Take a moment from your day and delve deeper to observe nature. You’ll gain a sense of awe and wonder.
Truly experience that moment. If it’s a plant you’re observing, reach out and touch it (be reasonable – don’t touch poison ivy). Notice the texture of the leaf. Is it smooth or rough? Are there hairs on it making it soft or bristly? Look at the veins in that leaf. Do they run parallel down the whole leaf or do they branch and fork?
I would never have noticed the hairs on the stem of this lobelia had I not taken the time to observe every part of it.
Listen to it. Yes, there are sounds associated with plants. I recorded the wind through these acacia trees when I visited Abu Dhabi recently. It’s a sound I’ll never forget and could have easily been overlooked. Aside from the sound of the seed pods rattling, you’ll hear the wind and doves too.
In nature, everything is multi-layered.
What about the colors and smells. Some things seem fairly uniform in color. Then as I’m preparing to capture it in a sketch, I notice how many different shades of green are on one leaf that at first looked like a simple solid color.
On the day I made that sketch, I was in a bit of a rush. I didn’t want to attempt something that would take more than a few minutes. So I saw that plant and thought it looked easy enough, all a fairly uniform shade of green. And then I began the sketch and the game changed. I began to see the details that at first went unnoticed.
Same thing happened with this sycamore leaf. One leaf. A simple subject.
Wasn’t so simple after all once I noticed the many little veins and the multitude of colors.
I pay closer attention to all things when I observe nature, not just plants. Similar details abound in every aspect involving every element of nature. This sort of mindfulness offers great opportunity to celebrate and appreciate variety in all of life.
Nature Journal ebook
These drawings are from my Autumn 2015 Wild Ozark Nature Journal. It’s for Kindle or other tablet sized ereaders. These colorful journal entries are gorgeous when viewed on color e-readers but the text is going to disappoint on phones because the screen is too small. Here’s the link where you can get it. Please leave a review and tell me what you thought of it.
Predator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, not published yet, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.
Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.
About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods
I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.