• 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?
      You must be enrolled in the course to reply to this topic.
    • 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: 6
      4762920C-EB33-48AE-B9A0-0BF5E60C817C
      • 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: 13
      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: 6
      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
    • Olivia
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      My SIT SPOT EXPERIENCE plans for today, were automatically changed when i recieve an unexpected visit located on the terrace wall. First sensation was surprise, as allways, an irremediable curiosity about what I found, and of course, very lucky. I took several photos in differents angels, and at last, I worked in the drawing that I present as exercise. Data of interest: Menophra Abruptaria. dia7febrero5 dia7febrero3
    • Andrew
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      PXL_20220206_194305509 This was very meditative, and I enjoyed how so many different species of birds I was able to observe in just a few minutes. I confess I looked up a picture of a hawk in flight as they didn't linger and had the sun directly behind them. I also prefer using a pen, as the pencil marks tend to smudge for me.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      029ABA88-A2A7-4B92-B71A-CF1BF39DE79F
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      IMG_2202
    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1.15.22 journal page
    • Ria
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      It was really cold and snowy, too much so to sit outside. Instead I sat by the window and noted what was just outside of it. The sketching came easier than knowing what observations to write down. I kept wanting to edit my thoughts before jotting anything onto paper. This is good practice for me!  RVK_FieldJournal1522
    • Dawn
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      1.  I visited a small local nature park that I have only been to a couple of times recently.  I noticed lots of broken branches and tree limbs from an early winter storm that happened a month ago. 2.  I am used to noting what birds and plants I see.  I also notate birds that I identify by sound.  I do notice the scent of things but don't always think to write it down.  Same with taste.  Since I am an experienced wild forager I am always nibbling the wild edibles that I find, but I have not recorded the tastes until today.  I will make an effort to include these in the future as the tastes are distinctive and I would like to remember them. IMG_1156
    • Anastasis
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      WhatsApp Image 2021-11-16 at 13.01.38 I love watching birds, they have beautiful colors, their voice is so relaxing. Observing a northern cardinal was amazing!
    • Liz
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Color was easy, shape and spatial imagewas hard to explain
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      IMG_2953
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Sitting on the edge of the river ravine, hearing birds, water below, city sounds in distance, fall is coming and colors are less vibrant, less smell of showers and more of aging leaves, flowers, as well as the water now lower and a dull brown versus the verdant green/white of earlier in the summer.  Sight sense easiest for me, then smell and hearing slower, almost as it has dulled over the years.  Slowing down is a challenge however if I add in breathing exercise, mindfulness meditation it has been much easier and much richer an experience.
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Spent a half hour on beach at Ediz Hook beach. Mostly Olympic Gulls, but I lucked out when a tiny group of Least Sandpipers flew in. It is as hard as hell for me to see and record what I see because the little buggers move so fast and are too tiny to see well in the first place. So I had to shift between viewing with my eyes and through my binoculars. Add to that the incredible & gorgeous details of the peep's plumage (all bright rust and gold, to my eyes at least). 20210829_145523
    • Esteban
      Participant
      Chirps: 128
      I have done sit spots not in a park, but in my house near the corner of a window.  Birds sometimes are shy but I have done a couple of sketches.
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      My journal was all written observations. I was doing a sitting survey of American Pikas, as a Citizen Scientist. They have been moving as glaciers are melting. The Oregon Zoo is supporting a project to monitor the movement of pikas into the Columbia River Gorge, and in some lower elevations around Mt. Hood. I was in the Gorge this morning. I did not spot any pikas, but heard their very characteristic "long" calls. If I had seen them, I would have taken a photo, although I do not have a powerful lens. I am comfortable with recording GPS locations, temperature, other weather conditions, time, date, etc. On my hike in (2 hours) I also recorded other observations - plants I saw, other small mammals I encountered, and birds. It was all in words. Out of my comfort zone would have been to draw or sketch these observations. I would like to do that, but haven't figured out how I could do so quickly. The actual PikaWatch part involved 20 minutes of intense searching with my binoculars. But I was on the spot for about 45 minutes, recording and observing what else was there. It was on a narrow trail, though, and other hikers occasionally came through.
