The Shapes of Leaves

zak

Dagobah Resident
Now that the most of the leaves are landing on the soil
and a new cycle is going to start for them.
Come to my mind a poem of Arthur Sze

The Shapes of Leaves

Ginkgo, cottonwood, pin oak, sweet gum, tulip tree:
our emotions resemble leaves and alive
to their shapes we are nourished.

Have you felt the expanse and contours of grief
along the edges of a big Norway maple?
Have you winced at the orange flare

searing the curves of a curling dogwood?
I have seen from the air logged islands,
each with a network of branching gravel roads,

and felt a moment of pure anger, aspen gold.
I have seen sandhill cranes moving in an open field,
a single white whooping crane in the flock.

And I have traveled along the contours
of leaves that have no name. Here
where the air is wet and the light is cool,

I feel what others are thinking and do not speak,
I know pleasure in the veins of a sugar maple,
I am living at the edge of a new leaf.
 
thanks, zak!

None of the leaves I have seen seems quite the same as the other.

Interesting, how in the poet's eyes, perception of nature lead to realization of certain inner processes.

In the Gurjieffian lingo, it would be allowing some of the Hydrogen 24 (nature) enter into your impression octave, probably by transforming the usual stimuli (C48) with increased attention. Hydrogen 24 then becomes Re 24 and then continues to transform into Mi 12 - which is a higher energy that can be used by the Higher Emotional Center. Hence, perception of beauty may lead to the development of the soul.
 

zak

Dagobah Resident
You're welcome arpaxad !
The shape of a leaf is an engineering genius beauty.
If you paid attention during high wind, their shape change to take the most aerodynamic state,
like the wings of birds or fishes in currents, but the big difference, the leaves are attached
to twigs of tree branches on their only petiole !
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Very beautiful poem! Me too I love to look at leaves, they are like little hands with veins and movement, circulation, life. I love to hear their voice when it is windy and look how they dance also, like air and algae. In summer they are quiet and in winter I miss them. And dry leaves are crispy like butter biscuits.

Thanks to share your beautiful poem.
 

zak

Dagobah Resident
You are welcome loreta, for know a little more about "veins and movement, circulation,life":

The mystery of why leaves take such different shapes is closer to being solved thanks to a new mathematical model that looks at the problem from the perspective of leaf veins.

Since plants suck up more of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide than anything else on the planet, understanding leaf veins is an important part of grappling with the global carbon budget puzzle.
"Across the world leaves take a very large amount of carbon out of the atmosphere each year," said Ben Blonder a doctoral student at the University of Arizona. Leaves absorb more than the oceans and about 10 times more than the amount humans put into the atmosphere.

"To understand the carbon flux, you have to understand how leaves work, Blonder told Discovery News. "But not all leaves work the same."


There are basically three things at play in the workings of a leaf: the amount of carbon required to make it, how long the leaf lives and how fast or slow it processes sunlight -- or its rate of photosynthesis.

These factors combine in different ways in different plants in different environments to create an incredible diversity of leaf shapes and structures.

And veins are the basis of it all.

"The really surprising thing is that these things relate to each other in ways that don't change across the globe," Blonder said.
Blonder developed a mathematical model to predict how leaves are balancing these three factors to best serve a plant, using three properties seen in the vein networks of leaves: density, distance between veins and the number regions of smaller veins that resemble capillaries in humans, referred to in this case as loops.
Vein density is a sign of how much a leaf has invested in the network. The distance between the veins is a measure of how well the veins are keeping the leaf supplied with water and nutrients. The number of loops shows how resilient a leaf is and is related to how long a leaf lives, since
loops provide ways to re-route supplies in the case a leaf gets damaged.
Veins tell you a lot about a plant.

For example, if a plant opens its leaf pores, called stomata, to absorb more carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, the leaf also loses a lot of water to evaporation. That requires lots of plumbing in the leaves to pipe in the water. That, in turn, means lots of big veins.

