Saturday, April 25, 2015

BOOK: The Triumph of Seeds: Our huge debt to tiny marvels


"THAT spark of dormant life may be hidden and hard to measure, but mother plants will do almost anything to protect it," writes conservation biologist Thor Hansen, describing the marvels that are seeds.

This post is entirely taken from the New Scientist review ... see link below. 

Read a recent review by New Scientist:

The Triumph of Seeds: Our huge debt to tiny marvels - life - 19 April 2015 - New Scientist




"With light, engaging prose Hansen shows how the little spheroids we tip out of a packet are in fact supremely elegant genetic time capsules. The Triumph of Seeds takes you past the casing into the extraordinary inner working of objects without which our landscapes, dinner plates and gardens would be unrecognisable. You will never be able to look at an orange pip or a sunflower seed in the same way again.
This article appeared in print under the headline "Seeding the future"
Adrian Barnett is a rainforest ecologist at Brazil's National Institute of Amazonian Research in Manaus


Seeds have many cunning survival strategies, including desiccation (Image: Frederique Jouval/picturetank)
Well worth a read!

Monday, February 23, 2015

CATCHING UP : FEBRUARY


Its been too long between posts ... so a little update is called for.

Often I post at Twitter when sharing Seed Conservation material these days. Its surprisingly efficient and attracts such a good exchange of stories that I will suggest you drop into Sophie Munns twitter feed  if you wish to take a look. 

This is where I would find many of the articles I would like to share here at this blog time permitting.




I retweeted this post below last night for example: 






I highly recommend taking a look if you wish to be linked to many in the world of Seed Conservation Science and all things seeds, plants, food culture and sometimes Art + politics.




And Facebook: Homage to the Seed page is where I also share and follow in the search for quality information. 

Last week I shared the three images of the Caasowary bird and their habitat and rainforest fruit diet by National Geographic Photographer Christian Ziegler... see the whole photo series ~ 'Cassowary: Big bird in trouble' at this Nat Geo link:http://tinyurl.com/q7ljyhr 









And  the image below I've shared at FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and on Visual Eclectica blog ... I'm preparing to have an online shop set  up to make available Archival quality Limited Edition prints.





The other plan thats now in focus is writing the book thats been in the wings for some time. My last post here touched on that.

Ive been collating material for the last 4 years, photographic, text-based, articles etc ... notes have been made on copious subjects and on blogs and various formats... but what I have recently focused on was  a snubber of days working with simple pen and watercolour paper capturing the key concepts and directions I wish to pursue... 








This format was more fluid and being able to work between idea, text and image was incredibly useful for drawing ideas together at this particular stage. I plan to self-publish a draft of chapter one with a simple online book template to work through initial ideas and be able to engage with others who will be contributing to this book on the Seed Project covering the last 5 years.

Its both a very exciting and/or overwhelming task ... depending on which day of the week it is and what else is pressing at the time. There is so much scope  so the main task is nutting out what to include and what's going to be unnecessary. I imagine that in itself will require tremendous focus right up to the last stage.

Contact me here if you have any inquiries.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seed diversity in all its visual splendour!


Last night trawling around online I came across 'Trust me I Am a Seed Scientist' at FB and was smitten with their gallery of amazing photographs ...
                                  ... this species was just one of many that caught my eye.

"Scorpiurus muricatus is an annual legume species, widespread in pastures of the basin of the Mediterranean Sea and it has tiny pea-like flowers and simple leaves uncharacteristic of a legume. Its contorted, pubescent pods give rise to its common name "Prickly Caterpillar".

























This species below was another that I found structurally exquisite.


Swietenia mahogani, commonly known as the West Indies Mahogany, is a species of Swietenia native to southern Florida in the United States and islands in the Caribbean including the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola. Swietenia mahagoni is listed as "Threatened" in the Preservation of Native Flora of Florida Act 

Read the post here.































Now with Xmas coming along a closer look at the Brazil nut is timely. Who knew they came in this kind of packaging! I certainly didn't.

Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa), also called Pará nut, edible seed of a large South American tree (family Lecythidaceae) found in the Amazonian forests of Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador. The Brazil nut is particularly well known in the Brazilian state of Pará, where it is called castanha-do-pará (Pará nut) and is grown as one of the major commercially traded nuts in the world. Brazil nuts are commonly eaten raw or blanched and are high in protein, dietary fibre, thiamin, selenium, copper, and magnesium. 


The hard-walled fruits are spherical pods, 8–18 cm (3–7 inches) in diameter, that resemble large coconuts hanging at the ends of the tree’s thick branches. A typical 15-cm (6-inch) pod can weigh up to 2.3 kg (5 pounds) and contains 12–24 nuts, or seeds, that are arranged like the sections of an orange. A mature tree will produce more than 300 pods, which ripen and fall to the ground from January to June. The pods are harvested from the forest floor, and the seeds are taken out, dried in the sun, and then washed and exported while still in their shells. The brown shell is very hard and has three sides.

Brazil nuts are some of the most valuable non-timber products in the Amazon but are extremely sensitive to deforestation, because of their complex ecological requirements. The trees produce fruit only in undisturbed habitats and cannot be cultivated in pure stands. They require large native bees for the pollination of their semi-enclosed flowers and rely solely on agoutis (medium-sized rodents) for the dispersal of their seeds. Brazil nuts are primarily harvested in the wild by local people. Many forest-based communities depend on the collection and sale of Brazil nuts as a vital and sustainable source of income, and the sweet nuts provide protein and calories for tribal, rural, and even urban Brazilians. Native Amazonians use the empty pods as containers and brew the bark to treat liver ailments.

Brazil nuts are related to a number of other tropical trees valued for their fruits and nuts, including the cannonball tree (Couroupita guianensis), the anchovy pear (Grias cauliflora), and the monkey pot (Lecythis species).
























I recommend a visit to the Trust me I AM a Seed Scientist FB page if you want to discover more splendid species! Its well worth a visit!







Friday, November 14, 2014

#thebigseeddraw this SUNDAY + OPEN STUDIO NOV 22 - 30


This Sunday I am conducting a drawing workshop with a difference ... this one will be FREE,  communal and relaxed... with all materials provided. 

UPDATE: SORRY TO SAY THIS EVENT HAS NOW BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO EXTREME TEMPERATURES TODAY IN BRISBANE. 

Brisbane City Council OH & S made a call on this yesterday afternoon when 42C was confirmed as likely temperature for the day. 
NB: I'lll be offering this free activity at my Studio over 9 days starting next weekend.

Between 9am and 1pm on Sunday morning people will be able to wander into an large marquee set up next to the Community Gardens at Seventeen Mile Rocks on the Brisbane River north west of the city cbd. 


This is a close up of the program where The Big Seed Draw is listed. Read that program here. 




Anyone who takes part in THE BIG SEED DRAW can take a photo of their drawing and post on FB, Twitter or Instagram with HASHTAG #thebigseeddraw to go in the draw for prizes listed on this flyer below:





I will also be running some sessions of the #TheBigSeedDraw at the upcoming OPEN STUDIO event from November 22 to 30 at my SeedArtLab Studio in Chermside, Brisbane. 

So if your based in the  Brisbane region but can't make Sunday please put the studio event in your diary and come and join us there... from Midday till 5pm over 9 days.



Student work from QACI 




OPEN STUDIO EVENT coming up at my studio!






If you have any questions please contact me ... and watch my FB page and Instagram for updates. We will have several special things you can participate in during this 9 day event.

I'll be back with photo from this event soon!
                                                               Sophie

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