What do William, Prince of Orange (1533-1584); the invention of the first capacitor (a device that "stores" static electricity); and 35 new images for my "Bark" series have in common?

Give up?

The answer is -- Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands, founded in 1575 by William, Prince of Orange (a.k.a. William the Silent or William the Taciturn) who, when not founding universities, lead the Dutch revolt against the Spanish Hapsburgs that set off the Eighty Years' War.

The first capacitor (called a Leiden or Leyden jar) was invented by the Dutch scientist Pieter van Musschenbroek in 1746 while teaching at Leiden University.

The 35 new images for my "Bark" seriesare from Hortus Botanicus (botanical garden) at Leiden University -- founded in 1590 for the benefit of the medical students. It is the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands and one of the oldest in the world.

Botanical gardens have been the primary source for my "Bark" images but success has been hit-or-miss -- usually I'll find a handful of interesting trees but sometimes none at all. To my great surprise and delight, the Hortus Botanicus turned out to be the mother lode of new and marvelous textures, colors and patterns.

Here's the link if you would like to take a look at the whole "Bark" project but be warned, the series now has 185 images! Then again, there are over 60,000 species of trees worldwide so I'm really just getting started. ;-)


Here's seven of my favorite images from the Hortus Botanicus:

European Horse-chestnut (Balkans, Bulagaria)

Japanese Zelkova (Japan, China)

Rusty Fig (Australia)

Chinese parasol tree (Asia)

Wollemia nobilis (Australia)

Norfolk Island pine (Norfolk Island)

Southern magnolia (Southeast U.S.)

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