When I am fascinated by a plant, I want to observe it. It starts with taking pictures of the whole plant but it doesn't take long before I put the macro-lens on. Being so close on a plant reveals many beautiful shapes. Sometimes I even need to sketch it, so I understand how it grows.
Today I found a branch of a Poplar in my neighbourhood. It was windy weather and on the ground were many loose branches. I took one home while I let the wind play with the leaves. They make such a lovely murmurous sound.
This is because the stem of the leave is a laterally flattened petiole. The flat petiole allows them to tremble in even slight breezes, and is the source of its scientific name Populus tremula.
(it's the same tree who's bark inspired me on monday's art retreat at home)
Another thing I like is how the petiole is attached to the branch:
The remarkable point between green and brown branch is the spot that marks new years growth. The brown is from last year. I like to see this kind of spots close-up, they are beautiful.
Sketching is another way of understanding a plant. Here I drew the lateral petiole to analyse how it's build. Often I use a magnifying glas to see it all.
Seeing those growing spots without the leaves reminded me of my own growing process. If you look back and remove all the "noise" you see what you have accomplished. You get appreciation for what you did.
Like in winter you can observe a tree's structure much better without the leaves.
On wikipedia you can read more about this tree family: Poplar
On my Facebook La Leipsig Jewels page more images of this beautiful tree.