Monday, August 23, 2010

Psychedelic fun with the garden kaleidoscope at Olbrich Botanical Gardens

The crystalline shards whirl and spin in intricate hallucinogenic patterns before your eyes, merge and reassemble, then gradually slow and come to a halt. You reach out and give the miniature garden on a platter a spin, put your eye back to the eyepiece, and the trip goes on. That's the garden kaleidoscope at Olbrich Botanical Gardens.

"Make picture of kaleidoscope," William H. Fox Talbot wrote to himself in 1839. But he was thinking of a still photograph, not moving pictures. Although I've blogged about it in the past here and here and posted a set of still photographs on Flickr, no still photo can quite communicate what the garden kaleidoscope is like in motion, so I thought I'd post this short video to give a better idea.

The garden kaleidoscope is just outside the entrance to the gardens from the main building. Next time you're at Olbrich Gardens, check it out.

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