organized chaos

After a day of work, my huge crazy pile of the detritus of nature that I collected last summer and fall has been sifted, edited, and organized.

Success! Chaos has been tamed... somewhat.

Every leaf, stick and seed was examined, and was either tossed out or loosely organized. I figure I got rid of 50-75% of the stuff I had — keeping only the material that still catches my eye and intrigues me. What’s my criteria for what makes the cut? Hard to put into words. Just something in that leaf or seed that pulls me in, and shows me some promise.

I then categorized everything into loose themes based on the subject, where I collected them, or visual similarities (in shape, color, etc.). The top left bin is material I collected from walks my family did at the Great Swamp last fall. Top right is my large collection of seed pods from the locust tree in my yard (here are some photographs from this same tree). Bottom-left are these wonderfully decaying leaves that have been chomped by insects into delicate lace — still not sure what to do with them.

Next step, pick a bin, fire up the camera, and get to work.

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