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Nature Photos – Seeing Patterns

Nature Photos – Seeing Patterns

Nature Observer patterns page

My assignment: Take time to note the patterns and textures found in nature during the winter.

This was a nature prompt from my new Nature Observer journal, the one I’m working in every day as part of my nature goals for 2018 (see more here). The prompt is for the whole month of January and much like the Outdoor Hour Challenges, it creates the focus for your time outdoors. I have woven it into my river walks and even when we are just out and about in the neighborhood.


Examples of Patterns and Textures from January 2018

ice pattern

Ice: Here in Central Oregon the ice comes in different varieties. A few times we have experienced hoar frost and freezing fog which create ice on everything in spikes and crystals.  Sometimes, even the air sparkles with ice if conditions are just right…magical.

tree bark

Bark: Bark patterns make it possible to identify a tree even without leaves. Our evergreens all have different bark colors, textures, and patterns of growth. My favorite bark “pattern” is the aspen and paper birch. The quintessential winter scene for me is the snowy landscape with white aspen trunks and leafless limbs.

tree cones snow winter

Cones: Can you identify which tree a cone comes from by looking at the pattern and texture? Yes! This is quite amazing when you think about how each tree has a unique cone size, color, and shape. You would never confuse a ponderosa pinecone with a lodge pole pinecone because they are completely different.

These are just a few of the patterns and textures that I’ve observed during my walks in January.


Activity Idea:

Look for patterns and textures in your yard and neighborhood. Take a photo or make a sketch for your nature journal page. Take time to reflect on the beauty of patterns in nature.

  • This page on National Geographic has some amazing images of patterns in nature: Patterns in Nature

2 thoughts on “Nature Photos – Seeing Patterns

  1. I am using this nature book too (thanks to you!!) but have not spent much time on patterns other than snow and ice, which have been fascinating. And yesterday a huge burdock plant had tiny white hats on all the burrs. I was unable to get a good photo, but it was beautiful.

    1. I’m so happy to hear that you are enjoying the Nature Observer book as much as I am! It gives me a focus and a direction to my week as I take my walks. I’m hoping I can keep it going all year.

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