Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fiddler Crabs

Fiddler crabs (Uca tangeri) are very common in mangrove forests in West Africa. I made these photos in Gambia where they occur everywhere. They have dimorphic claws; one is enlarged on the left or right side. In the area in which I was, bothleft-handed” and “right-handed” were present with a dominance of larger “left-hand” crabs (just my subjective observation).

Fiddler crabs (Uca tangeri) in Gambia
A  “right-handed” Fiddler Crab. 

Fiddler crabs (Uca tangeri) in Gambia
left-handed” crab.
Linked with Macro Monday.

Silent sunday

Blue Flower in Gambia

Shared with Silent Sunday.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Tanji Bird Reserve in The Gambia


The Tanji Bird Reserve is also known as Karinti Reserve, it is a nature protection area on the Gambian coast and the only breeding place of different tern species. I had a short walk there coming from a small fisher village in the South. Access is easy and you can walk along the beach to the mouth of the Tanji River. On the beach and at the river mouth was a large flock of different gull and tern species.

Tanji Bird Reserve Gambia
The beach at the Tanji Bird Reserve.
The gulls were a mixed flock of Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Heuglin's Gulls (?) and single Cape Gulls (they have a isolated population in Gambia). 

Flock of gulls in Gambia

The terns were a flock of Caspian and Lesser Crested Terns with Sanderlings and single Grey-headed Gulls.

Caspian Terns in Gambia

Terns and Gulls in Gambia

Caspian Terns in Gambia

Lesser crested terns in Gambia

Gulls, terns and sanderlings in Gambia

Grey headed Gull and female Cape Gull in Gambia
Grey-headed Gull and a female Cape Gull.
 And a single Godwit was still there:

Bare tailed Godwit in Gambia

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Citric acid under the microscope

Crystals of citric acid under the microscope and in polrized light. 

Citric acid
Citric acid (magnification 100x).

Citric acid under the microscope
Citric acid (magnification 100x).
Shared with Makrotex.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hooded Vultures

About beauty can be discussed, but these birds play an important role in African ecosystems. I saw these Hooded Vultures in Gambia. Is fascinating that they have individual facial features.


Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus)
Hooded Vulture with a dark face.

Hooded Vulture in Gambia
Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus)

Hooded Vulture in Gambia

Hooded Vulture in Gambia
Hooded Vultures.
Shared with Wild Bird Wednesday.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sodium hydroxide under the microscope

Sodium hydroxide or caustic soda crystals under the microscope and in polarized light.
Sodium hydroxide under the microscope
Sodium hydroxide (magnification 100x).

Sodium hydroxide crystals
Sodium hydroxide (magnification 100x).

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lactose crystals

Lactose crystals under the microscope and in polarized light. 
Lactose crystals under the microscope
Lactose (magnification 80x).

Lactose crystals under the microscope
Lactose (magnification 80x).

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Alps from the sky


Last week I flew over the Western Alps and had this magnificent view. The area is somewhere on the German-Austrian border.

aerial photo of the western alps

Aerial photo of the western alps

Linked with Skywatch Friday and Ein Stück Himmel.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Long-tailed Nightjar

Hidden in the bushes and well camouflaged, this bird was not easy to find. A Long-tailed Nightjar in the Tujereng Forest in Gambia.

Long-tailed Nightjar  in Gambia
Long-tailed Nightjar
Shared with Wild Bird Wednesday.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Lead acetate

Lead(II) acetate crystals under the microscope and in polarized light. Lead(II) acetate is also known as lead sugar or salt of saturn. In ancient times it was used as sweetener and produced lead poisoning in ancient cultures.

Lead(II) acetate under the microscope
Lead(II) acetate (magnification 80x).

Lead acetate crystals
Lead(II) acetate (magnification 80x).


Friday, March 7, 2014

Cane sugar under the microscope

Crystals of sugar made from sugarcane under the microscope and in polarized light (magnification 100x). 

sugar crystals under the microscope
Sugar under the microscope.

sugar crystal under the microscope
Sugar under the microscope.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Beekeeping and honey in Gambia

Photos from a bee yard in Gambia. The beekeepers are stationary with common frame hives. Outside the yard they use boxes hanging in trees to protect them from animals. They produce 8 to 10 sorts of honey like mango or cashew nut honey.

Bee hive in Gambia
Hive hanging in a tree.

Beekeeping in Gambia
A beeyard in Gambia.

This is a sample of the cashew nut hones. It’s a brown honey with are very low viscosity (almost like oil) and is very aromatic. It seems to be monofloral. A look through the microscope shows a high content of pollen belonging to few sorts of plants. 

cashew nut honey
The honey under the microscope.

honey under the microscope
The honey under the microscope with a high content of pollen.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Common Shellducks

Common Shellducks are uncommon in Southern Germany. I saw this group some days ago in the Brombachsee. There were also some Egyptian Geese, a invasive species in the area. On the Altmühlsee was a large flock of Black-headed Gulls and a pair of Yellow-legged Gulls.   

Lach- und Mittelmeermöwen am Altmühlsee
Black-headed Gulls and a pair of Yellow-legged Gulls.

Common Shellducks in Germany
Common Shellducks.

Common Shellducks in Germany
Common Shellducks.

Egyptian Goose in Germany
Egyptian Geese.

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