Tag Archives: macro

A blueprint for life

I have been photographing dandelion seeds. No, summer has not arrived unseasonably early, nor have I been cultivating them in a hothouse; these are seeds I collected last year during a phase of trying to photograph dandelion clocks in action (another story).  I am fascinated by these little seeds; when you look closely you can see that the seed itself is tiny and most of what we see is actually the parachute of fluffy spines that allows it to float on the slightest breeze until it comes to rest gently in a (hopefully) suitable location for it to grow into a new plant.

So much information is stored inside the tiny seedhead, complete with mini hooks to help it to snag into the ground like an anchor.  Its pretty amazing in the depths of winter to imagine that the spark of life lying dormant inside this tiny seed can in a few months result in a vibrant leafy plant complete with golden yellow sun-worshipping flowers, followed eventually by the amazing beauty of the dandelion clock seedheads.

This little plant, found growing opportunistically on roadside verges and ruthlessly dug out from lawns as a weed, is unlikely to be on many people’s lists of favourite flowers and yet when we take the time to really look it has a great beauty of its own.  I photographed it using my mobile phone and I used an app to create a negative of the image.  I like to think of this as a representing the ‘blueprint’ for the flower that it may eventually become.