    • V L
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Nature Journaling. Sit Spot 1. I loved my Sit Spot experience.  I was amazed at how much was going on.  I enjoyed watching the chickadees bathe in my fountain and my "awe" moment was seeing 2 Mississippi Kites in my oak tree. 2. Watching the birds came easily to me.  Trying to use my other senses was more difficult.
    • Jacqueline
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      C68F4A79-C860-4859-BCFD-58A18D80814CMy sit spot was from my back deck looking out to yard and woods behind.  Liz was so right sitting and being quiet in my space opened senses. Even though it has stormed and continued to rain for days, I wondered if perhaps I should pick another day. The rain probably made the time of observation a little more focused.  At first no birds heard or seen but noises in the environment were more easily picked up… and even noticed the quietness.  So I observed some cone flowers and hydrangeas that are fading from the early summer glory. After about 30 minutes I heard some birds and “ Merlin “ helped me identify red bellied woodpecker and the a blue jay.    And then as I was looking for the woodpecker, some movement mid way up a vey tall pine (30 ft or more) caught my eye.  I grabbed my binoculars and there sitting in a pine branch was a barred owl 🦉 AMAZING!  A mockingbird looked like it was harassing the owl and the owl took flight. It kept low, and swooped into the woods. So cool to see — and I would have missed it if I hadn’t been doing “sit/observe”.
    • Arleene
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      My sit spot was my back yard in particular the garden. I would like to try a different sit spot but today are smoke levels are dangerously high so I am staying close to home. I will try other sit spots at a later date. I do sit in my backyard and practice mindfulness, similar to what you taught us and yes I do notice that things change over the course of a few days even; plants, animals, insects, smells, weather and sounds. I like trying all the observations but I think what I forget about the most or have to remind myself to do is touch and taste and I never thought to do measurement. I have included part of my journaling and some pictures. The bees caught my eye today, I know they are there but taking the time to just sit and observe I saw so many of them in all sizes. I found out bees are hard to draw. I attempted to draw the bee from this picture several times but couldn't seem to get started.55639447-5BAD-4AFE-91FE-FB2D88CF3E63AD7104C6-3CE9-4041-9FCB-303517341B1E
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I did my sit spot in my backyard. It was a little noisy since we have construction being done. I was surprised by the amount of bird activity after the first 10 minutes. Insects seemed unaffected. The insects were easy for me to spot but my challenge was getting observations before things left. There was a lot of quick fly-bys. I hadn't noticed the twisting of a vine around a support cable for a power pole in the back of the yard. It was a beautiful pattern and the light was coming through the thin base of the leaves but not filtering through the thicker tips. I go in my yard every day and the sit spot helped me experience things I haven't seen before.PXL_20210729_200529045
    • Charlotte
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      A very rainy day here in the UK today for my very first sit spot, so an observation of the garden from inside. I managed to get a bit of time in between the rain showers where birds visited the feeders. My niece had earlier helped me to fill the feeders so I was so happy a pair of bullfinches came to visit! One of my favourite to visit the garden and not often seen in this little space of mine. I have a small wildflower patch which hums with the sound of bees and has a lot of yellow flowers at the moment. It was hard to hear a lot even with the window open but I shall repeat this outside when the weather allows :)   20210727_190626
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      My sit spot is my back porch.  From here I can see the activity of the Catbird.  He or she seems to favor the top post of the railing that leads to the upper part of my backyard.  This bird has been coming closer and looking at me as if to say, where is the food?  Until the cause is know for the bird illness in my area, the feeders have been taken down.  I notice a lot of activity at my neighbor’s colorful birdhouse.  I’m pretty sure this is the second of third time a nest has been made inside.  I will keep a close look with my binoculars to see if once again I can see a tiny head peeking out.  The cute Mourning Dove couple is here.  Perhaps looking for the feeder food, too. They stopped by my waterfall fountain for a drink. 127F9B33-DC1D-4E45-8939-AC88782EDDD8
    • Marc
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      2286F1E1-2879-4406-A952-F10374664F38A550874B-E911-407B-BA17-1C1E09FB8810CBEB03C2-1394-4179-91CA-A92DA96315A3 when I read the assignment I knew exactly where I wanted to go. I woke up bright and early to hike into one of my favourite parks. I felt truly at ease as there wasn’t another soul to be seen except for the chirps of birds and critters all about. A truly magical experience. I had my supplies and nature journal slung over my shoulder as I made my way deeper and went to a spot I like to forge wild onions. So as I sat I noticed that there was a small deer trail that went along the dried up river bed (that runs from the mountain and main focus of my city) until I found a beautiful opening that look untouched. So as I sat there and half a hour passed I noticed lots of movement in the upper canopy, and the bushes around me so I started taking notes. I wish I would have left out the water colour as I have very very little to no experience with it. I get it almost ruined my visitor picture, was it a finch? A sparrow? I’ll find out! the whole experience was transforming!
