A Gallery of Festive Images

by Richard L. Howey, Wyoming, USA


This has been a difficult and disturbing year for many, many people and so I thought it might be desirable to present a series of images which are colorful and hopefully a bit festive to remind us that the holidays can be a period of a renewal of hope and interest in the complicated world around us.

To that end, I have selected 12 images, one for each month of the New Year and have tried to keep my rambling to an absolute minimum. All of the images were photographed using polarized light and all of the mixtures that produced the crystals contained Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C–hereafter abbreviated ASC) and just one of them was only ASC by itself.


This image formed on the edge of a drop of pure glycerine with a drop of ASC placed on the slide. To me it is rather cosmic in character and looks like a developing universe spinning out of a central core which has the typical disk form characteristic of ASC.


Here we move out to the edge of the galaxy and discover a black hole . I like to think that black holes can not only be attractors that pull everything in their vicinity into their center, but that on the other side, they can release what they have captured and spread it out in magnificent and glorious forms and colors. This is a mixture of a Trichrome stain with a proprietary formula from a biological supply house and ASC.


Circularities attract us because of their pleasing geometry, but also tend to represent a kind of harmony and stability. The mixture in this case is the biological stain Orange G with ASC.


We can imagine capturing a circularity while it is still in the process of gradually forming and one of them might produce this wonderful type of structure that looks like a mollusk shell which resulted from mixing a bit of Witch Hazel with ASC.


It is also conceivable that we might encounter a galactic edge where minute proto-galactic disks were appearing in significant numbers in a kind of cosmic reproduction. These disks with the Maltese cross are typical of ASC which in this case has been mixed with the biological stain Indigo Carmine.


Indigo Carmine and ASC can produce some other quasi-disk-like forms that are quite striking and are a minor symphony of color.


If, like me, you are subject to migraines which loud fireworks on the 4th of July can produce, then you might want to get a prescription for codeine which when combined with ASC produces some lovely colorful visions as you can see below.


For idiosyncratic reasons unknown, August has always been my least favorite month and it seems that strange occurrences tend to intrude during this time period just as sometimes strange crystals can still have an intriguing and fascinating form. This is a mixture of the biological stain Methylene Blue and ASC.


I tend to think of this month as one which has muted colors as the leaves begin to change and autumn starts to set in and even crystals can achieve such subtleties as is apparent in the mixture of Metformin (a medication for diabetes) and ASC.


As the transformation into autumn progresses the colors take on a greater intensity and vibrancy and the cones in the lower half of the image suggest to me the strong presence of what at times seems relentless winds. Once again a mixture of Metformin and ASC and both this image and the one directly above were taken from the same slide revealing that indeed a single slide can become a micro-universe.


This is the month that I am inclined to regard weather-wise as the most violent and unpredictable. It has a tendency to rapid and extreme change and presents us with challenges which keep us hale and hearty. This is a mixture of Neutral Red and ASC.


This month is one of contrast and contraries, of bright sun and sudden cold, of dark skies and gentle snows. It is a time when there are days of quietness that encourage reflection and contemplation about the future; a period of anticipation and looking forward. This image is pure ASC.

I hope that this bit of fantasy has brought you at least a moment or two of pleasure.

All of my images are copyrighted (whatever that means in this age of the Internet), but I am giving my permission to the readers of MICSCAPE to print out one or all of these 12 images for your own use and put them up in your private office, study, den, or recreation room where you can throw darts at them. However, I would ask that you not publish them or use them for public display without separate explicit permission from me. If you print some of them out, in return I would ask that you consider making a modest donation to MICSCAPE to help keep this resource alive as a place where we can share our ideas, insights, guesses, and images with one another. Mol Smith and Dave Walker spend a very considerable amount of time, energy, and money keeping the forum alive for us. So, for those who are able, please help preserve this resource for all of us to continue enjoying.

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All comments to the author Richard Howey are welcomed.

Editor's note: Visit Richard Howey's new website at http://rhowey.googlepages.com/home where he plans to share aspects of his wide interests.


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Published in the December 2011 edition of Micscape Magazine.

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