Happy Earth Day!

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than with a Foldscope?

Earth Day is a modern environmental movement started in the 1970s with the mission to diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide.

A unique feature of the Foldscope is the ability to observe certain samples “in-situ” without causing damage. (See the Microcosmos post explaining this technique). In honor of Earth Day, we decided to visualize all of our plant samples without picking them and without damaging the plant.

Foldscope clipped onto a leaf

Foldscope clipped onto a leaf

 

Our first specimen is this large bushy fern right outside our office.

Woodwardia fimbriata, Giant Chain Fern

Woodwardia fimbriata, Giant Chain Fern

Pictured below is one of the leaves under a Foldscope.

The dark half circle pictured on the top left is the edge of a sporangia which encases many spores.

The dark half circle pictured on the top left is the edge of a sporangia which encases many spores.

 

We stumbled upon this small plant with distinctive green and white tipped leaves.

Euonymus japonicus

Euonymus japonicus

 

Next is this stunning red/orange flower with bright yellow pollen.

Natal lily

Natal lily

Here, under the Foldscope, the cells look more orange than they do red.

Natal petal cells

Natal petal cells

For the pollen, we prepared our own slide (watch our tutorial about how to prepare your own slide).

Pollen at ~140X

Pollen at ~140X

The same pollen, at a much higher magnification.

Pollen at ~1400X

Pollen at ~1400X

There are many more specimens you can observe with your Foldscope. Celebrate Earth Day by using your Foldscope to gain a new perspective on the microscopic world around you! Share your discoveries with us on our community page, Microcosmos.