opening of the mind
In the mid 1800's, Henry David Thoreau took a journey to Walden pond. He resided there, in the woods, for nearly 5 years. His idea was to find the lessons that nature provides us.
"I went to the woods to live deliberately to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." - Walden, Henry David Thoreau
Similarly, I explored the world of nature to see what I could find.
This green tree was one that really stuck out to me. Not only is it very bright, but it also stands tall. Trees surrounding it are tilted, with branches falling over. The unkempt look of this image reminds me that nothing in the woods is structured like in the city. Everything is very natural, and when i came across a tree like this, it made me feel special. Such as I had discovered something that someone else might not find, more or less.
As I walked through the woods, I periodically looked down at my feet, and I came across this dainty purple flower. It seemed to be the only one around, and it was cute to see how it played into the scenery. It's not like it was meant to be there, it seemed to be just thrown in the mix of leaves and dirt. Even though it was accidentally, it still found its beauty.
While the tiny purple flower seemed accidental, these trees in a row are obviously not. They had been planted there for a reason, and I had thought that maybe it was a way of nature and man working together. In the attempt to "organize" the trees and their structure, they end up looking a bit clumsy anyway. Branches are outstretched every which way. When observing this, I imagined someone, maybe a little girl, playing around and weaving in and out the trees, and every time she reaches a branch that's "unorganized" she loses and the nature wins.
The sound of water trickling attracted me to the place where I took this photo. I sat in that spot for a bit, listening to the water and noticing things within the water. I spotted areas that were cluttered with coins and rocks that people had thrown in and areas that weren't as populated. The sound of the water was soft, and every now and then I'd hear a break where the water ran over a shallower spot. The sounds and smells took me back to days when I would wander the woods with my friend and we would visit areas of water just like this. It gave me a feeling of nostalgia and I wished I could go back.
In the midst of these trees, I noticed a bird sitting on a thin branch. The bird attempted to switch branches as the one it was on was nearly breaking. As it lifted, the branch fell and the startling noise revealed a family of deer running from the small patch of trees and off to the right. To say I was surprised is such an understatement. I've never really seen deer in person, and it was strange how small they looked to me. The deer triggered the bird to be frightened and it flew away. The sound of the bird's wings were way louder than I had expected, and I came to the conclusion that it was a turkey. Looking up at it flying away, I started to feel quite small. It seems unusual to think I wouldn't have experienced these situations in any other setting.
Just the general feeling of the woods made me feel small. I took this picture while standing on a small wooden platform made between these trees. Even with the extra 10 feet, I felt like the trees were a mile long. The wind was furocious that day, and the trees were shaking like they were just leaves. I felt as though the trees may snap upon me at any minute. Despite days like that, the trees stay in tack. Most of them anyway, even the thin ones. It was amazing to see that those trees are planted, and from then on they take care of themselves. Nature is strong on its own, I suppose.
In this spot of the woods, I had the most exciting encounter of the day. I wasn't able to get a picture due to being off guard, but as I approached the water, a deer came out of nowhere. It crossed the bank of water and zipped right past me. I was startled and fascinated. The deer was determined to get out of the range of me because they are more afraid of me than I am of them. This came to puzzle me. In a world if theirs where they basically fend for themselves, you'd think deer have gotten to be pretty strong. Then again, they are not familiar with us, and we are not familiar with them.
No one is so sure what comes to mind when they think of nature, or the woods, or the forest, or whatever you may want to call it. General words are thrown in there, but most have no idea what it's all about. I think it would sure take more than an hour to find out. Maybe that's why Thoreau invested so much of his time in the woods. Although he did much of his work on a notepad and I did mine through a camera lens, I believe he would take my journey as a good start. I discovered that through all the changes that nature goes through, the view comes out to be breathtaking. There are branches supporting each other, and wind doing it's best to knock it all down. There is sunshine, giving support and life to the plants, and there is gases that accommodate them as well. There are many independent changes that occur in nature, but regardless it survives.
Thoreau, Henry David.¨Walden¨.Elements of Literature fifth course.Kylene Beers and Lee Odell (ed.) Holt: Austin 2005. 193-204. Print.