Plants inside out

I’ve had three wonderful days in Osnabrück, couchsurfing with Jorma. We had so many wonderful and deep talks about everything that is going on in the world. Just lovely to spend time with her!

We went to the botanical garden one afternoon and looked at the plants and reflected on our relation to nature.

When I was a teenager I was as a member of the Field Biologist Club. We spent many, many hours to figure out the names of the plants, by looking them up in the flora.

In doing this we learned to see both details and the whole impression of the plant. When we were walking in nature  our eyes were open and as soon as we saw something that we didn’t recognize we stopped. Often it was just some feeling of that this plant was a little bit different. The leafs a bit more oval, the color of the flower a bit brighter, the form of the stem a little thinner …

Then, when examining the plant, we really had to look close. Is the stem of the leaf longer than the leaf? Are the sepals striped? Are the leaf ribs distinct?

When we found the name, we knew how the plant was related to other plants, where it was growing geographically and what biotopes it liked. We got to knew our new friend and we put her in a nice little labeled box.

The seeing I learned back then is still a huge part of my photography. To open my eyes and see what’s there. To be conscious about my surroundings.

But my relation to plants has changed.
As a botanist it’s me looking at IT.
The relation is entirely on my side and I’m not open to the plant in it self. It’s an object.
An object with certain criteria that distinguish it from other plants.
It’s fun to have seen many different plants!

As a nature photographer I look at the beauty of the plants
I admire them, take photos of them and really love them
But it’s still me seeing IT.
The relation is me seeing the plant.

With an open heart it’s possible to relate in an other way
To meet a YOU in the plant
To be a WE
To relate and be present with the Plant

It’s not easy … it takes time … and presence …

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