A clew of caterpillars
A clew of caterpillars (Photo: Tytia Habing)

From an early age, Tytia Habing was raised to appreciate and explore the natural world. This earthy background is clearly reflected in her black and white photography, which can best be described as a perfect mix of nostalgia with a dose of the sublime.

"I was encouraged to explore the land we lived on, to walk through woods and wander through meadows, to treat the Earth gently and respect my fellow creatures," Habing writes of her childhood.

Habing, who is also a horticulturist and landscape architect in Illinois, seeks to pass on her love of nature to her son through a nostalgic series titled "The Gift."

"The smallest of animals are of import, and even weeds have purpose," Habing explains. "I now teach my son the same, that this beautiful Earth is a gift we've all been given and it's our job to be good stewards, not only for us but for future generations."

In the series, which has been ongoing since 2011, we see hands outstretched, cradling and clutching beautiful bits of found nature — from fresh sprigs of wild onions to a helpless baby squirrel. Continue below to see just a small selection of these special gifts from nature, and check out Habing's website to see all of her work.

Blue bird
Blue bird (Photo: Tytia Habing)
Wild onions
Wild onions (Photo: Tytia Habing)
Baby squirrel
Baby squirrel (Photo: Tytia Habing)
Garter snake
Garter snake (Photo: Tytia Habing)
Nature bracelet
Nature bracelet (Photo: Tytia Habing)
Praying mantis
Praying mantis (Photo: Tytia Habing)
Milkweed
Milkweed (Photo: Tytia Habing)
Saved rodent
Saved rodent (Photo: Tytia Habing)
Seed
Seed (Photo: Tytia Habing)
Dead fish
Dead fish (Photo: Tytia Habing)
Water in hand
Water in hand (Photo: Tytia Habing)