The Wonderful World of Teensy-weensy Stuff

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My quest for fun is remorseless. I’ve craved a decent microscope since I was a kid. I did, at one time, have one of the cheap toylike devices that are impressive until you take them out of the box and try to see something through them.

I don’t want to look at anything challenging, such as bacteria or viri. I just want to go beyond the magnification I can get with a good camera and a close up lens (what photo geeks call a macro lens).

I found an interesting device on the internet called the DinoLite USB Microscope. The price seemed okay. The sample photos were likewise interesting. The device is very versatile and can be used hand-held in a pinch. It has built-in LED lighting.

It plugs into a USB port. The accompanying software allows you to take photos through it – even movies! The software also allows a great deal of control over the quality of the photo you see on your screen.

Here’s a photo of it sitting next to our computer on our messy desk:

 The DinoLite USB Microscope

When I got home this evening I foraged my garden for an easy test subject. I had to walk only a couple of metres from my veranda to find some fine hibiscus reproductive gear.

After a few minutes spent finding some black velvet and fooling around with the lighting (I used an LED torch for supplementary lighting), I had a decent enough photo of something suitably tiny. Hooray! Here is the business end of a white hibiscus flower:

 Reproductive bits of a white hibiscus flower

The operation of the DinoLite requires a bit of patience. The gooseneck thingy on the stand is wobbly and focusing is difficult to manage. But, WHO CARES? It’s COOL!

Moving in closer and fiddling some more, I managed to make it bigger:

 The pistil of the white hibiscus

How about a red hibiscus?

 The pistil of a red hibiscus

Hmm, it’s all hairy. There are a few bits of pollen sticking to it – just what they’re supposed to do. There’s some serious fertilization going on here. (Rather there was, until I plucked it from the middle of the blossom.)

That pollen is coming from here:

 The stamens of the red hibiscus

Whoa! This is going to be major fun.

I’m eager to try the DinoLite out on marine organisms. In fact, that was my main reason for purchasing it.

I’ll try to restrain myself from flooding the blog with too much science content. The yawn factor could be uncontrollable.

Stay tuned.

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4 Responses to “The Wonderful World of Teensy-weensy Stuff”

  1. Madang - Ples Bilong Mi » Blog Archive » Useless Internet Stuff Says:

    [...] Here’s a tiny Jasmine flower as seen throught the DinoLite USB microscope: [...]

  2. A Little Garden Magic | Madang - Ples Bilong Mi Says:

    [...] rained just before dawn – not unusual this time of year – and this reproductive gear of a hibiscus flower was dripping wet:I have a compulsion to take photos of water droplets. On this Pandanus leaf, you [...]

  3. Two Ravens | Madang - Ples Bilong Mi Says:

    [...] could say the same thing about the bee hovering at the heart of a hibiscus flower, its hind legs fat with [...]

  4. More Nob Nob Mountain Miscellanea | Madang - Ples Bilong Mi Says:

    [...] we actually need, anyway? Here’s a lonely male papaya tree pitifully hoping that some of its pollen will be wafted on the wind to a receptive [...]