The surprising variety of colour to be easily seen.
An early-May urban walk in Caversham. It was one of those cloudy/sunny days. There was nothing exceptional about it. Nothing, apart from all there is to see and enjoy if you look up and notice.
Today it was the trees that drew my eye. Well, not the trees so much as the incredible variety of greens there are to be seen as they awake after the winter. It is one heck of a disservice to think of leaves as green, as if they are all just one colour.
Some would say it’s a disservice to nature – but nature isn’t exactly likely to complain! More to the point, it’s a disservice to yourself. Look up, literally and figuratively, forget all your normal interests and worries and whatever else for a while, and simply start looking at what’s around you. You can do this pretty well where ever you are. There’s a lot to see. And seeing it makes your day-to-day life far, far better.
I have to be honest: this wasn’t news to me. I’ve taken photos for a long time. If you’re in the right frame of mind, that tunes you in a bit to what’s out there. And my faltering efforts as a would-be water-colour artist often times accentuates my focus, as it were.
Perhaps it’s in my genes. Last weekend my mother, who is in her 90s, was commenting generally on the colours as we walked/wheeled around local streets. And she expressly picked out all the greens to be seen as spring gets into its stride.
But if those are some influences on me, that doesn’t mean I’ve any particular knowledge, ability or training to allow me to somehow see more. There’s a lot for everyone to see – and all you have to do is remember to look.
Quite unbidden, I also found myself thinking about the words that were coming to mind as I strolled along. What does seeing all these leaves make me think?
That nature’s aspirational. It’s strong, resolute and determined. It’s all about growth and it’s (often) gloriously lush, especially in spring. And all that growth is strangely tough, in that it will do whatever it takes to survive and thrive. And it’s sometimes ruthless but sometimes it’s cooperative – whatever will work best.
As for the spectacle itself, it’s a glorious, wonderful, varied, sometimes light, sometimes muted, sometimes bright, sometimes dark, sometimes backlit, sometimes dull, sometimes dappled, always rich … jumble.
On the RG4 site linked to below you’ll find a gallery of photos all taken on the same walk in Caversham, over about 30 minutes. I’ve not adjusted their colours at all.
As to what trees or whatever they are – for the purpose of enjoying what you see, it simply doesn’t matter. As I said earlier, no specialist knowledge is required!