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.
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