Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nature's Velcro














If you go out for a country walk at this time of year there's a good chance that you'll return with some of these burdock seed heads stuck to your clothing. Those hooked burrs are difficult to remove when they hook into woven cloth ..... which is why they provided Swiss engineer George de Mestral with the inspiration for Velcro fastenings.


When I was a kid we used to chuck these at each other on the way home from school - and Shakespeare probably did too because he refers to their clinging qualities in several of his plays. The simple pleasures of a rural childhood transcend time. 


In Troilus and Cressida, act 3, scene 2.....
Pandarus.
They are Burs, I can tell you; they'll stick where they are thrown.


In As You Like It, act 1, scene 3.....
Celia.
They are but Burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday foolery; if we walk not in the trodden paths our very petticoats will catch them.
Rosalind.
I could shake them off my coat; these Burs are in my heart.



11 comments:

  1. I really like your new presentation on the white background. If they aren't they look like ink and watercolour. Beautiful.

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  2. That brought back childhood memories of the fun to be had throwing burrs around. Very effective on woollen materials.

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  3. I always used to get them in my hair - there were some nasty boys in Abertillery.

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  4. I love the presentation of your photograph. It looks like an illustration in a traditional field guide.

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  5. Hi Alison, they're certainly attractive to look at ...as long as you don't get them stuck in your clothes...

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  6. Hi Adrian, I spent a long time messing about with a lightbox then came up with a simpler method - spot metre with on-camera flash against a white background, then photoshop - fiddle with lighten shadows, increase brightness and contrast .... seems to work...plus a bit of the magic thingy tool and paintbucket

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  7. Hi John, they tend to break up when you try to remove them, don't they....?

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  8. Hi toffeapple, hmmm, burrs in your hair must have been very unpleasant...

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  9. Hi swanscot, it works well with all sorts of objects - ideal for ID pictures..

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  10. wonderful image and lovely quotes!

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