Pond, lake, stream and river water (fresh water) microscopy

More microscopy images from pot pond 12/3/2020

Zeiss IM microscope.

Mostly 4x objective, bright field.

These images are of one dead and one live crustacean from my pot pond.




Organism in pond water, probably Vorticella

Zeiss IM35 microscope.

X10 phase long focus objective.

Bright field and phase photos.

Optical setting x1.0x.

Pictures taken with hand held Samsung S7 phone at ocular due to my laptop being busy elsewhere!

My daughter and I think this is Vorticella.


I think this Vorticella as bottom of cell appears to have curled up flagellum at bottom. See below from Patterson, Free living freshwater protozoa:


Microscopy from sample water pond at Beacon Park, Lichfield, 8/4/2020 – H&E staining

I prepared a second slide, this time stained with H&E stain to show up nuclear and cytoplasmic material – as is common with bacterial cultures, all I tend to see is a lot of nuclear material.

x20 and x32 objectives, x1.0-x2.0 Optovar magnifier.

Fixed, stained slide.

I think that almost all the little dots are bacteria!….But don’t worry, this is a highly concentrated sample in a centrifuge.

See also associated post regarding phase contrast microscopy on same sample of pond water from Beacon Park:

Microscopy from sample water pond at Beacon Park, Lichfield, 8/4/2020 – Phase Contrast


Photographs of H&E stained slide – some of the photos are of dark microscopy achieved using phase annulus and phase objectives on H&E stained sections:


Microscopy from sample water pond at Beacon Park, Lichfield, 8/4/2020 – Phase Contrast

Phase contrast, Zeiss IM35 microscope.

Live images.

x20 and x32 objectives, with Optovar magnifier x1.0 – x2.0


See also associated post about H&E stained example from same sample of pond water:

Microscopy from sample water pond at Beacon Park, Lichfield, 8/4/2020 – H&E staining

Phase Contrast Microscopy of live sample of pond water from Beacon Park:


Most of what looks like bits of debris in the slide on still photographs turns out to be alive once you look at it with phase microscopy! Cork-screwing Spirochete bacteria can be seen plus a whole range of other organisms – many are bacteria, others ciliated organisms.


Microscopy of Elodea pond weed, showing chloroplast and organelle movement 10/12/2019

Bright field

Live, unstained/unfixed


Firstly, an explanation about what is happening below:

From https://www.howplantswork.com/2010/04/25/chloroplast-movement-in-plant-cells-stirring-the-pot-avoiding-the-sun/

Movement of chloroplasts around the cell is called cyclosis or cytoplasmic streaming. Other organelles such as mitochondria are also streaming, along with the chloroplasts. This movement is on intracellular tracks called microfilaments, composed of actin proteins. The organelles are attached to the actin filaments by myosin, a motor protein. These proteins transform the chemical energy in ATP into mechanical energy leading to change in protein conformation and the protein molecule “walks” down the actin filament.

In leaf cells under bright sunlight, chloroplasts may have the ability to “move into the shade” of other chloroplasts, called photorelocation. Chloroplasts gather in areas irradiated with weak light to maximize photosynthesis (the accumulation response), and move away from areas irradiated with strong light to minimize damage of the photosynthetic apparatus (the avoidance response). The processes underlying these chloroplast movements can be divided into three parts: photoperception, signal transduction, and chloroplast movement.


x40 objective:

x100 oil objective:      


x40 objective:

x100 oil objective:

Microscopy stagnant pool Hopwas Woods (next to canal) 17/9/2019

My god-son Laurence and I went for a walk next to the canal at Hopwas Woods near Lichfield today and took a water sample from a stagnant pool next to the canal.

Images below with 100x oil immersion lens (with immersion oil), Bresser MicroCam SP 5.1 camera.

Stained with H&E stain, heat fixation.

I used Registax 6 to stack video files and GIMP to stretch the histogram – applying astronomy imaging techniques to microscopy!


We found this organism attached to a piece of vegetation – note the multiple linear structures along edge of its body – video below shows us changing focus through body of the organism – multiple blue dots are bright/dead pixels on camera – Oh what I wouldn’t give for a COOLED microscope camera!

Diatom skeleton showing structure in skeleton: