Along with that whimsy and the fierce beauty of the scenes created in Botanica, there is also the darker side of nature: the aggressive Triceratops, the angry hornets, the stomping centaurs, a mighty wind storm, a flash of lightning, and a coldness that can turn deadly — a kind of "meteorological terrorism," in Pendleton's words.

"Life is about surprise and the unexpected," he noted. "There are just random events. Hopefully, for the most part, they're not nightmares."

As for any environmental message to be gleaned from Botanica, Pendleton stressed that our species is endangered spiritually as well as physically.

"There's been a lot of upheaval and outrage and danger, not just during the last decade," he reflected. "And I think people need to be energized with joy and enthusiasm. This piece doesn't say how the world is but how it might be in a fantasy. We give a bit of positivism where there's so much bleakness."

Regardless of which images from Botanica stick with you, they're bound to enliven your mind and nurture your spirit.

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