Cool for Kids Miscellenea

Shapes and patterns in nature

Looking for shapes and patterns in nature can transform a morning walk in your local park or forest into a journey of discovery

As regular readers know, I like to encourage people to go local. We don’t always have to travel a long distance to go somewhere different and exciting. There’s always plenty to see and enjoy in nature that’s right on our doorstep.

For example, I went a walk this morning around some nearby fields and woods. I’d walked these paths many times before, but I was struck afresh by the many shapes and patterns we can find in nature, if we take time to look for them.

Leaves are full of patterns, with the veins of these ivy leaves showing up particularly clearly, especially the reddish one bottom left
A caterpillar seems to have taken a perfect semi-circular bite out of this gorgeously patterned leaf, which almost has the shape of Africa!
A sprinkling of frost highlights shapes and patterns that we would not normally notice
Here, the frost seems to be outlining the leaves in white, while on the surface of the leaves there seem to be minute drops of frozen water, maybe transpired from the leaves
Even in death, a leaf exhibits the most interesting shapes


I love the contrast between the perfectly straight vertical main vein, and the seemingly random curves of the leaf edge
The main veins are in a gorgeous deep red, while faint patterns of green still cling on
Here we get different colour patterns: reds, browns, light and dark greens, and the white of the  frost
Trees provide an endless display of shapes and patterns. At the tops of the tree trunks of these beeches, the branches bend over and meet to form the famous “cathedral” appearance
I never cease to marvel at the beauty of trees. This one displays the same patterns of leaf veins that we saw earlier
The sunlight shining through this tree creates some interesting shadows on the frosty ground
A wonderfully symmetrical oak tree
I like this shot because it’s full of patterns. The curving lane. The line of fence posts matching the lane’s curve. The gentle curve of the hill, matched by another line of fence posts. And all is framed by branches and leaves above, creating their own shapes and patterns
Some more delicately patterned trees, with a couple of horses silhouetted on the hillside
The sun’s rays create their own patterns
Meanwhile, on the ground, the drop in temperature transforms an ordinary puddle into a work of art
A pine cone in close-up displays some very chunky patterns
Finally, a sheep shows off its shapely curved horn

I hope these photos illustrate the fact that beauty in nature can be found wherever you look for it, even in your garden or local park.

53 comments on “Shapes and patterns in nature

  1. Jos Vastmans

    Hello Denzil,

    Really nice We did this afternoon De WIjngaardberg, it was beautiful.



    • Thanks Jos. We certainly picked a lovely day to go walking! Let’s hope it’s as nice next weekend. Have a good week

  2. You’re absolutely right! Nice serie of nature photos!

  3. Denzil, I kept thinking as I saw each photo it must be my favourite, but they are all beautiful. The frost on the leaves…gorgeous. It looks like you had a glorious day for walking. Your fences across the field photo is wonderful.

    • Thanks for your positive comments Carol. I was so pleased to get a weekend with some sunshine, after quite a few miserably grey ones.

  4. Gorgeous shots of frosted leaves, horses and trees!

    • Thank you Fiona. I am so thankful for digital cameras! When I was young and using Kodachrome, I would never have taken over 150 photos in a day, in the hope that maybe a dozen would be acceptable!

  5. Wonderful collection of images ! Love the frozen leaves and the one with the horses 🙂

    • Thanks so much Cristina. I think the horses knew they were standing in a very photogenic position on top of the hill!

  6. Good posts, beautiful blog.

  7. Very nice! 🙂 I was taking the same kind of frosty photos when I was out this morning.

  8. It is a beautiful day in your neighborhood. 🙂 Yes, Mother Nature’s beauty is all around us if we only take the time to look. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. I especially like the picture of the jogger/runner silhouetted. Very nice – looks chilly!

    • Thanks Amy. I am always aware that I have a lot of photos of walkers/hikers/cyclists moving AWAY from the camera, and very few moving TOWARDS me. I never seem to be courageous enough to take a photo of someone coming towards me, maybe in case they strongly object!

  10. Reblogged this on guidowke's wandelblog and commented:

    Wie het kleine niet eert, is het grote niet weerd

  11. I liked your post so much that I reblogged it 🙂

  12. Each one of those photos was my favourite. It’s great to know that other people take the time to study leaves, and trees and nature. I work in a garden that has a group of 300 year old beech trees. The owner had never heard of the term cathedral to describe their planting pattern. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos. All the best. Karen

    • Thanks for your comment Karen. I have some better photos of beeches that really illustrate the cathedral. Maybe it’s worth a post of its own. How lucky you are to work in a garden with such a heritage. 300 years: that’s 1716. Amazing.

      • I think it is worth a post, I was amazed the owners didn’t know. And they had lived there 50 years. It’s a family farm. So their relatives lived there before them. No one ever knew.

  13. I so agree with you that sometimes the most beautiful places are close to home. These are gorgeous photos Denzil.

    • Thank you Miriam. It’s good to travel to see new sights, but also good to stay at home and see the new in the familiar!

  14. Beauty is all around us like you show us. Wonderful job!
    Enjoy your weekend,
    Dina & co

    • Thanks for your positive comment Dina. Yes I am enjoying my weekend so far: I was out walking and enjoying the lovely nature again. A post coming soon. Best wishes.

  15. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Gargrave in the rain | restlessjo

  16. You live in a lovely neighbourhood. I am always looking for patterns and shapes in nature, and love winter trees when they show us their wonderful structure. I just took a bunch of tree photos yesterday.

    • It’s an interesting neighbourhood in that it’s not classically lovely. It’s mostly farmland, but here and there are delightful pockets that are more natural. It’s certainly not an area that anyone would choose to holiday in. But I think no matter where we live, we can always find interesting off-the-way areas to explore.

  17. My mum actually thought that leaf number 6 was made up of leather. Fascinating, isn’t it?
    It doesn’t snow here in my city, so after seeing leaf # 2, 3, 4 and 5, my mother thought they were leaves covered by artificial snow or snow-dust. XD
    I actually had to remind her that these leaves were in fact in Belgium. She smiled and then again became fascinated with the vibrantly-hued foliage.
    We both loved the leaf no. 8. It was gorgeous. It had such wonderful shades!
    She fell in love with the oak tree.
    The fourth-last picture was just marvelous. The pinkish hue of the sunrays looked spectacular.
    And Oh My God, the puddle really looked like a piece of art! Those patterns belong in a museum.
    That was some ahem heavy-looking sheep (bleat, bleat). It looks kinda’ dangerous, but I love the horns. XD
    I love the countryside, please write more.
    P.S. The sixth-last picture look my breath away, it was just wonderful. I was serene and really heartwarming. You are a brilliant photographer. You have an artistic eye. Bravo! 🙂

  18. Beautiful. I particularly loved the trees. Just been for a lovely hike and feel very grateful to be close to nature. Have a nice evening, Sam

    • Thanks Sam. You can’t beat a walk in nature to restore the soul and get the creative juices flowing, can you? Are you in Switzerland on vacation or do you live there?

      • I know – nature always makes you feel so grounded and resourceful. I live in Switzerland – have been here for nearly 8 years now so it is definitely home 🙂

  19. Love these pictures man! I am just starting out in photography and have some photos up on my blog! Any tops or pointers would be greatly appreciated (:

    • Thanks for your comment Ryan, and for stopping by, but you really need to ask a photographer for tips. I am a real amateur when it comes to photography. I prefer to see myself as a writer who also takes photos, rather than the other way around. Best of luck with your new blog!

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