December 22, 2015
Every time I go to the woods in Florida I see palm leaves with a look I haven’t seen previously—like the lower one here, found on the jungle floor.
This entry was posted on December 22, 2015 by Linda Grashoff. It was filed under Leaves and was tagged with Florida, Myakka River State Park, nature, palm leaves, photography, saw palmetto.
I’m trying to suss out what brings the pleasure in looking at this pic. Seems like a combination of regularity and irregularity. Both occur in the spacing and other geometry of the fronds, and both again in the background and splotchy coloring of them. The geometric regularity is the most striking, the splotchiness is the most soothing….
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December 22, 2015 at 12:03 PM
Interesting observations, Robert. Thanks for writing them down here. I like looking at it because my eye keeps bouncing around the various elements. I start where the leaf meets the stem (those aren’t the correct botanical words; it think I should say frond and maybe stipe, or maybe petiole, but I’m not sure). Then my eye shoots up the frond to the little leaf at the top left or up that dark crack. Then it runs back down to the frond/stipe juncture and out some other direction, and on and on.
December 22, 2015 at 1:21 PM
Indeed I think that the experience of beauty arises from a mix of regularity and irregularity, see http://asifoscope.org/2013/05/10/on-beauty/. This picture is a prime example. Decaying objects often move through a “beauty zone”. Their old order is broken up and new, partially irregular structures temporarily emerge (like the fungi here), and as a result, at some point the object moves through a stage in which order and disorder mix in a very nice way (see also http://asifoscope.org/2014/04/28/towards-the-philosophy-of-decay/).
Hope you don’t mind that I put links to my own articles here. If you don’t like it, don’t hesitate to delete this comment.
December 22, 2015 at 1:59 PM
I wouldn’t dream of deleting your comment, Nannus! Your links are wonderful and add a lot to the conversation. The second link helps explain why I love photographing ruins. Thank you very much for contributing.
December 22, 2015 at 2:35 PM
Whoa! Where did all that come from? I.e. Who knew? After diving through your link into asifoscope and swimming around there a while, I thought about my most interesting decay site: my 73-year-old brain/mind. Is there an aesthetic somewhere here? Perhaps thinking about that will delay the process. A case perhaps of the observation of a thing or process changing the observee? I have to stop now because I’m exhausted. Woohoo!
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December 24, 2015 at 11:44 AM
I love this image! For me, I think that the beauty has a lot to do with the colour – or lack of colour. My eyes go to the upper part, it makes me think of oxidated copper, or rust. Also, I find that nature in decay, with pale brown or grey colour schemes, invites more to see the shapes, than when everything is colourful.
January 2, 2016 at 9:59 AM
Thank you, Gunilla. I agree about muted color inviting more scrutiny—especially when it comes to leaves. I have to admit, though, that light streaming through green leaves gives me a thrill; it’s just not as contemplative an experience.
January 2, 2016 at 12:17 PM
How many life forms can occupy one palm frond? A one-leaf universe suspended on one ephemeral petiole.
February 2, 2018 at 5:32 PM
Oh, wait till you see another palm petiole whose photograph I took last week. It should be coming up in the next week or so. Thanks for writing, George.
February 2, 2018 at 8:50 PM
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