Underlying Patterns
This is a fascination I have had since I was a young child! You have probably noticed similar patterns in very different situations. Why? The pictures at the left are of Miller Creek in Prescott, Arizona and the cloud bands of Jupiter. I believe there are underlying forces at work that create similar patterns in very different settings.

The Quest for Understanding
We may never have all the answers, but I'm very excited to share with you some of my observations.
I have written a book that explores these questions. For more about the book click HERE.
Patterns 100: Nature is as You Find It, Not as You Want it to Be!
That's what my astronomy professor, Marshal Martz, used to say! He was my teacher and a great inspiration! He was the one who guided me through my first telescope project - grinding and polishing a 6" mirror when I was studying at Jamestown Community College in western New York.

So, what does that saying mean? If we have a theory that explains how nature "should" behave and we find that it doesn't always behave as predicted, what has to change? The theory, of course!

Richard Feynman understood this principle, and when there wasn't a mathematical way to explain it, he made up new mathematics! Hence the Feynman Diagrams and other amazing advancements. Here is a wonderful interview where he suggests that the laws of Physics can change over time. Click HERE to see the interview.
Patterns 200: Turbulence - From Small to Large
Turbulence is a complex phenomenon, and I certainly don't understand all the factors involved. But I am fascinated by the similarities between turbulence in a small stream and the turbulence in the cloud bands of Jupiter!

Turbulence from Thumb Butte and Jupiter (pdf)
Turbulence from Thumb Butte to Jupiter (video)

Clouds over Prescott 8/10/17 (video)
Clouds over Prescott (8/12/17 (video)

These are timelapse videos of clouds rolling over Prescott.
Patterns 300: Emergent Behavior
Can logical, organized behavior spontaneously emerge from random or chaotic events? Can the behavior of a group be more  complex than that of any single member? If no outside forces are controlling the interaction, where does this behavior come from? I'm sure you have heard the saying, "The whole is more than the sum of the parts." What does that mean?

Emergence (pdf)   ** Stay tuned. I am working on a really interesting article on Emergent Behavior. Should have it "done" in a few days. I say "done" in quotes because I see this one as an ongoing project! **

Patterns 400: Nature's Geometry
Fibonacci Spirals
Fibonacci numbers are easily understood and easily generated, but there seems to be a profound relationship between this sequence and growth in nature

Fibonacci Spirals In Pine cones, Sunflowers and Daisies (pdf)

Mounds
Mounds are pretty crazy structures. Something has to cause them to be there. Who builds mounds? Well, ants, water and  people for a start. Such diverse forces and materials! Why do they always seem to have a similar structure. Ever heard of "Rubble Hill" in Berlin?

Ants and Water (pdf)

Fractals
Fractals are self similar (maybe not exactly the same, but similar) on different scales. If you look at one branch of the fern at the left you will see that it resembles the whole fern

Fractal Fern (pdf)
Fractal Vines (pdf)

Things That Are Conical
You may disagree, but I think the cone is nature's way of conserving energy. Both living and non-living things produce cones. You find them here on earth, on other planets and, I bet, throughout the universe!

Ant Hill to Tyco (pdf)
Ants Build Cone (video)

Things That Are Spiral
Spiral implies movement. Otherwise the object would be spherical. Think about it. Here again, from small to large it is a natural structure following certain rules. You will see spiral whirlpool patterns in the smallest streams and in the largest galaxies!

Things That Are Spiral (pdf)

Things That Are Round
Round means safety. You can venture out a ways, but don't get too far from the group. In the article below can you see how round means safety and survival? Why do people build cities?

Things That Are Round (pdf)
Patterns 500: Capture - Processes Stopped In Time
Natural Forces Capture Information
By capturing things in time we get to understand their similarities. An icicle has the exact same form as the dripping sap from a wounded tree. Why? What are the forces involved?

Capture (pdf)

Where Did They Come from and Where Are They Going?
Patterns captured in ice are fleeting. Where did they come from? Once the ice melts they will be gone!

Patterns in the Ice (pdf)
Patterns 600: The Sounds of Nature
Everything in nature has a song! We just need to listen and we will hear it. Animals, flowing water, even trees and rocks have a song. I hope some of the following video and audio files will spark your imagination. We live in an interconnected world. I wish you joy and peace as you discover the different ways you are connected to our lovely planet.

Nature's Drummer
The snow was melting off my back porch roof and the drops from my leaky gutter sounded like music. So, I adapted my 3-String Cigar Box Guitar song Ten Mile Stomp to accommodate Nature's Drummer.

Nature's Drummer (video)

Two Waterfalls
This video clip illustrates the musical character of water. Many factors influence the sounds we hear.

Two Waterfalls (video)

Crickets Sing
This mp3 audio file is an untouched recording of cricket song. At first you hear it at "normal" speed, and then it is slowed down to better match our time domain experience.

Crickets Sing (mp3)

Patterns 700: Natural Measurements
How Far Away Was That Lightning Strike?
When you see a flash of lightning, start counting seconds until you hear the thunder. If you divide the number of seconds by five that will tell you how many miles away the lightning strike was. How does that work? I give a simple explanation in the  document below.

Divide by Five (pdf)

The Solstice Project
I am fortunate to live on a hillside where I can see the entire western horizon from my back porch, and I am continually fascinated by where the sun sets at different times of the year. So, I started marking the position of the setting sun on my back porch railing (hope my landlord doesn't see this) - Summer Solstice, Equinox and Winter Solstice. I even built my own little Stonehenge on the back porch railing.

The Solstice Project (pdf)
Patterns 800: Stress Patterns
Stress Patterns
Nobody likes stress. In nature stress builds up because of cooling, drying and movement. Something has to give! The media and forces involver may be different, but there are fundamental forces way deeper involved!

Why These Particular Patterns? (pdf)

Patterns 900: Mysteries
Mysteries
Even in our modern age there are plenty of mysteries that we don't yet understand. I think the joy is not so much in knowing the answer as it is in the process of discovery. In other words, "The joy is in the journey."

Can You Explain These? (pdf)