Sunday, November 7, 2010

UofM Botanical Gardens

During my recent trip down state, I had a couple of hours to kill. I was driving from Ann Arbor to Plymouth, which allowed me to drive right past and stop at the University of Michigan's Botanical Gardens. Although rocks are my passion, one of my favorite things to do is to take pictures of plants and flowers. I have posted pictures before, so I decided I wanted to take some shots that are a little different. What resulted was an exploration of perspective.

Is this an aerial shot of a green highway, or the ribs of a leaf?

If you didn't know better, you might think that the coloration in these leaves was evolved in the 1960s.

I just love aiming my camera down the kaleidoscope, which was pointing at a plant. This shot really does look like the 1960s.

I just love how all the male stamens of this flower are teaming up to do their job and spread pollen on the bees that are drawn to collect nectar, which is produced by the female part of the flower. A close of some nectar from another flower follows (clear material in center).

It is amazing how soothing bonsai trees can be. Bonsai cultivation is a Japanese art form using miniature trees grown in containers. Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penjing and the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese hòn non bộ. The Japanese tradition dates back over a thousand years, and has evolved its own unique aesthetics and terminology.

The purposes of bonsai are primarily contemplation (for the viewer) and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity (for the grower). By contrast with other plant cultivation practices, bonsai is not intended for production of food, for medicine, or for creating yard-sized or park-sized gardens or landscapes. Instead, bonsai practice focuses on long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees in a single container.

Here are some more perspective shots.

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