Fractal.

A rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole. – Benoit Mandelbrot

I visit my Father’s tree at least once a week. As I stop to grab my breath and save my lungs (I usually run there), I’m always struck by its perfect symmetry. It’s shape is actually etched in my mind. Sometimes I think it’s a tree made up of identical leaves. Fractals.

Dad's tree - waiting for the leaves!

Dad's tree - waiting for the leaves!

Nature presents some incredible patterns.

It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

Fractal from Nature by Flickr user jacl_o_lantern

Fractal from Nature by Flickr user jacl_o_lantern

Fractals 3 - Symmetry by Flickr user marosh

Fractals 3 - Symmetry by Flickr user marosh

No title by Flickr user aseloph

No title by Flickr user aseloph

If you look closely around you, you’ll notice fractals or repeating patterns in trees, plants, clouds, lightning, waves, snow flakes, and more. They even find themselves represented in art – from Jackson Pollack to mandelas to modern day artists.

Fractal ART  - monad  AIWASS - モナド

Fractal ART - monad AIWASS - モナド

You can even create your own fractal, based on the Mandelbrot set (from the guy who’s quote I used at the beginning). It’s based on mathematics, sequences, infinity and lot of other stuff I don’t understand. No doubt, Benoit Mandelbrot would have been really good on The Price is Right.

There are also fractal generators online. And thanks to PBS and NOVA, you can create your own Mandelbrot Fractal. Here’s mine.

My Mandelbrot Fractal

My Mandelbrot Fractal

I don’t pretend to understand the science and mathematics behind fractals. I mean, what does this really mean? zn+1 = zn2 + c = NO IDEA.

But I am observant and I notice patterns. You strip away the science, the math, and the patterns and it comes down to something completely unscientific – beauty and sum of all parts.

Now is the perfect time to find your fractals. Snowflakes come and go, and Spring is hitting the snooze button. Leaves will be here to mesmerize you before you know it. Or if you’re the impatient type, look up at some clouds.

I always do.

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