Have you heard about fallen leaf art? I read about it thanks to Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. On Facebook, Baker Creek linked to an article on fallen leaf art. The official term is ochiba art. Ochiba is Japanese for “fallen leaves.”
Did I ever tell you I studied Japanese at Baylor University during my college years? And that I spent a summer in Japan? I would love to return someday (#bucketlist). For now, I’ve decided to embrace the eastern idea of fallen leaf art. After all, supplies are plentiful in our neighborhood this time of year.
Well, in reality, colorful leaves were plentiful last week before winter came down like the Polar Express.
I took this photo with my iPhone using only God’s filter—bright sunshine on a chilly Friday morning.
If you think about it, it seems like such a waste to watch the leaves fall and fade away. Fall color never lasts long enough. While Annabelle and I walked (Lucy doesn’t walk much these days), we stopped and picked up a sack of leaves.
This suited Annabelle just fine because she loves to stop and sniff e v e r y t h i n g.
The Colors of Fall
Back home, I dumped my leaves on the front porch and set about to create my art. (Really, they look pretty simply piled together.)
I sorted leaves into color piles.
My Fallen Leaf Art
I knew exactly what my first design would be. A heart. Simple and easy.
All you need is love, you know.
My second fallen leaf art = a spiral.
Wouldn’t this be a fantastic nature project for kids? (And adults who like to channel their inner kid.)
A university in Denmark recently did a scientific study to determine that kids with more “cumulative green space” have “lower risk of a wide spectrum of psychiatric disorders later in life.”
Cumulative green space.
Translation: Go outside and play!
Momma didn’t often have to tell us to go outside and play. It’s what we did. Rain, snow, heat of summer—my sister and I loved to play outside. Turns out playing in nature was one of the best things we did. Probably you too!
Let me just take a moment to say I’m thankful for my “cumulative green space” in the form of a backyard, front yard, many fields and ditches and treetops and dirt roads and turnrows and schoolyards and graveyards and levees and riverbanks and churchyards and swimming holes.
But I digress.
I know some of you are probably wondering what’s the point of this fallen leaf art? Or, what’s next? Did I somehow affix the leaves to a board and apply Mod Podge, saving my creation for all posterity?
No. That’s not the point of it.
The idea is to create something beautiful and fun yet fleeting. Like fall itself. And in the process, lose myself in nature, just for a little while.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
P.S. No trees were harmed in the making of this art. And I can still see it from my writing desk. (Or I could when I wrote this on Friday…)