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    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Bird_Academy
      1. Tell us about your sit spot experience! Upload and share your corresponding journal page if you’d like to. If you went more than once, did you notice changes or new things on later visits? 2. What kinds of observations come more easily to you, and which are a little more "outside of the box" for you?
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    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      DaveRich
      For my first attempt at drawing in nature I drove to the Willow Creek Hatchery on the edge of Edmonds Marsh (along Puget Sound in Washington state). There I sat on a picnic bench (the Hatchery is closed now, but thy allow visitors). I was alone and so set to work trying to capture part of a Western Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum) against the trunk of a Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum). The more I worked, the more complicated the scene seemed. I was not surprised as I spent much of my life asa practical ecologist at a Land Grant University and have had that drummed into me by experience. I spent a half-hour getting some sort of an impression down and here is the result, using a pencil from the Cascadia Art Museum. Western Sword Fern and Big Leaf Maple trunk and dead leaves.
      • David
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        DaveRich
        I meant to add that making this drawing outside in nature was a bit outside the box for me as I usually do my paintings from my own reference photos.
    • Blanca
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      BlancaManzanilla
      Love standing in the middle of the garden or jungle...close my eyes, take a breath, listen, and look at all the little things around - Nature is pretty amazing! Today, I enjoyed the orchids. Spot drawing
    • lynn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lfruit
      • 633EB81F-F37D-458E-B207-8E688FE457DF
      Had a beautiful 20 minutes at Cresent Lake Park.  Would like a lesson on how to draw ripples on the water!  And shadows! I’ve also seen many birds after sitting for 15 minutes on the front porch. My next observation will be at night - I really want to ‘hear’ the neighborhood screech owls and see our wonderful bats.
    • Tiffany
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      ainwena
      imageMy sit spot today was the window in the kitchen nook.  We placed a few bird feeders in the yard and now we have a bunch of house finches coming to visit.  There were so many so I chose to draw them every time they landed on the feeder that gave me a side view.  It took them about ten minutes to come back to the feeder since I know they saw me in the window.  Other than that, they did a lot of swooping in and out.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      seadahl80
      My sit spot today was in my garden at Stanford, CA.  I sat for about 20 mins watching birds come and go from a little tree that grows near the fence. There is a water dish for the birds on a stump under this tree which attracts a variety of birds which today included a Bewick's wren, oak titmouse, lesser goldfinch and maybe a pine siskin. Anna's hummingbirds frequently perch on this same tree in-between their visits to their garden feeder. I was able to make observations about the weather, sounds and state of the garden. fullsizeoutput_6479
    • Alisha
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      alishabirdie
      I completed my sit spot this afternoon, in Ottawa,Ontario (Canada), at a stormwater facility pond.  I sat for about 30 minutes, in the afternoon.  I definately plan to return there for another sitting :).  I saw the colours, noticed the sunlight shining through the various grasses and plants, and took time to notice things like the air, temperature, and sounds.  This process was very meditative...and immersive! The observations that come easily are the more obvious ones, like cat-tails, taller swaying grasses, and the pond water.  It took some time, but I noticed the milkweed, how it has dried up now in Autumn, and how fuzzy white hairs were spilling out of them.  I questioned what the fuzzy white things were, also wondered if they were the same fluffs in the wind and air all around me.  Upon closer inspection, from seated position and then later picking up a fallen seed, I realized yes, the fuzzy stuff coming out of the milkweed are in fact seeds that probably have those hairs sticking out of them because they help them fly around and spread.  I definately want to follow the milkweed through the 4 seasons and see what happens! Keep you all posted :)image0(3) Alisha
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      jenneve58
      image
    • Cindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      cduffy
      I went on my screened back porch. I sit there most days but really observed today. The signs of fall are all around. It was very relaxing to just observe and put all other things out of my mind. Sketching some of the things I observed is something I haven't done before.
      • Linda
        Participant
        Chirps: 12
        LindaWorden
        I liked this exercise.  I went to 2 different nature preserves near me. I had the chance to sit in peace and quite and enjoy the surroundings even though I was very close to the airport and main roads.  A little bit of heaven among the busy life around us.   I was very surprised that I found no birds or ducks at one place while sitting on a bench in front of a pond.  Very unusual, and if I didn't stop and think about it I would not have noticed.  Lots to observe in both places.  I will definetly do this some more
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      sjessop
      I chose a corner of my yard for the first sit. I love this 'observe and record' method and can't wait to try more locations as the weather gets nicer.  Having an assignment really helped me slow down and be intentional.  I could smell smoke from a wildfire, the temp was 97º, the neighbor's dog was barking, but I felt it was a positive experience.  At one point a hummingbird hovered above me and I was the one being observed.  The hardest part of the whole thing was to close my eyes and breathe.  I will remember to do that more often.NatureJournalSitSpot
    • Marta
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      MartaOli
      Sitting_still_exerc_26.09.2020_Marta This was my first sit spot experience. I sat in a city park close by, in a windy morning. Sounds came more easily; with time, I started to notice more details of light/ shadow/ dark in trees, birds, vegetation... Birds moved, so it was challenging to draw them. After sitting still & drawing for about an hour, I walked a bit and passed by a big pine tree. I've seen this tree several times before. But for the first time I looked at it with different eyes, which made me want to come back again, sit still and draw it!
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      kimmie06
      Carolina WrenI noticed the Carolina Wren darts precariously in and out of brush in my backyard and usually forages alone, while other birds do so in pairs.  I started the sketch outside and finished the details of it after my sit-sketch, looking up its latin taxonomy and order and family on allaboutbirds.org :) Had I not been still, I doubt this bird would've appeared with me otherwise.
    • Janice
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      JaniceMcDll
      450291AC-DDC3-4C7D-BE84-836A4458E7EE
    • Caroline
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      benjaminboies
      IMG_7908IMG_7906 1 -It was lovely! I was shocked to see how quickly the light changes though. As a result, representing the light was challenging. I feel like I "zoned out" for a while because I spent an hour instead of 20 minutes, but honestly thought it has only been 15 or 20 minutes. 2-Listening to the sounds around me felt natural, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much time I could observe just by smelling the air. Sounds crazy when I write this but in the moment, it made so much sense.
    • Adrienne
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Adrienne291
      Observing nature is something I'm familiar with, but I hadn't sat down and written down observations in a while. I tried one a couple of days ago, but it was already the afternoon and I could hear a lot of landscaping work going on nearby. It was simply too loud for me to concentrate, even though I did see some things. The next day, I went out twice. The first time was pretty early in the morning and I observed quite a lot of things going on around me, trying to use all my senses. Later, I went out with my dad after breakfast to a local spot we visit sometimes. I didn't think about doing a sit spot exercise because I had already done one that day. However, as we sat watching the river, I found myself noticing a lot of other things. There were squirrels behind us and birds occasionally calling that we couldn't see. I started to record things and I found that it came naturally to me. I have always been sensitive to sound, so those kinds of observations come more easily to me. And when there is sound, I usually can see the source. I think I've always been a "use all my senses" kind of person, so I wouldn't say that any of them are things I don't notice as much. However, I think I've never put thought into actively noticing a smell unless it's a strong smell. In this exercise, I learned that it's important to take note of the subtle smells, too. The season is changing from summer to autumn, and I can certainly tell just by smell. One last thing to note is that sometimes there are so many things going on that it's hard to write them all down. Or I'll be observing something, but be torn between observing and recording. I think being in the moment is more important though, and I can record a little something of it later so I can remember.
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      bbcastleman1
      1BA1ADF5-438E-4FA2-A62A-56BEFA6D6FE2 This sitting still is a normal activity for me, but focusing on all the senses was a good way to be more aware.
    • Kimmai
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      KimmaiNunnery
      IMG_4085 I like the long list of the experience of being in nature verse, the labeling of specimens. This may have to do with not liking the look of when add too much writing I feel like it jumbles the composition.
    • Lumi
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      lumifox
      1. I sat in our crabapple tree in our yard, which has pretty good wildlife, that ranges from rabbits to deer. I liked sitting there, and it was helpful that plants and trees don’t just fly away, like birds, so I could pay attention to bark, the branches etc. 2. The form of the tree was a bit exotic, and fun to capture, but nothing about drawing it was too odd.image
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      LinElin
      IMG-1972Enjoyed this exercise, with quiet time I began to notice so many things going on I had to choose just a few to concentrate on. Thanks for the walking suggestion.
    • Martha
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Mswearin
      FD698AB0-C9B8-4818-B74F-DA022B4A9B6BPleasant early morning scanning my pumpkin patch. Many healthy plants and a few who have succumbed to the backyard bullies. I spied a likely culprit and he stared back defiantly as drew his likeness. Grandpa Ott greets the day like a royal trumpeter in fine purple robes—my morning glory is a wonder! I never fail to step on my favorite nemesis, the sweet gum ball. Pain and pleasure, beauty and bugs...my sit spot.
    • Bridget
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      rimuridge
      1. My first sit spot experience too. Sitting on the steps of our large deck overlooking our garden, while my 2 year old daughter painted at her easel nearby. This exercise showed me that it doesn't take much time to have mindful moment in nature. I worked through each of my sense to focus on what I was experiencing, so I could better record it. Overall, a special moment. 2. The differences in colours and textures came quickly, sounds and feelings took a little longer. IMG_20200816_131949
    • diana
      Participant
      Chirps: 49
      ittybittyart
      This was my first sit-spot experience. I was a bit disappointed at first because I’m residing in an urban area with not many safe choices. But I picked a small, safe space on the edge of a community living spot. The trees are mainly over a fence and not close enough to examine well. There are no observable animals and lots of nearby human activity, so I just brought seeds for animals and left them at the edge of the woods... it’s too early to know if they will soon come out. But I sat last night - after rains - and just drew trees (pines, crape myrtle) and landscaping and noted whatever came into my mind. (Quotations at times surface,) When I returned inside, I added color to my drawings. I also had to figure out what the blooming trees were. Even tho the sit spot went totally differently than I’d hoped, I still learned a great deal and turned it into a collage(s) which I can share with friends. That’s where the human/nature connections happen! Thx for your guidance. 96751FDC-49C7-4093-A52C-1005C062565F779C38F2-C912-4747-868A-9482665FA2D79D5BF85B-9C49-4013-8056-F101BE850C34
      • Linda
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        LinElin
        Loved your art, and the message so needed in these times.
    • Dale
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      DFarrar8
      imageIt was nice to get out after a day of rain, but I was only able to go into my garden. It was neat hearing and seeing  everything coming alive after being quiet for the rain. I did notice it was hard at times for me to ignore “human sounds” like traffic. This sitting reminded me of when my mom and I went out birding when I was a kid. I have always loved the solitude and connectedness I feel in nature.
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 49
        ittybittyart
        Nice entry & recollections.
    • May
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      May-A-A
      Comparing to  other sit spot experiences, this one was different in terms of being more aware of surroundings and documenting my observations. I noticed how the color of leaves changes according to sunlight. This is the image from my journal in which I recorded my observations of surrounding setting.     May
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 49
        ittybittyart
        I love the simplicity of this style. The soft colors are also great.
      • Caroline
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        benjaminboies
        I love this page, it feels like we were there with you. Love the structure of your layout.
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      mcoravsky
      20200801_125920For this exercise I chose to do a walk instead of a sit spot. Mosquitoes are preventing my stopping in one place for too long. I did choose one particular area as my focus. It was easier for me to notice details in birds than with plants. I am anxious to observe a different area than one I am familiar with. I could see that one page may not be enough for some spots. I already have other sit spots in mind.
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 49
        ittybittyart
        Yes, the standing dampness has caused the bugs to be bad for sitting long here also.   Walking instead is a good suggestion.
    • Jessie
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      jperagine
      I sat just the one time. I hear very well, so i was listening since I wasn't seeing much that caught my eye to draw except the tiny things like the ant carrying the piece of leaf.15963088740691498641992928576458
    • Victoria
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      mvrestre
      I first sat close to a palm tree, I didn't think I could draw anything from a moving subject, so I chose a plant. The following day I found a black skimmer nesting site, I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to draw the fast moving birds, fortunately there dozens of birds and there several of them in the same pose, that helped me a lot. I stayed there for more than two hours and finally they didn't pay much attention to me, and started moving closer, which helped me a lot. IMG_2738IMG_2773IMG_2772
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 49
        ittybittyart
        Love your drawings here.
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      KimMeyer
      IMG_20200730_175144 My sit spot was in Heidelberg's (DE) old graveyard. This massive Friedhof hugs the side of a hill and is shaded by towering trees of all kinds. I found a relatively quiet spot along one of the less travelled paths with views into the canopy from side on and below. The canopy and undergrowth was humming with life! It was amazing! I noticed so many new species of birds that I've never spotted in Europe before (probably because I had not taken the time to wait for them to emerge). And they were quite curious about me too funnily enough.
