Tag Archives: leaves

hidden life radio.

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listen….

Silent tree activity, like photosynthesis and the absorption and evaporation of water, produces a small voltage in the leaves. In a bid to encourage people to think more carefully about their local tree canopy, sound designer and musician Skooby Laposky has found a way to convert that tree activity into music.

By connecting a solar-powered sensor to the leaves of three local trees in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Laposky was able to measure the micro voltage of all that invisible tree activity, assign a key and note range to the changes in that electric activity, and essentially turn the tree’s everyday biological processes into an ethereal piece of ambient music.

You can check out the tree music yourself by listening to the Hidden Life Radio—Laposky’s art project—which aims to increase awareness of trees in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the city’s disappearing canopy by creating a musical “voice” for the trees.

The project features the musical sounds of three Cambridge trees: a honey locust, a red oak, and an 80-year-old copper beech tree, all located outside the Cambridge Public Library. Each tree has a solar-powered biodata sonification kit installed on one of its branches that measures the tree’s hidden activities and translates it into music.

According to WBUR, between 2009 and 2014, Cambridge was losing about 16.4 acres of canopy annually, which is a huge loss considering that tree canopies are crucial to cities,  cooling them down during the summer, reducing air pollutino, sucking up carbon, and providing mental health benefits.

Laposky hopes that people will tune into Hidden Life Radio and spend time listening to the trees whose music occurs in real-time and is affected by the weather. Some days they might be silent, especially when it hasn’t rained for several days and they’re dehydrated. The project will end in November, when the leaves will drop — a “natural cycle for the project to end,” Laposky says, “when there aren’t any leaves to connect to anymore.”

 

 “in a cool solitude of trees

where leaves and birds a music spin,

mind that was weary is at ease,

new rhythms in the soul begin.”

-william kean seymour

source credits: Kristin Toussaint, The Optimist Daily, WBUR Radio

leaf chaps.

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with fall comes the ultimate scourge of lawn work: raking leaves. all of those gorgeous, oxygen-giving trees in your backyard become instruments of torture, littering their leafy bounty all over the lawn and sidewalk.

according to the inventor of the the leaf pants, the leaves aren’t the problem. it’s the rake – that pronged nightmare that strains backs, blisters hands, and poses a real threat if left lying in the grass. but a leaf-blower isn’t the answer either.  instead, the inventor insists, what humanity needs is a method that is “compatible with the natural body movement of a person.”

enter the ‘leaf chaps’, a pair of zip-on, flexible tubes that slip over pant legs with a net fastened between the two so you can gather leaves as you stroll. the net corrals the leaves and collects them in front of you, so with just a few extra steps, you’re forming piles that are easily picked up later. 

not merely convenient, the chaps also promise to make you more productive. rather than struggle with bulky tools, do something you’d be doing anyway (walking around your lawn), while getting work done! sure, that walk is more like a waddle, but that’s the price you pay for innovation. 

“if you’re not prepared to be wrong,

you’ll never come up with anything original.”

– sir ken robinson

credits: mental floss magazine

a boy, a leaf, and a vision

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loved our leaf man project. read the book to the kindergarten, they then created their own leaf art. we found out 2nd grade also read the book and created their own version of leaf art. the kinders created all kinds of cute pieces: cows, butterflies, and leaf men. after, we took a trip across the school to see what the 2nd grade had done. all kinds of cute pieces once again: leaf babies, leaf fairies, and then there was one – done by a little boy who had his own idea of what art is.

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cute kinder projects

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cute 2nd grade projects

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and then of course, you have the scarlet johanson leaf project

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If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.

John F. Kennedy