Monday, August 08, 2005

Inspired by Nature

The weather has been beautiful out here in Washington, and our minds are not on blogging. So today's links are about inspirations from nature. Nature, nature walks, and nature study seem to fill up biographies of famous artists, scientists, inventors, writers, mathematicians, and social leaders, but it's experienced and used in very different ways - as respite, refreshing the spirit, awakening associations, or just motivating on the basis of its beauty and design.

Patterns in NatureScience News for Kids: Inspired by Nature
Biomimetics, technology mimics nature
Bioengineering - Biomimetics
Role of Nature in Structural Art
Complex Systems Modeling- Metaphors from Nature
Nature Inspired Computing
Quotations on Mathematics, Nature, Simplicity, and BeautyNaturewriting Resources and Inspiration


  1. What a wonderful site, and what a thrill to see that you've also included a link to our site, Taking Your Camera on the Road, in your mention of Patterns of Nature. And to find that you are from my home, which I miss as we travel the world, brought a much needed comfort to see GREEN again.

    We teach a lot of workshops and classes on photography and travel, and my favorite is teaching about the patterns in nature. We enjoy watching people's eyes open to the shapes, textures, and patterns around them, suddenly seeing beauty in something as common as a crack in the sidewalk to something less commonly recognized like the geometric textures found in tree bark as it repeats its pattern around and around the tree.

    Finding triangles in leaves or fractals in pine trees, all open up the imagination as well as the eyes.

    During one memorable class years ago in the Seattle Arboretum, one batch of students were working with their serious cameras to calculate the depth of field and exposure for photographing their subjects. Looking for another group who took the class with only point-and-shoot cameras, I found one person laying on the ground under a tree shooting up into the branches and another person in the tree shooting down the tree trunk.

    I realized that freed from the technical, they could stretch their imagination and concentrate on the "seeing" and not the "doing".

    The one in the tree called down, "This is so much fun!" and I realized that this part of photography was, indeed, fun. While the technical is critical to getting the photograph "right", the process of letting go and letting your eyes lead rather than your brain was magical.

    Thanks for bringing back that memory and keep up the great work.

  2. Thanks, Lorelle and what a neat story. Digital cameras are so great for kids because it sharpens their observation and they can just enjoy and share the beauty. Our first child really loved the camera at an early age (4-5 years old) and it was wonderful seeing the world from his point of view.