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Welcome to my rather limited web-site. Here I intend to share my (mainly Botanical but not exclusively-so) adventures with my microscope, an Olympus BX50 with infinity objectives.

This is an image of an Olympus BX50 microscope like mine,

My name’s John and I’m lucky enough to live in the beautiful Lake District here in the U.K.

I love to study plants, in particular the wildflowers and ‘weeds’ that are all around us in our gardens, hedgerows, streets and countryside. My interest evolved from a desire to answer the question “what type of plant is that?” some 5 years ago now, well almost, back in 2015….. To enable me to take images of plants that I encountered in the beautiful Cumbrian countryside of the U.K. where I live, I bought a cheap and cheerful mobile ‘phone that could take pictures!

Perusing those early sub 1mp images on the ‘phone’s tiny screen whetted my appetite for Botany and the rest is history!

Nearly 5 years later I have a tiny ‘lab’ at home (my dining-room….) where I not only study plants at the microscopic level as well as the macroscopic as for species ID, but make my own permanently-mounted and stained microscope slides of the fascinating world of a plant’s structure!

Shandon 0325 rotary microtome – this is the actual machine that I use.

The sections that I mount, at the thinnest levels of between 1µ and perhaps as high as 20µ (most often I take 5-10µ sections) are cut with a Shandon 0325 rotary microtome. This modern-ish microtome does not use the large steel, re-sharpenable knives of earlier machines, but disposable, pre-sharpened blades. These blades are fitted into a blade-holder that clamps the blade securely for sectioning. When a blade begins to show signs of ‘losing it’s edge’ it is simply replaced with another new blade, the old blade being discarded or even kept for use in hand-sectioning perhaps, where it doesn’t need to be as extremely sharp and perfect as with microtome sectioning…..

Permanently-mounted & stained slides

Here are some of my home-made slides, labelled & ready to explore!

Well, that’s my short introduction, as for the rest of this fledgeling web-site, all I know myself at this stage is that I’ll be including lots of adventures with various plant-life and all-things microsrope and microtechnique related!

If you have any suggestions in these areas please contact me via the contact-page!

Alternatively please leave a comment in the comment-box below.

Thanks for visiting – more to follow!

2 thoughts on “Home

  1. Hi dear John,
    Thank you for the beautiful photos of daffodil root in 2015. Really your activity is so impressive and you’ve inspired me by those photos.
    I am curios about your method of root staining. Would you please tell me the used reference for root staining?
    best regards,
    Elham

    • Hello, may I ask where you saw my root-sections please, this will help me to reply re the specific slide/s.
      Thanks, John.

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