Long time no post, I know. Things certainly have been busy around here. As you all probably know, I finished making slides a while back - 372 slides total. WooHoo!!
Now, onto the next step, taking pictures of these slides. I took my very first pictures today, just a couple to get the hang of things, they are attached to this post. From my fiddling around today, I can see that this is going to be a lot more work than I thought. First off, the pollen is hard to find, it's not all at the same level of view, some of them are on top of the stigma and then they're really hard to see. Also, it's challenging to focus in enough to where I can ID pollen grains. Stuart suggested working on a random sample of my slides for the rest of the summer, and completing them this fall at the CBG. The only issue there is the change of machinery, but hopefully we can figure something out.
As for the rest, I think I'll be taking 1-2 shots of the entire style, and labeling them thus: stylevialID_site_date/time_A# - so A1, A2, etc. Then I'll zoom in and proceed to take pictures at sites B through F on the style, and for each change in focus will be another number. The question is whether I should attempt to get a good sense of the exact number of pollen grains on the stigmas or try to ID the pollen types. I'd like to be able to do both, but I think for this summer at least, I'll try to get a handle on the former rather than deal with the later.
On that note, Caroline suggested using a clicker to count the number of pollen in a picture, and that seems like an excellent suggestion. Does anyone know if we've got one?