Blue Fairies by the Canal
I walked this morning along the unused canal near my home. Hovering alongside the water were many many tiny damselflies. These little creatures are only around 3cm long – tiny, delicate, like little blue flecked fairies. As I studied them with their framework-like wings and iridescent cerulean blue markings I wondered at such things that people and children might never notice or even know of. There is something heartening about discovering the beauty in nature that gives a sense of lightness to any moment.
What About The Garden Snail?
The damselflies are surely things of beauty and colour but nature does not have to be so showy to bring an uplifting moment. Even in our inner cities there is reward for paying attention to nature while in the park or a tiny garden where shiny beetles, spiders weaving, and hopping Robins will reveal themselves, although you have to focus somewhat to feel that awe. And keep the phone off.
So how about the common snail? I think that the difficult bit for a lot of us is the actual act of being still and allowing these moments to unfold, this includes me of course. Also we have to overcome some assumptions. Take the common garden snail. We know what they look like and they are kind of annoying when they are chomping on the hostas and other prize garden plants, so why on earth bother to pay any attention to one?
Here is a snail on my garden pot. This is surely an amazing feat for a design’ the snail shell and not the pot of course 🙂
The Golden Section
The shell coils clockwise from the centre like most snail shells do. This is a logarithmic spiral meaning the distances between turns in the spiral increases in geometric progress. The formula for this is the Golden Section. It is used to approximate good composition in creating images. Using this ratio helps to construct pictures which are pleasing to the eye. Nature uses this ratio or rule in all sorts of examples – the approach of a hawk to its prey, the construction of the eye’s cornea, the centre of a sunflower, galaxies and so on. There are some good examples and explanation of the golden ratio in nature by GEORGE DVORSKY on this blog.
This may have all got a bit technical, rather the point I was trying to make was about looking at the pattern of the snail shell and seeing how it is both beautiful and remarkable it really is.
If you slow down and stop for a while, and take a good close look around you, even if in the most unlikely of places you will surely be amazed.