Friday, December 2, 2011

Dude. Nature is awesome. (And so are collective nouns.)

Thanks to the internet, nature is really blowing my mind lately. [I am not unaware of the irony in that statement; I am simply choosing to ignore it.] Since I do not like to have my mind blown solo, I am sharing these discoveries with you. You're welcome. Prepare to be amazed.

So, yeah...this is sand.
What?! Sand, you say? I do say, and so does Dr. Gary Greenberg, the artist/scientist/magician who uses a fancy-pants microscope to take micro photos of individual grains of sand, among other things.
  I mean...really. Who knew? I am never going to look at the beach the same way.

You can see more of Dr. Greenberg's work, buy a book of the sand grain images, and order prints of his work on his website.

I like this next example of nature's awesomeness for two reasons. One  - The title of the video is Murmuration, which besides being fun to say, is the word for a flock of starlings.

This delights me because I am a nerd, and as a nerd, I like learning collective nouns. I blame my parents for reading us A Cache of Jewels and Other Collective Nouns when we were little. Who am I kidding? I loved that book and will definitely be reading it to my kids. In fact, I will probably treat them to all of the books in Ruth Heller's World of Language series (Many Luscious Lollipops: A Book About Adjectives, anyone?).
Thanks to this book, I know that a group of penguins is a parcel and when peacocks get together, its a muster. I don't recall, but I doubt Ms. Heller covers a murder of crows.
{How cute is that?}
Holy grammar tangent. Moving on...the second reason that I love this video is that it just shows nature being awesome. Apparently my verbal abilities have deteriorated to a level associated with your average pothead, I blame the aforementioned mind blowing. In all seriousness though, this is really breathtaking. I think I was literally holding my breath at the end. The video was shot by Liberty Smith and Sophie Windsor Clive on the River Shannon in Ireland.


I have no idea how that girl managed to keep such a steady hand. I'm pretty sure that, had I been in her shoes, I would not have been contemplating the magnificent beauty of the natural world because this is all I would be able to see.

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