Mona Caron’s Wall Murals of Plants.

Muralist Mona Caron (previously) has continued her worldwide Weeds series, with colorful renderings of humble plants growing ever taller on buildings from Portland and São Paulo to Spain and Taiwan.
The San Francisco-based artist often partners with local and international social and environmental movements for climate justice, labor rights, and water rights, and selects plants, both native and invasive, that she finds in the cities where she paints. 

Several of these murals contain intricate miniature details, invisible from afar.
These typically narrate the local history, chronicle the social life of the mural’s immediate surroundings, and visualize future possibility, and are created in a process that incorporates ideas emerging through spontaneous conversations with the artwork’s hosting communities while painting.

Caron regularly shares process videos and photos of completed works on Instagram, and she delves into the narratives behind several of her murals on her website.
via Soaring Murals of Plants on Urban Walls by Mona Caron | Colossal

‘Lake Tahoe Summer Sunrise,’ California.

Photo Of The Day is “Lake Tahoe Summer Sunrise” by David Shield.

Location: Lake Tahoe, California.

“Not so long ago, this beach, located on the West shore of Lake Tahoe, was completely submerged,” explains Shield.

“Now exposed, this area is capable of producing a profusion of lupine wildflowers, typically found on display in early July.

Discovering that this particular summer had produced a striking display, I set out early in the morning, during a brief thunderstorm, to capture a few images. By the time I arrived, the storm had cleared, and left behind a pretty sunrise sky.”

See more of David Shield’s photography at http://www.davidshieldphotography.com.

Source: Photo Of The Day By David Shield – Outdoor Photographer

Alien Like Carnivorous Plants.

joniniemela2Through macro photography, Joni Niemelä is able to capture the minuscule beauty of things that we might normally miss.
The Finnish photographer has recently turned an eye towards the carnivorous plant Drosera, which is more commonly known as a “Sundew” — a moniker referring to the droplets that collect on the plants, akin to a morning dew.
Those condensation-like beads, however, aren’t from water.
They’re the result of the plant luring, capturing, and digesting insects.
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In Niemelä’s gorgeous images, the extremely close vantage point allows him to highlight the tiniest parts of the Sundew, and their individual droplets shine with exquisitely-speckled details.
Having such a shallow depth-of-field also abstracts parts of the composition. While the plant (or plants) are often in focus, the diffused areas bathe the portraits in brilliant greens, blues, and magentas.
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“Sundews have always fascinated me, and I have been photographing these alien-like plants for several years now,” Niemelä says. “My first first photo series Drosera was mostly bright and vibrant, so I wanted to have some contrast to that in my second series of Sundews.
I think the colors and the mood of Otherworldly Blues reflect aptly the true nature of these carnivorous plants.”
via Gorgeous Macro Photos Detail the Beauty of Alien-Like Carnivorous Plants – My Modern Met.

Chromolithographs of The Great Water Lily 1854.

These magnificent colour lithographs are to be found in Victoria Regia, or, The Great Water Lily of America:
With a Brief Account of its Discovery and Introduction into Cultivation (1854), a work by amateur botanist John Fisk Allen which documents his attempts to propagate the Amazon’s Victoria regia (now called Victoria amazonica) in the more northerly climes of his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts.

The wonderfully lavish plates accompanying the slim volume are the work of the British-born printer William Sharp, who is credited with creating the very first chromolithograph on American soil — a portrait of Reverend F. W. P. Greenwood.
These images produced for John Fisk Allen’s book are, according to Christies, the “very first colour-printed lithographs produced in America”.
Why they are ignoring the Greenwood portrait, we are not quite sure: it could be that they mean a first in the context of large scale colour printing, as opposed to a one off; or perhaps it is a reflection that some believe it likely that the Greenwood portrait was actually a lithotint with colours printed from a single rather than the multiple stones normally associated with chromolithography.

In any case, with their bold and stunning depth of colours, these water lily images by Sharp stand out as some of the finest examples of chromolithography, an art which at the time was only in its infancy.
Source: William Sharp’s Chromolithographs of The Great Water Lily (1854) | The Public Domain Review

Psilocybin the Magic Ingredient in Mushrooms.

psilocybin-mushroom-110929The “magic” ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms is psilocybin, a compound that breaks down into psilocin in the body.
Psilocin bonds to serotonin receptors all over the brain, and can cause hallucinations as well as synesthesia, or the mixture of two senses.
Under the influence, for example, a person might feel that they can smell colors.
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In keeping with the human tradition of eating anything that might alter your mind, people have been ingesting psilocybin-continuing mushrooms for thousands of years.
Synthetic psilocybin is now under study as a potential treatment for anxiety, depression and addiction.
via Trippy Tales: The History of 8 Hallucinogens 

The Botany of Booze.

The Manhattan
Barley (Hordeum vulgare)
Whether you drink your Manhattan with bourbon or rye, this grass is a key ingredient.
The grain has been fermented since at least 3000 BC, for good reason: it is rich in enzymes that help break starch into fermentable sugar.
To kick-start this process, the grains are dampened to force germination. As the embryo sprouts, those enzymes are activated to provide sugar for the seedling—or for the fermentation tank.
Oak (Quercus alba)
As oak trees mature, the older vessels become plugged with crystalline structures called tyloses. As a result, the center of the tree—the heartwood—doesn’t conduct water at all, making it well-suited for use as a watertight barrel. Whiskey gets an astonishing array of flavors from the barrel.
American white oak produces the same flavor molecules found in vanilla, coconut, peach, apricot, and cloves.
Marasca Cherry (Prunus cerasus var. marasca)
In the distant, boozy past, a maraschino cherry was not an artificially dyed and overly sweetened atrocity. I
t was a dense, dark, sour cherry called the marasca that grew particularly well in Croatia, around the town of Zadar.
Fortunately, fine marasca cherries soaked in their own liqueur can still be found in some specialty shops.
Source: The Botany of Booze: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks | DiscoverMagazine.com