Golden Spiral in a Decaying TreeMarch 2, 2016

I photographed this very obvious example of the ‘golden spiral’ in this decaying trunk of a tree. The ‘golden spiral’ is a logarithmic spiral whose factor of growth is phi. Phi is the initial letter of the Greek sculptor Phidias and symbolizes the golden ratio. The golden ratio is a  factor in many natural patterns of growth and has been known and used for many years by artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci for various aesthetic composition in living things. Basically, the idea is that the golden spiral gets wider or further from its origin by a factor of phi (1.61803399) for every quarter turn it takes. This ‘golden spiral’ was brought into the public awareness with the book and movie “The Da Vinci Code” but has been used and known by every student that has attended an art college.


The first image is my photograph of this decaying tree trunk and the second image is a drawing of the mathematical ‘golden spiral’.