looking at - that's what's so compelling.

        Allergies - gah! We've not even gotten into conifer pollen yet and I've been waking up in the middle of the night needing to suck on my asthma inhaler.

        "Sometimes when things are beautiful, I just want to fall down." - begone's 4-year old grandson

        by bwren on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 10:08:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wetland critters is a great idea. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, Polly Syllabic, bwren

          It helps to concentrate the water down, or find a spot where stuff has settled or accumulated. Sometimes things get trapped within a mass of detritus or roots so a handful of that swished around in a small amount of the wetland water could free those up. Phytoplankton that doesn't swim will settle to the bottom in a very still sample, which you can carefully pipette up.

          I haven't looked at freshwater samples in quite a while but we have wetlands here too. Let's see what we find and compare!

          Aquatic micro-populations are quite responsive to environmental conditions like light, temp. Valuable  phenology markers I'd think. Those date stamps on your micro photos are a great tool.

          •  Thanks for the tips, OD. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Polly Syllabic

            I took air and water temps when I collected the first sample last week. Will collect again on Monday.

            In the meantime, pollen is way cool stuff. Know your enemy... Seems as if cottonwood pollen is everywhere right now.

            Am just beginning to figure out how to use this new tool. Found the date/time stamp yesterday, and really need to work out a way to standardize how I'm looking at stuff. I may need also to check UW surplus for disposable pipettes, and maybe a micro-centrifuge....

            "Sometimes when things are beautiful, I just want to fall down." - begone's 4-year old grandson

            by bwren on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:38:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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