24 May 2007

Frank Sadorus Photography on Illinois State Museum Website

In Today's Garden
Cucumbers every day, green tomatoes on half the plants, snow peas in salads from the garden, flowers on the pole beans, summer squash forming on volunteer plants and flowers blooming. These are some of the reasons we love to be in the garden.

On the Web
The Illinois State Museum website is a treasure trove for nature lovers. Their link for Botany is described, "The ISM botanical collections include more than 111,000 botanical specimens that are housed in the herbarium, which has one of the largest collections of Illinois flora in the state. The internationally significant Cutler-Blake ethnobotanical collection preserves remains of prehistoric cultivated plants that represent much of the primary evidence for early American Indian plant domestication in North America."
The link at their site that I found even more fascinating, though, is the online photography show of Frank Sadorus. Sadorus lived on a family farm in Illinois and was an amateur photographer who used glass plate negatives. The online show is 500 of his photos of farm equipment, flowers, animals and people in the years between 1898 and 1912.

Photo from the collection. Click here to see the collection.
Used with permission from Director of Art for the Illinois State Museum and Karen Witter.

Another link that is just plain fascinating is one to Natural History magazines article on daffodil biometrics. "The petals of the daffodil, as well as those of many other plants in the genus Narcissus, do not point skyward (as do those of the tulip blossom, for instance) but droop to one side of the stem. This makes the flower appear to be gazing..."

"Etnier and Vogel also conducted experiments to find out why daffodils don't merely twist in the wind but do so with their blossoms facing downwind."


I won't ruin the surprise - go take a look at why the science of flowers can be so interesting.

2 comments:

Curtis said...

I love looking at old farm and garden photo's They are great, thanks for sharing the website.

Molly Day said...

Curtis - I loved those photos, too, and couldn't help but marvel about his recording so much history and beauty at the same time.
His personal story was interesting - the end of his life was either tragic or a great relief.
Molly