Taking Time to Really See

I was not looking for birds’ nests on a recent grey day in August; I was setting up easels AtDreherIsSPwebfor plein air pastels with a student. We were at her family’s vacation camp site at Dreher Island State Park. Before us was a vast expanse of choppy water and even choppier clouds, with a pine-dotted peninsula jutting out in the midground.

Not very exciting stuff.

As I chattered away about the rule of thirds, preliminary thumbnails, and values, I stooped to set down my water bottle. There, between two sweetgum trunks, was this long-fallen nest, a sad looking thing filled with lint, spider webs, and trash. I quickly snapped two shots and forgot it.

Today I opened up photos from the trip, and there, much to my wonder, was this delightful structure, woven of grape vines, pine straw, and plastic Easter grass. Too often, I am guilty of overlooking the beauty to be found in the mundane, the tossed -aside, the forgotten. This little nest reminds me to pause where I am and look closely. Sometimes, seeing beauty takes a little effort.DreherIsSPBIRDSNEST

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