What is a bird looking for when it sees a flower? Birds don’t eat pollen. So, not pollen. What then?
A bird is looking for a wriggly caterpillar. Caterpillars eat plants and are full of protein. Great food to feed itself or its new babies.
Imagine needing to feed 5 new babies all at one time? It’s a staggering parental duty.
What do YOU see when you look at a flower? The color? The way the petals are arranged? What about the leaves? Are they opposite each other or zigzagging back and forth up the stem? Maybe they are whorled and follow the stem like a spiral staircase.
Seeing detail is part of what interested me in drawing and painting plants. I love walking through the woods and finding new flowers and trees I have never noticed before.
A walk in the woods quickly takes on new meaning. Each different plant becomes a friend.
The marsh marigold calls forth the little peepers from a wet ditch. The nodding pink trillium hides under its leaves. Bluebells become less prevalent as the woodland grows denser with aspen and shade prevails. Should I risk moving some of them to a sunnier place?
Each month brings new friends while some fold away their leaves until the next year.
Botanical painting is a slow process. Each detail is important. I like our native plants in Wisconsin, and only occasionally paint showy exotic flowers.
Botanical painting is an exploration of plants. It fulfills not only our creativity, but our sense of belonging to the plant based world we depend on for life.