In day 2 of foldscoping, I looked around the house for stuff I could put under the microscope.
Scales of Moth Wings
Here’s what a moth wing looks like under the foldscope 140X lens.
And here’s what you’d see with your naked eye.
The wing in question belonged to this moth. RIP. (Can anyone id the species?)
I also took a few images using the high magnification lens (480X), to get an even closer look. I love that you can see individual scales. I also found a few filament-like strands near the edge of the wing, through which the light shimmers in interesting ways.
Here’s a video where I explore the wing under the 140X lens. This is neat because you can see how the parts all fit together in context. There are these (hollow?) tubes that serve as a structural frame for the wing, supporting it and giving it its rigidity (at least that’s my guess about their function).
Next up, I found some kind of a fungus in some mud in the backyard.
Here’s a closer look where you can see the individual stalks. I think this is probably a rhizopus fungus.
I took a paper slide with a piece of tape on it and gently pressed the fungus to the tape to collect some of it. Here’s what it looks like under the foldscope.
What’s cool is that you can actually see the heads of the fungus (the sporangium) packed with spores.. those are the products of fungal sex. These spores would be carried away by the wind, allowing the fungus to spread. I guess this is also the reason why mold seems to spontaneously generate in rotting food, fungal spores are flying around pretty much everywhere.
Here’s a video of me exploring this fungus under the foldscope (sorry, forgot to tilt the video before uploading).
Let me know what you think, and if this spurs any questions.
It’s just been a few days of playing with the foldscope, but I’m already enjoying the shift in perspective that it helps create. You start to look at everything around you as something that you can zoom into, and you wonder what everyday things would look like on a microscopic level. I’m also enjoying the helpful community of microcosm explorers, enthusiasts, and curious foldscopers who are sharing their images, mods and tips, knowledge and ideas. Keep it coming!