If a plant requires lots of water all the time, it could favor certain geometrical arrangements of veins, which starts to suggest overall leaf shapes.

So it's the veins -- the skeleton of the leaf -- which determine whether you will have a classic maple shape or a blade-like willow


"Veins do all sorts of things," said Blonder.

They provide structural support, resist damage, transport nutrients and even help send chemical signals to the plant, similar to nerves in an animal.

"There are trade-offs for leaf patterns," he added. "What we've been able to do is synthesize these things so they all make sense on one big picture."


Blonder tested his model -- predicting relationships among photosynthesis rates, leaf lifespan, carbon cost and even nitrogen costs -- on more than 2,500 species worldwide. It worked.

Then he and undergraduates assistants Lindsey Parker, Jackie Bezinson and David Cahler tested 25 leaves from the University of Arizona campus. Their initial results suggest the model works on a local scale, although they are expanding their tests to study leaves from species at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado.

Blonder and his students have published their work on veins in the journal Ecology Letters.


Ultimately, a good understanding of leaves will become incorporated into climate models. This can help not only balance the carbon budget, but also predict evaporation rates and other weather and climate-related matters that are heavily reliant on plants.

"It's of fundamental importance to understand how plants relate to global carbon cycles," said Blonder.
http://news.discovery.com/earth/plants/leaf-shapes-mystery.htm

More i learn about trees, less i know, more i realize i know so little, more i learn. :)
 

MusicMan

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
The more I observe nature and natural structures, the more I realise that everything is fractal.
Even the humble broccoli is fractal.
It's amazing.
There must be a simple formula that governs it all, perhaps Benoit Mandelbrot had a handle on it.
 

zak

Dagobah Resident
A lot of things in nature seem fractal, but not all:
The popular demonstration of drawing a mature fern leaf as expressed by Barnsley's fractal method is mathematically and visually very attractive but anatomically and developmentally misleading, and thus has limited, if any, biological significance. The same is true for the fractal demonstration of the external features of cauliflower curds. Actual fern leaves and cauliflower curds have a very small number of anatomically variable and non-iterating bifurcations, which superficially look self-similar, but do not allow for scaling down of their structure as real fractals do. Moreover, fern leaves and cauliflower curds develop from the inside out through a process totally different from fractal drawing procedures. The above cases demonstrate a general problem of using mathematical tools to investigate or illustrate biological phenomena in an irrelevant manner. A realistic set of mathematical equations to describe fern leaf or cauliflower curd development is needed.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3419012/
 

zak

Dagobah Resident
I was looking for a good place in this forum to put the following things.
And here, among the cycle of these old leaves that fall every year, for new ones.
The decor of this nature is planted to make it the perfect place for this tribute.

Homage to my knife...

Don't be angry with me, my dear knife, for not having included you among the tools - no more Brillat-Savarin talked about salt without which there would be no succulent food. Recognize at least that your blade has never been soiled by rust, for it has never stopped working, and you have never refused to work either, for your steel has always been sharpened; with you I have cut up the beast, I have bled my horse, I have unbled wounds, you were always ready.

I would like everyone to have such a reliable friend, there is no need to look for the quality of a tool if no one has ever tried to draw from you the infinite resources that you offer. You have to go from the simple to the compound, you are the simplest. But the family is vast and there are many bastards. They are still in shape, but they have lost their sense of purpose. How many of us men could say the same who have feet and don't walk, or who have fingers to polish their nails. Others think they are capable of effort, but into the work, they bend and succumb, their souls not being tempered, their bodies not being forged; they are not made to carve but to be carved. It is a glory for them to be stainless, even if this quality is obtained with the help of a redhibitory vice.
MF.
Deepl.

Hommage à mon couteau...