    • Victoria
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      mvrestre
      I first went to the beach where I fond some vegetation, I enjoyed sitting down to listen and to observe nature. I chose a palm tree because it was easer to start with, it doesn't move that much, but then I found this nesting place where the black skimmers where taking care of their babies and it was an incredible experience to try to chase with my pencil all that movement. It was hard, it was my first time trying to do this, but after a couple of hours I felt I was able to capture some good poses. IMG_2738IMG_2753IMG_2755
    • Denise
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      dennymeyer
      Swan Bay I was greeted by 4 faery wrens. My spot was a fallen tree overlooking the bay. Lots of bird song and a strong wind blowing which I could not capture. A dark blue line where the sea disappeared into mist. Sun started filtering through the leaves and everything changed.
    • Liliana
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Liliana Ponce
      20200720_174850-1I loved this exercise. I usually spend time outside, enjoying, but it is not easy for me to draw. I can hear birds, thouh I do not always see them. I like the big trees and the colours of little plants above them.
    • Adella
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      adellamarie
      Plants, trees & shrubs come more easily for me. Birds, animals and insects are difficult to get a visual on because of their constant movement such as butterflies and dragonflies. I noticed the sun changes the appearance of things. When it goes behind a cloud everything looks different. Birds and insects are more active in the morning and later in the afternoon.
    • Adella
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      adellamarie
      2020-07-16 Field Observation
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Jennyfee1970
      IMG_20200714_171032 I really enjoyed sitting behind my neighbour's garden watching the butterflies in its summer lilac. It was so impressive that the butterflies weren't scared of me and after a while they even landed at my arms and head. Most of them were peacock butterflies and just 2 others. I wish my English would be better to express my observations better but I am using this course to practice it
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      ktfromlv
      834FE949-8E76-4803-BD53-C5EB39D95A4FI didn’t get far because I am self quarantining after an extended trip in our RV and we want to make sure we weren’t exposed to the Covid19 virus before heading out among the public again. Also, it is very hot here. Forecast says possibly 109° high today.
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      patofvta
      I went to a canyon park in the foothills near my home in southern California. I see lots of birds there and usually hike, but today I found a sit spot. Today we had a typical June Gloom all day so far. The wind kicked in and blew the gloom away, sunshine, breezy and cool. I hear people sounds, cars in the park, doves cooing, and lots of birds sounds. I noticed I could hear each gust of wind as it moved toward me, the trees would shake and then it was gone, it warmed and the birds started chattering . After several waves of wind, it became a wave of birds. They came to me. I started taking photos. I get a little over simulated with all the choices. I am a quick spotter, but have a challenge knowing the species. I always have to research to make sure of which type sp. I am just beginning to know the small birds in my neighborhood. I may even have a shot at drawing from life, if the birds come to me, I really like that! Can it be that simple? Spend several days hitting different spots, really like this assignment.  I had issues capturing the birds with sketch but I am beginning to draw faster and the birds are coming closer the more I sit.20200710_132532 Arroyo Verde Park sit spot   20200710_132603 Sit Spot Casitas lake
    • Gigi
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      gzarzuela
      I sat on my porch at nightsitspot in Denver, CO. Lot's of ambient city sounds and not very much wildlife. Looking forward to trying this out in nature. I did enjoy finding pockets of stillness and peace woven into the soundscape.
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 49
        ittybittyart
        I can relate to your setting and it’s a good idea using a house plant under these circumstances too.
    • Cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 24
      Mea Lea
      This was very engaging for me.  Sitting still is not my forte!  I surprised myself by staying for the whole 20 minutes on the sixth step of twelve looking down on a patio of flagstone, and above and to the right of me was a cascade of wisteria coming from a grassy area with bird feeders.  To the left were two tall fig trees, and in front of me even taller sets of river birches.  I was captivated to hear and see birds return after flying away when I first sat down. The silence lasted for minutes, but slowly I began to hear many different bird calls, at one point it was true cacophony!  A catbird practically shouted at me, and a sparrow came to drink water from a puddle about 20 feet in front of me.  When I turned my head, he/she flew away, but then crept back to the puddle to drink and splash again.  Some birds practically landed on my head when flying by!  Another sight that expanded my sense of observation was the number/variety of "greens" that could be identified as I sat there turning my head to the left and right, above and tho the ground.  It is summer here and the trees have all leafed out, grasses are tall and bearing seeds, and flowers are in all states of development.  I was also aware of the many different shapes and textures of leaves and seeds I could see from the fuzzy lamb's ear plant to a waxy succulent and a shiny reflective leaf from a birch tree. The weather was sunny although a thunderstorm was expected.  It never came.  What a peaceful time!
    • Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      JFeldkamp
      Today was rainy, so I sat on my front porch. At first, it was hard to sit and be still. I look around and listen often. But this was different. I paid far more attention and noticed more. I heard a blue jay call. I don't think they are common in my neighborhood, or are they? Are they around, but I don't tune into them? Squirrels spiraled down the tree trunk. I've seen them do that often, but today, I asked "Why do they spiral?" When attending to measurements, I noticed the huge difference in size and shape of the hosta leaves right next to the door. IMG_3580
      • Cynthia
        Participant
        Chirps: 24
        Mea Lea
        Thank you!  The sense of your time there is very clear and your drawings bring more detail to your observations.
    • serena
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      serena bakx
      My first/second sit spot was in my backyard June ?, 2020 it was a fairly nice day, although not very sunny since it was still early. As soon as I got out of the house, I noticed a small egg lying beside the lilac bush, so I decided to investigate... there was a dogwood petal attached to the shell that was broken open, so I ran over to the dogwood tree that we have and looked around. There were no other shells on the ground and in the tree, there was one empty and small nest that didn't look like it had been used. A few days before, there had been a windy storm and so the egg probably got brought here by a crow or something, then the rain glued the petal onto the egg and blew it over to the lilac bush. it was a fun adventure, and I did some sketches to remember; pic's not great quality but still legible WIN_20200615_10_18_27_Pro the next sit spot i did was at my friend's house, SHE GOT CHICKS!!!. so i had to draw them.. i probably spent 2 hours watching them... WIN_20200615_10_27_18_Pro
      • Cynthia
        Participant
        Chirps: 24
        Mea Lea
        I love your detective work to find where that cracked egg may have come from!  The chicks are darling!  Having your thoughts along side the drawings gives me more ways to reflect and record my sit spot observations for the future.  Thank you.
    • Sally
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      sally19
      June 14    15 degrees Celcius. A very mild sunny day with a slight breeze.  Sit spot exercise. I did not do any drawing with this activity, I just sat quietly taking notes and I observed. I found it a very relaxing 15 minute exercise. For 15 mins I sit quietly in my yard. I hear the rustling of the bushes, the cooing of a peaceful dove. The flapping wings of erratic flight of a little wattlebird as it forages in the bush. The breeze is cool. The sun shimmers across the grass creating bright-lit blades and shadowy areas.  I can smell the dampness of previous rains. The clouds are light grey and are a thin blanket in areas. I hear starlings singing and a Mynah bird passes quickly by. The lorikeet are now screeching and the mudlark is singing out with its tinny ringing voice.  I can hear the gentle chirping of the thornbill birds. The dove continues to coo. The rustling trees get louder as the wind picks up. I can hear a blackbird is chirping, slightly alarmed as it runs along the back fence. The bottlebrush has few flowers this time of year but the bees still hover in search of nectar. My Apricot trees remaining autumn leaves are barely hanging on as the tree gently blows in the breeze.  
      • Jill
        Participant
        Chirps: 20
        JFeldkamp
        In what country do you live?
      • Cynthia
        Participant
        Chirps: 24
        Mea Lea
        Your writing brought me into your very special haven, the sights, the sounds, the colors, the sense of the wind.  Thank you.
    • اليازية
      Participant
      Chirps: 27
      Alyazia
      I went to  a shallow water beach a bit after 07:30 a.m. I was able to spot birds from a distance hunting/fishing for their morning treats. I focused my attention to a heron ; Western Reef. I tried to  quickly sketch different gestures while watching. Then another one arrived, which was much active than the first one. I liked the reflection so I included it in my quick sketches. IMG_6624 Then, I tried to sketch the first one and  to give some sense of the environment around him. Shallow water, rocks and shells forming lines one before the heron and the other is far behind it. This framed the heron in the middle of lines ; sea, rocks , shallow water, then again the rocks and shells and the shallow water. IMG_6625 The sun was rising and the weather was getting humid, therefore, I decided to sketch the heron that I photographed several days ago in the same area. After sketching it quickly, I though there is a missing feeling between the quick sketches of the same bird and the final sketch from a photograph. Can you feel the difference too? I didn't write much -- I went back indoors quarter after 8 because the weather was getting warmer and warmer (I should've got myself an umbrella or some sort of shades (and a water!). IMG_6626 I'm planning to go there again and to sketch the tinny small red crabs that makes plenty of tinny small sand balls! I consider them to be the artists of the shore ; they form WOW shapes on the sand - worth observing!
      • Jill
        Participant
        Chirps: 20
        JFeldkamp
        Where do you live?
      • Cynthia
        Participant
        Chirps: 24
        Mea Lea
        Your drawings are so spare and yet so full of the defining details!  Thank you for your inspiration!
    • Priscilla
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Priscilla Taylor-Williams
      Sitting and enjoying the calm was no problem. In drawing I noticed details I would not have otherwise...lighting for example made me very aware of the feeling of the atmosphere around me. That led me to notice the way the breeze moved through the area I was sitting in. Writing down my questions did two things. First, it made me relax because I knew I could try to find out more later. Second, I responded by trying to see if I could notice more that would help me answer on my own. That in turn led to new observations. Finally, I was surprised by the level of sound all around me. Usually, I just hear the birds. Of course, I did hear the birds and was intrigued by how many more calls and songs I heard as they adjusted to my presence. But beyond that there was lots of rustling (some turned out to be a busy chipmunk) and buzzing of a variety of insects and the noise of the foliage moving in the wind.
      • Cynthia
        Participant
        Chirps: 24
        Mea Lea
        I noticed the clouds in the sky, and the sun when it blinked in and out of them, but the effects of lighting all around me was one thing I did not think much about. I will do that the next time!  Thank you!
    • kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      kattykort
      I loved this exercise, it is something I do often.  We have a second home in Idaho, very remote, I often wander the property for hours at a time. Now I can put my observations down on paper and refer back to them to research what I have found. I notice birds more then others so the bird IDs are easy but I have just started to ID plants. I am becoming more aware of what is an invasive plant versus a native plant. Im not sure what would be 'outside of the box' for me, maybe insects. NJC Sit Spot
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      Suzy64
      IMG_7707From my sit spot in my yard,
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Antigonie
      My sit spot is my porch. I have been observing nature from my porch for years. I watch the birds and squirrels and chipmunks. I watch the changing of the seasons. I listen for what birds are present. What was new was how layered the visions are and how hard it is to capture that on paper. I drew the tress but what about what was behind the tress? I drew the rhododendron but what is on the ground in front of and behind the rhododendron? The other layer is the layer of color. The rhododendron's flowers are ink, some brighter, some paler capturing that is hard. And where was the sky?
    • Lynley
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Lynrees
      During this time of pandemic isolation and restricted movement here in Australia I have been enjoying the change of pace and getting out into natural spaces near to home when I can.  It is nice to be able to spend time just sitting  noticing and wondering.  Here are a few of my Journalling attemptsJournal Page - 200506 - Eucalyptus CaesiaJournal Page - 03-05-2020- Into to JournallingJournal page - 30-03-2020 - Nature Journalling and Field Sketchin Course
      • ANDREA
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        barnea2
        Very nice, thanks for sharing!
    • Azurekat
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Azurekat
      unnamed copy I found this a very difficult task. I was cold, next time I bring something to sit on. The ground was wet from rain the day before. I did enjoy the bright sunshine though. The birds were busy but I noticed the insects the most. I think the bush I was sitting next to must have been a favorite spot for flying insects of all kinds. Maybe they were enjoying the sun while keeping out of the cool winds. They were smarter than I was. :)
    • Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      odonnee6
      I am familiar with sitting quietly and making observations but it has been awhile since I have done it. I typically focus on bird songs and keep track of how many species I hear, but today I looked more closely and the trees budding out around me. I noticed that they are not all at the same stages, even within the same species. This got me wondering about why this might be. Could it be soil, sun, wind exposure? I very much enjoyed myself and I plan on doing this for a few days.sit spot
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 43
      CBMac7
      69FC5698-B233-4F34-9BF3-870E15731B14DE7CF008-B7C7-49B7-B298-789A575A1241This is the view of my sit spot, which is from the front porch facing East. I started my first observation today (Mother’s Day 2020). I get the morning sun followed by the shade of the huge saw-toothed oak, a pink crape myrtle, a willow tree, and another unknown hardwood tree. This is also one of two of my bird count spots where I have many different feeders and suet feeders filled with brush dog fur for nesting in the spring. Lots of things come easy to me on observations. I am usually sitting here daily enjoying the nature around me. The things that are more “outside of the box” for me, are adding drawings to my journals. Usually I am putting actual leaves 🍁, flowers 🌸, & twigs in my journals or a display case instead of drawing because I don’t think I can draw what I see well. I’m definitely seeing some improvement.
    • Margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      marnisquire
      Unike Nancy (below), it has been snowing here, so sitting outside was a bit chilly; nevertheless, I gave it a try.  The first time a few days ago, I was focusing on birds and had a very difficult time attempting to draw them.  This second time I focused on flowers and tree fungus which sat still!  Very enjoyable, and shows me how very much I have yet to learn. IMG_0207
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Gags will
      I’ve been waiting for the temperature to cool down from the 90’s to get outside.  This afternoon, it was 75 degrees and beautiful out for my first sit spot in the backyard.  Loved it! 0F43355C-651A-4E02-A3EB-98BD1B442243E9D14C1F-7E6F-4E32-A484-44DA7ECE39F6
    • Stefania
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Stefiex22
      I had planned to go to a forest and to do the exercise, then I met a friend and she introduces me to another forest close by. I have done the exercise when I was alone, when we left the forest and I was sitting on top of a view so I was able to see the valley and start my drawing. Different noises were present. I felt the wind that was pushing my hair ups and downs. After 10 minutes I was able to hear the different birds. I could see the forest on the right side and different colours of the trees. The valley has got its beauties that can be observed by different perspectives, lights and factors to see. I have noticed different types of green - as a color - and I would like to be able to use different colours in my illustrations.Forest
    • Amanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      agaskin
      oLfDOLA6ThWTfrE+TuZMCAIMG_0854 Having trouble submitting my photo of entire journal page but was able to upload these detail shots.  Spent 15 minutes outside listening, observing, and writing and completed drawings later. I liked letting my mind wander to whatever avenues it was directed to by my observations.  
    • Ruth
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      ruthdrawsgonzalez
      Oak tree halo 4-28-20 nature journaling I heard a lot of different birds singing but could not see any of them except a crow flying and some mocking birds...which made me wish I could recognize birds by their songs. I was sitting in my backyard and drawing my neighbor's tree when the other neighbor started mowing which fairly overwhelmed the rest of the sounds. But it was fun to capture the tree before most of its leaves were on and the structure could be easily seen.
      • Carree
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        TytoFurcata
        I like the style of your tree and the way you incorporated the text into the scene to make it a whole composition.
    • Kirsten
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      kirstenlissa
      I’ve been observing the sweet barn swallows nesting in my apartment complex. The attached photo is from this afternoon’s journal observation. I hadn’t been writing anything down until this class. I’m absolutely fascinated by our “new neighbors”, a barn swallow couple that moved into the porch of the vacant apartment next door. There seems to be several swallow nesting here this spring. I’m only familiar with cave swallows, so this will be a new experience to really pay attention to a new species so close to my porch. The coloring of these little birds is so dramatic and beautiful. We are in a transitional rental and still under quarantine, so I wasn’t sure if I’d have much to report from my porch, but I do now!E5ADB6BF-E012-46AF-8F40-7F140BA58028
      • Azurekat
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        Azurekat
        I love the movement in the swallows you painted. They are lovely.
    • Ginny Prytherch
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      bigredbear
      I did 2 'sit spot' locations, keeping notes and being alert to goings on.  Due to CoVID 19 the first location- usually quiet was too busy with walkers.  The second is a spot I often walk to with a stream, a waterfall over a dam, birds and trees.  I liked that better. We also have been "sit spotting" comfortably  in our living room where our window looks out right into a newly made woodpecker nest.  The progress of the Hairy Woodpecker has been amazing.  (Our siding is not wood!!).  I also have enjoyed observing the Decorah eagle nest on live cam the last few weeks and the progression of woodland wildflowers - up to the current Virginia bluebells covering the hillsides. My photos are on my phone and I'll see if I can manage an insert later.  My goal is to take a lot of time with this course.  At present, we have nothing but time!
    • Leonora
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      noniebird
      10E431BE-9D16-499F-9F43-73C5ECBE395A
      • Ruth
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        ruthdrawsgonzalez
        I love the variety of vignettes individually and the stories about each vignette that make them very unique to your Sit Spot and the season, the notes about the pictures, and the poems which enlarged and deepened the experience for me. I also love the way the page hangs together so beautifully as a whole.
    • sherry
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      sherlee00
      imageimageimage
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Nancr
      April 21, 2020  cloudy and rainy I have an observation spot at breakfast each morning.  We sit at a large window and look out on our bird feeders which sits about 3 feet from the window.  This is to allow my husband, who has low vision to see the birds, it also discourage bird strikes into the window. There are four feeders hanging from a porch swing frame,  two tube feeders have a mix of seed, another has only sunflower seed chips, and the third is a 3 suet cake wire feeder.  We also have a larger feeder on a post about 15 feet away.  My husband is the filler of the feeders.  He experiments with different types of suet to see which birds like which flavors.  He also feeds peanuts to "Mr. Squirrel, Red, and Blacky" and a fluxuating number of babies. Our residence is at 1160 feet in elevation, and we are in a temperate rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state.  We have a large lawn area surrounded by trees and wild areas.  Native plants of salal and oregon grape, several fern species, wild blackberries, wild strawberries, Douglas fir, cedar, alder, vine maple, maple, hemlock, and berry trees.  There are many wild flowers and I also grow roses within and deer resistant plants outside the fenced area.  We have summer on Thursday during one of the summer months and winter is usually a week long.  These are by midwestern standards, as we moved here from central Illinois.  The rest of the year we have the rainy season October to May and the dry season June to September.  However, the rainy season is generally polite with light rain or mist, which doesn't stop outdoor activities, but still tends to soak one to the skin.  We have few thunderstorms but we do get wind. We see and I am now noting a great number of changes throughout the year.  There are resident birds that stay with us all year like the juncos, nuthatches, downy and hairy woodpeckers, flickers, Stellar's jays, spotted towhees, doves, chestnut backed chickadees and white crowned sparrows who visit our feeders regularly.  Spring and summer residents include robins, of course, varied thrushes, gray jays, gold crowned sparrows, song sparrows, pine siskins,  house, purple and gold finches, black-headed grosbeaks, and hummingbirds, Anna's and Rufus and others I am not remembering at the moment. Depending upon the time of day that I am watching, there are varying degrees of  activity.  The birds definitely have their siesta times, and their social functions, as well as their feeding frenzies.  It is interesting to watch the interactions between birds of the same species and those between different species.  There is a definite hierarchy.  Claw is highest, with raptors in the area stimulating hiding behavior.  The squirrels also get deferential treatment. Next on the hierarchy is  beak length or pointed-ness.  It's amazing how the little nuthatch can always find a perch at a feeder.  General size of the bird plays into the pecking order as well but also aggressiveness , especially with individuals within the same species.  Another interesting behavior in some species that mate for the season or for life, is that the males will protect the females while they eat at the feeders; I often see the male grosbeak sitting on a branch above the feeder while she eats. I have this written in my journal but my hand writing is difficult to read sometimes so I decided to type this.  I will try to post my journal pages with illustrations in the furture.
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      kbsoave
      I love to hike and find a spot to sit and journal and have been using this method for a few months (before the pandemic stay-at-home hit). I love exploring spots I normally hike through by taking the time to stop and sit and observe and journal...I find that I notice so many small details and evidence of interactions between critters and their environment. Many questions pop into my mind and I love sketching, writing my immediate questions and observations to dive into later. For example, I had a goal of visiting the same stretch of Mendocino coast beach and observing the beach wrack/strand line over time. I managed two of these and I will be happy to be able to do more of this when the virus shelter in place is safely lifted. For now I am very happy exploring my back yard garden and local Mt Tam hills. My biggest challenge is that I tend to get so absorbed that I could easily spend hours on one journaling event (!)... not practical! I am a slow sketcher, especially birds and animals that are moving around. But I am loving it and striving for ways to practice my journaling that allows me to capture the essentials while coming back to add details, more info and color.PHOTO E, pg1PHOTO E, pg2PHOTO B
      • Carree
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        TytoFurcata
        In thinking about it, Cataract Falls on Mt. Tam would be a good sit spot if I could get there early enough. It's crowded under normal circumstances and probably not the best spot at the moment. I may think about heading to some of the lakes where it might be a bit less crowded and more serene. Happy to see a fellow Northern California person in this course!
    • Giuliana
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      giulianacpferrari
      WhatsApp Image 2020-04-17 at 16.14.24The first day (left) I went to the garden surrounding my building to do a sit spot. I don't have many options around given the current virus situation, and to make it a bit worse, children were screaming and running around, making the whole 'silent' thing of the activity quite useless. But I persevered and in the second day (right) I decided to go back quite early, when no one was around. It helped, and I was able to admire the flight of two large bees, and realise that two different flower species were actually probably the same one, given they are exactly the same in shape and leaf type, only one was white and the other pink. A nice day!
    • Judith
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Judith62
      My sit spot was on January 19, 2020. It was a warm 39 degrees, sunny and melting snow. I was in my back yard. The Winter Jasmine had several birds on it and they flew back and forth to the bird feeder. Across the yard a calico cat was sitting on the fence. Sitting in the same spot, during our quarantine, I've noticed the arrival of the white- throated sparrows by hearing them and then watching them. Every day there is a little more color and a lot more bird and animal activity.    
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      lindaloubird
      Below is my submission.  A bit messy for a first try but it was a very enjoyable experience.  It took 3 tries - the first two times were too noisy with human activities - leaf blowers, chain saws, etc.  Grrr...  When I first sat down the third time on the dock at the lake (across the street from my home), there only seemed a tiny bit of activity.  But soon enough, I saw there was lots going on.  From tiny winged bugs of some sort, to a large vulture flying overhead.  And I was very surprised to see a huge snake curled up in the lake grass quite near me.  Didn't even notice it at first.  I think it's a rat snake.  I look forward to being better at identifying what I am seeing.  Most of the birds I did know.  We're lucky in this part of Michigan to have sandhill cranes.  They were calling out while I was sitting there.  A very fun time!
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      lindaloubird
      DSCN1088
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      carolrasowsky
      Sat on my front bench at 12 noon when it was 90 degrees and then next to the pond behind my house at about 5 pm, just as a light rain began to fall. It was interesting how quiet both experiences were, and how almost free of birds, as we always enjoy birds year round both in front and back. Probably too hot for birds at Sit #1 and too drizzly for birds at Sit #2 ☺️ I had a lovely sense of quiet delight when returning indoors - very much enjoyed taking time to notice many little details in new ways. Intentionally wrote notes rather than sketching, but I love seeing everyone’s sketches here ... inspires me to do much more of this and just DRAW.D35E34FA-7B24-4BD2-837A-8A01E49CA2466CC7E27C-DE0C-492F-813E-D6EEDC2CBD09  
    • Andrew
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      ajsibb
      I found it hard to keep my eyes closed for more than three minutes because I wanted to see as well as hear what was going on around me. I could feel relaxing, then when I picked up my phone to record a sound, the stress went back up again. I heard soft sounds I might not have heard when walking. I could definitely focus in on different sounds, then move onto the next. For the days presented here, my eyes remained open. I seem to be more comfortable with my pencil the second day. The sense of spring arriving was felt and heard, though there was little in the way of greening happening here.imageimageh
      • Leonora
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        noniebird
        Hi, Andrew. I was drawn to your journaling. I think it’s the way you interspersed your drawings and your writing, it appears balanced and visually satisfying. I’m also drawn to the images you captured of the duck/s, from different perspectives and positions - very well done. But, I couldn’t figure out what the list of words under your ducks said? I finally decided it must be a secret code! Also, that chipmunk is the sweetest! Happy drawing!
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Nancr
      This is my first journal entry.   20200412_075707
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        BirdShir
        Wow, you had a lot of patience and precision to make all of those neat repetions for so many blossoms. I have sketched lily of the valley before but not like this so I googled and found that lily of the valley bush is entirely different from the lily of the valley flower. Thank you for sharing and great sketching. Keep on sharing.
      • Penni
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        PEM6406
        Hi Nancy - thank you for identifying a bush that my husband has been calling Mountain Laurel.  A few days ago I pointed out that the Mt Laurel Festival is in June here in northern PA.  Now I have the answer!
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Nancr
      This is drawing of a photograph I took in 2009.  This mother brought her twin fawns into our backyard shortly after they were born and stayed in the area all summer and fall.  I was able to stand outside on my back door stoop while this little one nursed and take several photos.  This experience was probably my first sit spot. Black-tailed Deer and fawn 1
      • Colleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 43
        CBMac7
        Hi Nancy. I love the details of the mother deer and her fawn. Your texture & dimensions are exquisite and so life like. I felt such joy, calm and peacefulness, and that they could jump off the page at any moment. Thanks for sharing!
