Beauty, Seduction, and Sex: a Stunning Video on Pollination

Beauty and seduction are nature’s tools for survival, says Louie Schwartzberg introducing his stunning short video on pollination at a TED conference last March, “because we will protect what we fall in love with.”

Flower from Ted Talk Pollination Video
Schwartzberg has been filming time-lapsed flowers 24/7 for 35 years. Wow.

Oh do we ever. And so do the birds and the bees. Yes it comes down to sex, but it is more than that.

Hummingbird on TED video on pollination by Louie Schwartzberg
The video's hummingbird sequence is extraordinary and almost comical--did you know they can they twirl around and fly upside down?

Pollination, says Cinematographer Schwartzberg, represents the connection between the animal and plant worlds and “is truly a magic moment, when life regenerates itself over and over again.”

Strawberry and bee from Ted Talk Pollination Video
No bees, no strawberries, no shortcake. Think about that.

In some parts of the world pollen gets a really bad name and for good reason: It makes people so miserable they want to shoot themselves. Like in places like Atlanta, and Tarboro, and sometimes even New York. Not so much here in California, mercifully, though we did notice quite a bit on the pond yesterday what with everything blooming everywhere about a month early.

Butterfly from Ted Talk Pollination Video
Butterflies are pollinators, too; as are bats, which I didn't know.

But seriously, pollination is nothing less than the perpetuation of life itself, without which nothing would grow. Which would put us in a real pickle.

Butterfly from Ted Talk Pollination Video
Are these fellows making whoopee in mid air? Or is the one on the bottom catching a ride?

I hope this makes you feel better about blowing your nose every three minutes, which is about how long it takes to watch Louie Schwartzberg: The Hidden Beauty of Pollination, which will take you somewhere new, even if just for three minutes. It seems important to be reminded we are always in nature, even when we think we’re not.

Butterflies from Ted Talk Pollination Video
All images from Louie Schwartzberg: The Hidden Power of Pollination. And thanks to the Cowboy for forwarding me this video.


  1. How amazing is Louie Schwartzberg? I mean really. I LOVE his work! Have you seen the Monarchs in Santa Barbara? So beautiful. Thanks for the inspiring post, dear Frances!

    1. Oh Hollye of course you would know his work, and I am so happy to discover it. I look forward to seeing the monarchs in Santa Barbara!

  2. Loved the video. I does make me feel better about all the pollen swirling around my life right now. Please send me the name of the little shop in Raleigh that you featured not so long ago. I think it starts with an “F”, but in a good way! Thanks, Cam

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