After the snail shells I photographed on Tuesday night started me thinking about spirals and the geometry of nature, I noticed, on the shelves of Lancaster Library, a book called ‘Patterns of the Earth’.
It is a collection of (mostly) aerial photograph categorised into Bands, Stripes, Ripples, Circles, Spots, Grains, Forks, Branches, Webs, Curves, Ribbons, Swirls, Spikes, Grids and Cracks.
It shows how the same patterns emerge in widely disparate locales and hugely different terrains.
Because the photos are mainly aerial, the patterns seen are on a geological scale.
To me a more interesting book would seek out those same patterns from microscopic to galactic scales.
Just along the shelf I spotted ‘What Shape is a Snowflake?’ by Ian Stewart.
This explains the mathematics behind how the same basic patterns and shapes recur frequently in nature.
Then Ron from Walking Fort Bragg left a link in a comment to photographs on Astronomy Photo of the Day of a typhoon and a nebula, both of which are logarithmic spirals.
These equiangular spirals crop up in all sorts of places. They can be generated in a most elegant way using the Fibonacci sequence.
(The squares have sides 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 and 34)
So with all this running around my head, imagine how thrilled I was today when Amy picked an Oxeye daisy and presented it to me:
And I discovered that it too had logarithmic spirals to display.