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Brown Turkey Fig Pulp

The delicious fruit, fig, is actually a flower.  After long hot and humid summer, my brown turkey fig is finally in full production.  I can usually harvet half dozen a day.

This is my first attempt to use Canon EOS T1i with my Ample Scientific SM Plus-13 stereo microscope.  My canon adapter only accept the 23 mm eye piece port so I added the adapter ring from the Tucsen relay lens.  It is a little bit loose but it worked out just fine.  The camera settings: ISO 100, 1 second exposure and auto white balance.

Yum, I can smell the sweet nectar of the brown turkey fig.

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The beach sands collected from Clearwater beach contains many transparent crystals.  These crystals are very hard.  Rather than being grinded and polished into rounded shape.  They seems to maintain the original shape.

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water beach contains sparkling quartz

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water Beach Contains many different types of Sands

I put them in the homemade polarized light microscope.   The color of the crystal turns into brilliant colors due to the deflection of light by the irregular shape of the sand.  The color pattern is very much like the color of the lace agate’s quartz under the polarized light microscope.

 (The analyzer polarized film is removed)

The above picture was taken with Canon EOS T1i camera in manual mode.  The camera was attached to the microscope with a 0.5 X reduction adapter.

Releated Post:

The beach sand of Gulf Mexico: the beaches on the gulf of mexico are famous for their sparkling water and sugar white sand. On my spring camping trip, I collected some beach sand on several beaches, including Siesta Beach which ranked #1 on Dr. Beach’s top 10 beach in the US.

Sand from Henderson State Park, FL

 

Beach sand is the most beautiful thing to look at under a stereo microscope.   The sparkling beach sand are formed by the erosion and weathering of rocks by tidal waves and winds. The rocks eroded by streams and rivers might be carried and settled in the beach.  Aside from the elements from the rocks of the inland, the beach sand might also contains the deposits of the marine lives, such as coral and sea shells.  Polished by the tidal waves, they are just pretty to look at.

I found a thin layer of sand settled on the bottom of the bucket which we used to collect sea shells on the trip to Clearwater Beach last summer.  I just learned a simple method to collect sand specimens using a piece of paper and adhesive tape.  I was able to recover some from the bucket and put it under the microscope for observation. 

The Beach Sand Collected from the Florida Beach Contains many different types of Sands. The harder materials seems to maintain their shapes. The softer sands seems to be more rounded. 

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water beach.

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water beach. The sand shows different color, shapes and composition.

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water Beach.

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water Beach.

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water beach.

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water beach. The harder crystals seem to maintain their shapes.

There are plenty of marine life around the beach.  No surprise to see the pieces of sea shell here.

There are plenty of marine life around the beach. No surprise to see the pieces of sea shell here.

A piece of sea shell becomes very porous after years of erosion.

A piece of sea shell becomes very porous after years of erosion.

Another piece of sea shell

Another piece of sea shell

This one seems to be a sand dollar that has been eroded the wave

This one seems to be a sand dollar that has been eroded by the wave.

A piece of coral was found in the sand specimen

A piece of coral was found in the sand specimen

Not sure what's this

Not sure what's this

The specimen is either observed at 20X or 40X using Ample Scientific SM-Plus-13 stereo microscope.  The pictures were taken with Tucsen 3.0 MP CMOS microscope camera.

Previously, I found some bubbles in the Ruby.  I am not sure what they are but I turned the rubby over and look at the culet of the ruby. Those bubbles seems to run from the crack of the under side and extended to the interior the ruby.

I turned the ruby over to show the underside of the stone.

I turned the ruby over to show the underside of the stone.

The bubbles in the ruby seems to run in lines

The bubbles in the ruby seems to run in lines

The cracks of the ruby seems to come from the surface of the edge and the bottom

The cracks of the ruby seems to come from the surface of the edge and the bottom

Some Backgound about the rubies:

The ruby is pink to blood-red colored gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum (aluminium oxide). The red color is caused mainly by the presence of the element chromium.  The ruby is considered one of the four precious stones, together with the sapphire, the emerald, and the diamond.  Rubies have a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Among the natural gems only moissanite and diamond are harder, with diamond having a Mohs hardness of 10.0. 

This particular ruby is a Burmese ruby.  It came from northern Myanmar.  some of the world’s finest sapphires, rubies and spinels have been found in the region.