    • imageIt is pretty hot here, and very humid, in Ontario.  I went out for 15 min and stayed so long my daughter came looking for me.  We have spent a lot of time sculpting the wild space between our yard and the golf course.  There are many snags, berries, and lots of native plants, making the wildlife fun to look for.  While I am out in the yard a lot, “working,” in it, I don’t often just sit there looking around.  I wanted to make the white edges on the hosta leaves.  I think I’ll need to get closer for that.  I really struggled to get the path to wend off in the distance, instead of laying on top of itself, like Candyland. I tried hard to look at what I was drawing, and not at the paper, and tried some of the techniques you recommended.  I have never made it past stick figures, bu I’ll keep trying.  It was fun to really look at the plants and the ‘negative spaces’ in my view. 
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 57
      I have viewed many fine journal entries before attempting this task of a 15 minute sit and let nature unfold in front of me. Its been raining almost everyday in my area. I love the rain as it provides the necessary ingredient in making living things grow well. When the rains come, mushrooms come out and there was an interesting one growing outside my east faceing  breakfast room. This mushroom was not one that I have seen before in my yard. The shape of the cap was convex with a pale brown overall color with pale yellow rim margins. It was observed in a patch of decaying leaves underneath a waxleaf ligustrum. I was able to view it from another angle while outside. There were pores underneath the cap, not gills,  which meant a Bolete group of mushrooms.  I have not been able to specifically the Genus and species of this particular mushroom. To complicate  things, the Bolete group appears  in  several different families of mushrooms.  While looking around in the surrounding area, I noticed a green anole lizard on a small unknown tree that I let grow in order to shade my patio plants. I sketched white and,  also pink periwinkle flowers that I planted. Among the periwinkles was a deep pink to red tubular shaped wildflower that I left alone in my garden,  as I appreciate its beauty among my planted varieties. I like to walk and observe nature but I have remained close to home due to the inclement weather of late  which often includes abundant lighting strikes. IMG_20210709_150536
    • Cristina
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      terraza  My terrace in the third floor and the birds
    • Zariel
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      1. My sit spot was right in my front yard. I live right across the road from a wildlife refuge, so there is usually some interesting wildlife around. I set up a chair and sat with my journal for around 20 minutes. After only a few minutes a group of sparrows was splashing in a large puddle in the road(every time a car passed they would fly away and then return), two mourning doves landed in a tree a few feet away from me, 5 turkeys was walking around on the other side of the street, and I could hear dozens of bird calls coming from all directions.I quickly sketched the mourning doves and turkeys. I tried to sketch the sparrows, but they kept flapping around and I couldn't get the sketch to look right. 2. Seeing the turkeys and the sparrows was easy, but I would not have noticed the two mourning doves hidden in a sassafras tree if I was not paying close attention. I usually notice the bird calls, but sitting silently allowed me to hear an even wider range of calls.
    • Erica
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      IMG-0076 My sit spot was a amazing! I got to notice things that I would have never have observed. Like the tiny ants scurrying about and the texture and colour of different flowers and leaves. I got time to sit quietly and take in all the nature around me. I collected a real samples of the flower I saw. It was really good idea to do a sit spot at sunrise because that's when there is a variety of birds. In other words, it's a bird paradise time!
