Nature, Science, and Art

Nature, Science, and Art

March 9, 2020

"The Mushroom Hunters" by Neil Gaiman - read by Amanda Palmer with music...

This is an amazing short film and a subversive feminist celebration of science and the human hunger for truth. Inspiring to watch!

February 13, 2020

The Blanket Octopus

The world can be rough. Politics, viruses, natural disasters. So here is a female blanket octopus to remind you that this planet is still a pretty amazing place.

February 12, 2020

An ancient oak, survivor of many a storm.    Fifteen million trees were felled by the Great Storm which hit the south of England in 1987. But the remarkable Turner's Oak in Kew Gardens in London not only survived the storm, but also changed the way that trees are cared for around the world.

September 27, 2014

Plants R Us

Plants are so important to humans, but really to all the life on the planet. All people feel a strong attachment to nature. Nature, meaning plants, is what nurtures us, gives us life, gives us the very breath we take in. 
   Humans are here because plants are our food. We eat them directly or we eat the animals that have eaten the plants. Plants have starches, oils, sugars, proteins—all the building blocks of life. It is only through plants and the photosynthesis that they have created for themselves, that all other forms of life have evolved. 
   I say that plants are us, but really we are plants, we are from plants, we are all part of the life force of planet Earth.

September 12, 2014

Fiddle and Banjo Strike a Creative Spark

Old-time fiddle is toe-tapping music. I can’t resist and I was head bobbing along with everyone else at the Fiddle and Banjo contest in Lowell, Massachusetts. It’s a true contest, with prizes for the best fiddlers and banjo players. More than 50 contestants from all over New England took the stage.
The top fiddlers were hot and the banjo pickers were wild. But, the lovely part of this fiddle fest is that it involves musicians at all different levels. From what I could tell everyone was encouraged and supported, even those who were not so experienced.
Kudos to each musician brave enough to take part—from ages about 10 to about 70. Players wore everything from overalls, to Sunday bonnets, to dreadlocks and droopy pants. The action on stage was uneven, as each individual slowly mounted the stage and played their best pieces. But perhaps the most exciting part took place offstage, in a back hallway.
As fiddlers and banjo players waited to go onstage, they had a restless energy. With numbers taped to their arms, musicians began to play together, in a circle, right there in the back hallway. Group improv—that is where the energy of fiddle music comes from. By playing together a creative spark happens. It’s so lively the air fairly vibrates with the excitement of fiddles and banjos together.
This is the creative spark that music draws from both the participants and from those listening. Musicians definitely feel it. But also listeners get this creative energy, as well. But I think it is even more than that. The players, the listeners, the audience all come together, each essential, each bringing a greater energy to the mix.
Creativity is powerful. We all need to appreciate that creative spark. We get it ourselves when we are the talent, but we also get it vicariously when artists do their thing. It’s catching; it’s toe-tapping goodness.

August 5, 2014

Connecting to Joy

It's full summer, my work is going well, websites are taking on "personalities" of their own, my sculpture pieces are moving along, and my urban sketching is still great fun. I'm living in a wonderful place close to nature, next to a vineyard. Birds, animals, wildflowers, and trees surround me. It's a time of creative energies, comfort, and joy.
A big revelation that I am on this summer is that all these "venues" that I create can express these things. I can share the good things with others. Somehow, everything that I do is flowing together and all I have to do is flow with it in joy, contentment, and happiness. It's a journey and more and more I want to share it with others and bring you along with me. Sometimes, especially on my websites, I follow traditional advice and try to sound "professional," which means writing in a manner of professional detachment, avoiding overly emotive sentiments. That is wrong. The internet is a new concept in the world, and I want to approach it in new ways. This is a heads-up to you my readers to tell you that I will be modifying some of my writings and approaches to websites and blog. That's all I have to say. Except this—Follow Your Joy.