    • Shir
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      BirdShir
      Day 6 and 7 and today was too windy to  be under tall trees outside. Sketch Nature Journaling and Field Sketching Bird Sitting 6 Five Bluebird Eggs In Box   Sketch Nature Journaling and Field Sketching Bird Sitting 7 Wind And Fallen Branches
    • Shir
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      BirdShir
      This next one I had trouble depicting the yard art cardinal. I changed its position from the day before. I actually plopped it in a flower pot so it would be facing me. What I had trouble with was its left wing. Some how the way it was positioned that wing was straight out but somehow lifted a bit so I could partially see the underside. I tried sketching that but instead of it being raised it was more like it was hanging down...so erased and just quickly filled it in so that one is a do again. Sketch Nature Journaling and Field Sketching Bird Sitting 5  
    • Shir
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      BirdShir
      Day 3 and Day 4 Sketch Nature Journaling and Field Sketching Bird Sitting 3 This Day 4 was by far the most exciting and fun day so far. Sketch Nature Journaling and Field Sketching Bird Sitting 4
    • Shir
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      BirdShir
      I started what I call bird sitting last Friday 5/3/2020. I don't put a time limit on myself might be 30 min or could well be an hour. It varies. I am going to make several posts and share my sessions with you and each day is a new adventure and never boring or the same. Sketch Nature Journaling and Field Sketching Bird Sitting Day 2 Sketch Nature Journaling and Field Sketching Bird Sitting 2
    • Ranae
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Puzzle Peace
      i walked around and looked for a best spot in our back yard this morning, got my sketching stool and sat.  it's spring and so the bird cacophony is Fabulous.  Counting all of them is beyond my ability for sure. Bird orchestration is the best descriptive term that i can come up with.  Forte, pianissimo, back left, right front....totally amazing and made me move away mentally from CV angst altogether.  I did a redo this afternoon and the environmental changes; warmer, sharper shadows, less birds but clearer song....omg.  I'm so thankful that i decided to 'nature journal'.   chirps?
    • Rose
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      RoseLouise
      I grew up and spent my early adulthood in an apartment in the Bronx. I am now 77 years old and have lived for over 40 years in Bucks County PA.  The house I live in is the first actual house I ever lived in. I still don’t take it for granted that my back yard leads to woods, and that nature is all around me. I chose my porch for my first sit spot. I still thrill to the fact that I have a porch- even after all these years. I often sit out there, but it was especially lovely to observe and to journal . I look forward to more as Spring brings its changes.
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        BirdShir
        Hi Rose, Sounds so lovely. Enjoy.
    • Mayumi
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Torichanoide
      At the beginning, I could not sense anything new. I tried a couple of 15 minutes sessions, but I just felt what I usually felt. Through reading and looking at the journals of others, I realized it is ok not to have any new discoveries. I just wrote what I saw, heard, and felt. I found that it was relaxing, yet challenging to just sit and write and draw while other chores were waiting to be done. It required me patience. It is good exercise for me to be in a moment, not to rush, and to take my time. I also found that spending a little bit of time everyday by the window gave me joy to find different flowers blooming different timing, which gave me sense of the spring approaching. IMG_3479
    • Shea
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      runnerboy13
      While I was biking the other day, I found this little spot called The Jim King Pond. It's a nice little pond with two mute swans and a pair of Canada geese. The easiest observations where the details to the birds, but what was a little outside of the box was actually the landscaping. IMG_20200405_122119
    • Suzy
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      slyttle
      It took me a while to find something to draw. I was waiting for a magical moment or a bird landing in front of my face. That didn't happen, but the longer I did find things to look at. I came to this spot to check on the spring flowers so those where my main focus. After 30min squirrels came back out, birds came a little closer. Sit Spot
    • Leah
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      imchickadee
      It was great doing my sit spot experience in my back yard (I couldn't go anywhere else because I'm an 11 year old kid that a. doesn't know how to drive, and b. my parents probably won't let me go anywhere else outside alone, and they're pretty busy). At first there wasn't that much to see, but as time passed by, I could see much more birds, including a juvenile Bald Eagle which I didn't know that I would see, and a steller's jay that flew into our bird feeder, which was really unexpected because they are usually shy in my area. It was hard to see differences in the landscape for me because I look at the birds, but I will try to improve and notice more changes in the landscape and plants. I was surprised at how many birds that I got to see in that time period, though.
      • Leah
        Participant
        Chirps: 15
        imchickadee
        Backyard Sitting Mar 4, 2020
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        BirdShir

        @Leah Your experience sounds awesome and makes me smile as I think of the excitement you must have felt. Neat Journaling, too.

      • Carree
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        TytoFurcata

        @Shir Great detail on the Bewick's Wren tail!

      • Carree
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        TytoFurcata

        @Leah My previous comment was intended for Leah but I messed up and responded to Shir so please ignore that one. Don't see a way to delete it. Woops.

    • Montana
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      mvasquezgrinnell
      It was a lovely experience. Went to a trail not too far from my home and just sat and listened. So many birds were singing (even one I hadn't heard before!) and the water dropped throughout the forest since there had just been a downpour. I am building up my listening skills to be able to pick out birds I hear more readily so I'm working hard on my ability to perceive things through sound. It was relaxin and it was amazing how quickly the time went by. image0
    • Catherine
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      springside
      While I started this course in October I am just completing this exercise now, sitting in my snowy garden. I learned a lot and will need to practice this much more often. The gesture drawing lesson is very helpful here with the birds in the yard. I was a bit surprised that I wrote much more than I drew. Maybe the ratio will shift when my drawing skills improve. I paid much closer attention to the structure of the snowdrops than I would in the past. I looked at how they survived last week’s 30 cm snowfall and how the leaves may have helped shelter the blossoms. CE073E5D-43EA-4DC7-8405-682785678F54
    • Matt
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      mgoldberg
      IMG_5942
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        BirdShir
        I am taking my time with the class as I want it to last forever and never end. I am spending much time practicing each activity in lessons. Thanks for sharing your experience.
    • Avery
      Participant
      Chirps: 28
      boxturtlestudio
      Hello all, Trying again to load my sit spot on Plummets Island20200328_141332, 5 miles from Washington, DC. Avery              
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        BirdShir
        Wow! A belted kingfisher. I would love to see one. They say they are on our riverbank but I have yet to see one. Not giving up. That is a fine sketch. Like your journal entry.
    • Dorothy D
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      DAnna_Dorothy
      IMG_7189IMG_7187 I went down to the edge of the woods adjacent to where I live to regroup and decompress during a stint at the computer for teaching online these days(I am an art teacher).It is something I do anyway on a daily basis.I have always looked for nature's clues and changes on a daily observations so this is not an unknown territory for me.  A neighbor has placed various weathered benches here and there for us to sit and ponder. Since it was 2pm there was not as much bird activity as I would have liked as I know birds will rest before they start their food hunt later. However after 20 minutes, I could hear the cardinals,chickadees and a lone towhee starting up again. Spring greens are starting to appear on the poplars and oaks around here(photo)and a ground cover myrtle and a few  mayapples (early!) are starting to pop up.
    • Tony
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      tonytabasso
      IMG_5382
      • Andrew
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        ajsibb
        Very cool integration of text and image!
      • Carol
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        carolrasowsky
        I agree with Andrew - I like the way you wove the text into the drawing and your sketches make me think of all the same birds we see in our nearby marshes.
      • Carree
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        TytoFurcata
        I also agree, I like the way you incorporated the text and imagery into one cohesive scene.
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      Suzy64
      IMG_6968Though our pond has been here for 3 years, this is the first time I have had a sit spot next to it. What a pleasure it was to watch the fish patterns and hear the squirrel and crow scold me for showing up on their land. I enlarged the single koi in the pond to get a better sense of his appearance. Our koi is all white with some grey. All of his peers have failed to survive, but he survives with his gold fish minions each season. The pond it 8 ' by 11" and 3 feet deep with two water falls. Since it isn't opened yet, there is no sound of rushing water yet. Perhaps in April.
    • Avery
      Participant
      Chirps: 28
      boxturtlestudio
      Hello all,  I am really enjoying seeing all of your work! My sit spot was on Plummers Island in the Potomac River about 5 miles from Washington,  DC. It is near the Chesapeake  and Ohio Canal National Park. I was looking for spring wildflowers and bees, but saw and heard much more. I sat on a rock on my coat to draw, but soon had to put my coat on. The wind was cold. It was a peaceful place to draw and paint.
    • Chantal
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      rococorose
      I sat by the lake and watched the  goldeneyes do what they do. They moved back when I first got there but started to come in closer again after around 20 minutes, just like the lesson said! I was originally just going to leave the picture on the left side and the writing on the right, but then I started writing all over the picture and painting around the notes and it ended up like this. Noticing dead plants was a new one for me, but it was actually pretty interesting once I started looking, touching and even smelling them 20200319_154708
      • Carol
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        carolrasowsky
        I enjoyed your use of watercolor and I loved your comments and questions!
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Sarah46
      8AF14D27-873C-40A1-ABF7-33EF60F0CAA3
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      colleencc
      IMG_1563
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      David Santos
      I was in my backyard garden. It's in urban area surrounded by houses, but I can see the neighbours garden's too. There's a lot a concrete in the ground but some islands for trees or flowers. Biodiversity is low in general although one can see some buterflies, some caterpillar, snails, slugs, earthworms, wild birds, pets. The feature trees are 2 Persimmon trees that atract the "wildlife". This time of the year Spring is on the move, some flowers blossomed already. Even if the Persimmon trees lack leafs, birds use them as perch site for singing. The activity of the Magpies (Pica pica) was a thing to notice and created questions to explore. Their behaviour in the tree and later on the ground caught my attencion. Another highlight was a call sound of a European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) which is unusual to ear, based in the past experiences, although they are ubiquous species in Portugal. Also the lack of European Serin (Serinus serinus) calls or songs today was a surprise because I know their nest site.89712838_658347004925841_1780687728615096320_n
      • David
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        David Santos
        P.S. Sorry for some bad spelling.
    • Koen
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Nahtur
      I sat down in my backyard.  It was mostly cloudy with  now and then a softening sunny spell.  My garden is usually crowded with birds, but no bird showed up this time.  Maybe, the timing was wrong  and the birds  were having their  siesta.  I imagined then their  little  stomachs filled with the food I provided a couple hours ago... But I was far from being alone: I could hear bird songs all around me: Within five minutes, I recorded 10 species. As you can see on the list, they are not American, because I live in Belgium. Awaiting any bird to show up, I was mesmerized by the rocking twigs of the hazel tree in the chilly south west breeze. Gradually, they  put me in an almost hypnotic state. “Shall we droodle a bit” said the twigs.  The daffodils nodded in consent and together they started to write their invisible story in the sky. My hands followed this thoughtless dance and they started sketching the garden in front of me.  Suddenly, a little bug landed on my page telling me that my sketch was finished, and here it is!  Not an artwork, but  .. Who cares?  The beauty is in the experience.. 2020-3-14 Garden Koen
    • Celeste
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      celestefiorillo
      I enjoyed looking at everyone's journal's so much! I live in the pacific northwest and sat on my deck. I sketched where the alder branches and douglas fir branches met because the contrast was striking. IMG_20200307_110639
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      whipporwheel
      Sit spotIt's been too cold here to sit outside for any length of time, so I took a 20-minute stroll around my yard a few days ago.  I found these snowdrops, the first new growth of the season.  I was amazed at how much I noticed, even in that short amount of time, and in such a limited location.
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      whipporwheel
      SnowdropsYesterday I took a 15-minute walk in my garden and made notes about what I saw.  I couldn't sit, as it was 34 degrees out, but I came inside and wrote down everything I observed.  I was amazed at how much I saw even in such a limited space and time!  Here's my journal page:Sit spot
    • Geminis
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      geminis
      20200305_173743
    • Jeanette
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      netjetterz
      sit log
    • Toni
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      tonilp
      B5F1EC43-5CBA-4838-A6E3-2720E10A0A52I loved this experience! Noticed sounds first then tuned into looking at my surroundings. I hope to make this a regular part of my daily life. I think it would be helpful as I go through stressful times and enjoyable for its own sake as well.
    • Toni
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      tonilp
      I loved this activity and would like to make it a regular part of my daily life. The easiest for me to focus in on were the sounds. They seemed to be my entry point into the experience. From there I went on to looking at my surroundings. 2DFF85C4-264A-4F78-9854-BB88E691F263
    • Wendy
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      wave24
      It was a beach with large outcroppings of sandstone; early morning, very sunny and warm. A place I’ve been before and normally would have moved on quickly. Not today....sketching the scene made me oblivious to how long I actually stayed! I was aware of wave action, the style and activity of the people on the beach....it even helped with my problems with proportion.
    • Toni
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      tonilp
      My comment and uploaded photo are not showing up here today.
      • Patricia
        Participant
        Chirps: 23
        whipporwheel
        My comments/uploads didn't show up, either.  I tried twice yesterday.
      • Patricia
        Participant
        Chirps: 23
        whipporwheel

        @Patricia I tried to post my photos again today, with no luck.  Help?!

      • Toni
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        tonilp
        Still not seeing my upload or comments. Wondering if our instructor, Liz, is dealing with the aftermath if the Nashville tornados and things have backed up here?
