Different Kinds of Air

A man, like  mouse, should have more than one avenue of escapeA man, like a mouse, should have more than one avenue of escape
Joris Hoefnagel (1542 – 1604)


                    Observations on Different Kinds of Air
. . . . I flatter myself that I have accidentally hit upon a method of restoring air which has been injured by the burning of candles, and that I have discovered at least one of the restoratives which nature employs for this purpose. It is vegetation. In what manner this process in nature operates, to produce so remarkable an effect, I do not pretend to have discovered; but a number of facts declare in favour of this hypothesis…
One might have imagined that, since common air is necessary to vegetable, as well as to animal life, both plants and animal had affected it in the same manner, and I own that I had that expectation, when I first put a sprig of mint into a glass-jar, standing inverted in a vessel of water; but when it had continued growing there for some months, I found that the air would neither extinguish a candle, nor was it at all inconvenient to a mouse, which I put into it.
…Accordingly, on the 17th of August 1771, I put a sprig of mint into a quantity of air, in which a wax candle had burned out, and found that, on the 27th of the same month, another candle burned perfectly well in it. This experiment I repeated, without least variation in the event, not less than eight or ten times in the remainder of the summer.
Joseph Priestley (24 March 1733 – 6 February 1804)


In 1771, about the time of the first stirrings of the industrial revolution and its appetite for fossil fuel, an English minister grasped key processes of the natural carbon cycle. In a series of ingenious experiments, Joseph Priestley found that flames and animals’ breath “injure” the air in a sealed jar, making it unwholesome to breathe. But a green sprig of mint, he found, could restore its goodness. Priestley could not name the gases responsible, but we know now that the fire and respiration used up oxygen and gave off carbon dioxide. The mint reversed both processes. Photosynthesis took up the carbon dioxide, converted it into plant tissue, and gave off oxygen as a by-product.

The world is just a bigger jar. Tens of billions of tons of carbon a year pass between land and the atmosphere: given off by living things as they breathe and decay and taken up by green plants, which produce oxygen. A similar traffic in carbon, between marine plants and animals, takes place within the waters of the ocean. And nearly a hundred billion tons of carbon diffuse back and forth between ocean and atmosphere.
.http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/missing-carbon/#page=2


In other words:
Alone in a sealed jar, a mouse would die from exhaled CO2. But as Priestley observed in 1771, adding a plant allows the mouse to thrive. In this proof of photosynthesis, the mint absorbed CO2, retained carbon for growth, and released oxygen
https://diogenesii.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/august-17-1771-a/#comment-486

 

And where a tear has dropped, a wind-flower blows

wflwrWood Anemone
John Ruskin (February 1819 – January 1900)

The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha

Don Quixote Bucks CountyAdrien Demont  (1851-1928)

 

Study Of A Rock Dove

Rock Dove Udine

Giovanni Nanni (1487–1564)

New

H S child
Helene Schjerfbeck (July 10, 1862 – January 23, 1946)

Seamless, A Garland

carracciAnnibale Carracci (1560 – 1609)

 

Alchemy

Chlorophyll C55H72N4O5Mg
differs from human blood
only by substitution of one
atom of magnesium
in philodendron
for the single atom of iron
in Keats.


Stephen Sandy

 

 

from The Book Of The Green Man

flegel spring flwrsGeorg Flegel (1566 – 1638)

 

Of the seasons,
seamless, a garland.

Solstice
to equinox –
days,

measured a cock’s stride
come full circle.

The length of
breath,
a sequential foliage

firmly planted in
our veins,
we stand in our rayed form:

blue-eyed,
a chicory,

Sponsa Solis – & upon the sun appears
a face
also with rays

in descent
through an undulant

blue.

 

Ronald Johnson (1935 – 1998)

 

15th Century Squirrel

udine squirrel
Giovanni da Udine (1487–1564), Italian

 

 

17th Century Walnuts

twowalnutsAnonymous, German

Fennel

fennel ‘Botanica Pharmaceutica: exhibens plantas officinales quarum nomina in dispensatoriis recensentur; cum iconibus ab auctore aere incisis, et vivo colore expressis …’ – Berolini, 1788.

This work focuses on plants with medicinal properties.

The artist, engraver and possibly colourer of this print is Andreas Friedrich Happe (1733 – 1802), who was an apothecary, artist and engraver from Berlin, Germany. Happe worked for the Berlin Academy of Sciences and published several botanical and entomological works (a.o. Botanica pharmaceutica, Berlin 1785; Flora depicta, Berlin 1791). He also illustrated the first volumes of Martini’s ‘Conchylien-Cabinet‘. Much of his work remained unpublished including the 6-volume: ‘Naturgeschichte der Insekten’ and watercolours that are currently in the British Museum and the large collection ‘Flora Happiana’.

http://www.theprintscollector.com

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