• Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      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
        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: 34
      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
        Very lifelike caterpillars.  Your details are so interesting!
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        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
      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
        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
      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
      spot sit 1157
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      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
        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
      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
      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
        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
        Your pinyon jay is so simply convincing. I recognized it before I read your comments.
    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      60FC31D3-2D36-47D5-8E09-654B89E1C063 This was fun to do in my friends back yard, chilly!
    • Martha Davis
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      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
        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
      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
        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

        @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
        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
        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
      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
      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: 14
      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
        I like your woods scene.
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        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
      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
      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: 22
      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
      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: 14
        I really like that you included a map! What a great idea.
    • Laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      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
      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
      IMG_4762
    • Belinda
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      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
      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
      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: 22
        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
      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
        You did a great job of catching the colors and the shadows. I like it.
      • David
        Participant
        Chirps: 14
        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!
      • I also love the colors & shadows.  Great job.  Chris Jonientz
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        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
        Beautiful!
      • Christine
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        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.