Adventures with a Hand Lens by Richard Headstrom

By Richard Headstrom

Basically written advisor to watching and learning flora and grasses, fish scales, moth and bug wings, egg situations, buds, feathers, seeds, leaf scars, moss, molds, ferns, universal crystals, etc.—all with a normal, reasonably cheap magnifying glass. 209 specified line drawings reduction on your discoveries.

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These barbs, in turn, are provided with innumerable little branches, called barbules, that overlap and interlock with the barbules of adjoining barbs (Figure 28). If your lens is of a high enough magnification (although you may need a microscope), you will further observe that the barbules are furnished with two kinds of projections called barbicels and hooklets (Figure 29). These barbicels and hooklets function as an interlocking device that gives the feather its consistency and stiffness and makes it impervious to air and water.

Here we find that each of the fleshy scales, with which the catkin is provided, encloses two flowers, each having. a pistil with a scarlet style. So there are two kinds of catkins on the alder, one having flowers with stamens only and the other with flowers having only pistils. In other words, we have what are known as staminate and pistillate catkins. Where both are found on the same tree, as in the alder, the tree is said to be monoecious. Examining the flowers still further, we also observe the absence of petals.

In spite of their striking external multiformity flowers are comparatively simple and uniform in their mode of construction. Figure 3OA shows the diagram of a typical flower to which you can compare almost any blossom you have at 46 hand. First we have the receptacle, which is the tip of the floral stem. Then we have the outer greenish leaves called sepals, which collectively are known as the calyx. Next we have the brightly colored leaves or petals, which collectively are known as the corolla.

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