Spiral Sunday #1 – the start of an obsession

Spiral tomato 20160925_135721.png

Spirals have been a bit of an obsession with me for many years, as evidenced by the main image that has always adorned this blog (which, one day, I will tell the story of).  Not sure where that obsession originated but it’s manifested itself in a collection of ceramic bowls with spiral motifs, and with a growing set of photographs that I’ve taken.

This spiral obsession has some relevance to biodiversity.  Spirals are a recurrent feature of nature, and crop up everywhere from the flower heads of members of the daisy family to the whorled shells of gastropod molluscs.  Some of these are governed by mathematical processes such as the Fibonacci Series.  The spiral is also a much better description of the natural sequence of life and death than “the circle of life“.  Circles go back to where they started, which life never does; a spiral, it seems to me, captures that circular forward motion much more effectively, at least when viewed in three dimensions.

Some of the photographs I’ve taken are also of human constructs and cultural artefacts, because the spiral has been a motif used by artists and crafts people for thousands of years, as well as a useful bit of geometry for engineering and architectural purposes.

But, mainly, I just like spirals.  And I need an outlet for this obsession beyond scouring eBay and antique shops for interesting bowls.  Hence I thought I’d start Spiral Sunday*, a regular (maybe) posting of spiral images that I’ve captured, together with a brief description.  It’s possible that this may amuse no one except me, but ho hum.

Spiral Sunday #1 was taken this morning as I harvested the last of our tomatoes.  An undisciplined water regime on our part has meant that some of the fruits have split; in this case tensions within the tomato skin have resulted in a spiral split.


*I freely admit to having been inspired by the “Silent Sunday” feature on the Murtagh’s Meadow blog.  Check it out if you don’t know it.



Filed under Biodiversity and culture

42 responses to “Spiral Sunday #1 – the start of an obsession

  1. It will amuse more than just you. Count me in.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Murtagh's Meadow

    Thanks for the plug Jeff – I’ll be on the look our for my own spirals too (I can have a silent spiral Sunday). I can’t take the credit for “Silent Sunday” either, I think I was initially inspired by Eliza Waters, her current Silent Sunday post is at https://elizawaters.com/2016/09/24/silent-sunday-47/

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Renate Wesselingh

    Spirals are indeed fascinating, although I’d rather see the circle of life turn into a helix than into a spiral: stability with modification rather than spiralling out of control… By the way, the link to the Silent Sunday post in Murtagh’s Meadow brings the reader to the WordPress login page; this is what is should have looked like: https://murtaghsmeadow.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/silent-sunday-autumns-coming/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Renate. A helix is what I had in mind when I referred to the spiral “viewed in three dimensions” (i.e. as if you are looking down the long axis of the helix). But as soon as you mention “helix” and “life” in the same sentence people assume you’re talking about DNA so I thought I’d not mention it!

      Broken link now fixed, much appreciated. Hope to see you at SCAPE?


  4. Silent Sundays and Wordless Wednesdays are a feature of quite a few blogs. At the moment my blog posts on Sunday have an Australian theme. They aren’t silent and I’ve never been able to think up a snappy title for them. ‘Southern Hemisphere Sundays’ is the best I can come up with, so contributions welcome 🙂

    I like your musings on the spiral/helix of life. I’d never thought of it before but you make a very good point about it not really being a circle.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting spiral – normally my tomatoes just split!

    Liked by 1 person

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  15. Now I start to understand… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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