Curious Friday: The Wonder of a Flower is to What it Becomes


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The beauty of a flower, beyond our admiration, is its’ purpose to attract a pollinator with real or fault rewards, to move the pollen to ovaries of another plant
Whether the flower be simple or intricate.
Each plant species creating its’ own unique flower and seed

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The wonder of a flower is that transformation from a flower to a seed
Each beautiful, yet so different in design

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It is wonder how it all came about

The flower and seeds of a milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

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Curious Friday: A Gathering?


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It is on those rare occasions
When you come upon something unusual
A gathering of ducks
On the side of the road
Why were they there?
What were they discussing?
Pleasure to see
Thankful they didn’t mind
While I got out my camera
And capture the scene

Collaboration On Oldest Living Things


Wonders of life
All around us
Even below our feet
Letting go of what we know
To begin learning all the unknowns
Feeling that there is
More to life
Than we ever imagined

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Thanks to Jonathan Minard for the short film above presenting Rachel Sussman Carl Zimmer and Hans Ulrich Obrist, and the book that they collaborated on:

Since 2004 artist Rachel Sussman has been researching, working with biologists, and traveling all over the world to photograph continuously living organisms 2,000 years old and older. The work spans disciplines, continents, and millennia: it’s part art and part science, has an innate environmentalism, and is driven by existential inquiry. She begins at ‘year zero,’ and looks back from there, photographing the past in the present. Together, her portraits capture the living history of our planet – and what we stand to lose in the future.

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Weeds, Invasives and Books Part 2


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Sometime beyond 30,000 years ago the climate had changed, and the cold and ice advanced out of the arctic covering a large portions of North America, Europe, and Asia. The ice sheet was estimated to be a mile thick and with so much of the water of this planet frozen, the oceans were as much as 450 feet lower than they are today. As the ice sheet advanced to cover what we now call home, it had scraped and scoured the earth carrying soil particles, boulders and anything living in its’ path that couldn’t flee its’ approach. The areas south of the major ice sheets were what might be considered sub-arctic; a tundra and open boreal woodland with very little rain. Around 13,500 to 11,000 years ago the ice sheets receded and the flora that had managed to survive south started to advance north and grow in…

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In Search of the Red Spotted Newt


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In my travels and in my work I’m always in search of the Eastern Red Spotted Newt (technically at this stage (photo above) in its’ life it is called a Eft) though where I’m looking it isn’t the habitat that the newt might spend time

“The eastern newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) is a common newt of eastern North America. They frequent small lakes, ponds, and streams or near-by wet forests. They can coexist in an aquatic environment with small, noncarnivorous fish, as their skin secretes a poisonous substance when the newt is threatened or injured. They have lifespans of 12 to 15 years in the wild, and may grow to five inches in length. They have 3 stages of life, two of which are aquatic. Adults mate in early spring out of the water and lay their eggs (100 or more) in the water on underwater plants. Larvae hatch in early spring and leave the water in late summer and transform into efts. The efts live on land for up to four years. They do not have gills, but like all newts and salamanders, must keep their skin moist. They are most often seen crawling around after a heavy rain. Efts eat small insects (especially springtails), snails, and other small arthropods. In Winter, efts will hibernate under logs or stones.
As they grow older, the efts grow darker. They begin to look more like adult Eastern Newts. When they are ready, they return to the water and become adults. They will live the rest of their lives in and around the water.
Adult newts eat worms, insects, small crayfish and other crustaceans, snails, mussels, tadpoles, other amphibian larvae, amphibian eggs, and fish eggs.”

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For me it is a personal search for a little more than 36 years ago I moved from NYC to NH. My then family and I had to decide whether to stay or move back, to rent and own, when we heard about some land in the woods with a small cabin on it. It was middle of August, it had rain that day and when we got out of the car to visit it, there were two red newts waitng for us, wiggling on the forest duff. At that moment I fell in love with that place and woods around it and lived there for almost 27 years.
So when I do find my red newt I plan to thank it for it past relatives who had lead me on another path to a new life with all of its’ goods and bads, for who I have become and who I will be.