Two weeks ago, at the end of my post looking at the work of Karl Blossfeldt, I invited readers to send in their own close-up pictures and drawings of what they saw when they came in for a closer look at something around them. Today, I get to share the pictures readers shared with us.

Thank you, Teddy (James' son), for the great example pictured above of how to slow down, look carefully, and learn from the amazing world we are a part of.

Thank you to those who shared pictures with us. If you didn't get one in this time—don't worry—there will be more opportunities in the future!


Photo and poem sent in by: Melissa Layer

Photo by Melissa Layer

Waiting for Safety

a question mark
waving in the wind,
holding to the fetal curl
and the safety
of the winter womb.

not the gentle
kiss of sun,
nor stream voice,
can coax
that frond
to unfurl
one single moment
before it does.

© Danna Faulds, from Go In and In

The unfurling of a fern is worth a closer look. You have to be paying attention to see a fern unfurling because if you're not, you might very well miss that graceful curve of the frond as it unfolds.


Photo sent in by: James Amadon

Photo by James Amadon

Through this close-up picture of bark with its deep furrows and rough surface, I can almost feel its texture, even though I'm just looking at a photo. What do you learn about the tree from this photo?

Northern Alligator Lizard, Dandelion, Spiderweb, and Sand & Shell Mixture

Photos sent in by: Louise Conner

The northern alligator lizard in the top right was hiding behind a pot on my porch and let me get in very close to see the patterns on his body. Even in the ordinary, though, there are amazing designs to see.

Leaf Prints

Photo and Art sent in (and created) by: Jan Whalen

Photo by Jan Whalen

My cousin Jan shares her "way of looking closer at leaves and turning them into pottery." I love this way of seeing, sharing, and preserving the delicate patterns that grow up around us.


Photos sent in by: Elaine Breckenridge

These photos from Elaine—which include her edits—are a great lesson in how you can see things differently when you step in closer to what you are observing. Details you didn't see when further away, suddenly become apparent.

Frog, Tree Swallow, Tulips, and Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Photo collection sent in by: Mac Taylor

These pictures from Mac ought to be enough to remind us all that when we take the time to look closely at what is around us, we will see many amazing and beautiful things.

Reflection Questions: Does one or more of these pictures prompt you to look more closely at your surroundings? How do you slow down to see the richness around you? Is there a practice of seeing that you currently find helpful or want to try out?

I would love to hear from you either directly through email at or through the comment section below.


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