OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note any observations you have made of the natural world around you. Birds, bugs, moss, butterflies - you can report anything of interest going on in your natural neighborhood. All we ask is that let us know where you are located, as close as is comfortable for you.
Seattle. April 10, 2014

Sometimes everything stops as you get caught up in a drama where the characters are unfamiliar and the plot makes no sense at all.

I collected water from the Wetland Pond on April 9, too impatient to wait for the monthly collection I'd planned for this project. The microscope sits prominently on my study desk now, inviting this kind of thing.

The first ten minutes were boring, just the fast little detritus eaters that tumble through the field too quickly to focus. I was about to give it up, clean the slide, and fix dinner when this popped into view.

April 9, 2014. Unknown creatures from the Wetland Pond. 100X.April 9, 2014. The rotifer Notholca sp. and unknown object, collected from the Wetland Pond on April 9, 2014.

Something appeared to be attacking something else. Note that I wasn't fast enough to get everything into focus before snapping this image, and that before the image was taken the two critters were definitely separate, and the squarish thing seemed to be trying to stab the round thing with its spike.

I clicked images for almost an hour and a half after that, adding more water when the slide began to dry out, trying to get enough details to figure out what I was looking at. Towards the end of that time I got this image, showing the posterior of the squarish thing in detail.

April 9, 2014. Posterior of one of the unknown creatures from the Wetland Pond. 100X.April 9, 2014. The rotifer Notholca sp. and unknown object, collected from the Wetland Pond on April 9, 2014.

And that led to an internet search that went through last evening and into this morning, when I found An Image-Based Key To The Zooplankton Of North America, and a possible ID: a rotifer, Notholca foliacea.

More under the clot of orange algae --->

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

I haven't made an attempt to ID the round thing, mostly because I got caught up in what was happening between it and its attacker. There was such a struggle over the  next hour and a half.

Notholcal would stab the round thing.

April 9, 2014. Notholcal stabbing the round thing. 100X.
April 9, 2014. The rotifer Notholca sp. and unknown object, collected from the Wetland Pond on April 9, 2014.

Then release it.

April 9, 2014. Notholcal releasing the round thing. 100X.April 9, 2014. The rotifer Notholca sp. and unknown object, collected from the Wetland Pond on April 9, 2014.

April 9, 2014. The rotifer Notholca sp. and unknown object, collected from the Wetland Pond on April 9, 2014.

And yet they still seemed to be connected in some way, and would tumble around and around, over and over again, struggling.

April 9, 2014. Notholcal and the round thing, tumbling. 100X.April 9, 2014. The rotifer Notholca sp. and unknown object, collected from the Wetland Pond on April 9, 2014.

April 9, 2014. The rotifer Notholca sp. and unknown object, collected from the Wetland Pond on April 9, 2014.

The rotifer Notholca sp. and unknown object, collected from the Wetland Pond on April 9, 2014.

April 9, 2014. The rotifer Notholca sp. and unknown object, collected from the Wetland Pond on April 9, 2014.

I watched this pattern multiple times over the course of the evening. There was no resolution, and I had to eat, but before I shut down the microscope I flooded the slide with water from the sample and flushed it back into the collection container. This afternoon I poured everything back into the pond.

I still have no clue what I witnessed.

-- April 11, 2014 - The mystery might be solved. I looked up "rotifer egg case" on Google image this morning and found this picture, taken by John Moran. It's titled "Rotifer and egg; she couldn't seem to shake the egg loose."  

Rotifer and egg; she couldn't seem to shake the egg loose. - John Moran Rotifer and egg; she couldn't seem to shake the egg loose.
I'm looking forward to seeing a new generation of Notholca sp in the Wetland pond, perhaps later this summer.

Seattle. April 11, 2014. The rotifer Notholca sp is present in the wetland pond and seemed to have had difficulty releasing an egg.

###

I'll be here in the morning, then off until late afternoon. There's no need to stick to this rather arcane subject; everyone is welcome to add anything they've been witnessing in their natural neighborhood.

###

"Green Diary Rescue" is posted every Saturday at 1:00 pm Pacific Time on the Daily Kos front page. Green Diary Rescue has been good to Backyard Science, so take a minute to recommend, comment, and then link to your other off-Kos groups.

Extended (Optional)

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.