Yesterday, I spent three hours on a walk that normally takes half the time. Instead of just glancing at 'things' as I passed, I looked closely and truly saw the trees, vines, plants, and all the vegetation making up the understory.
There is a beauty in the organized chaos that comprises our natural world. Berries and fruit still cling to the bare, leafless vines of a dying Maypop Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) and an American Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), gifting birds and wildlife one more meal before the plants succumb to the changing seasons.
Snags and deadfalls that have been hidden by the greenery reappear, offering sanctuary to insects, animals, and birds over the winter. There is a symmetry to each structure's bumps, lumps, lines, and overall design. No two are alike in size, shape, or texture. Each unique shelter will protect its occupants from freezing temps and the elements until spring. Isn't it cool how something that's been dead for years still has a beneficial purpose?
Even the leftovers in the harvested corn fields depict a portrait of a job well done. The bent-over and broken stalks with the cobs and husks illustrate how the corn withstood the summer's heat, drought, and even high winds from a couple of tropical storms and still fulfilled its mission. Now, the cornfield is tired and ready for a well-deserved break before starting over again next spring.