Pic o’ the week – sand grain kaleidoscope

Ah! If I had the eyes to see,
And brain to understand,
I think Life’s mystery might be
Solved in this grain of sand.
 –Robert William Service

Here, a microphotograph by Dr. Gary Greenberg of sand, that stuff the we love to get between our toes on the beach.

Greenberg’s passion is revealing the ‘secret beauty of nature’ by photographing elements of the natural world through the lenses of the hi-def, 3-D light microscopes that he invented.These sand grains are from a Maui beach. As Dr. Greenberg notes:

“The tip of a spiral shell has broken off and become a grain of sand. After being repeatedly tumbled by action of the surf this spiral sand grain has become opalescent in character. It is surrounded by bits of coral, shell, and volcanic material.”

His stunning photos of sand from around the world are collected in his book A Grain of Sand. Check it out.