First steps

Re: First steps

Postby Dave H-Tranter » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:38 pm

Useful stuff indeed and many thnks. Maybe The Forayer could be a PDF download at some point so past articles can easily be sought.

Spores are not too bad to get to grips with but I am finding that the more you uncover the less diagnostic these can be. The Lactarius family are near enough all the bloody same. I have recently bought British Fungal Flora - Boletes and their Allies by Roy Watling and this and the Lactarius book does fill me with hope for the coming season.

Keep the pointers coming.

Fungalpunk Dave

www.fungalpunknature.co.uk
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Re: First steps

Postby Dave Jewsbury » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:06 pm

Thanks for that Leif. Your photomicrographs are really good. It certains bears no resemblance to what I can see through my microscope at the moment. I'm using basic equipment, with a mirror and I don't think I am able to set up Kohler illumination. My light is a halogen desklamp bounced off a sheet of white paper or the sky.

I've found most of my information from the Microscopy UK website.

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk

It's an interesting site but they rarely cover fungi. I also found a great little book for a few pounds on ebay. Teach Yourself Microscopy by W. G. Hartley. It covers the instrument comprehensively, but hardly touches on microtechniques, let alone those applicable to fungi.

Dave


Leif Goodwin wrote:I found information hard to find, and often slanted towards other areas of study rather than mycology. So I wrote a few notes to summarise some information I have gleened from elsewhere. You can find it here:

http://www.leifgoodwin.co.uk/General/Microscopy.html

I don't claim that it is authoritative or complete, or even free from error.

There is somewhere a useful article explaining how to set up a microscope for Kohler illumination which ensures optimum performance.

I do recommend that you understand the role of the condenser as it is as important as the objective and the eyepiece. It acts rather like the aperture in a lens and an incorrectly aligned condenser can reduce the resolution of the microscope. In fact with a x100 objective you really need to oil the condenser to the slide in order to get the correct cone of light into the objective.

I toyed with writing some notes about microscopes, but I wasn't convinced I had anything to say which was not already out there in internet land. In fact a quick Google found these:

http://www.bio.umass.edu/microscopy/doc ... nation.pdf
http://www.micrographia.com/tutoria/mic ... cb0400.htm
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Re: First steps

Postby Leif Goodwin » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:23 am

Dave Jewsbury wrote:I've found most of my information from the Microscopy UK website.

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk

It's an interesting site but they rarely cover fungi. I also found a great little book for a few pounds on ebay. Teach Yourself Microscopy by W. G. Hartley. It covers the instrument comprehensively, but hardly touches on microtechniques, let alone those applicable to fungi.


Information on microscopy for mycology is rather scarce. Field Mycology has some, and I must go through back issues again. Some are online, so I am not sure what their policy on reproduction is. I seem to recall that copyright allows sharing of a photocopy for educative purposes but I may be mistaken. I suspect that posting online without explicit permission would be a complete no no.

Since Michael has mentioned the Forayer, it would perhaps not be a bad idea (at least in my view) to put some example articles online, as many of us have never seen any, and have no idea what the content is like, in terms of level and style.

I strongly recommend a microscope with a built in light, if only for sheer convenience. Having a 'scope set up on a table, ready to go, makes microscopy more of a pleasure than a chore. An old lab microscope(as per my first instrument) can be bought cheaply (~£150) from dealers and will show the features as per my example photomicrographs, albeit with more edge distortion and colour artifacts.
Fungi and Nature Photography: http://www.leifgoodwin.co.uk/Fungi/Fungi.html
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Re: First steps

Postby admin » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:37 pm

We can certainly look at placing some specimen microscopy articles from the Forayer on the ABFG website. A reservation as always is that doing so 'costs but does not earn'. The Forayer involves a substantial outlay of money to produce and this is paid for by the membership. Were we to publish substantial tracts (or indeed all of it) on the web we would reasonably need to charge an online viewing subscription and at the moment there are no plans to do this.

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Re: First steps

Postby Leif Goodwin » Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:08 pm

I suspect many people have never seen The Forayer (at least I haven't). The way Field Mycology does this is send free example copies on request to prospective subscribers. So having at least one example article online would serve a similar purpose at less cost. Another approach used by some subscription sites is to have the first page of a few articles. That is kind of annoying for the reader but it does serve the purpose of enticing people in as they know what to expect. Another approach is to list article titles online but not show the content. Anyway, those are just a few thoughts.
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Re: First steps

Postby Dave Jewsbury » Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:18 am

admin wrote:We can certainly look at placing some specimen microscopy articles from the Forayer on the ABFG website. A reservation as always is that doing so 'costs but does not earn'. The Forayer involves a substantial outlay of money to produce and this is paid for by the membership. Were we to publish substantial tracts (or indeed all of it) on the web we would reasonably need to charge an online viewing subscription and at the moment there are no plans to do this.

MJ

A new subscription to the Forayer wouldn't quickly provide the required information if it is contained in the back issues. Perhaps back issues, or key articles from them, could be archived on the site after a year or two. This would still provide an incentive to subscribe if one wanted the lastest news and articles, and give a valueable resource for those trying to develop their skills.

Perhaps a new thread needs to start to discuss this further as it's drifting away from microscopy now.

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Re: First steps

Postby admin » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:07 pm

It is interesting that for the first time in its history the ABFG has in effect 'opened its doors' through the forum to non-members. So it is perhaps timely to explain that the Forayer is not a periodical that is available to the general public on subscription. It constitutes one part of a wider range of benefits that become available to ABFG members. It's therefore not quite a matter of subscribing to the Forayer. People apply for membership of the ABFG for various reasons. They feel that it will benefit them in pursuit of their interest in field mycology, but there is also the knowledge that they are giving their tangible support to the cause of a UK charity committed to mycological conservation.

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Re: First steps

Postby davidharries » Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:22 pm

Dear all,

As a late entrant to the field of mycology just 5 years ago - and no experience of microscopy - I was pointed towards two excellent BMS handbooks written by Jack Marriott. These are 1. Guide for the beginner (30 pages)and 2. Guide to identification with a microscope (42 pages). Gold dust for just £2 each plus postage from BMS. Includes plenty about cutting sections, preparing slides, using stains etc. Useful glossaries too.

Regards, David Harries
http://www.pembsfungi.org.uk
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Re: First steps

Postby Dave Jewsbury » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:15 pm

Thanks David. That sounds like just what I am looking for.
Dave
davidharries wrote:Dear all,

As a late entrant to the field of mycology just 5 years ago - and no experience of microscopy - I was pointed towards two excellent BMS handbooks written by Jack Marriott. These are 1. Guide for the beginner (30 pages)and 2. Guide to identification with a microscope (42 pages). Gold dust for just £2 each plus postage from BMS. Includes plenty about cutting sections, preparing slides, using stains etc. Useful glossaries too.

Regards, David Harries
http://www.pembsfungi.org.uk
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Re: First steps

Postby Dave H-Tranter » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:59 am

Just re-awakening this thread - I have dabbled further and started a new link at my site regarding my trials - http://www.fungalpunknature.co.uk/CFG/ID%20work.html

feedback would be grand

Fungalpunk Dave
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