fresh water


Chara are a group of algae-like aquatics that are more closely related to land plants than they are algae. In fact, many botanists believe they are representative of the earliest stages of land plant evolution. For a rather simple looking plant, their physiology as well as their ecology are incredibly fascinating! Click here for episode 8 of the In Defense of Plants Podcast in which I interview Dr. Mary Bisson about her work on this amazing group of plants.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons


UNICEF’s Tap Project essentially means that FOR EVERY MINUTE YOU DON’T USE YOUR PHONE, A DAYS WORTH OF WATER WILL BE GIVEN TO A CHILD IN NEED. The sponsor for this event is Giorgio Armani.

All you have to do is go to ON YOUR PHONE and let the timer run and you will be helping a child in need! FRESH WATER IS VERY IMPORTANT AND YET IT IS NOT AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE. Please do this because it is quite easy to do and won’t cost you a thing!

Note: For those of you who find it hard to avoid using your phone, I suggest you run it while you sleep. :) Thank you!


Venetian Pool - Coral Gables, Florida

The world’s largest freshwater swimming pool, the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, Florida is a one-of-a-kind water feature that is emptied and refilled everyday during the summer just to keep the waters clean. 

Built in 1924 out of the remains of a Florida coral rock quarry the public pool was modeled after a Venetian grotto with the intention of bring a piece of Mediterranean style to the States. A scenic bridge was built overlooking the pool along with mooring posts for gondolas which were to be able to pull right up to the pool, although this feature was later scrapped. The pool also connects to a number of natural grotto caves which swimmers can explore.

The pool is always a clean and clear shade of blue thanks to the unique natural filtering system. During its early years the was drained each day and the waters were freshly replenished from artesian springs on the site. However this process came under fire when water conservationists warned that the process was draining local aquifers. In response, the pool devised a new system which drained the pool water back into the aquifer, allowing natural filtration to clean up the waste water. During the spring and summer, this refilling system is still in place creating a crisp natural pool to swim in.

Keep reading for the odd events hosted by the Venetian Pool, on Atlas Obscura!

Desmids (Green Algae) - Micrasterias rotata

Desmids are microscopic fresh water algae with attractive forms. The species of the genus Micrasterias are well known for their beauty, in fact Micrasterias means “little star”. They occur in many biotopes around the globe and prefer nutrient-poor habitats.

The cell wall is composed of three layers impregnated with openings or pores and pectin spicules. Many species are phototropic and are capable of moving towards light by extruding a gelatinous substance through these pores.

Micrasterias rotata is  a rather large species (length 200 – 300 μm, width 190 – 270 μm). This one in the photo is undergoing cell division.  Desmids reproduce both sexually and asexually. Asexually, they reproduce by a simple division. Sexually, they reproduce either through conjugation, a means of exchanging nuclear material between two organisms, or by fusion (when two organisms fuse to form a single new organism). Spores are rare.

[Plantae - Charophyta - Zygnemophyceae - Desmidiales- Desmidiaceae - Micrasterias - M. rotata]

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Wim Van Egmond