Saturday, June 5, 2010

Umbels and Fractals

After mid-day had passed and the heat slightly relented in certain shady areas, Fain and I took our new sidewalk chalk to the front walk where he created a rambling map of "the dangerous areas." The pink path went straight through my gargantuan dandelion and rose and toadstool garden, like wee little Alice in Wonderland. When I grew tired of drawing, I brought a full gauzy scarf to lie on because the grass in the front lawn is too prickly.

Eventually, Fain also wore out Wonderland and wanted an adventure, so I challenged him to a scavenger hunt. I would ask him to bring different items to me - a flower that bees love or one that butterflies are drawn to, a leaf as soft as a lamb's ear, a leaf that smells like lemons, a prickly leaf, a flower made of many smaller flowers, etc. As he would bring his treasures to me, I would tell him the names of the plants - the Chaste tree or lantana, lamb's ear and lemon balm, holly and yarrow. After several trips to uncover the mystery plants, I would ask him to tell me again what plants the different pieces came from, and he did a fine job of remembering. Then, it was his turn, and he asked me to bring something brown or red, something that ants eat - I brought a dead bumblebee that I'd found in the garden when I was digging earlier. It was such a beautiful afternoon. Exactly what I imagined when I imagined being a mother...being a tour guide to the universe.

Later, I had to Google flowers made of many florets because it drove me crazy not to know the specific name. The are called umbels, like umbrellas, which is fitting as they do resemble umbrellas. Denise explained that they are also fractals because they are large flowers made of smaller flowers that look the same. I didn't remember that from math classes, but I thought it was interesting. Go pluck a flower of a lantana or a geranium or Queen Anne's lace.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
A Mirror, A Summer, A Street by Autumn Crisp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.