North of Berkeley, on Grizzly Peak, mid-century modern homes block most the sunset views. I imagine great sheets of glass and tastefully appointed balconies on the other side, but the street-facing side offers mostly abbreviated driveways and garage doors. When I can peak through, though, the gardens of white flowers give way to views above the trees to Richmond and the North Bay.
On my way back from my conference in Connecticut, I drove through the Adirondacks, where winter is arriving fast. The hills were dusted with snow and all but the most tenacious leaves were carpeting the forest floor. I pulled off the road for this shot in Tupper Lake, where the grasses, placid waters, and stubbly hills matched perfectly with the dense clouds and the random distribution of sunlight. The moment felt chaotic, strange—just a bit primeval. I had a chance to do landscape photography that truly excluded any human intrusion (save the eye of the photographer himself.)
The beautiful, shiny, new Energy Biosciences Building in downtown Berkeley is a truly fantastic place to do science. Not only does it have some of the most gorgeous labs I’ve ever seen (with lots of great natural light), it also has meeting/lunch areas like these that do a ton to support the collaborative mindset that is so critical to good science. I wanted to do a multi-shot post today, descending from this glossy surface with its view of the Berkeley skyline (such as it is) down into the bowels of the center.
For many of the biologists working here, the real science is happening down in the basement. Here, mutant and wildtype plants are growing in this incubator to a size where they can be cheerful participants in biofuel experiments.
And the really cool shot from just around the corner: seeds that have just sprouted, growing to a size that they can be planted in soil. From what my charming guide told me, many of these are randomly mutated seeds, and they’re being screened in this media to determine if any have the correct mutation for further experimentation. Behind this example, you can see numerous other sets, merrily growing away. (Or not, if they have this particular mutation.)
Succulent plants, like the rather sizeable one pictured here (I believe it is some sort of agave? I’m no botanist), abound in suburban Berkeley. Sometimes they even compete with passersby for sidewalk space, as is the case for this ones’ partner (not pictured) and evidently, based on the evidence of pruning, this one in the not too distant past. They sort of look alien in the otherwise temperate-appearing trappings of the bay area (the previously mentioned palm trees aside).