Creatures of Stow Lake

It’s beautiful to go to Stow Lake, in San Francisco’s golden gate park, in the early morning. The mist is often thick and troupes of ducks idle at the waters edge. This morning I went to Stow lake to collect samples for my foldscope. I am a new foldscope user and hadn’t yet successfully mounted a living sample from pond water, so this was my goal.

It took me a little bit of fiddling to get a mounting technique I was happy with. In summary, I

  1. Put two strips of double sided tape on a glass slide parallel to one another
  2. Placed two drops of pond water between the landing strips of tape (making sure to put in drops with some gunk to help me focus)
  3. Placed an 18×18 coverslip on top
  4. Secured two sides of the coverslip down with scotch tape (this was key for me as I first used nail polish but by the time the nail polish had dried I wasn’t seeing anything living. If I tried to view before the nail polish dried it was a big mess and the coverslip often dislodged)

Once I got my technique down, the results were amazing! I quickly became addicted to mounting drop after drop looking for new creatures. I will go more into depth on classification and behavior later but below are my first findings.

I will also try to find stentor in this lake also, as I know that UCSF prof Wallace Marshall collects these here for his research!

One Comment Add yours

  1. laksiyer says:

    @Max, thats quite an array . Some are clearly ciliates. Dont forget to try the table-lamp light trick. https://microcosmos.foldscope.com/?p=16093

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