From there to here, from here to there

Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

Seuss, aka Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991), took the art of Surrealism and the architecture of Antonio Gaudi, combined them with childhood memories of early cars and machinery in New England and then the flora of his adult home in southern California, and created the famous illustrations for his over sixty books.  (His Green Eggs and Ham is the fourth best-selling English-language children’s book of all time.)

His strange plants and landscapes — tops of mops, spikes, and feathers; elongated, twisty trunks; improbable angles, odd hills and rocks — form a visual vocabulary that we all understand and use routinely.  These are just a few of the many, many snapshots I found by typing in “Dr. Seuss” and searching Flickr.com.

Photo by Randy Robertson, labeled “Dr. Seuss Plant Silhouette.”  All three photos via Flickr.com, under CC license.
“Dr. Seuss Bush” by Shawn Henning.
“Dr. Seuss Trees” by Allan Ferguson.

A 2010 article from the News Tribune in Tacoma, Washington, has a list of plants that also look Seuss-y, here.  Among others, they recommend weeping sequoia, Nootka cypress, and contorted hazelnut.

If you want to visit a Dr. Seuss-style landscape, the blog SPOTCOOLSTUFF has 10 “Places That Look Dr Seuss-ish” around the world, here.

ADDENDUM: Today is also the NEA’s Read Across America Day, here. And The Washington Post is calling for Seuss-inspired verse about current events, here.