From This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are by Melody Warnick:
“The natural elements of our childhood environment imprint themselves on us, forming our earliest memories of what a place should look like.”
From Seeing Seeds: A Journey into the World of Seedheads, Pods, and Fruit by Teri Dunn Chace, with photographs by Robert Llewellyn:
“Like a child in a fairy tale who follows a beckoning songbird far from home into unrecognizable territory, my seed journey began with curiosity and took me to strange places. Sometimes the load seemed heavy and the road looked long — seeds are complicated and puzzling. Other times a seed revealed its inner secrets before drifting away on a breeze. The ingenuity of the seeds of this world, not to mention their sheer volume of production, is astounding and real. Many seeds are small, but we should underestimate none of them. What they contain and do is huge, mysterious, and important.”
Melody Warnick’s book This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are describes the author’s “love where you live” experiments and techniques, born of her desire to achieve a sense of “place attachment” despite relocating many times throughout her life to American cities of starkly different character. The book is divided into sections discussing topics like buying local, building community relationships, diving into local cuisine, and exploring nearby natural spaces — with practical task-lists and suggestions on how to embed yourself in the region you call home. I included the specific short quote from the book above because it reminded me of connections between my childhood exploration of the woodlands near my home, and what has evolved into an (apparently!) endless engagement with taking closeup photos of the natural world.
Warnick’s book — which I highly recommend if you’re interested in ideas for learning more about your urban or rural environment — is a fine addition to a series of books about environmental psychology that I often use when researching topics for this blog or considering some new photography project ideas — a fascination that, for me, originally developed from a SUNY Empire State College course I took called “Exploring Place: History” where I got the opportunity to perform detailed studies of local historical places, such as Oakland Cemetery. Warnick does cover cemetery exploration in her book, something she found unexpected pleasure in as she realized that she — like many people I get quizzical looks from when I mention my cemetery trips — hadn’t previously thought of a cemetery as a pleasant and historically valuable place to visit.
Seeing Seeds: A Journey into the World of Seedheads, Pods, and Fruit by Teri Dunn Chace is a completely different kind of book, one of two I have featuring astonishing images by photographer Robert Llewellyn. You can see some of the photos from the book on the seeds page of his web site. The book embeds you in the lives of seeds, berries, and the fruits of plants, describing their significance to each plant’s natural growth cycle. With the accompanying Llewellyn photographs, the book reveals a world we don’t typically pay much attention to, one that is astonishing in its form and color, especially with the aid of a nice zoom or macro camera lens.
The gallery below is the first of two, where I focused solely on wintering seeds and berries I found in the Oakland Cemetery gardens.
My previous winter 2019-2020 posts are here:
Thanks for reading and taking a look!