07-13-09 Mysterious Symmetry

Our hens and chicks have decided to bloom this year and this is what the flower looks like. It measures 3/4″ from tip to tip. Each of the round ball-like structures ringing the center of the flower will be a smaller bloom. Without a macro lens, all of this would be easy for the camera and the eye to miss.

But here’s something interesting: I am struck by symmetry in nature and so I counted the two most obvious elements in this flower. And I discovered 11 petals and 22 little balls. I also discovered that if you count the red and black dots in the center of the flower, there are 11. And now I’m wondering where else the number “11” and its multiples occur in nature. . . .

Canon 5DII 1/50s f/8.0 ISO800 100mm

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One thought

  1. Mysterious?

    The obvious reference with ‘Hen and Chicks’ is Luke 13:34: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

    But as you well know, it goes deeper.

    After Judas’ bloody denial there were 11 disciples left. Those 11 were the seed of the church which doubles itself in the outer ring of ‘red balls’ that you ‘just happened to point out’. In the background are the latent unopened blossoms of what inevitably will be the geometric growth of the Church.

    And beyond that, no greys here. The mixture of white (Ascension) with red (Pentecost/Holy Spirit) reinforce that you indeed were on a mission to photograph a visual rendering of the New Testament book ‘The Acts of the Apostles’.

    It is not like you to display something so blatantly religious, and beyond that so exclusively Christian.

    Nice work.

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