“As the saying goes in architecture, ‘form follows function,’ but when it comes to feathers I would say if form follows function, then beauty follows form.”
The book Feathers: Displays of Brilliant Plumage by Robert Clark is brimming with exquisite photos and facts to tempt the curious mind to embark on a journey filled with beauty and ideas about how the thousand of varieties of feathers have developed throughout history. Feathers have been designed for warmt, camouflage and sexual competivesss. This book is a perfect marriage between art and scienc; detailed cl0se-ups of feathers is paired with text about the utility as well as the evolution of the feather on the photo..
Robert is taking us on a journey filled with elegance as well as the past and interesting uses of feathers.
“The ways in which feathers have evolved and manifested themselves over time is riveting to me; over millions of years the scales of a dinosaur deviated and began to grow upward in spines that covered the body of birds. Through many generations, these spines spread, evolving specific purposes for the regions on the body on which they grew; eventually these spinal structures were imbued with extravagant colors and features,” writes Robert.
The aim is to make the feathers “look as if you could pick them up” and I could not agree more. So pick up the book and enjoy!
The colour of scarlet macaw’s feather helps it live and blend in various different habitats. This is a secondary wing covert feather.
The ice circles in the photos are from Sävar in the northern part of Sweden. The circles look perfect as if they have been made by a ceramist.
If you listen you can hear the sound of the river or the sea flowing continuously. When you are watching the ice circles dance by you can hear very sharp cracks and groans.
The circles are formed when a large piece of ice breaks off creating an effect called “rotational shear” where the current slowly grinds away at the free-floating chunk until it is smoothed into a circle.
The first video is filmed by Kaylyn Messer in Seattle and in the second video you can hear the sounds of ice. Go here to read Jonna Jinton’s blog.
Looking at images of nature can improve our health and well-being.
You may be aware of the calming influence that exposure to nature or gardens can have on our physical as well as psychological well-being. Exposure to nature can help to reduce anger, fear, and stress. We experience more positive feelings when we are in a natural environment and it may even reduce blood pressure, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.
Spending time in a waiting room can be a frustrating experience and patients are nearly unanimous in their dislike of waiting at their doctors’ offices. Notifying patients how long they will have to wait can ease the frustration of most patients, and so can providing multi-sensory stimulation through environments that require our attention, like nature scenes.
Brain research has shown that the brain is plastic and is able to change and develop throughout life. Impressions and experiences may reprogram connections in our brain. In 1998, Peter Eriksson, neurobiologist and neuroscientist, showed that new nerve cells are formed in the brain of adult people throughout their lives. Brain plasticity is important for the prospects of rehabilitation and functional recovery following illness. Internal and external sensory stimuli can cause changes in neural pathways and synapses, which can benefit the recovery process.
Providing a stimulating environment may help a person to build a mind set that prepares them better for rehabilitation, provide a quieter and more meaningful anticipation, as well as the ability to listen actively to what the doctor, nurse or other healthcare staff. Insight and understanding what the patient can do to feel better is of great importance. This aspect has traditionally largely been ignored and often the aim is to get the patient out of the hospital setting as quickly as possible. This approach means that valuable information from physicians and health professionals can easily be overlooked in the meeting, ultimately leading to a longer recovery process.
In a Swedish hospital, the wards of seriously ill patients were decorated with motifs from nature and natural bird sounds were played. The images were selected to fit criteria that were believed to reduce stress and enhance well-being. The results from the study suggests that this approach had a positive effect on both the patients and the people working at the hospital. The underlying idea was that the images shoudl be taken from the patient’s environment and that this would help them to think of other aspects of their life than their illness.
Research suggest that:
Real or artificial experience of nature may offer pain relief
Looking at nature and images of nature may reduce stress
Art with nature motifs reduces stress and is preferred by patients
Well designed garden reduces stress and increases the satisfaction of both patients and relatives
Windows facing nature reduces stress and increases job satisfaction
What sort of images would you pick for your doctor’s waiting room?
What sounds would you like to hear?
The sensualinthe eye’smysteries, signals and draws complexityfrom within.
The message in the gazes is thebody’s response, thebrain’sinterpretationof each and every one of us. Feelingsflowing throughthepurposefulmomentum,itcannothideits direction. A way to communicateat a high level, what our insidewants and what it understands.
Vision is a wonderfultool, in an honest, true and real community.
FreedomYou fly with the wind beyond infinity
Under the wings breathe freedom
To see you flying gives strength and courage
In this quiet moment
A gift you gave to me, to bring my dreams close
And to teach the beauty of the freedom
Not sooften, butsometimes it does happen thatthe seacomes to resteven during the day. Then you have toquietlyseize the momentbymagicallyglidingonto the sleepingdragon’s backand feelthe heavybreathingthrough thealmostimperceptibleswell.