Related post:

https://microscopetalk.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/gemstones-under-microscope/

Gemstones under microscope

Last weekend, we visited our first rock, gem and rossil show at Cartersville, Georgia.   It was an eye opener for us.  They were many dealers in the expo.  We have a chance to see various kind of rocks, minerals and fossils from around the world.  Some rocks displayed in their natural forms while others are polished.  They are both pretty.  At the end, we decided to bought each other some souveniers.  I choose the Ammonites and Nautilus fossils from Madagarsca and a bag of mineral specimen, mom and megan choosed a ruby and topaz from the bargen pile.  Alan seem to be more interested in bigger crystal clear Quartz. 

Mom and Megan let me borrow the gem stone they received.  I look at them under my stereo microscope (Ample Scientific SM Plus Stereo Microscope).  Here are mom’s fiery red colored Burmese Ruby.  It was measured at 0.25 ct. 

Burmese Ruby

Burmese Ruby in Round Cut

Burmese Ruby

Burmese Ruby in Round Cut from Another Angle

 Try to adjust the illumination with top light, bottom light and both: 

Burmese Ruby Top Illumination

Burmese Ruby at 4X with Top Illumination (The defective edge shows very clearly in this picture)

Burmese Ruby with Bottom Illumination

Burmese Ruby at 4X with Bottom Illumination

Burmese Ruby with Top and Bottom Illumination

Burmese Ruby at 4X with Top and Bottom Illumination

 With the bottom illumination, the reflection was gone.  The ruby displayed the beautiful deap red color. 

 Here is Megan’s light blue Topaz in Oval Shape.  It was measured at 3.64 ct. 

Topaz

Topaz Macro Shot

Topaz

Topaz in Oval Cut

Topaz Side Edge

Topaz Side Edge

Scratches on the Topaz

Scratches on the Topaz

Topaz with Top Illumination

Topaz with Top Illumination

Topaz with Bottom Illumination

Topaz with Bottom Illumination

Topaz with both Top and Bottom Illumination

Topaz with both Top and Bottom Illumination

Overall, we are very enjoying our trip to the show.  We have learns so much from the show for things like: different kinds of gems, minerals, rocks and fossils around the world, how the they are formed, how gemstones are collected, processed and presented etc.  We were a little bit disappointed about the scratches on the gemstones when we look at it from the microscope but they are still very pretty to look at.  We will certainly bring our microscope next time.

The above photos was taken with Tucsen 3.0 MP CMOS Microscope Camera with the 30 mm adapter ring attachment.

Related post:

https://microscopetalk.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/ruby-under-microscope/

Fossils

Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past.  Almost all living organisms can leave fossils, but usually only the hard parts of plants and animals fossilize. Soft internal organs, muscle, and skin rapidly decay and are rarely preserved, but the bones and shells of animals are good candidates for fossilization. 

Fossils can be formed by any of the following ways:  unaltered preservation (like insects or plant parts trapped in amber, a hardened form of tree sap), permineralization or petrification (in which rock-like minerals seep in slowly and replace the original organic tissues with silica, calcite or pyrite, forming a rock-like fossil – can preserve hard and soft parts – most bone and wood fossils are permineralized), replacement (An organism’s hard parts dissolve and are replaced by other minerals, like calcite, silica, pyrite, or iron).  carbonization or coalification (in which only the carbon remains in the specimen – other elements, like hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen are removed), recrystalization (hard parts either revert to more stable minerals or small crystals turn into larger crystals) authigenic preservation (molds and casts of organisms that have been destroyed or dissolved). 

My first trip to fossil group of the Georgia Mineral Society was very rewarding.  It was just fun to learn to identify the organisms living millions of years ago by matching the specimen with the pictures on the index.  Sometime, it needs to a little imagination to visualize the organism from different angles or complete fossil from pieces.  Aside from the knowledge gaining from the hobbyists, I brought home a box of plant, several crinoids fragments and some shell fossils as gift as start-up collection.  Here are some of them: 

Fern Fossil Macro

Fern Fossil

Plant Leave Fossil

Plant Leave Fossil

Plant Leave Fossil

Another Picture of Plant Leaf Fossil

Crinoid

Crinoid

Fossils of Some Sea Shells

Fossils of Some Sea Shells

Fossils under stereo microscope: 

Fossil Leaf under Microscope

Fossil Leaf under Microscope

Fossil Leaf under Microscope

Another Picture of Fossil Leaf under Microscope

Crinoid

Crinoid

Mollusks

Mollusks Fossil

Mollusk or Gastropod

Mollusk

Some of the pictures show very strong light reflection.  The extra shin is caused by the acrylic paint applied to the surface to protect the specimen. 

