MICSCAPE - Exploring the miniature world

Issue 306 : September 2021 (ISSN 1365 - 070x)      Monthly, next issue October 13th 2021.

'Edmond's Marsh at drain'.
One of the selected habitats for study.
Image by Mary Tiffany.


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Micscape Contacts
Micscape Editor:
David Walker
Email: micscape AT ntlworld DOT com

Please do not contact the above for image permissions. Each article contributor retains the copyright to their material so should be contacted directly via the link in the relevant article. Thank you.

Comments on Micscape and contributions welcomed.
Contributions: Any modern format welcomed i.e. pdf. doc/docx with embedded images, or html + jpegs.

Microorganisms: The foundation of aquatic ecosystems in a Northwest U.S. city's parks: A snapshot of the invisible world. Part 1: Introduction, location and methods and materials - David B. Richman (US) and Mary Ann Tiffany (US) begin a series on exploring the micro flora and fauna of selected local marine and freshwater habitats. PDF

Ugh!... - Christian Autotte (Canada) illustrates how the most unappealing freshwater habitats may offer plenty of microscopic life of interest. PDF

What is growing in my toilet? - Bill Resch (Canada) investigates the black deposits growing in an unused toilet in his basement. PDF.

A matter of taste. Part 2 - Richard L. Howey (USA) shares a second gallery of crystals photographed with crossed polars using materials found around the home.

Note on 'diatom dotting' at low magnifications. Resolving Stauroneis phoenicenteron - David Walker (UK) illustrates that stretching a low mag objective's performance by resolving suitable diatoms can be instructive.

From the Archives. A quiet issue so a full October 2011 edition from ten years ago is offered below.

A roll top microscope desk - Jay Phillips (USA) describes and illustrates an elegant and practical design for the microscopist. (In Acrobat pdf format.)

Stamps and microscopes - Fritz Schulze (Canada) presents a selection of attractive stamps with a microscopy theme. (In Acrobat pdf format.)

How to find tardigrades - Mike Shaw (USA) shares an illustrated introduction on how to find, collect and study these fascinating invertebrates from a range of habitats.

The great age of the Taschenmikroskop, part 4 - R Jordan Kreindler (USA) and Yuval Goren (Israel) present the final part of their series on selected designs of pocket microscopes with a modern assessment of their use. (In Acrobat® pdf format.)

A close-up view of spiked speedwell - Brian Johnston (Canada) illustrates the macro and microscopic features of this plant.

Henry Pocklington 1842 - 1913 - Brian Stevenson (USA) shares a detailed investigation of this slide mounter's life and work and identifies him as the maker of previously unattributed papered slides of a distinctive style. (In Acrobat pdf format.)

William Barwell Turner (1845 – 1917): life, research and business in Leeds - [the now sadly late, Sep. 11] Peter Paisley (Australia) continues his in-depth study of the fascinating life and work of this mounter who had a working background in the brewing industry. (In doc file format.)

Metallic flies in need of identification. Part 2. Close-up - Anthony Thomas (Canada) studies a species of blowfly for identification; illustrated with striking photographs taken using a macro set-up and stacking techniques. (In Acrobat® pdf format.)

A halloween vignette - Manuel del Cerro (Canada) shares an image with notes of a spider providing life after death for another organism.

Examining 120 year old Zeiss apochromats - Fritz Schulze (Canada) illustrates the potential problems with the objectives of old microscopes. (In Acrobat pdf format.)

A macro 35mm slide copier To DX digital format from scratch. Plus the modification an old 35 mm film copier for DX digital format - Paul James (UK) shares useful designs based around a Sony NEX digital camera.

The inner epidermis of the onion bulb’s cataphylls (the onion skin). Staining with acetified lugol-iodine and blue 1 - [the now sadly late, Sep. 11] Walter Dioni (Mexico) continues his series on this popular subject; in this part he tries different staining protocols to capture cytoplasmic streaming structures in a prepared slide. Includes an excellent HD video clip of streaming in a live onion cell. 

An eccentric amateur naturalist's dream vacation - Richard Howey (USA) describes and illustrates organisms from a variety of habitats he would study on vacation. 

A close-up view of white viper's bugloss - Brian Johnston (Canada) illustrates the macro and micro features of this attractive plant.

Arrowroot - [the now sadly late, Sep. 11] Peter Paisley (Australia) shares a 'piece of speculative whimsy' on a prepared slide subject often seen in old slide collections. (In doc file format.)

    In Focus: The Micscape Ed. is currently enjoying the Kindle version (£23) of 'The Amazing World of Diatoms' pub. 2020 by Idei, Sato and Mann. Hardback £88. Bilingual in Japanese and English. A review of it by Anrich Kock on the ISDR site is below. From major bookshops. Stunning images mainly SEM with an engaging text describing many aspects of the group.

