This is the "top" or "umbrella" of a marine algae known as Acetabularia and this "ubrella" sits on a long stalk. The entire organism including the stalk consists of a single cell.
This magnifent creature is an Atlas moth native to Southeast Asia. It has a wing span of 10 to 12 inches.
This formidable looking fellow is a stag beetle and is about 5 inches long.
At first glance, this almost looks like some sort of strange bird. In fact, it is one of five jaw parts of a sand dollar.
These bizarre crystals are a mixture of the old-fashioned remedy for upset stomach, Bromoseltzer, and a biological stain known as Rhodamine B.
This splendid crystal "egret" is also the result of mixing Bromoseltzer and Rhodamine B.
If you poke around ponds, you'll eventually come across either this cladoceran or one of its relatives, like Daphnia. Here you can see the eyespots, the intestine, and when its alive, you can observe its heart pumping.
Amazingly, this shell was built by a marine amoeba called a foraminiferan (or foram, for short). There are literally thousands of varieties and shapes of such amoeba shells.
This is a cross section of a foram shell of a different species and one which relatively large. Here you can see the inner chambers which create a marvelous spiral.
This little gnat is tens of millions of years old and has been preserved in a piece of amber.
This alien-looking creature is a sea urchin with spines which have been modified in a highly unusual way.
This is not a starfish you would want to sit on accidentally. The spines are a bright red color when it is alive and the lenth (tip to tip) of this specimen is 10 inches.
Although this looks like a crevasse in the Arctic wastelands, it is a mixture of Ascorbic acid, Copper sulfate, and a biological stain called Orange G.
Take a very small cornstalk, cut a thin section, stain it with Carmine, and look at it under polarized light and this is what you'll see.
For those of you who like to cook and/or bake and enjoy the playfulness of the paintings of the Swiss artist Paul Klee, this image and the next three are for you. These are crystals of Cream of Tartar.
Cream of Tartar crystals
Cream of Tartar crystals
Cream of Tartar mixed with a bit of the biological stain Orange G.
If you're having problems with algae in your ranch pond, you might want to add a bit of Copper sulfate, but in very controlled amounts, since it is poisonous.
These extraordinary textures are from a section of a hummingbird wing. This image was taken from a 19th Century slide. It is now illegal to possess hummingbird feathers.
A fossil Verbena stem taken under polarized light.
If your feet hurt you might soak them in a solution of Magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salts). I've added a bit of Eosin Y to this mixture. It is the stain that has that peculiar dichroic property of appearing pink at a certain angle of illumination and greenish at other angles. It is commonly found in Mercurochrome solutions.
The same mixture as above on another slide and yet radically different results. Nature is full of surprises.
When you are tired and want to give your skin a treat, you can soak in a solution of these bath salts.
CONTACT: All of the images are copyrighted by Richard L. Howey and may not be used without written permission.