Setting Thesaurus Entry: Meadow


Long grass seeded with wildflowers, sunlight, bees, dragonflies, butterflies, dry leaves trapped in the grass, tall trees laden with leaves hemming the clearing, birds, mushrooms, wild strawberry plants, ants, beetles, spiders, mice, moss, broken branches at the edge, gopher holes, bushes, the wind waving heavy pine trees and shuffling through leaves, squirrels leaping from branch to branch along the treeline, leaves twirling and drifting to the ground, ladybugs


Leaves rustling/clattering, wind shushing, small critters scampering through the grass, crickets, water tricking over stones and roots from a nearby creek, the hum of bees and dragonflies, the whine of flies and mosquitoes, silence, birds trilling/cawing/squawking, squirrels or chipmunks chittering, grass crunching underfoot, the wind ruffling the grass


Growing grass, warm earth and sunlight, pollen, sweet flowers & berries, clean air, dew


Chewing on a stalk of sweet grass, picnic food brought to the area (sandwiches, wine, grapes, cheese, bread, cold cuts, chicken, other fruit, crackers, water etc), wild strawberries from the field, raspberries/blueberries/Saskatoon or gooseberries collected at the edge


Warm sun on the face, breeze ruffling clothes and brushing through hair and over skin, warm earth beneath you, soft grass, scratchy dead leaves or grass close to the ground, the sting of a bee or bite of an insect, grass sliding against legs as you walk, twigs/dead leaves and grass giving way beneath your tread, a change in temperature on skin as clouds pass over the sun

Helpful hints:

--The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.

Example 1:

Claire waited between the prickly skirts of two evergreens, rubbing her arms and jumping at the slightest movement. She dared not set foot out in the open; high above, the bloated moon scoured the low grass like a blind witch's eye. The note that had summoned her here clearly outlined what would happen if she was seen or followed.

Example 2:

I lay back in the soft, sweet-smelling grass, lacing my fingers behind my head. Clouds gathered in the sapphire sky above, the slow moving swirls shifting into a kindly, weathered face then stretching to become a lazing pride of lions. I smiled like a child being read a bedtime story, tucked under a blanket of warm sunlight.

--Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.

Example 1: (Simile)

The butterfly hovered over the cluster of white daisies, it's wings shimmering like coins in the sun.

Example 2: (Metaphor)

Fingers of air raked through the plush meadow grasses, stirring up the scent of wild strawberry and goldenrod.


Bish Denham said...

I love how just reading the setting thesaurus puts me in the place.

Mary Witzl said...

We're off for a picnic now, and good thing too, after reading this!

I love that image of lying in the grass, smiling like a child being read a story -- perfect.

PJ Hoover said...

Perfect timing! I have a meadow scene and have neglected to put in any insects (though I do have some birds).

Angela said...

Thanks everyone!

Timing in everything, hey PJ?

slhastings said...

Angela and Becca-

This is an EXCELLENT post. What a great "sensory" exercise. If only it wasn't raining here in Chicago. I'm kind of in the mood to lay in a meadow, watching the clouds, and listen to the sounds of nature.


Jessica said...

Prickly skirts!!!! What an awesome way to say it.
Sheesh. That was great.
I just wrote a meadow scene. I had to really think hard, but it's so worth it to draw the reader in.

Danette Haworth said...

I just love your examples! Strong imagery!

Crystal said...

Thanks SO MUCH for these setting descriptions. You guys are lifesavers!


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