Inspiration in nature

It's such a cliche: I'm inspired by nature. But cliche or not, it's true. I can go outside and take a walk, or visit a garden center or arboretum, and I come home with visions of new designs dancing in my head.

Yesterday Malayna and I visited The Morris Arboretum with friends. We used to do this kind of thing often, but since she's in school all day it's really hard to plan fun day trips. I've only ever been there with Malayna, and I realized yesterday that I really need to have a day there alone. There is so much to see and not enough time to see it if you're with an energy-filled seven-year-old.

I took these photos in the fern house:

Look at those patterns! I could have spent hours in there. Ferns, moss and water everywhere - it was beautiful. I especially love the middle fern's colors.

This view makes the graphic designer in me happy with those super-straight vertical lines of trees.

I can't resist words on things. This was written on an adirondack chair.

Oh my. And this! These sticks were part of a giant bird's nest that you could sit in. Thousands of sticks must have been used. I wanted to pull up a chair and draw these.

Here's a far-away view of the bird house:

It was the perfect way to spend a sunny day off from school.

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