Mirabilis Spirals in Nature

February 8, 2010

This is mostly a pretty pictures post, but first a word from our sponsor:  If you’ll be anywhere near Pittsburgh this weekend, come to the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Show.  I’ll be teaching four classes – the Lace and Loop Scarf, Mirabilis, Brain Coral, and Pinwheel Blankets.  Besides my four classes, there’ll be demonstrations and classes galore, including a bunch by cable maven Melissa Leapman, and even an art show highlighting other folks like me who use math in their fiber arts.  My big silver spiral – robot ice cream cone? – will be on display.  And of course, there’ll be more yarn and fiber than you can ever hope to shake your sticks at.  If any of my readers out there in blog-land have been following along since the wonderful Bedford Springs retrea t last fall, I look forward to seeing you again!


Now the pictures!  I found all of these spirals when I was putting together my handouts for Mirabilis class.  I’ve been saying for a long time that the spirals I’m so obsessed with occur all over the place in nature – here are a few:

The Milky Way

Nautilus Shell

Airplane Wake

Fiddlehead Fern

Wikipedia also tells me that hawks follow the same spiral paths when they’re zooming in on their prey, and moths do the same thing around a candle or light bulb.  You’ll just have to imagine those ones.  And of course, here’s the Mirabilis blanket I’ll be teaching everyone to make:

Mirabilis

And mostly ’cause I love neck ruffles so much,
here’s the mathematician who gave Mirabilis its name:

Jakob Bernoulli

(Fiddlehead photo:  Forest and Kim Starr.
All images not by me from WikiMedia Commons)
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