Once again, this blog entry comes with a warning to Malcolm - Don't look Malcolm!
I have just bought a USB microscope (a new toy - I'm so excited), to be able to see, in even closer detail, some of the finer points of our natural world. The microscope was cheap, from Aldi, but is proving to be well worth the price.
What a revelation it has already been. For instance, this is a Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris) which strayed into our kitchen yesterday (sadly for the wasp, it didn't stray out again). At 60 times magnification, the face of this wasp shows it's strong mandibles, with which it chews wood, mixed with it's saliva to make the papery structure of the nest. You can also see the 'anchor' shaped mark on it's face which identifies it as a Common Wasp.