    • Kimbrell
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      sks.frazier
      I live surrounded by Pisgah National Forest in the NC mountains. Our community is filled with large pines, hardwoods, rhododendron and laurel, so it's almost like living in a forest. I just sat on my deck. Last night something made a loud bump on the deck and during my observations I realized it was the raccoon that had been robbing our bird feeder. We've been bringing it in at night to keep it, as well as bears, away. I don't think I would have noticed the raccoon footprints if I had not sat out there for a while. IMG_1208
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      thechubbywoman
      20200301_084506 [[I was more focused on observing and taking notes than drawing, so my drawing for today isn’t very detailed.]] I had just filled the birdfeeder outside my bedroom window, and watched the birds and squirrels that came to it.  I drew the Chinese Privet tree and the feeder, but also used my cellphone camera to get some images. I saw White-Crowned Sparrows, Mourning Doves, a California Scrub Jay, House Finches, House Sparrows and an Oak Titmouse.  There was also a young Eastern Fox Squirrel who couldn’t quite figure out how to get the seeds in the feeder, and an adult Western Gray Squirrel who was adept at stealing the seeds.  That squirrel also went over to the hummingbird feeder and tipped it just enough to get the nectar inside to dribble out, and he drank from the feeder!  Ingenious! squirrel I could hear the squirrels running across the roof, to and from the feeders. When the squirrels were around, the birds stayed back from the feeders but didn’t fly away. I could hear the sparrows “chirp” at each other, and heard the male Mourning Dove cooing to the female as he followed closely after her along the ground. She didn’t seem interested in him and kept avoiding his attentions by scurrying away. I could hear the wind whistling through the doves’ tail feathers when they flew in and flew out. The White-Crowned Sparrows were more interested in the suet blocks than the seeds in the feeder, and the doves ate the seeds that fell onto the ground. Some of the White-Crowns ate seeds off the ground, too; they kept looking up and around them every few seconds as they fed. Keeping an eye out for other birds and predators?  Some of the White-Crowns also flit up onto the window sill to peck up the seeds there.  They’d look up into the window as they fed. white-crowned Didn’t observe long enough to see “intervals” of movement; but I’m looking forward to doing more observations outside at more remote locations.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      Lindabeekeeper
      otter
      • Andrew
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        ajsibb
        Beautifully drawn otter! I saw them for the first time in our river two years ago. I was in a canoe, and it popped up its head. We were both startled. Then three heads popped out to check me out... wished I had a camera ready, but your drawing takes me back!
    • Juan
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      Juan Jo
      Yeah i visit the spot two times the first one was of one hour and a half, and the second visit only 30 minutes. I could saw a couple of bats flying all around me, and stranges noises of cicadas and lizards. image0 (1)
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Peckalot
      For the time in the year I am pleased that a kitchen window is a kek to the rest of the world.IMG_0897
    • Charlie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      cjvenuto
      Ring Bill I visited the beach to observe the gulls and terns. I thought I would try a more common visitor to our shore. Spending the time to look at the gull for details is a wonderful method to learn about about this and all species. My drawings are still one dimensional and I am not ready for the including shadows, try that next time.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      Nancy JS
      IMG_9743 It's February in Maine so a bit too cold to sit outside but it was a beautiful sunny, windy day all the same.  I drove a few miles to the beach and sat and watched the waves crashing on the rocks.  While sitting there I spotted something on one of the rocks and broke out my binoculars.  there were 4 tiny little birds on one rock and they stayed there for the longest time just moving about on the small rock.  even with my binoculars I couldn't tell what birds they were or what exactly they were doing.  I did watch them move in chorus to the other side of their small rock when a wave approached that would shed water on their rock.  eventually they took off and unfortunutely I didn't witness their leaving.  Curious though there were thousands upon thousands of rocks in that area and they remained on that one only and I never saw any other birds anywhere in the vicinity.  as you can see I'm no great artist but I enjoyed myself and found it peaceful
    • Betty
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Bee Kay
      I'm including a sketch completed on October 19, 2019. I was sitting at a place in back of our camp in the Tug Hill area, upstate New York.  I was at my sit spot in the woods next to camp soaking up the quiet, listening to the rustle of leaves caused by a red squirrel as he was preparing for the winter, I could hear the bird calls echoing around me, yellow, red, and rusty orange leaves were softly drifting in a light breeze to the forest floor all around me.  It was beautiful.  Nature_sketching
    • Crystal
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Crystalbco
      21C7289F-AA99-49AC-8E63-084EFB67714E I went to a favorite place this fall to watch the river and to see if any wildlife would appear.  The weather was warm but a big storm was coming.  It was very peaceful to just sit and observe the landscape for a long time.  The fall colors were very muted due to an early freeze.
    • TJ
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      T__jay
      1. The experience was peaceful. I usually hike through without spending much time resting in place. Finding a sit spot and being still provided a unique perspective on a trail that I have hiked hundreds of times. 2. Observing the sights and sounds came easily to me; the flowing creek and the prominent greenery were unique for the typical dry, Southern California climate. After I sat for a moment, I began to feel the cool, almost dewy air and noticed the fresh, sweet scent around me. IMG_2978IMG_2984IMG_2969-2
    • Julia
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      jjessop
      Spending time out in our backyard doing this exercise drives home the truth in the above statement, on The Benefits of Awe. It was indeed uplifting and I found that words flowed on the page --so nice to describe what you see and are attempting to depict, I love to learn more about what I observe, this makes it so easy to remember. One additional  thing I learned in this exercise: do not use chalk pencils, unless you wet them. 1
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      jalexaphotography
      It was raining and cold the past few days so I had to sit  and watch from my window. I do this a lot anyway. Usually squirrels forage, but not today. Everyone hunkered down in the rain. Easy observations are the light. Light is always the first thing I notice. Then, I move to how it filters through the trees and scrapes across the ground. Sounds come next. As I settle into a sit spot, I hear more sounds. I notice the rustling of leaves, the squeaks of chipmunks, and the chirping of birds. It gets harder when I try to discern birds and their sounds. I'm still learning.   IMG_6934
    • Belinda
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      beekeev
      IMG_0343IMG_0344
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      Cwknapp5440
      IMG_0024I am finally able to spend the time required to work on this part of your instruction. The teaching and especially the videos are very informative and I am enjoying it tremendously. I am currently spending a week at our condo in Breckenridge, CO and it is very cold and snowy, so I chose my sit spot indoors, sitting on the arm of the sofa just inside the sliding door to the deck. My drawing is what I viewed. I noticed the uniqueness of the ice cycles which had become very smooth and thick at the top as many individual cycles were joined just under the overhang. The light coming through them at 3:00 p.m. was subtle and I was unable to capture the sparkle of the edges which caught the light. The lodge pole pines behind were tall and bare with the high branches behind the ice cycles tufted with fresh snow. It is really breathtakingly beautiful. It is very still since the wind is not blowing, and the sun has recently come out highlighting the fresh snow. Concentrating on the cycles, I think I would have noticed if there had been any birds passing, but it seemed quiet to me from my position.  I tried to use some of the drawing techniques which you presented at the beginning of these lessons, but I realize this is a very difficult subject to draw. I wished that I had used masque and watercolor instead.
    • Eveline
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      WonTolla
      I chose just to sit at the window in my den, which looks out onto my back yard. It is only -5°C here today - which is very warm; last week it was in the -20 to 25°C range most days. It is also completely overcast, and there is virtually no wind. I had low hopes for what I would be able to observe.  I had seen a red squirrel earlier in the day, as well as the rabbit that lives under our deck; but, no wildlife at all for the 1/2 h or so that I sat at the window. This dearth of activity forced me to really look. I observed two interesting things: 1) the dead crab apples that are still hanging on my tree are relatively evenly distributed; although, perhaps less densely on the north side of the tree. Possibly because the wind in this area blows predominantly from the NW most times of the year?? Contrarily, the few remaining bunches of seeds still hanging on my Manitoba Maple are only located on the north side of the tree. I couldn't think of an explanation for this one, except that I think the seeds have predominantly been stripped off the tree by said local red squirrel. Perhaps she left more on the north side because it is windier and makes foraging on those branches more precarious?? No clue. Interesting to try to reason through it though!
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      suzukiawd13
      cornell yellow bird. 2.0
      • BJORN
        Participant
        Chirps: 40
        suzukiawd13
        this is a sparrow, in a nature scene, I noticed from my steps. I saw the sparrow, which was far away. I drew as ZOOM, portion, to show it in detail. It is some form of a Sparrow. With streaks, and stripes in its' crown.
    • Tanis
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      tanislynn
      We have south facing windows which overlook a bird feeder and a place where we feed deer. At noon a deer approached the apples so I stayed inside and used this as my "sit spot". Later another deer came out and joined it. I was able to note their different appearance and behaviour. In the afternoon I moved outside (snow covered ground, 0 degrees and overcast)where I could observe both the feeder and the apples. Outside you could use your senses so much more fully. The chickadees where particularly chatty. I thought that writing up observations would take all the time, but somehow time slowed and I was able to sketch some trees and a bits of a bird. The trees I wanted to identify because I had wondered what the deer were eating besides the apples. Several blue jays came to the feeder and as I started to sketch their outstanding features as I noticed that not all were the same. Observing the shape of the birds' tails and the markings was the "outside of the box" for me. For example, it was hard to identify the colours of one bird because the overcast weather made colours indistinct. Instead I noted its size, bars on the wings and distance it kept from me. Observations certainly do lead to more questions!
    • Nicole
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      NNeeld
      Here is my youngest son's sit spot...not very much there but he's still learning to enjoy adding to his notebook as he much rather just play in nature. Then my older son's sit spot journal entry, I love the these he's noticing! Finally, mine. I am looking forward to using this technique more when the weather starts warming and we can see more animals then right now in the winter. IMG_3471IMG_3472IMG_3474
    • James
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Jim Fuehrmeyer
      IMG_1292IMG_1293 I am in Florida for a couple of months.  The back of our condo is quite small and there are few  birds that come  by though they are regular. There are a couple dozen different species around the neighborhood retention ponds and I get to see them every day. I do have a sit spot at home in Indiana where I have a couple of dozen bird feeders year round and thus lots of birds every day.  The tree in the first picture is directly out back here - on the other side of the retaining wall.  When the local Gnat-catchers and Palm Warblers come by, this is where they forage for insects.  They don't stay long though and they certainly don't stay still.  But I enjoy listening to them and to all the others that I can hear but not see.
    • Janice
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Friend14
      I'm new to this course, having just begun on January 6, 2020. I'm enjoying the course work and also the work of others. I can tell how involved everyone is in what they're doing by the great results. I see something worth noting in all of these posts! Thank you!
    • LeslieAnne
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      lasanford
      Sketching from a sit spot was so much fun! Prior to this course, I often wished I could sketch and draw my field observations, but lacked the confidence to try. Though I need a lot of practice, sketching really enhanced the experience for me; it was my “ outside of the box”.  Counting and tallying species comes easily, but interpreting behaviors is more difficult for me. FCD94D5D-0CE3-476B-8AE9-BEB2BDB6FE88    
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      19bird61
      I went on an early morning first day hike. I used my photos to record what I observed and later at home recorded these in my journal. I could hear the black capped chickadees and saw several in the forest. 935F5E89-F0D0-4E49-9508-76CB5C8129C7
    • Betsy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      BetsyWier
      I recorded some observations and findings from a local walk around some ponds, local nature trail. I just used pencil and pen for these drawings. I was trying out some different styles to record where I found things, measurement, taxonomy, etc. I am not completely pleased with the result but I think it was a good experiment for me. I am excited to keep trying in this direction. The walk I was on is in Colorado front range, Fort Collins to be exact. The trail goes through a prarie/field habitat with ponds. You see prairie dog colonies, rabbits, blue herons, Canadian Geese, hawks - evidence of nocturnal animals like racoons, owls, etc. On this walk I found a prairie dog skull, dried plants like thistles and tracks preserved in the mud which I attempted to draw. the observations that were easy were the tracks in the mud, the various plants and finding things like the skull. What wasn't easy for me was thinking about it scientifically - I tend to go to beauty factor and awe first before breaking it down to taxonomy and measurement. I played with some journal techniques - I thought it was fun - lots to learn. I am trying to figure out how to organize the page so that it doesn't look so messy and how to organize my writing.   Winter's Walk
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Cwknapp5440
        This is what I would like to be able to do since it is a real journal. I'm still tied to "picture"
    • Christine N.
