Neurons In Nature

I have a lot of photos of trees, more than what a normal person would (should?) have in their collection.

In my defence, trees always remind me of neurons for some reason, and for that very reason I find myself taking photos of them whenever I look up and see the familiar branching patterns.

Take, for example, this image:

Compare that with some of Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s incredible drawings of neurons, like the one that graces the cover of the book ‘A Beautiful Brain’ seen below:

It’s amazing how similar they look, isn’t it?

So whenever you feel tired of looking down at your smartphone, may I suggest looking up every once in a while to admire these ‘neurons’ in our natural surroundings? Just don’t walk into a tree, that’s all!

Disclaimer: This may, or may not, have happened to the author before.

Cold Morning

Alhamdulillah, the children were able to experience snow for the first time in their lives yesterday morning.

One of the perks of living next to a park is that we can still go for a quick walk despite the lockdown. I took this opportunity to drag my kids out of bed early so that they can see the splendour of freshly fallen snow before more people started walking about in it.

In my heart, I hope they will grow up to love and appreciate the environment.

The issue of climate change, or to use a better term, global warming, is something that is not given enough emphasis right now. Whether in the form of flooding (as we are seeing in Malaysia), or forest fires, the impact of global warming is only set to become more severe unless we take better care of our world.

I want to teach my children to become better stewards of the environment. After all, it’s the only one we’ve got, at least until someone figures out how to terraform Mars!

The world is a beautiful place, despite all the challenges we are facing right now, and it would be a shame to lose this beauty because of our reckless attitude towards the environment.

Night Mode

Lockdown 2.0 and falling temperatures mean that there are fewer people outdoors especially at night. I’ve fallen into the habit of taking short walks almost every day to alleviate the boredom of sitting alone in a small room at home waiting for the time to pass.

One upside of this is that I’ve had more opportunities to try out Night Mode on the iPhone. Previously, I brought along a small tripod while taking photos of the Radcliffe Camera, but I was curious to see what the photos would look like if I handheld the iPhone, or minimally supported it, by leaning against a tree for example.

Here’s a photo I took earlier from Osney Bridge which crosses the River Thames in Oxford:

View from Osney Bridge

Not bad considering I only rested the iPhone on a bridge handrail while taking the picture. What I really want, however, is to be able to capture more stars in the night sky. Definitely going to put that in my Omnifocus list of ‘Things to Learn’.

The Holly Bush

As I was walking back to my house, I saw this pub looking all lonely and deserted. It reminds me of The Winchester Tavern in Shaun of the Dead, except this one is smaller, and there are no zombies around. Not yet, at least…

More Colours of Autumn

One of the reasons why I am so keen on documenting the beauty of Oxford is because I hope to inspire in other people the desire, and also the belief, that they too, can make it here. Despite being thousands of miles away from my family, despite being in yet another ‘lockdown’, I consider myself lucky to be able to go for a quick walk in these surroundings.

The setting occasionally reminds me of the movie Sleepy Hollow, especially when I see the gnarly trees, foggy mornings, and mist flowing over the river.

Nature has a way of healing the heart. One wonders if the world would be such a crazy place if more people were closer to nature. Definitely something I need to remind myself to teach my kids when they get here inshaAllah.

Anyway, here are some more pictures from my short walk near the river today.

For more pictures, check out my earlier post: Colours of Autumn