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Delve Deeper to Observe Nature

Take a moment from your day and delve deeper to observe nature. You’ll gain a sense of awe and wonder.

Delve deeper

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?

lobelia nature sketch

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.

Observe nature and notice the many colors in something that seems one color at first, like the leaves of this ground cherry plant in flower and fruit

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.

colored pencil sketch of a sycamore leaf in fall

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.

2 thoughts on “Delve Deeper to Observe Nature”

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  1. I admire that you can sit in the wilderness so relaxed. As a city girl I wouldn’t be nervous and jump at every rustling sound. I went to the park near me. I walked in the woods were are only about 3 or 4 acres and I was by myself. I could hear the traffic on the highway but I could also hear the critters scurrying around and it made me get out of there in a hurry.

    1. LOL, I imagine it can be unnerving to people not used to it. Where I live there is seldom a sound from other people. I would jump out of my skin if I saw someone walking or heard a person speak or cough, because it would be out of the ordinary. Deer or bears, yes, but people – no. But your wilderness there might be unnerving to me! People are nature, too, and where people are the main feature of nature, you can observe them and notice all sorts of little details that might also go unnoticed.

      Once there were critters making noises that gave me anxiety, though. Insects of some sort were buzzing all around but I couldn’t see them or locate them, so I didn’t know what it was, so wasn’t sure if it was something to worry about disturbing (like bees) or not. That I didn’t like much. Most of the time, though, I’m more relaxed out here than I would be walking down a city street.

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