• Maritte
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Screen Shot 2023-02-22 at 6.52.56 PM I sat in a sunny spot in my backyard near an Oregon white oak tree. I really did notice that the birds were much louder and more active after about 5-10 minutes of me sitting there. It was a very windy day. I noticed one bird using its tail feathers to maintain balance and stay in the tree, very cute, and the kind of subtle observation that I would have missed if I hadn't really been focused on making observations. I also really enjoyed doing it in my backyard. Because I sit in that space all the time, this experience really emphasized to me how many different ways there are to experience the same place depending on what you are paying attention to.
    • Zjences
      Participant
      Chirps: 26
      BDBB7908-B4F5-49DB-8D7A-21BD4FB9E6972AAF33F8-52D0-4C20-8B03-2CAAC7CCA47Ffind a location to do a sit spot: My  sister, my dad and I went to a forest in Seward park. We went into the woods and found a spot with lots of trees and did a sit spot, it was a fun experience I even saw a pileated woodpecker witch I’ve never seen before!!
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Find a location to try a sit spot:  I used my front deck this morning.  There is a bird feeder in the front yard so that was really active this morning.  I struggled with drawing the birds while I was watching them.  I did spend a little time after I came in from my sit spot to use images I had to finish my birds.  I think I have to try to do a rough sketch quickly in the moment and not worry about all the details.  It was a good experience and even doing it a short time I feel like I learned alot about how I want to journal moving forward.  Making notes in the field, maybe doing quick sketches that I could revisit once I'm home.  Putting more detail later but making my notes in the moment. Good experience. :)   9B4C62D0-057F-4BB5-89FD-A4F010227971
    • James
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      It was cold & snowy when I went out--I jotted down observations and a quick tree sketch but did most of my drawings back at home using my photos.  Albany Pine Bush Preserve, I will be back! IMG_4677
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      I went for a drive and stopped along a scenic view spot.  I was there for over an hour.  Now when I drive by this spot I have a fond memory of sketching there. D5541C1F-6CA3-4E0A-A0E3-9294A11DF81A
    • Kaia
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
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      • Susan
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        Great observations!
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      IMG_2948 (1) It's been incredibly warm here right into November, but that's over now. So sitting outside poses some challenges, but I'd still like to try it as long as I bundle up!  I really enjoyed this exercise, but I do still find drawing a lot of work. I used colored pencils to enhance my drawings.
    • Cynthia Schoen
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I love the sit spot experience. I will bring my watercolors next time and see what comes to me. I returned to our cabin at 10,000 feet empty, still, and calm. Thank you for this course. Cynthia Schoen IMG-1747
    • Tara Mc
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      Too rainy and cold end of sept here (bancroft, ontario area) so I haven't made the time for the outdoor sit spot. I did make a sketch of an outdoor creature who decided to make my home his sit spot. He arrived one night, discovered close to mid nite on July 30th. And unlike the previous toad in the house, this one wasn't dog assisted. This toad was on his way up to my bedroom, sitting on the second stair up. After photographing and admiring him for a moment, I assisted him outside, which he met with an evacuation of his day's browsing. You'd think that was a sign he wasn't impressed with me and the house. But the next night I found him huddled against the front door. I sat and scratched his back. He didn't move. I wondered if he actually liked it so I scratched the rounded belly on his right side. I thought he moved into the scratch. I switched to the LHS. He DID move into the belly rub. I'm left wondering why he ventured inside and tried again to do so the following night. I haven't seen him since. Not my prince ;) .Did the weather turn colder those nights in July? imageYour thoughts welcome.
      • Susan
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        Excellent shading!
    • Cathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      My sit spot was across the street in a 152 acre woods.  On a recent walk I noticed red-headed woodpeckers.  I was delighted since I had been looking for them since last year.  Last year I spotted the nest, saw an adult carrying food and later in the season I saw a juvenile.  Unfortunately this woods has been discovered by a youth on an ATV.  I wondered if their absence was due to the ATV.  I was elated to see them briefly and decided to return and "sit".  I observed their habit of perching alongside of a dead tree top.  I realized that this vantage point allowed them to look around for insects and to fly out and catch them.  I saw 2 adults and one juvenile.  I later read that a clutch of eggs is commonly 5.  I wonder if there were more juveniles that I hadn't seen.  I sketched in the field and later did a watercolor.Scan0054Scan0055
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Very nice observations and watercolor! Thank you!
