I went out into the garden this morning with a scissors. I clipped some leaves off a winter cherry, an acer, a butterfly bush, a willow and a wisteria. It’s autumn and the chlorophyll has been breaking down for weeks. The greens have been shifting to the shorter spectral wavelengths of yellow, orange and red as their hosts conserve energy for the winter. And it’s this process of energy conservation that creates the splendid autumn scenes that rival the flowering of spring. I blotted and pressed the leaves dry and flat before making arrangements on the scanner bed.[Read more…] about Memory + Creativity = Alchemy?
‘So you’ve reached your legacy years?’ said a colleague as we discussed photographs. Not so much photographs as photography. I’d just admitted to spending many evenings scanning or digitising strips of photographic negatives.[Read more…] about As Orange and Sharp As Arrows
I was sitting by a window, rereading some of the short chapters that make The Hidden Life of Trees so easy to follow and enjoy. It had been raining hard throughout the night. The term ‘pelting’ had come to my sleepy mind as gusts of wind drove the raindrops onto our windows, sounding like the huge hail that sometimes makes us doubt the strength of glass.[Read more…] about Halloween Rainbow
Yeasts as carbon dioxide strippers. What a concept! Suddenly you are thinking of National Collection of Yeast Cultures in Norwich or the Center for Bread Flavour outside Brussels? Wrong countries. I’m thinking of Austria. But first, we’ll need to go to the UAE, Oman and Cyprus where you might be able to see rocks soaking up CO2.[Read more…] about On Yeasts and Ophiolites
It seems I was wrong about how sunflowers transport their water to the tip of the plant. I have just read that science doesn’t really know how a tree transports water from the soil to the crowns of trees. Ask yourself the simple question I forgot to ask: how does the world famous redwood called Hyperion get water to its crown 115 m above the ground? It must be properly hydrated given that it’s over 900 years old.[Read more…] about Sequoia and Sunflowers
The Dalkey Archive features a swimming spot from when it was for gentleman bathers only. It was there that De Selby encountered St Augustine and surrealistic visions of eternity. This was the Vico Swimming Club, a real place I frequented as a child and student. Today, some call it The Ramparts. Others call it the Vico Baths. Yet others call it The Men’s Bathing Place despite today’s gender neutrality.[Read more…] about Saints and Dolphins Swim