Pattern & Texture – Word for Wednesday in Photos

I suppose it’s because we are in Autumn that I immediately thought of trees when I saw the theme for this week’s ‘Word  for Wednesday in Photographs’ was texture and pattern.

I think in the Summer we are overwhelmed with the colour, abundance and voluptuousness of flowers that we see the whole more than the detail.  However in Winter and Autumn we can look more closely and notice more.  The pattern and texture of the lichen above sums this up very well.  There is a crisp feel to the lichen and a fragility although it is quite robust.

I am increasingly finding trees more and more fascinating.  We take them so much for granted and see them as a whole rather than looking at them carefully.  This was brought home to me when I recently reviewed Seeing Trees and I have started to look more closely.

I love the texture of bark and the variations that you get.  I think the photo above is of American Black Walnut which I took last year at Arley Arboretum.  I was really taken with the ruggedness of the bark with the deep crevices.  If you didn’t know better it might be a photo of some ploughed rough mud.  In contrast you then have bark like the one below.  The colours are warm and the texture reminds me of sheets of tissue paper. I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember which tree this is but I suspect it is an Acer of some form.

Sometimes, the patterns of the bark stand out from quite a distance as with this tree at Portmeirion.  To me this tree looks more like an artistic creation, all sweeps and curves – it reminds me of a ballet dancer performing an arabesque.

I wondered how the branches become so twisted looking, its very strange but quite magical.

Even the bleached timber of a split log is beautiful, full of pattern and texture.

And then there are man-made patterns.  I discovered this at Portmeirion.  It is a tree stump and small coins have been inserted in it.  We couldn’t quite work out how, there is a deliberate pattern and it appears that at some time the wood grain had been more open enabling the coins to be inserted and then it dried up and encased the money.

If we choose to look more carefully and closely at the trees and plants around us we will discover so much more.  A way of doing this is to take  close up photographs or even draw what we see. I have learnt from my botanical art classes that nature is full of texture and pattern much of which we are blind to.

For more Word for Wednesday in Photograph posts visit Garden Walk Garden Talk


21 Comments Add yours

  1. Christina says:

    An interesting take on texture and pattern; bark of trees is always one of the considerations I make when choosong a tree. Very clear images. Christina

  2. hillwards says:

    Lovely textures (and patterns). I really like the swoop of that tree too.
    I love the bark of Acer griseum, peeling off in curls; I’m still wondering if we could squeeze one in to the garden somehow…

  3. Love lichen and bark.

    Have only come across coins stuck in a log once. They seemed to have been stuck in the log randomly – in the way people toss coins into wells for no particular reason. This was in our summer holidays. Boy with us thought it all a waste of good money and needed a lot of persuading not to lever them out and pocket them, He could have put them to much better use!

  4. catmint says:

    wonderful post – i have been collecting photos of tree trunks for a while but your collection is superb. I could do without the coins though.

  5. You are so, so right. Texture and pattern are inherent in all of nature down to the microscopic views with crystallization and unique structures of the very small. We will not see that, but they are there. But what we can see is pretty amazing too. That huge tree is art as is the stump with coins. Had the stump been alive, the tree would have started to mend those wounds and possibly burl. There was a good example of that in Quarry Garden Stained Glass’ post. I am so glad you did trees. They are really the most tactile of the garden inhabitants. And all that texture provides homes for kinda big and small creatures, whether we want them or not. Texture has a way of performing in a functional way too.

  6. Your photos are gorgeous. I really love the way you showed the patterns on the swirling trunk. How interesting.

  7. kate says:

    Beautiful – I am going straight out to look at wood… and the textures in that first photograph are just stunning. Lovely colours, too… sigh

  8. I love that you focused on trees. I love the bark and can get lost for hours wandering in the woods admiring the patterns and textures of trees…rubbing the bark is so much fun too…I love the photos too…you certainly can see so much more up close!

  9. Holleygarden says:

    I have never heard of coins put in trees, but the coins remind me a bit of lichen. Great photos. The tree with the twisted branches is beautiful. I’ve seen hurricanes and tornadoes twist trees like that. I agree – strange, but magical.

  10. noelmoratael says:


    how odd but cool that people have placed coins on a tree like throwing coins in a fountain…the patterns are interesting also 🙂

  11. Wonderful photos, the first one, the lichen, is a show stopper for me. Very interesting to see what has appealed to you – the Portmeirion curved tree is just stunning, I wonder what it is? I also love driftwood washed up after a storm, amazing how the wood is transformed by the sea. I was stopped in my tracks by a pure white silver birch today – lit by pale midday sun, it looked so pure and beautiful against autumn golds. Lovely post, thanks!

  12. Anna says:

    A most thoughtful and well illustrated post Helen. Now why did I not notice what you espied at Portmeirion? I must have had blinkers on that day.

  13. andrea says:

    Hello, we almost have the same line of thinking in the post, but your trees seem to be more proficient in bending their bodies through time. And that tree which allow coins to be inserted in them is awesome, very interesting, the first time i heard of that!

  14. I found it hard to get past that first image of the lichen, such a good photo, made me want to run my fingers over it. The coins stuck in the stump are intriguing.

  15. Lovely post, Helen with gorgeous photos. I wonder whether the coins haven’t just been hammered into the wood? The edges look like they’ve been battered. (Esther’s boy trying to lever them out made me laugh).

  16. Lea says:

    You are so right – in a profusion of flowers, we overlook beautiful forms and textures in trees! Those tree limbs! A ballet dancer is the perfect descriptive term to use!

  17. It takes terrific photographic skills to portray texture and you have done a fabulous job. Looking at these photos I can almost physically feel the smoothness or roughness and consistency of your objects.

  18. Karen says:

    What a gorgeous post. You’re so right, the tree does look like a ballerina. So graceful! I have never seen money stuck in a tree, either, fascinating, and I too, wonder how it was done. I enjoyed my visit so much today.

  19. Lona says:

    What wonderful textures. I love the worn look of the barked tree. On the other hand someone will be robbing the money tree. LOL!

  20. Dear Helen I have no idea who has set up this pattern and texture thing but I love it. It is the trough (metaphorical) at which I always stop and quaff.

  21. I wonder what the dancing tree is? Those great furled and swirling branches!

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