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Last year I learned about enclosed jar terrariums (jararriums) and thought it would be a fun hobby. It involves putting dirt and small plants or moss into a jar and sealing it. The condensation from the plants keeps the dirt moist so there is no need to water them if they get enough sun. I made a few jararriums using moss and plants taken from my backyard.
On a whim, I asked for a digital microscope camera for Christmas, thinking it would be interesting to look at the moss that I had put in my jars. While wiping down one of the jar walls I realized I had picked up a very tiny snail shell and knew I had to look at it under my new microscope. I didn’t expect it to be alive! The black dots are its eyes; I was so tickled to see that. It’s been very entertaining, seeing it crawl around and eat the food I’ve offered (they seem to enjoy cucumber slices the most).
I like the microscope camera because you can get a peek into a whole new world. The one I have is a T TAKMLY Wireless Digital Microscope Handheld USB HD Inspection Camera, with 50x-1000x magnification. It connects to your phone through an app where you can take pictures and videos.
Here are a few of my favorite stills:
About the Contributor
Emma O’Brien grew up in Scandia, MN, where she still lives and works as a financial advisor. Says Emma, “I’ve been a lover of nature since I was very young. I always wanted to hold toads and find bugs to look at. Every year I gather as many monarch caterpillars as I can find to provide them a safe place to eat and grow to ensure they make it to adulthood. I’m always looking for opportunities to connect with nature.”
About Agate’s Short-short Video Series
We’re inviting you, our readers and subscribers, to send in your own favorite “slice of life” videos taken in nature to be showcased on Agate. Capture scenes and sounds from nature where you live or when you’re out adventuring in wild places in Minnesota and the surrounding Great Lakes region. Rules are few: please keep length to 1:30 minutes or less, and size less than 20 MB. Aim for sharp images and clear sound, and take care not to disturb wildlife. Iphone videos are fine. Email your video to Agate at firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Short-short Video” in the subject line. Tell us a little bit about yourself (include a photo!) and provide a short description of the video. We’re excited to see your submissions and to get to know the Agate community.