      Participant
      Chirps: 38
      cnykwest
      Today I walked out of my house toward the pond in the center of our complex and spent about 20 minutes from leaving the house to getting to a sit spot to observe. I must say I enjoyed this activity more than I imagined I would. I have taken time to do this before but without a journal. I started seeing, hearing and observing things as soon as I left the house. I was very surprised to have a small insect land on my sketch book in these first weeks of January in the Northeast. As I sat I was treated to see a bird who perched on top of a dormant sapling and got a good look at it as it sat vert quietly, fully turned in my direction. I think it was a Blue Bird because I saw two circular rust colored circles on each side of the breast. I have seen both Blue Birds and Barn Swallows here but I could not find a picture with a Barn Swallow having markings like this. (With this being winter, bird colors will be muted.) But I was so happy to see all that I saw and it spurred me on to wanting to find out more about this particular bird. I would have sat longer but I got cold!! I use this technique with my AP Enviro Sci class. I am having them read and reproduce a nature journal along the lines of Sand County Almanac since out campus is very green and we always come back with a refreshed and re-energized attitude. My question; I find that my sketches are very rudimentary in the outdoors but when I bring things back to look at more closely, my sketches are more realistic. Some of these nature journals I have viewed here are works of art.........I find it hard to think some of these more elegant journals are all done in the field....is this possible???? Or do people set up the outline and then go back to add the color later??? I just find it awesome if this is something they do in a sit spot.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      LindaAnn5
      sit spot observation
      • Paige
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        PaigeLyn
        Love this. I have many of the same birds, and can see them from my dining room window, where I spend a lot of time when it's cold out. My indoor "sit spot"!
    • joan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      puffin2
      I found visual details easiest to note.  It was early morning, and I was recording observations from inside.  Birds and animals I  noted were mostly quiet. IMG_2051
    • Allison
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      irmoteach
      We are camping beside a marsh and as I walked to look at the water I spotted a decomposing tree with beautiful pale shelf fungi growing on it.  As I sketched I could hear the birds in the area and unfortunately, the cars on a road in the distance.  I am definitely challenged by trying to draw nature in an accurate way. It was great to see the new growth on the dead tree! Nature never quits! 192BA07E-E7BC-4F0B-87E4-CA9626489A54
      • Myriam
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        mberub
        I like the way you captured the sounds, sights and feel of the place in your journal page. It recreated little bits of the place for me. I like that you wrote down some of the colours you saw.
    • Myriam
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      mberub
      I chose my dining room as my sit spot. It was interesting to observe familiar objects more closely. Drawing the reflections in my salt grinder was a new experience and so was drawing a leafy plant. I thought I might get bored but the time flew by. Both the drawing challenges and the discovery of new shapes were quite captivating. image10
      • Linda
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        sablephae
        Excellent drawings of the cat's platform, the reflections in the salt grinder and the flowerpot.  The shading used on the leaves and the pot make it east to "see it in color".  Your descriptions are easily translated into "visions" about which you speak!  Good work!
      • Eveline
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        WonTolla
        Agreed. The salt grinder is terrific - you can tell light was shining on it from different directions.
    • Chris
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      HeartBirds
      I thought I went out too late at dusk but I did get to watch 2 hummingbirds trade dinner time at the feeder. Dark fell quickly so I used photos I took of them last year. I was excited to use some texturing tools I recently learned. They move so fast that it took a camera to capture the details I didn’t see otherwise like tiny yellow feathers & pollen coating a long black beak. D12998FA-7177-4271-A60A-3FFBDD411222B683B93D-3048-460B-8834-E97CA5FB2398Chris Jonientz
      • Linda
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        sablephae
        Great descriptions and painting of the hummers.  I like how you inserted color into the drawings!  Nice work!
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Cwknapp5440
        I love your humming birds, Having them at our feeder regularly from late April to October is such a thrill and you captured their antics so well.
    • Michael
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      MichaelBendall
      Observation by MGB from inside home looking  through large south window. _3C today ,light S wind ...white spruce trees swaying in the breeze . Sky partly cloudy with clear blue background . 3 Black capped chickadees at feeder ..grab a sunflower chip and fly to mountain ash the feed ...seed held in claw and pecked at to devour . All trees in "my forest"  covered with hoar frost . Black billed Magpie looking for seed spillage below feeder ...skitsy ..flies away . Red Squirrel perches on art sculpture  surveying his territory ..( constantly driving bird from feeders !) ..a balmy day in Yukon.
    • Dorothy
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      ettajames
      Because of the cold weather, I sat at my desk inside. It was fun to have inside sensations while I observed outside scenery. I recorded whatever occurred to me in columns ...each listed with a different sense. When I was done, it was great to realize that my music was accompanying the spitting snow. There were no birds at my feeder or at any level in my scenery. I wonder if they naturally take shelter when the snow starts or if they are resting at this time of day? When I do a sit spot....wherever it is, I will remember to ask questions about what I am sensing.
    • Diane
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      dianecp
      image
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      howechem
      B785EE14-B85D-410B-B5E4-A91911F2A16BA sit spot in southeastern Arizona, sacaton grass, mesquite scrub a visiting harrier hawk with the Huachuca mountains in the distance.  It was a beautiful day to draw.  I added the color later.  Not much activity from animals in the early afternoon but the hawk fly by was a big plus.  These are very familiar plants for me and I had to shift things to fit them all on the page.  I think it is mostly successful but I may work it a bit more.  Hard to know when to stop.
      • Linda
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        sablephae
        I found your work very beautiful.  The details of the plants and the added color added so much to the picture.  The N. Harrier Hawk is wonderful!  I can place myself standing beside you and seeing this for myself.  What is the little creature in the bottom right?  It looks like a mouse of a mole.  It is very cute but in that position, I'm afraid that he/she is in some trouble.  Anyway, this is a place I want to visit!
    • Isabel
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      IsabelTroyo
      Orugas árbol aguacate I found many orange and black caterpillars ( aprox. 3 cm long) on my avocado tree. They were eating the leaves and have four  long hairs on their heads and tails
      • Linda
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        sablephae
        Very lifelike caterpillars.  Your details are so interesting!
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Cwknapp5440
        Your drawings are so fresh and convincing. I want to be able to get simple with comments as well as drawing.
    • Gwen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      GwenER
      I enjoyed taking the time to contemplate my surroundings. This was a good lesson in how to get the most from your time outdoors. SitSpot
      • Linda
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        sablephae
        I really like your entry.  Of course, my favorite sketches are the dogs in the lower right corner.  But, the sketch is so much more than the pups!  Your descriptions are very good,  too.
    • Mariana
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      marianabotero
      It was a great exercise to get into a meditative mood where the senses were amplified. Unfortunately, my sit-spot, although great for drawing ducks, had a little too much river traffic and could never deliver enough silence to allow nature´s noises to come alive. The boats drowned the ducks´ quack, the leaves´rustle, the sound of water hitting  the edge. That made my impressions and notations lack meat. Still, it was a good moment and I´ll be repeating it often. Sit Spot
    • Dan
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      dmurnizzle
      spot sit 1157
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      beth
      It was such a quiet afternoon. Rustling leaves were the primary sound in every direction, but other than that, it was all so still. I enjoyed drawing a leaf close-up. This particular day I think my mind was also a little preoccupied, but focusing the the details of the leaf helped me be more present. sit spot observations
      • Linda
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        sablephae
        I really liked your three drawings.  The way the leaf curls at the tips makes me think that it will be in the process of losing its color and will soon brown up.  Gus looks so content soaking up the warmth of the sun - it makes me think that it is more likely in the low 70's as opposed to the real temp of 55*.  Your commentary allows me to hear the breeze, feel the warmth, and I feel as if I am standing there watching.  Well done!
    • Mary Bath
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Mbsolitaire
      IMG_0490Observations of birds come most easily for me.  Sketching is very new and I have lots to learn, but i gave it a shot.  : )
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Ravon43
      This sketch was done in my front yard where I have a four station feeding station for birds. These include: niger thistle, oiled black sunflower seeds, a small bird cage feeder, and suet. I observed that the very agressive pinyon jays rake sunflower seeds out of the feeder where ground-feeder birds can get. The jays fly and hide seeds around the property. Then I noticed that the chickadees and other small manmals would dig up the hiden seeds. It is interesting to see how these are interrelated. I feel honored that I live in a place where nature can come and visit. As winter approaches, it is interesting to see how animals prepare along with us. I look forward to seeing how others observe nature. IMG_0669
      • Janice
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Friend14
        Very sensitive handling of the deer, especially the eyes and ears! It's obvious you appreciate these animals and have paid attention to them.
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Cwknapp5440
        Your pinyon jay is so simply convincing. I recognized it before I read your comments.
    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      SueBeehon
      60FC31D3-2D36-47D5-8E09-654B89E1C063 This was fun to do in my friends back yard, chilly!
    • Martha Davis
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      pattonmd
      IMG_4838 I love the discovery process this cultivates and am reminded of Darwin's Red Notebooks--his drawings, questions, connections, comparisons, hypotheses and so on. My drawing fails to capture the web of tiny branches casting a halo--utterly luminous, reflecting the intense sun on a Colorado day--around the much thicker more muscular main branches of the massive cottonwood I stood under, looking straight up. I'm relatively new to Colorado and find myself asking all kinds of questions (not yet written in notebook) about these (weak?) fast growing trees with such an awesome presence.
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Cwknapp5440
        Welcome to Colorado. We moved here for good 40 years ago and your image is amazing of the branches. I love the composition of the overlay that you have accomplished. We were glad when our cottonwood was hit by lightening and had to go. It made a terrible mess of our deck, but I love their stateliness in the fields and the beautiful yellow foliage in the fall. Your treatment of the way the branches have that craggy look make them beautiful in winter as well and you did capture that luminous look.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      nancyjleonard
      This was really enjoyable.  I spent half an hour observing, making notes, and doing quick sketches.  Later, I referred to a Sibley bird guide to help fill in correct details to the drawings. The text was refined a bit and the boxes were added.IMG-0015
      • Sallie
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        salliebarker
        Nancy, I really like your study.  My "stand spot" is also at the kitchen window (every day) but you made the every day visitors so interesting!  With a long winter ahead, we might as well get to know our most regular visitors in full detail.  I love your studies of the Downy's back of the head and the Bluejay's tail tucked into your page.
      • Nancy
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        nancyjleonard

        @Sallie Sallie, how nice of you to comment!  You are so right, here we are with “everydays” but aren’t they stunning? I never tire of being delighted over those brilliant white spots on the Blue Jay. Chickadees are...well, chickadees, totally cheery and bold, never stopped even by the most amazing snowstorm. And Downies... they love to hang with anyone. Keep enjoying...aren’t we fortunate they allow us to watch them?!

      • Linda
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        sablephae
        Hi Nancy, I love the way you look closely at the birds and talk about the way their markings define the varieties.  Your organization of information is so easy to read and I can take away some good techniques that may apply to my drawings.  Because you are careful to allow space for each drawing and comment, I really love your journal.  Going back to the page several times allows me to pick up on details that I didn't focus upon the first time.  Great Work!!
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Cwknapp5440
        What a beautiful page you have created. I want to be able to do exactly this kind of page when we go birding this fall in Argentina. I have a lot of practicing to do!
    • Craig
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      cmflyer
      We had a warm morning today out ahead of an arctic front that arrived about 4 pm. I went down to the Clark Fork River and sat about 10 meters from the bank just under the mean high water mark. A few birds were active, like chickadees and magpies. Mergansers raced up and down stream. I spend a lot of time in this area fishing, taking pics, and swimming in summer. Interesting to focus in on the plants in the floodplain that are now dead or dormant. The state of the water and the trees is obvious to me as they change throughout the year. But looking more closely at the low plants along the river was a little tough. Good to try and get important details for later identification.IMG_1425
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      yabking
      Sit Spot Journal PageI noticed a lot of variation in similar static objects, like entire color ranges of leaves from the same tree.  I was in a fairly busy city park, so did not see much wildlife.  I heard numerous birds, but was a bit frustrated I couldn't identify them.  I was motivated to ID the trees surrounding me with iNaturalist so that I could properly label them in my journal. I really enjoyed experimenting with different media, although I know that is later in the course!
    • Adrienne
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      mystierodan
      IMG_2691 This is my journal page from my second visit to McDowell Grove Forrest Preserve, in Illinois. I went earlier in the week but didn't have my sketchbooks with me, so I used that day to mostly write my observations. I wanted to go back again since it was so enjoyable. The downy woodpecker was literally right in front of me, but only for 3-5 seconds. I wanted to try and draw him from memory so that was a little challenging. The two visits were quite different mostly in how I recorded my observations. Both days were really nice fall days and I ended up sitting out there for a few hours yesterday even though it was in the 40s, I painting the middle scene well into dusk, and watching the sky change color as I painted was really special.
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        cnykwest
        I like your woods scene.
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Cwknapp5440
        I find your woods very inviting and the little downy is so typical of the beautiful surprise they are to the walker who suddenly hears their taps and finds them.
    • Pat
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      ptfojut
      WIN_20191107_10_40_26_Pro a nice november day.  the tree was farther from my spot, the grasses were close to my spot.  I think the distance is not accurate in the drawing but I like observing outside.  I have a long experience in this spot and it seemed new and fresh today.
    • Chris
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      ChrisNJ
      57F2EBCC-20F7-4441-8482-AE180FF4C029 I don’t remember my leaves identification from when I was a kid but I hope to relearn it now.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      amy_jay_bee
      DC5EC6CD-4870-4412-8172-5C151DD13B95 I’ve kept a written journal for decades, and clearly that comes more naturally to me than drawing. Also, the birds were the most striking things for me, and they were not hanging around for sketches! I was also very interested in the sounds of the birds. Usually I’m more of a plant person, but the back yard is mostly weeds I’m trying to get rid of, senescent veggie garden—and the sunflower stalks that bring in the birds, piquing my curiosity about them.
