How does hopkins explore the breathtaking variety of nature in its many forms?
The opening of the poem is designed to give credit for the great beauty that the poet is going to discuss to god or to its creator. This establishes the tone of the poem as one of thanksgiving or celebration of the beautiful creations that the poet is surrounded by.
The poet uses poetic devices such as similes to point out the varied hues and shadows connecting "skies of couple color" to a striped bovine in order to point out the beauty there. The poet goes on to describe fish in the river and the various beautiful trees surrounding the river continuing to connect images of flora with images of fauna to point out their similar beauty.
The poet moves on to include the farmers and the farms and the way that the earth has also been affected by men and changed but also in ways that are fertile and productive and beautiful. In his descriptions of people and his look inward at himself, he continues to use the contrasting images to point out and describe the "fickle" nature of things and man.