Nothing could be more fun that taking a drop of water and sticking it under the microscope. If it's from an algal mat then all the better. This beauty is Closterium monoliferum, which is one of the few things I managed to identify from the myriad species present (actually so far it's the only one!)
The granules in the tip dance about, and the following link says of them that ... "vacuolar granules in Closterium moniliferum have been analyzed to consist mainly of barium sulphate crystals". See the link below. Also the further link from that link which talks about how this little guy could clean up nuclear material!
Fascinating page on the species
Also leaving this here for future reference - superb desmid galleries
Closterium in Desmid Gallery
Besides that the inverts have started to kick off with some muscoid flies starting to appear on sunny surfaces. Soon I'll have a box full of undetermined flies! Part of the reason I wanted to get off to a flier this year is because up to the point I decided to do this daft thing again I was intending to dedicate more time to the calypterate flies. Pretty sure I've banked enough species now to allow for some time outside the square though.
|A muscid fly
|Brown House Moth
|A plant bug