Saturday, 18 May 2013

Fractal ferns

Back in the dim and distant past I did a Maths degree. I have stopped mentioning this in polite company as it tends to be a conversation killer. However, I have an enduring love of naturally occurring patterns and one of my favourites has to be unravelling ferns. There were plenty to be seen in the Ashdown Forest this afternoon.

I am fascinated by the way ferns start off in a tight little ball of potential....

and then very carefully unfurl, reaching out to the sun.


Fractal patterns basically repeat at ever smaller scales and happen in nature more often than you would think. (See here if you are interested!) Now, don't get me started on the Fibonacci series...


  1. I did a maths degree too [even longer ago than you] but I am sitting here today in my teeshirt with a Fibonacci cartoon on it []. Sadly 99% of those who see me wearing it do not get the joke!
    You are not alone - there are others of us who also love the numbers in nature and the sequences in the stars!!
    weekend blessings xx

    1. That is very funny. What a brilliant T-shirt!

  2. My older sister also has a math degree...I was a shock to her math instructors when they had to deal with me :-) My weakness in your area of strength has through the years helped me grow to appreciate you folk who are more gifted in math and analysis and detail than I. The unique order and structure of the world around us is more astoundingly beautiful thanks to you who help me use Google and Wikipedia to look up Fibonacci [which I had read about but had forgotten the definition]. Thanks for another great post, Lesley.
    Gracie xx

  3. Thank you for sharing the lovely pictures. I am maths deficient, barely number literate and I am in awe of anyone who can get beyond the basic functions of addition and subtraction. WS xxx


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