Saturday, September 19, 2009
some flickr-y goodness
this picture does not cease to make me grin: morran and loppan (the flea)
2 garden ladies (the details! incredible.)
i want socks like these
been very flower focused lately, which is probably good since i'm starting a botanical illustration class soon. i have about 15 library books right now on seeds, flowers and pollination. i've started three of them and can't decide which to read first.
one book i checked out just for the illustrations. it's by henry david thoreau on seeds, and i really wasn't planning on reading it. figured the writing might be too old fashioned and boring. i did read walden at some point, and i think i enjoyed it. i can't recall. i had forgotten how beautifully the guy wrote. i find myself not even paying that much attention to the content sometimes, but just riding along with the words because they sound so nice. listen to this description of the pitch pine cone (which in itself has a nice ring to it) from faith in a seed:
Within this strong, prickly, and pitchy chest are contained about a hundred dark brown seeds in pairs, each pair occupying a separate apartment behind its prickly shield. A very thin membrane or wing about three-fourths of an inch long extends from one end of each seed, which it clasps in its divided extremity like a caged bird holding the seed in its bill and waiting till it shall be released that it may fly away with and plant it.
For already some rumor of the wind has penetrated to this cell, and preparation has been made to meet and use it...
just reading half of the first chapter, i am struck by his acute level of observation and understanding of connections in nature. he sees the tiniest details and bigger ecological pictures. reminds me how removed most of us are from nature. even if we go for hikes and pay close attention to and appreciate the sounds, smells, plants and critters around us, it's probably nothing like this kind of patience/involvement.
i like it when scientists write beautifully—makes science more accessible.