Nature’s Chaos

In winter, the complexity of the forest is laid bare.


Forest fractals

Without the distraction of spring’s leafy dress, you can see right through to the forest skeleton. I am reminded of endless, intricate labyrinths—repeating patterns of wildness all the way down to the microscopic.

There is something reassuring about this winter view—a relief from the sterile, plastic world we are busily building. It’s nature’s chaos, and I find it hugely inspiring.



Yesterday, I did my annual garden cleanup getting ready for spring. I’m not a tidy gardener, but in early spring, my postage-stamp yard looks a little more ordered and less like a wild jungle. It doesn’t stay like this for long, though.


My garden in spring...the only time of year it looks orderly.

My garden in spring…the only time of year it looks orderly.


I like my little garden, but I would not want to live in a world without wild, chaotic nature.

Chaos is wildness, and wildness is life.

A snippet from the illustration I did for the Mountains to Sound Greenway.




10 thoughts on “Nature’s Chaos

  1. This post reminded me how when I was young I would look at a messy fencerow and think how nice it would look if it were cleaned up. Thank goodness I learned that all of nature (including humans!) needs wildness to survive. I now see the beauty of brushpiles, overgrown thickets, dead and fallen trees, and tangles of vines. All of these areas provide food, shelter, shade, and places to hide!

    • HI Denise,

      I love your art, and your comments. I especially appreciate this one — celebrating the wildness in nature. Your work is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

      Ruth (Heidi’s mother)

  2. Such a wonderful post! It’s amazing how, despite the vastness of space between us, similarities exist between the natural spaces… In winter, it’s easier to see the chaos and LIFE through the missing leaves in the ‘glades (while in the spring / summer of course, it’s just a cacophony!). LOVE your illustrations!

    • Thanks, Christina! We’re on opposite corners of the lower 48…but we see things the same. Nice to know that.

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