I am pleased to begin sharing another way I really enjoy seeing our natural world. These days, many folks feel there is little left to explore. They feel there are none of the great romantic “blank areas on the map” that so enticed earlier generations of explorers. While there are certainly fewer unexplored spaces, there is a way that everyday folks can explore the natural world without traveling to the ends of the earth. I have long been thrilled by the adventures and excitement that Mother Nature shares in the microscopic world. Over the years, I've enjoy exploring many “MicroWorlds” with my students as they appreciate the “WOW Factor” of the seemingly invisible world all around us. While most Blue Lion Blog readers know that I treasure my African safari experiences, I have the ability to go on a different type of safari most every day! I deem my safaris under the microscope “MicroSafaris” as we get to explore all sorts of microscopic creatures who can appear with no predetermined script. For 21st century students who have the digital world at their fingertips, seeing these “unknown” critters changes how they look at their worlds and opens up a new found sense of creativity and possibility.
Over the past few months I have gotten to know the dedicated folks over at EXOLABS (www.exolabs.com), a Seattle based startup. They have created a wonderful iPad based camera that is designed to work with any microscope. After having worked with other less successful microscope cameras/software, their FOCUS microscope camera is the tool I have long sought to help share my passion for microworlds with you. Over the coming months I will be creating a series of MicroSafari videos to introduce you to various denizens of the microworld. Following that, we’ll begin to expand our exploration as we head out to see differing microscopic ecosystems and how their micro citizens go about their “little lives”
I chose this first video because it’s the microscopic creature most folks are familiar with – AMOEBA! If you’ve ever looked through a microscope in school then you probably got to see these blob like protists. Here I have been able to capture them in both real time and time-lapse video to give you a uniquely exciting view. Enjoy the view and please feel encouraged to share this video with a young person in your life!