Momentary Vitality

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The music of parts one and three becomes quite intense at times. To balance those crescendo-laden parts out I chose a mellower song. I wanted this choice to be mirrored on screen, and as it just so happened I had recently been delving into the less extravagant world of mosses, conifers, clubmosses, and lichens! In this part I contrast the subtle cinematographic quality of those plants and fungi with the rich colour of flowering plants featured in the middle of this section.

White cedar (Thuja occidentalis): During the Winter of 2013-2014 I began to scan conifers. From a grouping of plants that don't often stand out, I found a world of intricate textures, unique motions, and subtle colour changes!

Jack pine (Pinus banksiana): For example, this jack pine turns brown in an exciting way.

White cedar (Thuja occidentalis): Exploring the world of conifers has been surprising on many levels. Another surprise of the white cedar was being able to watch its seeds fall out of its miniscule cones. I wanted to have its seeds fall out more slowly and dramatically on screen, but as it is I'm happy with it. My hypothesis is that my act of bringing the cedar cutting inside to a warm room mimics the change of seasons, prompting the cedar to release its seeds to what it "expects" will be newly thawed ground.

Knotweed (Polygonum sp.): Knotweed is a common feature of riverbanks and other shallow aquatic environments. After the more subdued conifer section at the beginning, I wanted to use knotweed's verdant leaves and striking inflorescences to begin a more colourful section featuring the flowers and foliage of flowering plants (Angiosperms).

Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea): Lingonberry is a stunning plant in the blueberry, or heath family. It doesn't do much in the way of animation, but its slowly-changing presence serves to create the kind of ambiance I wanted in this section.

Common hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis): Hailing from southwestern Asia, the common hyacinth is a common houseplant with many cultivars featuring jaw-dropping inflorescences.

Haircap moss (Polytrichum sp.): The type of animation that mosses display is similar to the conifers, in that its artistry is often subtle. The gentle closing motions that these haircap mosses create as they desiccate go well with the music.

Sphagnum moss (Sphagnum sp.): The manner in which sphagnum moss dries is pretty interesting - it turns white! This creates a great effect.

Cladonia lichen (Cladonia sp.): I absolutely love this branch covered in cladonia lichens. First the lichens contract as they dry out, and then the branch contorts as it does the same. Brilliant!

Move on to part three of the film.