Finding Comfort in My Rock Family

painted rocksOn a tree stump in front of the cabin there is a Rock Family. The Wild Child painted them this past summer, and they greet each and every visitor with the same exuberance as the Wild Child would if she were here. They are very comforting to look at now that the family has all gone home and there will be no more visitors at the cabin until next spring.

Post 237

Dill and the World of Fractals

I forgot I had planted Dill in the garden until I saw the lacy yellow flowers. They are beautiful.

27-dill1

They remind me of those fireworks that burst from the center and send a spray of colorful sparks out in all directions!

27-dill2

As my camera closed in, the smaller clumps of flowers mimicked the overall shape of the entire flower head.

27-dill3

Here are the flowers really up close. Not all that clear, unfortunately. On a slightly windy day, it is really hard to capture a tall, swaying flower with a macro lens!

The interesting thing about Dill, and many other things in Nature, is that they are illustrations of Fractal Geometry. In a fractal, each part of something is a copy of the whole.  In Dill, the little flower bits are similar in shape to the individual flower clumps, which are similar in shape to the whole flower on the top of the stalk. You can see the same thing in the branching of a tree, the veins in a leaf, the cross section of a head of cabbage or many other things that seem chaotic at first glance!

Getting back to the Dill – I’ll have to watch it very carefully. Each one of those little flowers will become a seed, and there are going to be enough of them to cover the entire garden if I don’t chop off a few dill heads soon!

Now here is my Challenge to you – Even if you are mathematically challenged, see if you can tell me about a Fractal you have seen in nature!

A Poet’s Eye

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
– Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905-2004) –

Post 235