Experimenting On More Dandelions

Song: “Dean Town” by Vulfpeck

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

Quick post tonight – I’m well past my “best before” time and need to get to bed, pronto.

I didn’t sleep as well last night as I did the night before but that’s fine – I still felt like I got some sleep. Looks like I’m in a nightmare drought again. That is really, really good.

I had breakfast and went downstairs to do my prep and exercises and they went pretty well today. Not as well as yesterday, but I had no trouble getting through them and feeling the benefits. Those beach and thunderstorm tracks are very helpful when trying to ignore everything that’s going on around me.

My mom called this morning right after I finished my exercises and we had a nice chat. She’s over at my sister’s place helping out while my brother-in-law is out of the country. It sounds like everything is going well and she doesn’t sound nearly as exhausted as I had expected.

It was raining this morning but just after lunch the road was dry so I went out for my walk. I had to wear pants AND a jacket today – it was chilly and damp. I didn’t get into any of the stores but that’s my plan for next week.

Did a lot of texting again today. My exposure this week is to keep myself from looking through all of my text history to make sure I haven’t offended anyone, said something stupid, or sent a text to the wrong person. So far, it seems to be going okay. It’s bothering me quite a bit but I wouldn’t be trying to fix it if it wasn’t bothering me. We’ll see how tomorrow goes.

In particular, I spent a lot of time texting with DA. He rented a huge truck and is helping his mom move 2500km across the country. He’s making good time so far, and the rental truck didn’t break down or start on fire when he was lumbering through the mountain passes, so that’s good. I have no idea when he’ll be done helping his mom or when he’ll be back home. At least he’s out of the mountains so the roads should be a little less curvy and steep.

I spent a lot of the afternoon listening to music and looking at some dandelion leaf cells. They were pretty interesting. There are too many cell layers in the leaf for my microscope to be able to make much sense of, so I took a razor blade and gently scraped it across the leaf to slowly remove a couple of layers of cells. I don’t have anything fancy like a microtome so if I want to see a single layer of cells I need to play around a bit. Some plants have leaves that are very easy to score and then break and peel a layer off, while some can be cut with a scalpel or razor at a very small angle, and others have multiple layers of cells, yet are flimsy and can’t be peeled apart and are too thin to cut on an angle (dandelions would be a good example of this). In most cases, though, I have some luck with scraping layers off of the leaf or stalk with a razor or scalpel and then depositing the scrapings onto a fresh slide.

Check this out – these are scraped dandelion cells at 40x:

Dandelion cellsIt’s very easy to see the cell walls. Here’s the same sample, just at 100x:

Dandelion Cells at 100xNow things are getting interesting… the cell walls almost look like 3D structures towards the top right of the image. The chloroplasts are also distinguishable inside some of the cells.

And now we go to 400x:

Dandelion Cells at 400xCell walls are still visible, and the clusters of chloroplasts are easy to pick up.

And the last thing for tonight is a short video:

I washed the leaves before I brought them into my room but even so, there were TONS of bacteria on them. I know plants and bacteria have mutually beneficial as well as parasitical and adversarial relationships but I just wasn’t prepared for how much stuff was wriggling around, particularly in the water after with a bit of scrapings.

Well, that’s about it for me. J is spending the weekend studying for a midterm on Monday. I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet but I’ve heard that the weather is supposed to be not great for outdoor activities. We’ll see what happens!

Stay safe.

2 Thoughts on “Experimenting On More Dandelions

  1. If we do we should post it on instructables – haven’t posted anything there in a while. This project might qualify for their contest http://www.instructables.com/contest/makeitmove2018/ – we’d me making things move in very small and controlled increments 🙂

    • That sounds like a great idea! A micrometer-based microtome. You’ve definitely got me thinking!

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