Most of these fossils can be identified without a microscope but a low power microscope can come in handy when I need to look at details.  Many times the fossil records do not contain complete organism.  A little bit more details can reveal some key traits for correct identification.

Summerville Lace Agate

Megan has long been a rock collector.  She likes to pick up a rock here and there whenever we go to a park.  The hobby seems to be infectious.  I would pick up a rock or two.  My first trip with Georgia Mineral Society is to collect the lace agate at Summerville, Georgia.   What a perfect location!  The subject for first week of Alan’s social science is the five geographic regions of Georgia.  Summerville is located in the Ridge and Valley region of Georgia (Snellville is located in the Piedmont region).    

The lace agate collection took place at a private quarry just outside of Chattahoochee national forest.  We don’t have any specialize sledge hammer or chisel for rock hounding.  All we have are garden shovels, house hold hammer and garden border chisel but that’s good enough for the site.  We do take the advice of bringing extra bottle of water.  It came in handy when we need to rinse the chalky white chert from the rocks – most rocks here are covered with white dust called chert.  Fortunately, we don’t need much digging tools since most rocks are one the surface.  The quarry has piles and piles of rocks that we can simply pick from the surface.    

Rock collection at Quarry

Most rocks are collected at surface or the rock piles. Only occasional light digging is needed.

 We spends hours washing and brushing the rocks after gone home.  The patterns of the rocks stands out after cleaning.  Here are some macro shots of Summerville Lace Agates with Olympus stylus 7010 snapshot camera in super macro mode.  

The surface of summerville lace agate

The surface of Summerville lace agate

Summerville Lace Agate

Cut the Summerville lace agate vertically. It shows many layers of beautiful lace pattern.

Summerville Lace Agate Mount Cross Cut

Cut session of the mount of Summerville lace agate. It shows concentric circle.

Pattern of Summerville lace agate when the mount was cut in the verticle direction.

Pattern of Summerville lace agate when the mount was cut in the vertical direction.

Pattern of Summerville lace agate - Rib

The pattern of Summerville lace agate looks like a slab of BBQ Rib

The pattern of summerville lace agate shows geometic shapes

The pattern of Summerville lace agate shows geometric shapes

The color of summerville lace agate

Most Summerville lace agate shows the color of brown to yellowish and white. This agate is mostly gray and pale white.

The color of summerville lace agate

Some Summerville lace agate shows up red

Photomicrography* of Summerville Lace Agate  

Summerville Lace Agate Lace Surface

Summerville Lace Agate Lace Surface

The tip of an agate stalagmite was broken to show the circling pattern.

Further deep in to the structure. The concentric circles sometimes show up gray or brown depending on the type of mineral deposits.

A quarter session of the circle shows the details of the direction of the quartz pointing toward and away the center of the circle.

Another photo shows the quarter session of the circle structure. This cross session is more brownish than gray.

Sometime the concentric circle is shown with more distinct lines of brown, white, orange color.

Varieties of lace patterns:   

Summerville Lace Agate Lace Pattern

Summerville Lace Agate - Lace Pattern

Summerville Lace Agate Lace Pattern

Summerville Lace Agate Lace Pattern

Summerville Lace Agate Lace Squared Pattern

Summerville Lace Agate Lace Triangle Pattern

Summerville Lace Agate Lace Triangle Pattern

Found plenty of white geometric shapes in the Summerville lace agate

Summerville Lace Agate Linear Pattern

Summerville Lace Agate Linear Pattern

Occassionally, found some agates with red color.

occasionally, found some agate with red color.

More red colored summerville lace agate

More red colored Summerville lace agate

Some quartz found in the cavity of a summerville lace agate

Some quartz found in the cavity of a Summerville lace agate

Summerville Lace Agate - Quartz

Summerville Lace Agate - Quartz found within the cavity

Quartz found in the agate specimen

Summerville Lace Agates are beautiful rocks.  They are created with unpredictable patterns, geometric shapes and colors.  The quartz on the agates give the rock extra sparks.  The rocks are very pretty even without additional cutting or polishing.  We are going to display some in the original form and polish some with rock tumbler.  That’s will be our next project.  

* Photos are taken with Tucsen 3.0MP CMOS microscope camera from Ample Scientific SM Plus Stereo Microscope.  The color tones of the photomicrograph is somewhat blueish because of the LED illumination while the macro shots with the Olympus Stylus 7010 are using the incandescent lights which results in yellowish color tone.