Posts Tagged ‘plant cells’

Hello, everyone – I hope this finds you all happy and healthy and ready for Spring. This past Thursday marks the end of one of my two science classes this semester. It was a class condensed into half a semester and, although it was not a difficult class for me, I’m glad to finally have a little bit of wiggle room in my schedule and taking that final was a load off my mind, literally.

Also, I seem to have made it past the most difficult part of my biology class. The first half of this semester felt like trying to run through pea soup. Today, it’s rainy and windy and flowers are blooming…all those little signs of Spring are recharging my batteries and the world feels less oppressive and serious.

There haven’t been many opportunities to get outside with my camera, so I’ve been clicking with my iPhone on the run, which is the source of all the pictures I’m sharing today. The tulips are especially exciting because I planted them this winter just so I would see them during the semester when I don’t have time to garden. Turns out, I did the right thing and I’d like to thank myself for the forethought. Thank you, self!

One of the most wonderful things that happened turned out to be a very quiet personal moment in the middle of a difficult biology exam last week. We have been mired in chemistry for the last few weeks and I was getting lost in the details and hadn’t been outside in what seemed like forever. I missed gardening and it felt like I would have my nose in a textbook forever and ever…So one of the test questions was to write out in great detail the process of photosynthesis, paying special attention to the part when energy from the sun is transformed into chemical energy in a plant. I took a deep breath and began….”A photon of light from the sun is captured by a complex of light-absorbing pigments embedded in the thylakoid membrane of a chloroplast located in the cell of a leaf.” Somewhere in the middle of writing that sentence, I heard the poetry. I suddenly remembered why I was there in the first place and what all the work was for. The rest of the answer flowed out of me like the lyrics to a favorite song. It was one of the happiest moments EVER! The section on photosynthesis is over and we’re moving on to genetics, but that brief moment of deep and nerdy bliss in the middle of a test was all it took to put the fragments of ‘me’ back into a cohesive whole. It was a good day. I came home and planted seeds to celebrate and while I was out there, I took the following photo…a million photons of light showering my tulips with magic.


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The botany class I’m taking has introduced me to the microscopic world. The first time we looked at plant cells under a microscope, I could hardly contain my excitement. The other students were not jumping up and down so I tried to maintain my composure…mostly. There were suddenly a million things I wanted to bring to class so I could see what they looked like 100 times their normal size. A thimble sized ball of moss looked like a huge forest through one microscope, and I can see tiny green packets of chlorophyll floating in plant cells through the other one. It’s all very exciting and sometimes I get carried away with my eye glued to a lens and am the last person cleaning up after class. My professor seems patient and mildly amused, for now. So, when I came across this collection of prize-winning photomicrographs this morning, I thought I would share them with you. There are not very many of them, enough for a few minutes’ break in your day. There are even a couple of plant specimens, so you can see what I’ve been gazing at in class. Digital photography has come a long way and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. Enjoy:

Tiny Grandeur at Live Science

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