Sometimes a simple daisy turns out to be not so simple after all. At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. But as I moved around the daisy patch our in our back yard, it became evident that these sensational spirals were the norm. Much like working through a maze, I found myself looking at the centre and going in, coming out, going back in. I could have done that for hours.
Here’s the thing. When I posted the above photo on my Facebook pag, friend and writing colleague, Brenda Tate, wrote “Fibonacci series.” I’d never heard of the word before. She also added this link.
Turns out that the word is in refence to a series of numbers named after Fibonacci (Leonardo Pisano Bigollo), an Italian mathematician who came into his own in the Middle Ages. He brought to light a special sequence of numbers that starts with the number 1, then each consecutive number is determined by adding the two previous numbers, like this: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89 … and on it goes. This sequence is found a lot in nature. So it’s not only daisies. Think pine cones and cauliflowers. (Tip: check out the link within the link Brenda shared.)
Meanwhile, around that time I was doing research on the word “ancestors.” I came upon a story in Scientific American written by Scott Hershberger, titled “Humans Are All More Closely Related Than We Commonly Think.” I enjoyed the article and decided to try and find the author and see if he’d be willing to chat with me via phone or email on the subject of ancestors. I found his website and contact information. But here’s the thing: turns out he’s not only a jouralist and “science communicator,” he’s also a musician who loves to compose music. One of his blogs was titled “Did Bartok use Fibonacci numbers in his music?”
I reached out to him, and, yes, he was happy to connect and we are now going back and forth.
How fun (and fascinating) is that?