The Newtown Pentacle

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I just can’t stop.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

More of the macro shots with which I’ve been passing the cold weather down time, in today’s post. First up is a bit of Swiss Chard. Chard (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris) is actually part of the beetroot subspecies of the Amaranthaceae family. I’m planning on cooking the non photographed portions of it up with garlic, red onion, olive oil, and a bit of a poblano pepper thrown in to make it interesting. That’s likely the first time I’ve ever shared a recipe at this, your Newtown Pentacle, btw.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It was a bit challenging to pose this leafy thing, given the manner in which its leaves buckle up and curl. The now standard under flash arrangement was used to reveal some of the internal structures of the thing.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

All sorts of Lovecraftian stuff was flying through my head while I was shooting these, it should be mentioned, but then again – I was standing in a darkened and quite chilly room in which bright lights were flashing every eight to fifteen seconds. The thing about strobes is that even if you close your eyes, the light will penetrate the lids.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I mentioned pareidola in my last post of macro shots, and a humble narrator is experiencing it heavily in the shot above. It’s the nature of the human mind to try and find recognizable faces and other familiar shapes in entirely random patterns, or at least it’s the nature of the slowly rotting ball of snot found between my ears and behind my eyes.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is a bit of that plum I was showing you in the last macro shot, with a blast of light traveling up and through the flesh of the fruit. The slice was probably about a quarter inch thick, and I set my flash gun to half power.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The snow pea pod pictured above required full power on the flash gun. The waxy skin of the legume provided a bit of refraction as well, which was unexpected. A legume, the snow pea (Pisum sativum var. saccharatum) is also known to the french talkers as a “mangetout.” That means “eat all.” I know it’s supposed to be “two peas in a pod” but three just worked better.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The fuzzy Kiwi fruit, (Actinidia deliciosa aka mangüeyo), is seen in the shot above and is the national fruit of China. Once known as the Chinese Gooseberry, the vine escaped China in 1847 via the actions of British horticulturalists. A girls school principal began planting the vine in New Zealand in the early 20th century, and the fruit soon became synonymous with the country, although it wasn’t called Kiwifruit until 1959.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Oddly enough, the world’s largest producer of Kiwifruit is actually Italy, and the specifics of the most common commercially available variant of this cultivar – called the Hayward – are that the world produces some 1,412,351 tonnes of it annually with Italy and New Zealand leading the pack. It seems that since the two nations are in different hemispheres, they don’t actually compete with each other due to seasonal variability.

Who knew?

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Written by Mitch Waxman

February 19, 2016 at 11:00 am

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