    • Viki
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      VikiLawrence
      journal page I'm enjoying doing this and finding what I like that adds information as well as looking pleasing to me.
      • Adrienne
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        mystierodan
        I really like that you included a map! What a great idea.
    • Laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      BartelsBirders
      Second page of my Sit Spot. I quite enjoyed this activity, spending 30 minutes on our back deck taking in the nature preserve that abuts our backyard. The first page of my Sit Spot is all text, noting what I heard, saw and felt on my face (it was chilly and the temperature felt as though it was dropping as the clouds meandered by and the sun traversed the sky.) With page two I focused on what was on our deck, and found myself entranced by a pot of flowers that still had some blooms, despite several evenings of temperatures in the 30s. I felt most content drawing rather than writing, which makes me smile. :-) SitSpot
    • Julia
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      JKelly1963
      The "outside the box" observations for me are when I am observing a forested landscape in front of me.  I often wonder where to start and am getting a little overwhelmed.  For now, I enjoy observing a single leaf or bird, taking a picture and drawing in my free time.  The weather is getting cold here and I will probably have fewer opportunities to draw outside.
    • Julia
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      JKelly1963
      IMG_4762
    • Belinda
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      beekeev
      It's November, cloudy, breezy, 48. It's not a day for outside sitting. So for many of these assignments, it's indoors, looking out.
    • Sharla
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      SEkvall
      I ventured out into the backyard.  It has been cold and frosty here so couldn't get to a park.  I had a great experience, though!  I am fairly good at sitting/meditating, so it wasn't hard to be still.  Even with the barrage of human noise, I still heard birds and saw hawks and had a visit from our friendly squirrel friend.  I am looking forward to really venturing out to a more "nature-y" setting soon! IMG_3860
    • Gayle
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      GPerrine
      My spot was my backyard in Sonoma County. I enjoyed taking the time to observe and appreciate it's natural beauty after a week on the edge of evacuating due to the Kincaid fire. I found a dried seed pod I had not noticed before and discovered it was from a small dogwood tree. I don't normally close my eyes to observe, but as soon as I did I could really smell the aroma of the bay tree.   IMG_0641
      • Amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        amy_jay_bee
        Glad you made it through, Gayle. Several people in my life were affected by the fire, fortunately all safe and sound.
    • Denise
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      dchaffner
      It is a rainy day here, so I ran outside and grabbed a few leaves. I placed them under a light for shadow. I really went for the autumn color.image
      • Charlotte
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        chine47
        You did a great job of catching the colors and the shadows. I like it.
      • David
        Participant
        Chirps: 14
        yabking
        The shadows are so nice!  I remember when I first began drawing a couple years ago and how excited I was when I could finally do shadows -- makes all the difference!
      • Chris
        Participant
        Chirps: 15
        HeartBirds
        I also love the colors & shadows.  Great job.  Chris Jonientz
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Cwknapp5440
        Your leaves look real and not like paintings in the least. It is encouraging that you were able to accomplish that with the little set of colors we were asked to purchase. I have yet to use mine, but will on my next try.
      • Paige
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        PaigeLyn
        Beautiful!
      • Christine
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        Christine Drew
        I like the composition of the photo you uploaded showing the palette, the leaves and your watercolor. and, the shadows are lovely. The colors are lovely and harmonious.
    • Helen
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Helen B
      image
    • Karen O
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      KarenOlgaz
      I found time to go to a spot around 5:30 PM. But it was  getting dark quickly. I listened I smelled I tasted. I was there a short 20 minutes,  so many species to record, a few sounds, and only tasted one thing. But I felt the rough texture of the Aspen bark,  and the smooth velvety surface of the polypore which I need to identify it is not one of the few I know.   78B4F850-1723-48F3-807E-7F425F10762C
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      LDelk68
      FC5F8E2E-A285-4365-A4CA-7044926E46EA
    • Christi-June
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      christijune
      20191027_164721I mostly notice noises and animals (birds) at my sit spot. My position was alao a bit awkward so I could not successfully sketch as I would have liked. As  far as outside of the box, I did not feel anything particularly interesting in the vegetation perhaps because it was so dense? Only one morning glory that was opened compared to a few others that were closed.
    • Constance
      Participant
      Chirps: 26
      constancekel
      ED944A43-D824-4D4C-B1AD-95567C1892331)I observed the wooded hillside below my house. I have been here many times to work on the hillside, but never to just observe. I filled only one page of my journal, but could have stayed for an hour and still had information to record. I would like to try this again when I have unlimited time. 2)I found it easy to make quantitative observations and verbal descriptions, but I didn't do much drawing. I think I need to practice that so I can sketch quickly and easily. Especially as I record changes in the deciduous plants and those that die down to the ground in winter, it would make for some interesting observations at this time of year.
    • Valerie P Stevens
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      valeriepstevens
      hummingbird1Hummingbird2field study nuthatches
      • Constance
        Participant
        Chirps: 26
        constancekel
        Your wonderful sketches and paintings really add to your observations.
      • Paige
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        PaigeLyn
        I saw a red-breasted nuthatch yesterday! Upside down on a pine tree eating insects I presume.
    • Seth
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      sfb28806
      Sit spot I did this sit spot in my front yard a few days ago. It is a stump from a tree that died and had to be cut down a few years ago.  There are some really cool polypores forming on the Northern side of the decaying stump.  It was a very calming moment to sit out there and to absorb everything.   In notes outside the photo, I also recorded 14 bird species.  My wife was working in the garden.  I believe making this sketch / doing this sit spot gave me a deeper memory of the moment; it cast a wider net: I noticed shadows and textures of decomposition in the stump that I would not have otherwise noticed.
      • Constance
        Participant
        Chirps: 26
        constancekel
        I like that your observations raised many questions. It's very interesting to see everything growing on that stump!
      • Karen O
        Participant
        Chirps: 14
        KarenOlgaz
        There is an entire world in that stump. Love the clear and accurate sketch, and the questions. There are always so many questions. Wish I had answers for you but I don’t
    • Elisabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      kinge2
      This is a river about 1/4 mile from our house.   I go there with the kids at least once a day.   I didn’t see many birds today. I really enjoyed the sit spot and just writing things I saw.  This is my first try at adding watercolor to my page.  I’m really enjoying this course!   5C0F1E6E-7CDA-42C6-8622-CF00A355AFE6
    • S
      Participant
      Chirps: 32
      twistybear
      Sitting on the table on the terrace in front of the house.  It is about 6pm, the sky is getting dark. Sound comes first.  I heard lots of things, mostly birds as we live in the country.  Next time, I'll move out into the garden to do this.  I could hear the birds but could not see them from the terrace.  I definately need to cut back this rose and next spring tie it up so that it grows along the trellis.  If feels very much like fall.IMG_20191023_184811795
      • Karen O
        Participant
        Chirps: 14
        KarenOlgaz
        I felt like I was there, love all the tiny sounds you noticed. And the drawing of gutter with negative space for leaves is wonderful, shadows and highlights like we just learned!
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        cnykwest
        Unusual and interesting subject matter to draw.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      KST113
      IMG_1192 I sit on the patio all the time, but this time when I concentrated on what was happening around me I heard and saw details I hadn't observed before. It is hard to site and just let nature take over.
    • Coral
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Coralcarmen
      20191021_125412 I didn't actually sit in one spot. I walked slowly along the trail looking for things that "caught my eye". The wooly bear caterpillar was fun to sketch and as people walked past me, we shared our knowledge of this caterpillar.  Then I went home and looked up more information about it's life cycle.  I guess I should have written in my journal the new things  I learned as well.  Just to help me to remember.  I was nervous to add water colour.  I just felt it would blotch up the whole thing.
    • sondra
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      sondralynne
      56177A18-B3C0-465A-9558-75C71431EF98AB02CB66-1A1E-4A7C-9A62-5A6F2CA740FF So nice to see everyone’s journal - such variety and wonderful work. My spot is a place I go several times a week. It’s a unique and protected wetland, Labrador Hollow, and I’ve had the opportunity to notice all the changes through the year.  Right now it’s Autumn with beautiful colors and migrating birds, especially Canada geese - I never get tired of this place. Looking forward to continuing and seeing others journal.
      • Constance
        Participant
        Chirps: 26
        constancekel
        Great descriptions of everything going on around you and the physical conditions at the time you observed.
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        cnykwest
        Interesting effect
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Cwknapp5440
        I love your fresh, fluid little watercolor treatment of this location. I can't wait for spring when I can find a sit spot out of doors. Starting in January in Colorado hasn't been productive, yet.
    • Jessica
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Jessica_Ballard
      I sat in my patio for this sit spot experience. I noticed that after staying still for a while, the animals were very active and interacting with each other through sounds. I focused more on the vegetation since I couldn't visually see the birds and the squirrels were too fast to get a quick sketch, but I happened to see a chrysalis on my milkweed so that was exciting to spot. I would like to practice more in secluded areas since a lot of my neighbors were passing by, which could have scared some organisms away. First Field Journaling
    • mary jo
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      mary jofleming
      What a delightful experience. Feeders were busy since they're used to us being near. About 10 minutes into the observation, a feeding flock of juncos and white-throated sparrows approached through the middle layer of viburnums. They spent a few minutes on the ground scratching through maple leaves. It's good to see our juncos back for the winter.15716224724782039572140
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Cwknapp5440
        Your bird paintings are amazing; they are so feathery and definitive. I would like to be able to develop a similar technique for journaling. I have never disciplined myself to do it.
    • Lily
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      lilypage
      IMG_0880I often go into the woods and sit and listen and observe.  This is the first time I recorded my observations.  It seems like there is so much happening, I can't write fast enough!  Because my house is in the woods, this time I sat where there are several bird feeders.  This is the closest I have gotten to the little downy woodpecker that comes to my feeders.  Writing down the sounds is easy to forget.  The visual is so striking that the sounds get lost.
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Erin Eliza
      Scrolling through - what great images and sit-spot stories. Good to see all the different approaches and styles of drawing. I did a combination of sitting and walking the dog through our neighborhood on a windy cool day.  I love the reminder to observe-in-awe. Sit-spotSketch 10-18-19
    • Carrie
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Carlin70
      IMG_0370 I loved this exercise!  I sat for about 40 minutes because I was enjoying the experience so much.  The birds reappeared much more quickly than I thought they would.  Herons and Egrets settling right back down across the water from me, and then after about 10 mins there were about 20 Yellow-rumped Warblers in the trees beside me and on the beach beside me, it was such a cool experience.  My drawing is rather rudimentary, and I was afraid to move too much, but I would like to make smaller sketches of different viewpoints on my next try.  If anyone wonders...there are Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, and Double-Crested Cormorants in the drawing.......lol
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      LindaMizzell
      My sit spot 1 was an observation from my kitchen window during Tropical Storm Nestor today in Panama City Beach, Florida, October 18 with 61 degrees rain and strong winds. I was only able to capture the sight of a mourning dove.  I look forward to being outside to engage with other senses. IMG_1325
    • Monika
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      monikawood
      Just did my first sit spot: Wow! For about 30 minutes I could only hear the wind. No bird or animal in sight. Then a red-tailed hawk flew in and landed on a sturdy branch very close to me. After about 10 minutes, I started hearing bird calls from chickadees, downy and a pileated woodpeckers. Before long the chickadees and pileated flew closer and were scolding the hawk. What started out very quiet became quite a drama to be observed! Although the hawk stayed for a long time, it was very challenging sketching him. He was constantly changing position.
    • Monika
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      monikawood
      IMG_2761
    • Tess
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Time4birds
      Sit spot #1 was on the National Forest. I ended up seeing the tail end of the autumn colors but it was still real great to be out. I noticed some Sub Alpine Fir trees and thought i would give it a go at sketching these trees. I kind of developed a method for sketching these trees. Not that it's right or wrong but they relate to my experience at my SS. I love trees. I think that certain animals or birds may be easier than trees, grasses, and brush so i would say that was out of my  comfort zone. This was Sit spot #1 ~It looks like i have a lot to learn. Subalpinefirtrees_19
      • Karen O
        Participant
        Chirps: 14
        KarenOlgaz
        I love your fir trees, and the way the text wraps around them. It is a beautiful journal page.  We have balsam fir, Abies balsamea, here in Maine. Not familiar with your type of fir.
    • Aimee
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      aimee_lusty
      IMG_5028 I really enjoyed this exercise!
      • Constance
        Participant
        Chirps: 26
        constancekel
        This is really beautiful!  You have great descriptions AND you have great sketches.  I think it says that you spent 45 minutes on this? I would like to develop my skills enough to work this efficiently.