    • Cecilia Louise
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      I went to the woods close by ~5 min walk away. I had been there lots of times, just quickly walking through, so it was amazing to slow down and see the woods come alive! (This was in May. I found out about these discussions after that, so I am filling in things retroactively.) I wrote down a list of all the birds I saw/heard, and there were so many! One, a black-and-white warbler, perched on a branch directly over my head. It wasn't afraid at all. The reason why it was extra special...it was a new bird to add to my life list on eBird. Most observations are easy for me, but I have a hard time describing the smells of the woods (like decaying leaves, new leaves coming out, rotting wood, etc.).
    • Li
      Participant
      Chirps: 33
      3381661473927_.pic3391661473927_.pic 1.I sat not far from the sparrows. At first, most sparrows flew away in groups, so I waited on the ground.After seven minutes, the sparrows flew to the ground one by one to find food. I had the opportunity to observe.At first, they were far away from me, about 5 meters. As I sat on the ground for longer and longer, they gradually became less vigilant, only 2-3 meters away from me. The sparrows are hiding in the grass, and their color are very close to the ground. It was very hot at that time, and many sparrows took a bath in the small puddle. Unfortunately, I was too far away to see them clearly. There were so many sparrows that I was dazzled, so I shifted my attention to a few sparrows standing on the pine tree. They were combing their feathers (or scratching their heads). I did not hesitate to record these lovely little sparrows. They were so cute and hairy! Fortunately, I saw two sparrows scratching their heads. One of them was facing me in the front and the other was in the back, so I quickly drew it. Unconsciously, 40 minutes have passed. 2. Watching and listening is easy, but it's difficult to describe the smell and the sound with watercolor. So I often draw some pictures.
    • Gillie
      Participant
      Chirps: 26
      On an unusually  cold, wet  winter's day (11-12C) my sit spot was watching the Rainbow Lorikeets shelter on a bamboo pole we set up under shelter with some Lorikeet mix and cut up apple.  The birds were so wet, cold and tired they didn't worry about me.  It was so lovely watching them cuddle up and preen in pairs, and I was able to identify a few significant individuals, one from his injuries and others from their habits.  There were no smells that came to me but sounds and images were just lovely. I spent about one hour and had to drag myself away then! Sit Spot
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      cactus observation I typically sit outside in early the morning. It is amazing how much quieter it is then in the evening. It definitely was a mix of nature and manmade sounds.
    • Jeanne-Marie
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Spent 30 minutes in the backyard watching a whole cadre of carpenter ants work to demolish a fallen Ponderosa Pine tree. Sat on another nearby fallen tree until the ants there were too pesky, running up my feet and legs, breaking my concentration. These trees have been excellent places to sit for more than ten years - once the ants have them chewed up, we will miss them!   JMB journal page 04 - June 2022
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I chose my front yard as a sit spot, for a rainy day. I actually used color pencils to capture the scene and feel like I saw parts of my front yard for the first time. :) Sit Spot Journal Page
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Today is raining, a steady wet rain. I sat outside on our deck which is covered by a plastic roof and listened to the rain drumming on the top of a garbage can and tinkling on the top of the roof. The sound of water was loud, however, I also heard birds. My visible visitors were mostly pigeons and doves, landing on the wires, calling, flying and landing. I heard towhees and saw and heard crows. A robin perched on the top of the cedar tree. Rain drops are falling on the fresh leaves on our fruit trees and blossoms are falling to the ground. Lilac and Rosemary are in bloom. It is a very grey day, but not chilly, rising from 11 - 12 degrees C as I sat outside. I was surprised that 25 minutes had gone by when I returned indoors. Sounds and sights come easily to me. I did not taste anything, and smell was something I had to concentrate on...I smelled a very mild earthy smell, and I felt tiny spots of rain on my hands, which were likely splashes from the main drops on the deck. I sat on a dining room chair, which seemed ludicrously human! What a beautiful way to spend a while.
