On Trees, Bees and Ocarinas


Image by Mauricio Estrella CC 3

I think I’m becoming addicted to Grad Bernart’s research notes. This week as I was going through his stuff I found an amazing collection of artefacts tucked away in a box. There’s a tiny bellows and a collection of even tinier ampules, each of which contains a blend of multiple varieties of pollen. The ampules can be attached to the bellows to blow minute puffs of pollen cocktails.

There’s also a life size bee made of metal. It is incredibly detailed and has wonderfully articulated joints with tiny springs that make it move in a most realistic fashion. Even more incredible are the half-dozen constructs in the shape and size of aphids, also with articulated, spring-loaded legs. I have no idea how Bernart managed to make these, as I’m certain even modern technology would have a hard time creating such tiny things.

Less miraculous yet stranger still is the kaleidoscope/lantern which emits light that mimics the glow of flowers at sunset. It’s incredibly beautiful, even compelling, and much better than anything on Netflix.

Oddest of all, however, is a collection of things that look like ocarinas but which produce no sound. Instead, when blown, they emit subtly different scents. So far, I have identified the smells of dry dirt, wet dirt, leaf mold, gravel and clay, but my nose is too unrefined to narrow these down further.

I know what you’re thinking—something along the lines of, “Why are you messing about with Bernart’s inventions? Didn’t you learn your lesson last time?” But, really, what did you expect? I mean, presented with such an array of contraptions, how long could you resist before trying them?

I found the devices amongst a jumble of notes dealing with Bernart’s experiments in plant communication and, though I haven’t yet discovered precisely what these things do, this time I was smart enough to try them indoors. No summoning hordes of trees into my garden this week! I’ll update you as soon as I discover what these wonderful things do.

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