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"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors". – Plato

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I did it again this year. Booked another walking week with Paul after the nice walking week I had last year. Might do it again next year.

- Lenie B, Switzerland

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Walking blog: The philosophy of walking

Symmetry in nature

sycamore close upsycamore symmetry

Shapes and symmetry of nature.

It’s not just the finished article that makes nature observation such a thrill. Trees, plants, birds in moult or as fledglings all have their evolving shapes and colours before they reach their apex of growth to become the recognizable shape of their intended creation.

Species identification becomes as fluid and as ever changing as the individual life we are observing at any one moment in the cycle of growth and decay.

It’s a challenge, as though nature is confidently saying “yes it’s a black backed gull, but tell me, 1st year or 2nd year juvenile?…go on make my day, punk”.

The coiled spring of a fern comes to mind, somehow caught taking breath before launching into the promised, exciting burst of activity to its ultimate profile. It’s a personal taste as to which is prettier.

Well a picture paints a thousand words. Look at the two photos of the young sycamore. I was stopped in my tracks, well actually all I did was get off the coach whilst waiting for the King Harry Ferry with the 16 members of the Budock Vean Hotel 2010 walking break group.

Over time and with a bit of experience which can be brought out in anyone, one gets a sense of what is around out of the corner of ones eye. I was aware of a prospective symmetry. On closer inspection there was the cross of the leaf stalks like 90 degree spokes. Then the four green leaves at the end of the spokes with two brownish red inner leaves. But now look closer at the two inner leaves and one can see opposing white star shaped veins with the spokes behind. In the Bible Ezekial saw a wheel within a wheel.

As a parable all I can say is that I saw symmetry within symmetry. Well potentially Nature can be a religious experience, which also hits you at the most unexpected times and places