Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Snap it {inside plants}

Today's Snap it theme is inside.

Excuse me while I become a botanist for a minute.
When I used to demonstrate in the undergraduate practical classes with Rob, one of the activities we did a lot of was hand sectioning of plants.
This was something that takes a little practise, to get a perfectly even slice of stem or leaf with a razor blade (and not slicing the top of your finger off). The plant material is sandwiched in preserved carrot to make it easier to slice. Then once all your little sections are swirling around in a bowl of water you would pick out a few nice ones, pop them on a glass microscope slide and apply some Toluidine blue stain. This stain is taken up by the different cells and if a cell wall contains lignin it will go sky blue or pectin it will go purple. A cover slide was placed carefully over the top and then onto the microscope platform to examine. That's when the fun begins, identifying the cell types and drawing them. This was the bit I used to help the students with.
Australian native plants have to deal with a very harsh environment. Examining their anatomy (how their cells are arranged) you can find out how they adapt to combat the stresses they must overcome to survive. Hiding stomata in furrows so that the plant doesn't lose too much water, thick waxy cuticles to reflect light, increased numbers of lignified cells to create hard leaves that protect the plant from wilting.
Here are a few of the resulting sections through various plants. I think they look stained glass windows.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Playing along over here today.

13 comments:

ally said...

I loved drawing all the cells in human histo!!! Was terrible at it...but loved it.
These are beautiful Marian

Little Nan said...

Those shots are really gorgeous...and interesting! They do look like stained glass windows!

Allana said...

Wow! they are beautiful, and you are incredible! I know who to come to when The Munchkin and I get up to botany! :)

Rory Lefroy said...

Gorgeous! Nature is a supremely talented artist.

Sarah B said...

I'm blown away Marian! These are absolutely stunning! I'd have really enjoyed studying botany.
Truly amazing shots!

Mama of 2 boys said...

How utterly gorgeous! All that colour and the brilliant marbled effects... nature is SO amazing! Great pics xo

Katrina said...

Oh my goodness - these shots are absolutely beautiful! PLEASE tell me you are going to print out (or already have printed out) one or two of these and hang them up somewhere ;)

Rowantree Design said...

I am totally blown away Marian. I have to agree with Katrina, you need to print these, what fabulous wall art. and OMG whilst I was eyeing up Michael Pratt in biology I missed out on all this creative stuff. x

Rowantree Design said...

I am totally blown away Marian. I have to agree with Katrina, you need to print these, what fabulous wall art. and OMG whilst I was eyeing up Michael Pratt in biology I missed out on all this creative stuff. x

Faith Hope and a whole lotta Love said...

wow!!! these are AMAZING! just beautiful. I hope you have a chance to hang them on some walls somewhere?!

Laura @ SpottyOwlDesign said...

wow that is amazing!!

mumofsix said...

They are absolutely beautiful. You are right, they're like a stained glass window or a mosaic. Mother nature the artist at work again. With help from you!

MissingMolly said...

Pure gorgeousness. LOVE it.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...