Photos: Foothill Daisies & Clouds

Photographs at Foothill College
4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

By Peter Y. Chou

Preface: The photo at left shows Foothill College Middlefield Campus CTIS Computer Lab (I-Building). It is on this Palo Alto campus where I took classes in Poetry Writing, Autobiograhy & Journal Writing, and many computer classes (Learning the MacIntosh, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, PageMaker, Quark) from 1987-1996, before I was appointed Instructor & Lab Consultant in 1996. Even though I have computer access at Stanford Libraries, I still come to Foothill since it's closer to where I live in Mountain View. While listening to classical music on KDFC 102.1 FM, Hoyt Smith announced that today (December 1, 2010) is National Pie Day, and American's favorite is pumpkin pie— inspiring this haiku: "Today's National Pie Day— / my love is for π / that's transcendental" (Poem: "What Is the Address?", Notes). When I counted 13 petals in the yellow daisies, it occurred to me that 13 is the 6th prime number and the 7th Fibonacci number. So I photographed the yellow daisy 13 petals for my Number 13 file. Al Guzman, Foothill Student Services Coordinator, passed by me. When I asked him the name of the yellow daisy, he didn't know. So he phoned Foothill Building & Grounds people and asked them to identify the plant. "You planted this daisy bush between the I-Building & J-Building. You don't know what you planted!" I told Al that I'll try Google Images. Petals of Gold shows a yellow daisy with 13 petals as well as Yellow Daisy, but neither give its name. Twelve daisies are shown on the Asteracea poster and from these the closest are #1-Yellow Chamomille (Anthemis tinctoria) with 13 petals and #9-Field Marigold (Calendula arvensis) with 13-26 petals. Other photos below are cottonball clouds between an Eucalyptus and White Oak tree as well as storm clouds over the hills and towering Douglas Firs from the soccer field. While searching for daisy photos, was drawn to this news item— "300 Sextillion Stars in Universe, New Study Suggests" (, December 1, 2010). Astronomers from Yale & Harvard have found that there are 300 sextillion stars in the universe, triple the previous estimate. That's 3 x 1023 stars. This number is exactly half of Avogadro's Number— 6.022 x 1023, the numbers of molecules in a mole (one gram-molecule of oxygen). Soon they'll find it's 600 sextillion stars in our universe, double the present figure. Amedeo Avogadro (1776-1856) discovered this number in 1811. If the number of stars in our universe is 6 x 1023, then our universe is but a mole in some cosmic soup that a Cosmic Giant is drinking. No wonder our galaxy is called the Milky Way, created by a Cosmic Cow God. Hathor is an ancient Egyptian Cow Goddess with head horns in which is set a sun disk. The Cow is sacred in India and the Rig Veda refers to the cow as Devi (goddess), identified with Aditi (mother of the gods) herself. It's National Pie Day, however my mind tuned to another kind of pi (π). Hence I was nourished not by apple pies but by golden petalled daisies and sextillion stars that led me to our Milky Way galaxy and the Cow Gods & Goddesses of Egypt and India. Today's cosmic mind journey is indeed transcendental— * Addedum: On Friday, December 3, I got to Foothill Krause Center (Los Altos Hills) at 3:14 pm (π time). Rudy was there working on his "Photoshop Phobia Project". It inspired the poem "Sextillion Stars" which was completed in two hours and read that night at Waverley Writers. More time was spent looking for cow photos on streets of India (3 million in Google Images), and found this one as cutest. On Saturday, December 4, Krause Center closed at 5 pm. As Rudy and I were leaving the Computer Lab, we noticed the picturesque foreboding dark clouds over the foothills after sunset. The last three photos were taken at that time.

Yellow Daisy Bush, Foothill College

13-Petals Yellow Daisy

13-Petals Yellow Daisy

Clouds over Eucalyptus & White Oak

Eucalyptus with 3 Trunks

Eucalyptus Tree Leaves

Clouds, Hills, Trees

Stump from Chopped-Down Oak

Storm Clouds over Douglas Firs

Clouds, Hills, Trees from Soccer Field

Crocodile Cloud, Foothill Krause Center

"Spinning Top Cloud", Lot 4B (12-4-2010)

"Tornado Cloud", Parking Lot 4B

— Peter Y. Chou, Photographed at Foothill Middlefield Campus, December 1, 2010
and at Foothill College Main Campus, Los Altos Hill, December 4, 2010 (5:05 pm)

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