Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Jewels and Love

Erythronium americanum. Commonly referred to as the yellow Trout Lily.

Some of my favorite jewels are not necessarily of the type measured on a hardness scale.

Some of my favorite jewels are those in the plant kingdom.

When I originally embarked on a career in the natural sciences, I thought about becoming a botanist. No doubt my love of the plant kingdom would have served me well in this profession. However, I thought, that perhaps my love of plants would hinder me more than serve me in this aspect.

You see, plants for me have been an escape from the outside world and whatever ails me. I find great joy in examining the structures of a flower as well as picking up a botany book to read before falling asleep. I could never see this joy ever as work and I would not want to. I feared that if I chose this path as my profession, someday, the boundaries between work and love would be blurred. Since I hold plants as a joy, I would never want to ever see them as something I had to do. I wanted to make sure that they would always be my respite from the outside world. I wanted to make sure that plants would always stay my escape. I wanted to be selfish and reclusive. I never wanted to impose work on my love and my escape.

Scilla siberica. Commonly referred to as Siberian squill.

I do not regret my decision about not persuing botany as a profession. Although sometimes I do wonder about the paths not taken.

However, when trekking through the woods this past weekend, I found myself delighted in finding spaghnum moss growing in a bog and finding a field of skunk cabbage. In this delight, I found myself so lost in this that there was no more outside world. Nothing else existed, and most importantly, nothing else mattered.

Thus, in my decision, I have found a world where only beauty exists...

Sanguinaria canadensis. Commonly referred to as the Bloodroot.

The pictures in this post was taken during the expedition on 04/15/06. Thanks goes to Thomas for his mastery of the camera lens. Can you find the tiny jumping spider in the purple flower (Siberian squill)?


Blogger Pink Cupcake said...

Beautiful post and beautiful photos...

Friday, April 21, 2006 5:23:00 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

You COULD measure those on the hardness scale. I'd say about a zero.

BTW, beautiful pictures.

Friday, April 21, 2006 7:26:00 AM  
Blogger StyleyGeek said...

That's an interesting point about not wanting to do something as "work" that you love so much.

I've sometimes wondered if I would find it easier to have picked a area of academia which I found interesting enough to keep me motivated, but not one that I was in love with as much as I love linguistics.

It would probably make it easier to take time off without feeling guilty. It would certainly mean I might be less desperate about getting a job in my area after I finish the PhD, which would no doubt make my life easier all round. And it would maybe also mean I wouldn't be so intensely, almost emotionally invested in theoretical debates among the different areas of my field.

On the other hand, if I'm going to spend over half my waking hours doing something, it might as well be something that makes me so happy.

I can empathise with what you are saying, though.

Friday, April 21, 2006 6:30:00 PM  
Blogger High Desert Diva said...

Wow! You have great pictures Katie!

Sunday, April 23, 2006 6:41:00 AM  
Blogger Fantastagirl said...

Beautiful pictures. I love flowers - just wish I didn't have the thumb of death so that mine would grow.

Sunday, April 23, 2006 6:52:00 AM  
Blogger Virginia Wieringa said...

Nice blog! I really like your photos- spring wildflowers are a great subject! The peeper photos are amazing! Thanks for your nice comment on my Lake Michigan painting.

Sunday, April 23, 2006 9:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Plants for me have been an escape from the outside world." Yeah, Cannabis sativa and Papaver somniferum are really good for that--but that does overlap with neuroscience, no?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 1:10:00 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

To Pink Cupcake, Gary, Styleygeek, High Desert Diva, Fantastagirl, and Virginia: Thanks for all your very favorable comments. I am currently attempting to develop my photographic skills and have been very fortunate to have a skilled labmate as a mentor in this aspect. I will be acquiring a few macro lenses and I hope that I can do them justice.

To anonymous: I think I derive quite a bit of pleasure and escape on just examining morphology. I am afraid I am one of those people that just simply get an "escape" from just nature and knowledge. I know, weird...

Thursday, April 27, 2006 8:23:00 AM  

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