This photograph is of a sample from the Caltech turtle pond, which was taken on the afternoon of Monday, April 8. The sample was obtained by filling a small container with pond water and pipetting several drops of the pond water onto a sample slide. The object of interest is in the lower-middle portion of the photograph, slightly left of center.
The object is mostly transparent, which implies it isn’t dirt, and it doesn’t have jagged, angular edges, meaning it isn’t a chip in the glass slide.
How can we determine if the object is still alive? We could observe it for a longer period of time to see if the object moves across the slide at all. Alternatively, we could transfer the sample to a proper microscope with higher magnification and look for signs of complex life like organelles.
There is an out-of-focus object on the slide directly to the left of the object of interest, which appears to have some color, rather than being more-or-less greyscale. One way to find out what that is would be to put the slide into a more powerful microscope to examine it more closely.