Ne m'en veuille pas, mon cher couteau de ne t'avoir pas compris parmi les outils - pas d'avantage Brillat-savarin n' a parlé du sel sans lequel il n'y aurait aucun mets succulent. Reconnais au moins que jamais ta lame n'a été souillée par la rouille, car jamais elle n'a cessé son travail, et jamais non plus tu n'as refusé le travail, car ton acier a toujours été affilé; avec toi j'ai dépecé la bête fauve, j'ai saigné mon cheval, j'ai débridé des plaies, tu étais toujours prêt.

Je voudrais que chacun ait un ami aussi sûr, point n'est besoin de rechercher la qualité d'un outillage si déjà on n'a pas essayé de tirer de toi les infinies ressources que tu offres. Il faut aller du simple au composé, tu es le plus simple. Mais la famille est vaste et l'on y rencontre de nombreux bâtards. Ils ont encore la forme , mais ils ont perdu le sens de leur raison d'être. Combien de nous les hommes pourraient en dire autant qui ont des pieds et qui ne marchent pas, ou qui ont des doigts pour en polir les ongles. D'autres se croient capables d'un effort, mais à l'oeuvre, ils ploient, et succombent, leur âme n'étant pas trempée, leur corps n'étant pas forgé; ils ne sont pas fait pour tailler mais pour se faire tailler. C'est un gloire pour eux d'être inoxydables, même si cette qualité est obtenue à l'aide d'un vice rédhibitoire.
MF.
 

zak

Dagobah Resident
Thinking back to the past, as a child I spent my time finding a thousand and one jobs for my knife, and with each new knife, I had new discoveries to make it do or improve.
At each summer camp, I would find a knife from the region as a souvenir, sincerely, I don't know how at that age I managed to buy them, it was another world...

As a teenager, I spent all my studies in Paris, at that time the knife that followed me everywhere in my pocket in town was a Swiss Army knife, which I had to replace only once due to wear and tear by a Victorinox.
Then a few years ago, a tree climber friend of mine offered me a Laguiole hand-made by a local blacksmith.
I found it a practical leather sheath that goes everywhere.
Unlike the other knives I have, this one is really "old school", I often have to use it to cut sausages, or others, to avoid it rusting, because its blade has not been treated.
It makes you wonder if it serves me, or I have to use it to keep its functional and operational nature.

If you ever have a blade, do not hesitate to engrave here your thoughts or actions.
If you don't have one, use your feathers!

A round trip of Thank You for reading.
 
Thank you for this homage to your knife, Zak. I found this post and your previous ones about leaves to have somehow captured my imagination and lifted my heart a bit.

I used to collect leaves during my walks in the fall and then come home and put them in books to flatten and preserve them. It was always such a pleasure to grab a book to reread or get a piece of information from and open it and have a beautiful cascade of leaves fall out and swirl to the floor. Usually I had forgotten they were even there and so it was a lovely surprise. I also love all the shapes and patterns in nature. Pinecones are another favorite of mine. The cosmic mind speaks to us in so many ways.

You also brought back to my mind a memory of a little pocketknife I used to have. I used to like to whittle a bit and always found it to be so calming and relaxing. Never thought to thank my little knife for that. So thank you dear little pocket knife. It was interesting how you compared your knife to the forming and shaping of man himself and to the work. Thank you!
 

zak

Dagobah Resident
It was interesting how you compared your knife to the forming and shaping of man himself and to the work. Thank you!
I would like to specify, even if I am rather in agreement, in my memories and appreciations, the homage said is by Michel Froissart, the inventor of "Froissartage":
Froissartage is a scouting technique for the construction of installations, developed by Michel Froissart, district commissioner of the Scouts of France in Fontainebleau in the 1930s. Inspired by peasant practices for the construction of tools, carts, frames or furniture, the technique without nails or screws is based on the principle of assembly with tenons and mortises. Used in the scouting world, crumpling is done with respect for nature, calls for resourcefulnes
and is mainly intended for camp furniture.

