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Moth face

Just when I thought there was no time left for an inspired post before we travel, I had a guest. Sometimes these gifts just fall in our lap, if only we can take the time to appreciate them. Even though I was up to my neck, cleaning, washing clothes, packing, paying bills, answering email and making time for a video chat with my Mum, I took the time. And I took probably 150-200 photos. There were four or five that I felt were up to standard, and that is about normal. Some were taken with my new little macro lens, others with the iPhone native camera.

It was quite a cool 4 C (39 F), gray and very windy morning here in Alice, not at all enticing to take my usual walk with photo possibilities. So an opportunity to photograph this gorgeous creature, in the comfort of my home, made my day. Macro photography with the iPhone has opened a whole new world to me. It is a world that requires huge amounts of patience, but the rewards are amazing. Who knew the edge of a moth’s wing looked like the fringed edge of my Grandma’s lampshade?


fringed edge of moth wing

Or that the wing looks like fine embroidery with silk threads?


a fractal delusion

Or, that the tiny pieces that make up a moth wing are fractals? My husband looked at the photos and told me this. That is the difference between us. I see beauty and photograph it, he understands how it is created. So a fractal, in its simplest explanation, is this:

A fractal is a natural phenomenon and a mathematical set. What they have in common is a repeating pattern that displays at every scale.


Newly Graduated PhD with Mace

I am not a math person, so my hubby had to explain it in even simpler terms. And even then I had to ask my Uncle Google. It seems there is a mathematical calculation that can be applied for the shape of every fractal. That shape is replicated in such a way that whether you are looking at it under a powerful microscope, or a camera lens the shapes are still there, though they appear different depending on the scale of observation. When they combine, larger patterns are formed, such as that on the wing. Knowing that is why he graduated with his PhD last week. And recognising a good moment is why I took the photo!!


fractal perfection

The moth visited for the entire day, in the perfect, soft daylight, highlighting its body as it shifted and posed along the runway of my kitchen windowsill. This morning it is gone.

Probably, it is hiding in my woolen jumpers, happily munching holes in them.


(Most likely there will not be a predictable wireless internet connection from Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia or Turkey the next few weeks, so my posts will be in the lap of the Gods. Stay well.)