Pattern Recognition

The human eye is built to recognize patterns and also to pick out things that do not fit the pattern. Lets explore what pattern recognition can do for us as nature journalers.

Patterns help us make sense of the world. They form a baseline for continuity and consistency which we need to be able to make predictions.

Without predictions we are in a world of complete chaos and non-sense. We would literally not be able to function if we had to figure out how to get to work each day because the way has changed. We thrive on things being consistent.

As artists and writers we can use pattern inconsistencies to ask deeper questions. For instance, if all the plants in a patch are the same height except one, why is it so? Is there an environmental variable that you can see? Perhaps it's on a mound or perhaps it's growing in richer soil. Maybe you won't be able to figure it out but now you can take the time to enjoy this anomaly.

The reason why we love these anomalies is that they surprise us. It is actually a bit of a delight to recognize something apart from the pattern.

It's similar to a baby playing peekaboo. The adult covers their face and all of a sudden they look different. Then they uncover their face and exclaim peek-a-boo and the face is back to the regular pattern. It's a bit shocking for the baby to see a different facial pattern but oh wait, there it is again! All is right in the world.

Similarities and differences are what make the world a visually interesting place. As a nature journaler you can use your innate ability to recognize patterns for pure enjoyment and wonder or to explore what makes something different.

In what other ways do patterns enrich your life?