November 29, 2003

Plants in Motion

One of my earliest and most indelible and influential memories of early television was the Sunday evening Disney productions. Of course we didn't want to miss the animations or Davy Crockett (but Image copyright Fred First
usually did since Sunday was church night.) But maybe my favorite were the 'specials' that dealt with nature. In particular, I'll never forget the mesmerizing images of time-lapse photography. Speeding bullets moved sluggishly into and through an inflated baloon. Drops of water sent crystal minarets rising and slowly falling back in a ballet hidden in a mundane raindrop. Perhaps even more awesome to a ten-year-old were the time lapse images of days and nights-- entire seasons-- passing while I watched; clouds and passing storms forming, boiling, giving way to sun in a flash of weather-drama; fruit in a bowl rotting before my eyes -- compressed into a moment-- dust to dust. And I am sure that seeing the life history of a sunflower distilled into a single short choreography did as much to point me toward an interest in botany as any other single influence.

Plants are alive in a way more like animals than one would think, and seeing them move is a wonderful eye-opener to this other world that we miss because of our peculiar limitations in time. Gather the kids around. Go watch Plants in Motion. Serving suggestion: start with "flowers" and "nastic movements".

Posted by fred1st at November 29, 2003 06:44 AM | TrackBack

There is a prize to the first person who can define the word "thigmonasty" from the Plants in Motion link! (Isn't this a wonderful word? Now that you know it, use it in a sentence at least once today. Be creative and let us know where you've found a use for it!)

Prize: Image from the Fragments Image Archive suitable for your Desktop Background!

Posted by: fredf at November 29, 2003 06:48 AM

Thigmonasty is touch induced movement.

Do I win?

Send me my prize please Fred.

Very cool stuff there Fred. I loved the way Disney did the time-lapse shots of decaying animal carcasses. All those maggots squirming!

Posted by: Clarence at November 29, 2003 09:11 AM

We have a winner! We have a winner!

Posted by: fredf at November 29, 2003 06:49 PM

I've a multicolored Stromanthe Sanguinea that boldly raises and lowers it's long slender leaves twice a day. Sometimes a few will actually "sprong!" up.

As a child we grew avacado pits, sweet potatoes and beans in jars on an easterly kitchen window sill. Occasionally we were lucky enough to witness the nastic movement as the little bean sprout raised it's head above the soil, it was always magical.

Still is.

I have pots of paperwhites, hyacinths and amaryllis resting in the week I'll bring them into the light and warmth for a Christmas bloom-o-rama.

Great link Fred!

Posted by: feste at November 29, 2003 07:50 PM

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