I used to collect leaves during my walks in the fall and then come home and put them in books to flatten and preserve them. It was always such a pleasure to grab a book to reread or get a piece of information from and open it and have a beautiful cascade of leaves fall out and swirl to the floor. Usually I had forgotten they were even there and so it was a lovely surprise. I also love all the shapes and patterns in nature. Pinecones are another favorite of mine. The cosmic mind speaks to us in so many ways.
There are so many treasures contained in a leaf of a tree, that we once left in a book full of leafy pages, which can tell us as many stories and memories as a printed page.
During my arboriculture studies, we are often asked to make a herbarium.
No drawing, nor photos in a plant recognition book, can make me see the tree, the weather, my aspirations of the moment, the place where I collected in a good way or not this dried leaf, and yet so alive that I hold in my hand.

There is another kind of leaf, which I like to slip into my books, and that are cash bills.
And after a few months, or even a few years, when I open these books, it is not the same treasure as a herbarium leaf, but it is not bad either!
 

zak

Dagobah Resident
The spectacle of leaves falling in autumn, twirling here and there with the wind, hides a biological poetry.
According to C. Drénou of the Institute for Forestry Development: "When a leaf falls on a tree, it is never replaced. On the other hand, the bud that was in its armpit can give a new axis".

IMG_20210123_142934_831.jpg

It is not only the lack of light that influences leaf fall, but also "genes, enzymes and plant hormones that control leaf senescence, as well as the differentiation of a fragile tissue at the base of the leaves.The role of this tissue, called the 'abscission zone', is to facilitate the fall of leaves under the effect of their weight and the wind" (C. Drénou.).


However, the poetry of the species called marcescent, where their foliage remains, dries and eventually falls once spring comes, remains to be described and written.
 

zak

Dagobah Resident
It was interesting how you(M.F) compared your knife to the forming and shaping of man himself and to the work.
You are right Debra Lynn, and the following quotations add that to be just and true is not just for others, but first of all for oneself in the service of truth, and thus to grow, and even if we are no longer, truth and justice and knowledge remain.
And not just for those who do the work, but for everyone.
This must be part of a universal law.
And despite appearances that those who have chosen this path would swim against the current in this flow where the last appendage is the Covid 19.
The truth is that no, it is those who somehow believe in this engineering, who are swimming headlong against the current of this universal law. And all the more so those who created it on false bases.

Professional conscientiousness...
We have known this piety of the work well pushed, maintained up to its most extreme requirements. I saw all my childhood filling chairs with exactly the same spirit and the same heart, and with the same hand, that this same people had carved their cathedrals.
M.F.

These workers did not serve. They were working. They had an honor, absolute, as is the nature of an honor. A chair-stick had to be well done. It was understood. He was a primate. It had not to be done right for the boss. It had to be well made for itself, in itself, for itself, in its very being. A tradition, a coming, a rise from the depths of the race, a history, an absolute, an honor wanted this chair-stick to be well made. Any part, in the chair, which was not seen, was exactly as perfectly made as what was seen. This is the very principle of cathedrals.
Charles Peguy.

I am fortunate to love my job, and the opportunity to share my passion and experience, even if despite the progress in vegetal knowledge and climbing techniques allows us to approach things with more security and ease than in the past, the spirit and heart put into practice of this knowledge and techniques have regressed a lot.
 

zak

Dagobah Resident
IMG_20210128_141853_577.jpg
This drawing that I had entitled "the darkside of leaf", dating back at least 18 years, is a relic of my "youth" memories that I had stored at my parents' home, which survived the purge during the renovations.
Without telling me, my parents threw away my poems, songs, my ideas and thoughts on paper, quotes from books that inspired me, my huge computer from when I was 13 years old that I had inherited from my brother that he had received from my older sister, with a whole kid's life in its hard drive.
Not to mention my handy collection of old dictionaries that were much richer than the new ones.
When I had finished in another region, my pruning season, I went back to Paris to visit my parents, and realized the disaster that had befallen my stored memories, and that there was nothing else to do or even say, but to accept.
Accept that I had also lost my compilation of techniques, stories of wisdom on Asian martial arts that I had collected with discipline, ardor, and joy since I was 10 years old.
I was so sad and downcast, I looked around me, then my hands without warning turned to me, I looked at my palms to see my tears falling on them, I didn't know it at the time, but my past, present and future memories walk and will always walk by my side, one on the right and the other on the left.

