By the Numbers

What is the next number in the following sequence? 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, …

Here’s a clue: You’re looking at the Fibonacci sequence. It occurs everywhere in nature. Count the petals on a ray flower. It’s probably going to be a Fibonacci number. Look at the spiral pattern of a pine cone or a pineapple and count the spirals if you can. You will get a Fibonacci number.

Or better yet, you southerners pick up the fallen fruit of a Magnolia tree. See the spirals and count them. Fibonacci number, of course. Fibonacci numbers can go as high as you can count and do the math that creates the sequence. Hint: It’s simple addition.

So Fibonacci didn’t create the Fibonacci sequence, exactly. He’s just the Italian mathematician who looked at creation, and probably lots of art and architecture from the Classical period forward, and created the formula for calculating the proportions nature, artists and architects have been using from day one.

Fibonacci on the Beach

I love the Fibonacci sequence, the mystery and mundaneness of it, and the Goldon Proportion it produces. So imagine my delight in walking a beach on the Emerald Coast of Florida noticing that a particular species of grass on that beach, as it goes dormant in winter, falls to the sand in perfect Fibonacci spirals.

A few days ago I was equally delighted to ship this image–one of my all-time favorites–off to the A Smith Gallery at 103 N. Nugent Ave., Johnson City, Texas. The show is called “botanical” and it runs June 4 through July 18, 2021.

Darn! If only Texas was not so wide! The A Smith Gallery shows only photography. Although I’ve applied often, this is only my second invitation into one of their shows. I’m gratified. And I would so love to go to the opening! But Johnson City is an 8-hour drive from home. They will do a Facebook Live gallery walk once the show is installed. I’ll be watching and will post the link on my Facebook page.

Oh, BTW, did you figure out the number? Nah, I’m not going to tell. But here’s a link to an entertaining little film that’s actually a quite good introduction to Fibonacci. What’s up with that?!

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