    • Natalija
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      After a chilly weekend the weather was finally warm and sunny today. Perfect for a backyard sit spot experience. I sat for a while and noted the date, time, temperature, followed by the sounds and smells. The first sound I heard was the chattering of a magpie, the second the distinct whirring of a wild pigeon's wings followed by its cooing. Both birds were high up in the branches of trees and on rooftops so I could not see them closely. After sitting for a while I decided to take a walk around the yard followed by my two curious cats who had their nose in anything I grabbed to take a closer look at. I drew a dry leaf, a violet flower, white feather, Thuja cones, empty snail shells, ivy climbing up the oak tree and a swarm of midges. The dry spider I picked up using a small piece of paper. A magnifying glass helped me see more of its details. Finally I added some color swatches using watercolors. As a conclusion the observation and drawing of objects that I could pick up and hold was much easier than drawing things that were far away. I barely caught a glimpse of the birds I heard. Binoculars would have been very useful.  Field sketching
    • Rhonda
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      It was cloudy and cool for a Tucson morning. I was out with the pup and sat down to sketch. I am used to paying attention to birds, looking for motion in the trees and registering calls and bird song. This time all senses were expanded; I paid attention to the breeze, how cool it was. I really thought about the greens and blues and yellows of the agave and shades of ochre, terra cotta, brown, tan and grey that made up the bricks of the patio.20 Mar 2022 NJ Entry It was easy to lose track of time. A wonderfully peaceful start to the day.
    • Dann
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      DWilkens_1Mar22 I sat in my back yard in Oakland, California on March 1st 2022 and just listened to the birds. I used MerlinID to identify each voice and provide fixed images to supplement my fleeting glimpses of the live birds. Drawing the birds helps me remember details that will help with identification in the field, where you often get only a second to view a bird on the wing.
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I sat outside in my backyard in Garden City, Idaho on 3/7/2022.  It was a partly cloudy day with some warm sun and about 55 degrees.  I heard birds chirping and ducks quacking on the small lake behind our backyard.  I felt the warmth of the sun on my face.  I noticed the lake has ripples on it from the ducks chasing each other.  The sage plant leaves are gray green and the mint is still brown.  The grass is turning green with spots of yellow.  I felt the wind blowing gently.  I see the green tips of the daffodils starting to poke up from the earth about 3 inches high.  The grape hyacinth leaves are green and very full on the edges of the bark.  The clouds are white and very soft and round.  The roses have dried green/gray leaves.  The lake has sparkly diamonds shimmering from the sun and light breeze.  The cottonwood trees across the lake are dark brown and look very stark.  I drew in pencil the grape hyacinth poking up from the bark and the lake shimmering in the sunlight with cottonwood trees in the distance.
    • Kayla
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      IMG-7171 As you can tell from the date, this is from 2021, but I'm finally uploading it. One thing that was more outside of the box for me was looking at the ground. I typically only look out for birds, so it was definitely new to look to the ground for  critters as well.
    • Chuyu
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      3 I sat on the balcony and saw a jackdaw standing on the fence of the windowsill, and I took a picture and drew this against that picture. I just sit there and draw regardless the past of time. When I finish my drawing, I suddenly realized that it's beed 40 minutes. It's quick pleasure and relaxing to sit there and spend a while for looking out of my balcony and catch one moment of the nature.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      The plans for my sit spot changed quickly! My initial plan was to sit at a pile of decaying wood to observe the fungi and wood forms of non-moving subjects. That plan was scrapped as the sounds of Canada Geese arriving at the pond in front of my home grew louder and more hysterical. So much was happening… a n d … very quickly. I’m used to having a camera in hand and shooting rapidly when Nature drama unfolds. This time, all I had was a pencil and my sketchbook. At first, I feared that I would be unable to capture any of the events that were quickly unfolding in front of me. Then little scratch marks started to appear on my sketch page… then more… then more. As the scratch marks were annotated I began to appreciate the story I was capturing.   3A1F37A7-35B8-4705-BD0A-C36B148D160A
      • Kim
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        So very cool how you captured the scene as it unfolded, Jane, with line sketches and text. I love it! Thanks for sharing that.
    • Marianne
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      A lovely warm day in Houston and decided to sit in the backyard with my dog. It is hard to draw a black dog who doesn't sit still for long! Enjoyed the activity and will start to do more regularly. IMG-0151