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In The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest, Darke introduced the idea of observing a natural area repeatedly in search of design inspiration. Darke's study of the Red Clay Creek in southeastern Pennsylvania is the basis for the book's chapter "Learning from a Woodland Stream". Five images from the chapter, taken from the same vantage point on a bridge looking upstream to the west, illustrate the dramatic changes in color, depth, architecture, and mood that take place within a typical year. Two trees arching over the creek provide a constant frame of reference. This early May photo shows the landscape warmly aglow as the late afternoon sun backlights the scene.