    • Jay
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jreddish
      I really enjoyed diving more into a sit spot practice  As an outdoor educator it’s something I lead with my students often, but always forget to do myself  28CAF8F1-0567-4F5C-87A6-87FC65A43595
    • Montecito
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      favelasco
      I love drawing landscapes, I love going to a Lake near my town, there I can draw the water and the plants that grow on the shore and a lot of ferns under the trees. I feel more confident drawing plants because they wait for you all day long! For me it is difficult to draw moving things as insects ans birds. Sometimes I find difficult to concentrate on writing before drawing. I just want to draw first, I think I have to get used to it. I need to practice a lot more on keeping a journal.IMG_4579
    • Tom
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      ebirdtgill
      Enjoying this course and that it is stretching me to "take risks"with my drawing and even better, hone my seeing.  On a short vacation and haven't been able to get away to sit, so I collected a few things from our walks.  Seeing others' entries and comments has me excited to sit in my own backyard and begin to see it in new ways. fossil and mushroom
    • holly
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      hollysnuts
      IMG_2092 I've used Prof. Fuller's idea to use a 'spot' to try for years to appreciate and capture the small portions of nature that are visitors or natives to my property. Sitting on the edge of my property I've worked with pencil & paper from my 'collapsible, sling over the back chair' and arrange what I saw, with what I was thinking and felt.
    • Valerie P Stevens
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      valeriepstevens
      I have been drawing all day, and really enjoying it.  It is cold outside, so most of the time, I was inside.  I finally managed to bundle up and you sit by my pond.  It was lovely out there.  The birds were active in the distance, as the sun was dropping.  It was sweet to have a new bird friend show up for me.  A little Pine Siskin was happily sitting next to the pond for a number of minutes. IMG_7422 copyIMG_7423 copy
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Cwknapp5440
        I love your accomplished drawings; they are amazing
    • Valerie P Stevens
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      valeriepstevens
      IMG_7421 copy
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      BirderCheryl
      I visited our New Mexico backyard for this exercise on a beautiful fall day (my thermometer says 80 degrees in the shade). I've observed the birds at our feeders many, many times and sometimes tried to sketch, or usually photograph, them. Today I just sat and listened and watched until they decided it was safe to return to the feeders. It was mostly the usual suspects - doves, house swallows, house finches - and the highlight was an answer to a question: are the hummingbirds still around? We left the feeder up for migrants and towards the end of my session, two chased each other into the yard. One left and the other perched at the tip of the tree to rest and rejoice in his victory. But, unfortunately, he didn't spot and visit the feeder. I mostly wrote notes about my observations, but did sketch a finch at the feeder and do a quick sketch of the hummingbird to try to remember his markings, as best I could see them, before he disappeared. My challenge will be to get more sketches and fewer words into observations!
      • Constance
        Participant
        Chirps: 26
        constancekel
        Exactly! That's my challenge, too.
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      andersonh
      5F1577D0-764F-4734-8E56-461F899F5FDE
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Cwknapp5440
        What a fun posture for this bird, we have seen storks, and flamingos sleeping in this one-legged posture and I wondered what this bird is? You drew it so simply and well.
    • Joannie
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      galjag
      thumbnail
    • Joannie
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      galjag
      My sit spot was at a botanical garden.  I have always loved tree bark and decided to draw the trunk of a Magnolia tree.  I have tried this in the past but feel a lot better about the drawing this time due to the technics I have learned in this course ie: contour, cross hatching, stippling, scribbling and blending.   I can see that I need to work on Chiaroscura more and dimensions.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Sustra
      One of my best observation spots is my kitchen window. It looks out on our back yard and bird feeders with an unobstructed view. Since is was 32 degrees this morning in WI I was not very keen on going outside so I was lucky the turkeys came to me. I don't get the sounds but my hands can still function. I was reading Claire Walker Leslie's book "Nature Drawing, A Tool For Learning" and one helpful hint was to make a start sketching your subject and if they move  add another sketch and come back to the others after observing their movements and markings you want to capture. That's what I've tried to do with the turkeys since they keptSAM_1414 moving and reforming groups. I wish I could capture the irridescents of their feathers. Watercolor doesn't really capture it although if I do a larger study could do more highlighting.
    • Allison
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      allison.gong
      I went to one of my favorite sit spots yesterday afternoon. It was windy and a bit chilly, but I was able to observe and sketch for about 45 minutes. Because of my training as an academic biologist my nature journal is always going to look more like a field notebook than a personal journal. I'm trying to learn how to let go and be more relaxed with the journal. Making observations comes easily to me. Getting them down on paper in a sketchbook is a whole other kettle of fish. IMG_4689
    • Chloe
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      ChloeMB
      I really enjoyed this exercise. I think it is so important for us to stop and observe things because sometimes the most beautiful things we just pass by. This is especially important to recognize and appreciate the nature around us because it is going away. For my sit spot, I went to my backyard. I found it easy to list out noises that I heard, it was hard for me to list out what I saw because I see those things every day and I don't think of them as interesting or different anymore. Although, I don't ever really stop to look deeply into them, and this exercise really helped with that. I'm excited to go somewhere other than my backyard to try this exercise. It will be interesting to see all of the other cool things in nature. I saw a bird oh, I think it was a chickadee but I'm not sure. It kept wanting to come to our bird feeders, which we had put away for the snowstorm that recently hit us. I felt bad for the thing, but it eventually flew away probably to someone else's bird feeder. This exercise was actually really calming, and I am definitely going to try it again. If I do do it again I will try to add some sketches to my pages. IMG_0833
    • William
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      mickelboro
      I really enjoyed this lesson.  It has been a while since I have been out to my reading spot in the back yard.  I noticed the effects that the drought has had on the plants and the trees.  I noticed how the trees were losing their leaveDSC_9450s without going through the brilliant color change they usually do.  Hopefully we will get some rain soon.
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      pegs-birder
      4026BC25-B647-493B-AE70-FE75E8995D85I really enjoyed this activity. I felt very relaxed and refreshed afterwards. I haven’t walked this path in awhile. Normally if I didn’t see any bird activity I would have walked right by this area. I liked all the questions that came up and plan to do a little research for answers.
    • Barbara T.
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      btyczkowski
      We had a number of rainy days so sitting outside wasn't easy.  Finally yesterday we went to a car show.  The field of cars was surrounded by trees.  It turned out to be COLD, so I sat in our hot rod to observe from there.  I noticed colors and movement in the trees.  No birds were around due to the cold and wind.  I suddenly noticed a birdhouse and decided to draw it.  All went well until I tried to draw the fir trees.  How the heck does one draw a fir tree????  I have a lot to learn.
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      HCOhcoHCO
      This was such a lovely activity. I sat in my backyard and ended up noticing more than I expected I would. For example the bark of one of my maple trees is actually far lighter in color (and contains some pink!) then I ever realized. Almost on cue, bird, squirrels, and insects were far more noticeable right around 15 minutes in. A small fly landed on my finger and I attempted to draw it, but I'm kind of wishing I had taken a photo to try identifying with iNaturalist since I can't figure out what it is now that I'm back inside - there are benefits and drawbacks to both photographic and drawn observations. I'm hoping I get more comfortable drawing. I wanted to capture the texture of tree bark and didn't really know where to start.IMG_0512
    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      SusanGould
      I sat inside because the mosquitoes are really bad outside at the moment. But I sat just inside a sliding glass door with the glass door open but the screen door closed. I found it easiest to notice the sounds- wind in the trees, birds singing, frogs calling, fish jumping. I tried to draw the landscape but ended up concentrating on just a few elements of the landscape.
    • Anne
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      annegriffith
      SitSpot Have so enjoyed purposeful opportunities to slow down, observe, and record!
      • Barbara T.
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        btyczkowski
        Beautiful.
      • kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        pajaroenmano
        Lovely!
    • C
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Lokimason
      I work so my opportunity to get out into nature is the weekends so I decided to find my "sit spot" in the backyard by our New England Aster patch which is in full bloom and attracts lots of bees.20191012_100647
    • Mary-Louise
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Snowy Bluebird
      I went to a near by stream along a road.  It was very breezy.  There was a Nor'easter off the coast.  The trees are turning color and I want to start exploring color with the water colors.  I don't have any resources for identifying the wild plants in my area.  Anyone have any recommendations?IMG_1630
      • Genevieve
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        jen4paix
        Mary-Louise, Not sure where you're located, but if you're in the Northeast, I really like Newcomb's Wildflower Guide for flowers in bloom.  For quicker ID for the most common species I like the little Nature Study Guides, like Fern Finder, Tree Finder, Winter Tree Finder, etc.  I haven't yet found a good guide for leafy plants like grasses or flowers not in bloom, myself, though.  I've heard the iNaturalist app can also be a useful tool, though I've never used it myself. By the way, I love your drawing style, especially the way you rendered the flowering plant, and I love the faint leaves in the background of the grassy plant- gives atmosphere and hints at the wildness of the plant!
      • Mary-Louise
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        Snowy Bluebird

        @Genevieve Thank you Genevieve for the recommendations.  I'll check them out!!  I do live in New England, not far from the coast.

      • Robin
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        CamilleFuille
        Hi, Mary Louise: My extension (try local colleges, universities, botanical gardens)  was very helpful, and I have bought a couple local "weed" books that really made a difference.
      • Sallie
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        salliebarker
        Have recently discovered Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of New England.  It covers everything!  It weighs a lot, but it's so useful.
    • Sandy
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      SRMelton
      IMG_2593
      • kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        pajaroenmano
        I can imagine myself there, very evocative. Really like your drawings.
    • Kati
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      KatiJackson
      well i only had time to sit in my front yard, which was way quieter than usual. but i observed a hummingbird fight, young turkeys establishing a pecking order, and some goldenrod with some beautifully colored leaf fungus(?) usually the yard is alive with Towhees, white-crowned and gold-crowned sparrow, oak titmice, bewicks wrens, and goldfinches, but it was very very quiet.   IMG_8493
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 32
      donnacnh
      I am working on slowing down and not rushing to get things done.  This is one of my favorite views, our maple tree in the yard.  I was letting the dogs in and out for their afternoon turnout and was standing at the door outside looking at the tree.  I drew it in my sketchbook before I wrote my observations, this was my third drawing, since I did the first two really fast and badly.  Standing there for so long helped me to notice the absence of birds this afternoon and that there is quite a bit of lichen on this tree.  My view was from about 30 feet away from the tree.   image
    • laurel
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      LaurelSharp
      I noticed a lot of bees darting around some small daisy-like flowers. They were shiny and black, not honey bees. They didn’t seem to notice each other, although there were many of them all around the flowers. 8F31B268-AFE0-4BDC-A749-C70CF72C3438FF8C2793-E77D-4444-9560-390535EB9624Later I looked them up and I think they were carpenter bees, solitary bees who nest in wood. Every female is fertile (no queens); they rarely sting.
    • Christina
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Chris2019
      IMG_6183 No problem to sit quietly for 15 minutes and soak in the sounds and smells and tactile sensations of my sit spot... am practicing insight meditation, so am used to sitting still for a bit... Wish I had a good way to suggest wind in a drawing. Nice gusts from time to time, maybe will try this again tomorrow and draw my Fountain Grass with all the blades leaning one direction. The doves were fun to sketch but had to work fast and sort of lost the shapes of the birds facing me while sitting on the power line. The two with their backs to me were having a tough time staying upright in the wind!
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      margsea
      • IMG_4072
      • Esquimault Lagoon, Vancouver Island, B. C.
      • Oct. 9, 2019
      • 1:30 pm
      • Sunny with a brisk wind. Jacket and hat required
      • There was a lot going on at my site so I had a lot of notes.   It was easy to identify bird species since most are common where I live. I was surprised to find that I had difficulty sitting quietly for 15 minutes. I'm not really sure about how to take measurements I suppose I have a lot to learn! Fun experience!
      • Christina
        Participant
        Chirps: 19
        Chris2019
        I can smell the seaweed in the air! Such an intoxicating smell to a former West Virginia gal who never saw the ocean until after college! I feel like I'm tagging along with you!
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Jean_Smith
      CC39E2B9-B5D8-40F6-9B0A-BA1EF3A79CB5
      • Christina
        Participant
        Chirps: 19
        Chris2019
        A Franklinia! Plant Geek heart skips a beat!! The blossoms are stunning! Thanks for reminding me of a very special plant! Beautiful drawing!
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      owlswatchbynite
      date: 10/9/19 time:   8:00 am    place: Backyard   weather: 73 deg, clear, slight breeze B eautiful morning. Mourning dove calling, noise from construction behind us. Grey Squirrel on side yard fencing scolding the dogs.  The shrubs look a bit wilted from the drought conditions. What the heck is that huge flying insect? It looks like a dragon fly, double-set of wings and built like a B-52. Dark color. Please don’t fly over here! E85E1A6B-48DE-4BCD-8CD2-F0EDD143B64F
      • Christina
        Participant
        Chirps: 19
        Chris2019
        Ooooh what a handsome dragonfly! Might try drawing him later... those gossamer wings will be a challenge!
      • sondra
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        sondralynne
        Wow! That’s great that it would land on you! I’ve noticed many dragonflys around.
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