Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Deep Observation And Tree Following

My drawing teacher stresses observation. Deep observation is harder to do than I expected; I have a regrettably short attention span. It requires a disciplined approach, sustained concentration and a clearing of the mind. I sense it is offering me something beyond the lines on the page and I'm keen to find out what.

The above picture is from GC Himani's collection of quotes, notes & video's made by great people who have been sharing their enlightenment through their words and actions. Her site hasn't had a post for some time but it is an inspiring place to visit.

I have an opportunity for personal growth but how to go about it? Like most things deep observation requires training and practise. Sometimes things just fall into your lap. Like Loose and Leafy's 
Tree Following project. 

 choose a tree and see what it does:
when its leaves appear and when they fall
which twigs grow and which fall off
if it has seeds
and if any germinate and grow into new trees
what its bark looks like - when it's wet and when it's dry
whether anything grows on it - like lichen
whether creatures sit on - insects, birds, butterflies
what plants grow round it and what they do too.

If you choose to follow a tree L and L has a monthly link up to share your observations.

I'll be following my little Cox's Orange Pippin Apple Tree
taken last summer


  1. How interesting... deeper observation! i often will sit observing something, and while I am observing, like to write my observations down, and perhaps keep writing for 20 or 30 minutes. I have seen so many things that I would not have noticed doing this. Also wanted to tell you that i received my lovely pendant this morning, and already have it on. Thank you so much and think it is lovely. Best to you, and am continuing to enjoy your blog.

    1. I'm glad it arrived. As I've got older I have found it harder to ignore distractions and really concentrate. I intend to claim back that skill.

  2. I am also trying to observe this attention span is fleeting at best so this will be quite a test for me in the garden this yr...I still haven't decided on a tree but we are having another big snowstorm so it will be a while for me before the trees even start to change. I think I may follow my fav maple.

    1. I see quite a few blogger friends are signed up. It seems even gardeners feel the need to slow down.

  3. That's exactly it - being in the presence of a tree and paying it close attention. One tree is a huge world.

    1. It is going to be fascinating reading all the reports.

  4. We are both looking at the same tree type and it will be interesting to see the differences. Deep observation and patience (waiting for those precious changes) are both things I'll be learning and practising with my tree this year.

    Your tree looks wonderful and hopefully will prove bountiful. :)

    1. My tree needs some love and attention. I'm getting an arborist to look at it.


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