I have a habit of taking pictures of unusual things.

Colorful lichen formations

There’s something fascinating in the shapes and color combinations that occur naturally, about the variety of small fungi and mosses that grow on rocks and trees, about the way a tree heals from an injury.

Humans have been awed by nature since the beginning of time. In one way or another, we try to express our fascination, our fear, our wonder of the world around us in whatever medium is at hand.


It’s instinctive—nature inspires. Nature is awesome, and when we are awed, we reach for what is close at hand to capture and communicate that awe.

The respected weaving teacher Sharon Alderman told how she walked around her block, taking dozens of pictures for color inspiration. Colors that occur naturally together are good starting points for a weaving project.

A couple years ago, we visited southwestern Wyoming and Utah. The shapes and layers in the rock formations amazed me. Can you visualize the advancing twill lines in those hills?


That’s why I take pictures in my backyard. I take pictures in parks. And like all of us, I take pictures on vacation. Someday, those pictures will become weavings, in one way or another.