• holly
      Participant
      Chirps: 24
      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
      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
        I love your accomplished drawings; they are amazing
    • Valerie P Stevens
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
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    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      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
        Exactly! That's my challenge, too.
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
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      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        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
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    • Joannie
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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: 4
      SitSpot Have so enjoyed purposeful opportunities to slow down, observe, and record!
    • C
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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: 8
      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
        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: 8

        @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
        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
        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: 32
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      • kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        I can imagine myself there, very evocative. Really like your drawings.
    • Kati
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      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: 34
      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: 7
      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
      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
      • 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
        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
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      • Christina
        Participant
        Chirps: 19
        A Franklinia! Plant Geek heart skips a beat!! The blossoms are stunning! Thanks for reminding me of a very special plant! Beautiful drawing!