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.

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Rocks covered with algae during the Marine Ecology Intertidal field trip.
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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!

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

 

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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.

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Photo courtesy Susan Lim. I am scrubbing rocks with a bottle brush and adding the result to a slide.
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Photo courtesy Susan Lim. Preparing the slides after scrubbing the rock.
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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:

 

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Susan trying to take pictures of my wet mounts.

 

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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!

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

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

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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!

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Susan busy taking photos of marine specimens.

 

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