More Fibonacci


I get a lot of hits on my blog entry about getting a PhD in Basketweaving, by seeing if the spiral of the basket is a Fibonacci series. Recall that a Fibonacci series was devised by some Italian dude in the 1600's to model the reproduction rate of bunnies. As it turns out, the Fibonacci series is rife in nature. It can be observed in sunflower seeds, cabbage growth, uncurling of a fern and many other things.

If you need a short refresher, a Fibonacci series is calculated by adding the previous terms. It goes like this: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 etc. The higher up that you get, the more the ratio of consecutive Fibonacci numbers converge on the Golden Mean, which happens to be a very pleasing ratio to human beings. The Ancient Greek Parthenon was built on the Golden Ratio.

Well, I had my camera out walking yesterday, and I came upon a poinciana seedling in this tropical paradise. The poinciana tree flowers throughout the summer in flame red with orchid like flowers. Then it grows a big bean that dries out. The tourists collect these and use them as rattles.

I saw two consecutive branches on the poinciana seedling, and idly wondered if they would be consecutive Fibonacci numbers. The first stem has 8 pairs of leaves and the next one below it has 13. As it turns out, they were. I snapped the pic, and photoshopped away the rest of the distracting background.

As I gleefully snapped the picture, it dawned on me how nerdy I had become. I am now counting leaf pairs. Man, I need to get a life. ..... ..... Wait a minute, I already have one, and it is here in the tropics.

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