    Book review: The Amazing World of Diatoms - International Society for Diatom Research (isdr.org)

    We are delighted to receive contributions small or large from microscopy enthusiasts whether a novice or expert. If you have an image, tip or article, why not share it, this magazine is what you make it!


Look for that elusive article on our site:
Micscape Magazine past issues online
(read articles online using the original illustrated index for each month).
Article Library (browse articles by category)
Automated Search (a search engine for keyword searches in all articles)
Contributor index (a list of all Micscape contributors to date)
News - special notices - misc.

External links. Updated April 2020. Below are some of our favourites, which includes sites with extensive links and/or resources for the optical microscopy enthusiast.

External Microscopy forums: Places to discuss the hobby or to raise queries.
forums, galleries, articles on macroscopy and photomicrography.

groups.io (formerly Yahoo groups):
Amateur Microscopy
Diatom Forum
Microscopy as a hobby or profession
Wild Microscopes

Facebook groups:
Amateur Microscopy (>21000 members, very active). Also specialist groups e.g. for users of given maker's microscopes (e.g. Zeiss, Olympus, Wild, Vickers). Also try a Facebook Group search with keywords like microscope or microscopy to find these.

Microbe hunter the website ably run by Oliver Kim has built up a popular and valuable forum with help for both the beginner and more advanced user.

'Forum for marine, freshwater and terrestrial algae'. Access to Archives possible for non-subscribers.
Diatom-L 'Research on the diatom algae.' Access to Archives for subscribers only. Link was current March 2016. Many online diatom resources point to an outdated Indiana Univ. listserver. (With thanks to Rob Kimmich for the current link.)

Mikroskopie-Treff.de (Extensive German microscopy forum; some English categories.)
Mikrobiologische Vereinigung München e. V. Wide range of articles and resources in German.
Le Naturaliste French based forum and image gallery for micro / macro but open to non French speaking international contributors.

Other sites (also see Societies and Clubs page.)
Royal Microscopy Society Journal, 'infocus' and other resources for members and the community.
Quekett Microscopical Club Journal, Bulletin and meetings for members.
Light Microscopy Forum links and articles
Little Imp Publications public domain books collated by Steve Gill formerly on CD and now free on Micscape.
Mikroskop Museum German website with resources on microscopes / makers .
Molecular Expressions awesome optical microscopy resources
Dennis Kunkel's SEM images stunning images
Diatoms Ireland - resource site by Leszek Wolnik
Leitz museum an illustrated resource compiled by Robert Allen
Microbe hunter microscopy enthusiast website, forum and magazine edited by Oliver Kim
Microscopies online magazine and Forum for French speakers
Micrographia articles, projects for the enthusiast
Microscopy Today
journal with online archive
Modern Microscopy
online journal by McCrone Group
Fun Science Gallery projects, articles on optics in English and Italian.
Independent Generation of Research (IGoR) - Wiki style resource for citizen scientists to share their work.
Lens On Leeuwenhoek - extensive resource online by Douglas Anderson
Collected Letters of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek ('Alle de Brieven ..') transcribed and free online at DBNL.
A Cabinet of Curiosities a resource on Victorian microscope slides by Howard Lynk
Klaus Kemp's 'Diatoms' website - offers regional strews and arranged prepared slides of diatoms, an 8 form test slide, radiolaria, insect scales etc and prepares arranged slides on commission.
'Diatoms Ireland' resource by Leszek Wolnik
Historical makers of microscopes and microscope slides Brian Stevenson's extensive resource .
Victorian slide makers
Cambridge rocking microtome resources including manual
www.willemsmicroscope.com Dutch enthusiast Willem Cramer's website
David Jackson's Better Microscopy blog. Regularly updated free resources extending from his 'Better Microscopy' series of books.
Stefano Barone's Diatom Shop
sale of his own prepared and arranged slides of diatoms, radiolaria, forams and scales.
www.testslides.com website devoted to Stefano Barone's Diatom Lab test slides.
Darwin Biological a UK company for 'biological education' supplies. Including live cultures of protozoa and algae.
Microscopie van de Natuur Dutch microscopy resource site by Rolf Vossen.

parent site coordinator:
Maurice Smith

Microscopy-UK and Micscape - established 1995
Micscape is a free magazine for enthusiasts funded by Microscopy-UK and dedicated to non-commercial microscopy.
© Onview.net Ltd, Microscopy-UK, and all contributors 1995 onwards. All rights reserved. Main site is at www.microscopy-uk.org.uk