© Atala Dorothy Toy
This very dignified Micro-man tree spirit is all of 2 1/2″ high. He lives in an old log that overlooks a gentle stream. There are a minimum of three figures here: the tree spirit, his familiar (a bird watching the other way), and a larger form below and containing the other two. While small in our world, this micro-man is a dignified leader in his alternate reality.
One warm late summer day I decided it would be fun to experiment with what could be seen in the natural world up close. I wanted to experiment with what could be seen from yet another perspective. So I took out my 60m jewelry close-up lens and attached it to my Nikon, took only that camera, and headed out to one of my favorite locations – Leroy Oakes Nature Preserve in St. Charles, IL.
As is my custom, I paused to greet the nature deva at the start of my walk, and announced my day’s light-hearted intention.
Her response was to send me off in a different direction than I usually go. I walked through the woods and prairie areas, the humid summer day ripe with the scent of green things growing, golden prairie flowers, and cicada chirring.
And a child shall lead thee…
Suddenly a little fairy child appeared in front of me. She was very excited and was twirling about. “I know where there’s a tiny spirit,” she said. “Follow me!” It sounded like a happy invitation, and on a scan there was nothing wrong in her sweet invitation, so I started down the path after her.
As it was such a pretty day, with the sun shining through the summer leaves, I kept pausing. At which point she would dance back to me. “This way,” she would say, doing a pirouette and skipping forward.
Eventually we made our way to the stream, and the fairy invited me to sit on a log, enjoy the flowing water, and relax into meditation. I sat there for a time then remembered my mission. “Where is the little nature spirit,” I asked.
The fairy child directed my attention to a “dead” log nearby, and as sometimes happens, I saw nothing until the fairy drew my attention to a specific location, where there was a tiny 2 1/2″ very dignified wood spirit looking over his domain: the shore and the water.
Large in His World
It was quite an eye opener for me, to identify with him and do a portrait study. For I soon realized that in spite of how physically small he was in my world, in his world he was very big, and packed a lot of spirit energy, dignity and wisdom.
So if you enjoy nature spirit photography, try this exercise: put a different length lens on your camera from what you usually work with – and see what there is to be seen at that distance!
If you would like to share your own nature spirit photographs, head over to our community nature spirits group at Facebook.