The last time that I visited Pt. Piños, I noticed this area of algae covered rocks and the lush beds of sea grass.  I decided that I wanted to return soon to take a closer look.

Rocks covered with algae during the Marine Ecology Intertidal field trip.
Sea grass on the rocks seen on our Marine Ecology Intertidal field trip.



May 16th at 1pm was my chance!  The low tide of 0.91 that day was at 1:52pm.  I messaged my good friend Susan and asked if she would help me take some pictures using my foldscope.  She agreed, so I gathered my supplies and headed over there.  As you can see, it was a beautiful day!

Photo courtesy Susan Lim.
Susan and I ready to get to work!


Supply kit to use the foldscope in the intertidal. Not pictured: The phone!

I wanted to do something different today.  There was a technique in another class that I was aware of and I wanted to try it on the green rocks at this site.  The techniques was to use a toothbrush and scrub the algae off of the rocks in a stream or river.  I figured that it would work in the intertidal as well.  Unfortunately, I could not find a toothbrush to use, but the teaching labs at CSUMB let me use the bottle brushes pictured below.

I went straight for the rocks and started scrubbing a rock and then tried to create a wet mount.

Photo courtesy Susan Lim. I am scrubbing rocks with a bottle brush and adding the result to a slide.
Photo courtesy Susan Lim. Preparing the slides after scrubbing the rock.
Brushes used to make slides of algae found on rocks.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work as well as I had expected (it would have been better with a toothbrush), so I don’t really have any pictures to show for our efforts. except this one:


Susan trying to take pictures of my wet mounts.


Photo courtesy Susan Lim. Barbs and barbules of a gull feather.

We abandoned that idea and found a feather!  You can see the barbs and barbules much better in this photo than you can see with a regular camera and the foldscope.  (See my previous post.)


We also ended up looking at a blade of sea grass mounted on a slide.  The photos turned out better than I had anticipated.   Sea grass is a flowering plant, not an algae and can grow in salt water!

Photo courtesy Susan Lim. A blade of sea grass under magnification.
A blade of sea grass mounted on a slide.
Photo courtesy Susan Lim. The edge of a blade of sea grass.


We developed a good system.  I made the slides and she took the pictures.  Here is my attempt at a cross-section of a blade of Turkish towel algae (Chondracanthus exasperatus).

Materials used to make a cross-section of Turkish towel algae in the field.
Cross-section of Turkish towel algae on a microscope slide.




Here is a photo of the bumps you see on the surface of the blade.

Photo courtesy Susan Lim. This is one of the bumps that appears on the surface of the Turkish Towel algae.

Finally, I would not have been able to complete this post without Susan’s help!  I’m dedicating this post to her!

Susan busy taking photos of marine specimens.


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