Ernst Haeckel’s Study and Illustrations of Jellyfish.

The German biologist Ernst Haeckel was fascinated by medusae, the umbrella-shaped animals commonly called jellyfish.
For Haeckel, whose imagination was shaped in the Romantic era, medusae expressed the exuberant yet fragile beauty of Nature. And in their ethereal forms he glimpsed a reflection of his great love Anna Sethe, who died tragically at the age of twenty-nine.
Haeckel had been engaged to Anna for four years when, in 1862, he became associate professor of zoology at the University of Jena.
The job gave the adoring pair the economic security they needed to finally marry. In the same year, Haeckel published a book on radiolaria (microscopic plankton) which he furnished with stunning illustrations.
In Jena, the newlyweds lived together in bliss for eighteen months. Then, on the day he was supposed to celebrate his thirtieth birthday and receive an award for his radiolaria book, Anna died suddenly, probably of a burst appendix
”Haeckel travelled to the Mediterranean town of Nice to attempt a recovery from his suicidal malaise.

One day he took a walk and saw a medusa in a rock pool: “I enjoyed several happy hours watching the play of her tentacles which hang like blond hair-ornaments from the rim of the delicate umbrella-cap and which with the softest movement would roll up into thick short spirals.”
He made a sketch and named the species Mitrocoma Annae [Anna’s headband].
Source: Ernst Haeckel’s Jellyfish – The Public Domain Review

Together in our Shadows.

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Our shadows on a late autumn’s evening in Richmond Park
The light at this time of the day is sometimes described as the golden hour.
The long shadows cast provided the ideal picture opportunity against the autumnal colours in Richmond Park.
Image Credit: Photograph: by ID7798980/GuardianWitness
See more beautiful images via Sweet harmony: readers’ photos on the theme of together | Community | The Guardian

Frost Flowers at Lake Akan, Japan.

frostflowers3When the weather dips below -15°C (5°F), a beautiful natural phenomenon can occur, producing a fractal flourish of ice known as “frost flowers.”
These delicate blooms are made entirely of ice crystals that grow in patches around three to four centimeters in diameter.
They are specific to thin lake ice in calm weather conditions, and they form in a branching, tree-like pattern that mimics a rose or petal.
When present, the frost flowers transform the landscape into an ethereal wonderland.

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The ice blooms seen here are located in Hokkaido, Japan on Lake Akan.
Its conditions are just right for these crystalline structures to exist—a mountain blocks the wind so the scenery is peaceful.
When looking at the meadow of frost flowers, you might feel the same tranquility needed for them to thrive.
See more Images via photo – My Modern Met

The Darknes of Melania Brescia.

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By Sarah Ann Loreth
Melania Brescia is an introvert, but that hasn’t stopped her from creating a bold and dark body of work that places herself both behind and in front of the camera.
Inspired by bouts of sadness and depression, her self-portraiture started as a constructive way to deal with emotions she couldn’t convey in any other way.
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Her images served as a photographic journal of her experiences.
Learning to deal with her extreme introversion, Melania feels most comfortable creating entirely alone, preferring to manage each part of the process from modeling, to shooting, to editing.
Her work touches on a side of life most of us can relate to and there is a bravery in being able to turn those dark periods into beautiful pieces of art.
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Read on further for the Interview with Melania Brescia
http://goo.gl/etVB0g

The Spiritual Sculptures of Harbin.

Harbin, China
A worker walks next to ice sculptures during the annual Harbin international ice and snow festival.
Some 120,000 cubic metres of ice and 111,000 cubic metres of snow were used to build the festival’s venue.
Image Credit: Photograph by Roman Pilipey/EPA
Source: The 20 photographs of the week | Art and design | The Guardian