It's a very short book of Henri Focillon (1881-1943), i would like to share two passages from this book which is entitled "Eloge de la Main"/ "Praise of the Hand":

The hand is action: it takes, it creates, and sometimes it looks like it is thinking. At rest, it is not a soulless tool, abandoned on the table or along the body: the habit, instinct and will of action meditate in it, and it doesn't take a long exercise to guess the gesture it is going to make.
The artist who cuts his wood, beats his metal, kneads his clay, carves his block of stone, maintains until us a past of man, an ancient man, without whom we would not be. Is it not admirable to see standing among us, in the mechanical age, this relentless survivor of the ages of the hand? The centuries have passed over him without altering his deep life, without making him give up his ancient ways of discovering the world and inventing it. Nature is still for him a receptacle of secrets and wonders. It is always with his bare hands, weak weapons, that he tries to steal them, to make them enter his own game. Thus begins again, perpetually, a formidable other time, and so the discovery of fire, the axe, the wheel, the potter's wheel is made again, without repeating itself. In an artist's studio are written everywhere the attempts, the experiences, the divinations of the hand, the secular memories of a human race that has not forgotten the privilege of handling.
DeepL.

La main est action :elle prend, elle crée, et parfois on dirait qu’elle pense. Au repos, ce n’est pas un outil sans âme, abandonné sur la table ou pendant le long du corps :l’habitude, l’instinct et la volonté de l’action méditent en elle, et il ne faut pas un long exercice pour deviner le geste qu’elle va faire.
L’artiste qui coupe son bois, bat son métal, pétrit son argile, taille son bloc de pierre maintient jusqu’à nous un passé de l’homme, un homme ancien, sans lequel nous ne serions pas. N’est-il pas admirable de voir debout parmi nous,dans l’âge mécanique, ce survivant acharné des âges de la main ? Les siècle sont passé sur lui sans altérer sa vie profonde, sans le faire renoncer à ses antiques façons de découvrir le monde et de l’inventer. La nature est toujours pour lui un réceptacle de secrets et de merveilles. Toujours c’est avec ses mains nues, faibles armes, qu’il cherche à les dérober, pour les faire entrer dans son propre jeu. Ainsi recommence, perpétuellement, un formidable autre-fois, ainsi se refait, sans se répéter, la découverte du feu, de la hache, de la roue, du tour à potier. Dans l’atelier d’un artiste sont partout écrites les tentatives, les expériences, les divinations de la main, les mémoires séculaires d’une race humaine qui n’a pas oublié le privilège de manier.
 
The spectacle of leaves falling in autumn, twirling here and there with the wind, hides a biological poetry.
According to C. Drénou of the Institute for Forestry Development: "When a leaf falls on a tree, it is never replaced. On the other hand, the bud that was in its armpit can give a new axis".

View attachment 42020

It is not only the lack of light that influences leaf fall, but also "genes, enzymes and plant hormones that control leaf senescence, as well as the differentiation of a fragile tissue at the base of the leaves.The role of this tissue, called the 'abscission zone', is to facilitate the fall of leaves under the effect of their weight and the wind" (C. Drénou.).


However, the poetry of the species called marcescent, where their foliage remains, dries and eventually falls once spring comes, remains to be described and written.
Thank you for sharing your deeper knowledge of the biological poetry of leaves. It adds a new dimension I had not considered before and it is beautiful.
 
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