On July 10th I met up with Christian Schwarz and Tony Iwane at Quail Hollow Ranch County Park in Santa Cruz County, CA to do a dry run of what we might find if we did a public event for the community around the microscopic world of the park. The Park itself has some interesting biology with some rare and endangered plants due to sandhill habitats of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Most of our sampling focused in on the pond in the center of the park.
At the edge of the pond I could see some sort of annelid waving around wildly just beneath the surface in groups of 5-10. Using a petri dish I tried to scoop them up which proved to be more difficult then I could have possible imagined. If you have any leads on what this organism is beyond annelid, please help by adding your knowledge to the iNaturalist post for this organism: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/3656725
In pond scoops in the same are a variety of ciliates were fond including this very large, multi segmented ciliate (iNaturalist: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/3659156):
Another smaller ciliate was found interacting with this large ciliate (iNaturalist: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/3659157):
Also so these Phacus swimming around everywhere (iNaturalist: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/3659160 ):
We also some some diatoms:
And checked out some pollen grains from Ludwigia peploides:
Hopefully we’ll have a short weekend course to offer this fall around using Foldscope and some other microscopy techniques to see more of the world around us.