Mar
31

Naturalist Lens in Spring Snowfall

It’s almost spring, but so many things are trying to fool us into thinking it is still winter. I’m outside in the cold and the snow is falling onto everything in sight – including my nose. Everything around me that just one day before was budding and dry and prepared for spring at first seemed confused. Should the buds continue to blossom? The squirrels go back to their stores of food? It’s March 29, 2011, 5:07 pm, Pittsburgh, PA, and I’m in the woods of Bellevue in a spring snowfall. This day is about adaptability and transformation. Just when you expect one thing, you must be ready to adapt to the unexpected and transform your outer shell – even if temporarily.
  
Though at first confusing to the plants, earth, and organisms, they’re adapting to the cold weather and snow that arrives – just before the warmer temperatures are here to stay. All of the things around me are adapting – holding onto their robust qualities that help them endure the winter. Bracing themselves and protecting their nearly complete buds from the harsh snow. I hear dripping, but also the somewhat silent patting of snow onto the ground, onto the leaves, the rocks, the pine needles, the dirt, the plants, and the grass. The sound of the snow reveals that everything is being lightly touched by a piece of heaven. Snow is kissing everything from the green grass that was just beginning to poke through the dirt to the tops of the 60-foot evergreens all around me. It is intriguing how the snow transforms the look of everything around me. I now feel privileged to witness this transformation right before my eyes. The lime greens, mossy olives, and chocolate browns are now coated with powdered sugar white.

But there are those elements that are protected and untouched by the snow. The pine needles underneath the great evergreens, the little hole in the ground under the bushes that was created by an agile petite animal of some sort. These things are protected from the snow and never experience the snowflake laying on their skin or bark or greenery. They never have the chance to transform their outside appearance. The snow makes all the colors brilliant and sparkling and some of the snow is transparent and creates a new color. Whether lighter or more brilliant, the world around me is changing like a kaleidoscope of colored crystals.

The color is what is most appealing to me, but the sound of the dripping is really beautiful as well. (the temperature is right at freezing – so the melting snow and simultaneous snow falling are obvious. The dripping is a perfect soundtrack to the changing colors and constant movement. It is steady, although not perfectly timed. It is calming, but I know it’s creating mud. Although it is cold and snowy and I had really been expecting spring and warm weather, I was given a nice show of color with sound. I have faith the world around me can handle the snow and it might just make sweetness of spring, a bit more sweet.

Mar
28

Natural inspiration for design

I collect patterns in nature that inspire my designs. Here are a few.