      • Erica
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        My second attempt - IMG-0105 My sit spot was amazing! I got to notice things that I would never have observed, like the tiny ants scurrying about and the textures and colours of leaves and flowers. I got time to sit quietly and take in all the nature around me. I collected a sample of the flower I saw. It was a good idea to do it at sunrise because that's when there are a variety of birds. In other words, it's a bird paradise time!
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 57

        @Erica I enjoyed the thumbnail sketches and the detail from the flower leaf, Erica.

      • Dominique
        Participant
        Chirps: 21

        @Erica I love the way you have conveyed movement for the white bird by varying the line thickness.

    • Frances
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      3 June 2021, 12:10 - 12:40 pm in Cape Coral, Florida                 Sit Spot: on our dock on Sapphire Canal The sky is overcast to the east; dark gray clouds are drifting northward. It's very sunny here but pleasant because of a light breeze to the north. - wind-blown ripples on canal water; large clusters of oysters on the dock pilings; water visibility only about 10 inches below surface - an orange butterfly is flitting among the maroon bougainvillea blossoms - three gardenia blossoms on the bush at the corner of the pool cage; buds on the bush next to pool cage door - small brown anole (2-1/2") skittering along the stone wall of the dock - one white ibis in neighbor's yard poking the ground for mole crickets/bugs/worms - mockingbird singing in the distance
    • Camille
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Nature Journal 5-28-21 I found my sit spot experience to be very relaxing and I stayed for 30 minutes rather than 15 because I lost track of time. I am looking forward to going back to this area for more nature journaling as the birds were very active and there were many different plants and fungi that would be fun to draw. I was near a well-used trail, so the birds were very accustomed to human presence and appeared soon after I sat down. Definitely visual and auditory observations came most easily to me, and while I did enjoy the scent of the forest, I forgot to write down anything about it. I attempted to estimate distance and size, but I am not sure how accurate I was.
    • Gerda
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      82795D6C-A738-4FD0-B87B-161EA457189A_1_105_c I sat quietly in my converted bedroom (read studio) because it just is too blustery to sit outside. I will make it a point to go out and sit quietly by the river here in Milwaukie Oregon, tomorrow. I will bring my journal and do as Liz suggested. Looking forward to it. In the meantime - I sketched a couple of small pictures I found in these lessons.
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 57
        Gerda, I enjoyed the American Crow and hummingbird thumbnails.
    • Carolyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      img264 editedimg265 edited
      • Lena
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Love this page!  Not only did you describe so well how you saw things, but also ended with a real discovery.  And your handwriting! It was so easy to envision what you saw and heard.
    • Sara Alice
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      It was partly cloudy and warm. 4/28/21. I chose to sit on a swing in my yard. It was quiet with bird song until some county work trucks came up the street and parked under my oak tree on the berm. I saw a lot of green plants so I looked for things that were not green, blue (sky) or grey/brown. That left the red flower stems on the air plants in the oak tree, and the orange head of the lizard in the driveway. I talked to him and he looked at me awhile and ran away. The next day the flower stems opened with long blue flowers with yellow centers. So small I wonder how they get pollinated. They lasted one day.  So, I drew the lizard's face and arm, and the flower stem. I don't know how to upload it. Maybe I'll try that next time.
      • Elizabeth
        Bird Academy
        To post images in a discussion, click on the "Insert Image" button located in the top left of the reply text editor (the box where you added your text), and then select an image from your computer or your phone.
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      4/29/21 - I sat in my backyard and heard many sounds - neighbors, traffic, then the wind, birds (sparrows?), bees buzzing, a big fly.  It was sunny and breezy, 84. I smelled the roses and orange blossoms. Even in my small backyard, in a suburb, after about 10 minutes I had some visitors.  A tufted titmouse flew in, got an insect, flew out.  A hummingbird checked out some nasturtium. I didn't sketch or draw at all. My journal looks like a checklist.  And, that's OK for now.  I liked sitting and seeing and hearing and smelling.
    • Melinda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      • 41F67BF0-4CD8-4B2C-A191-DC2A77A4AF27
    • Carmen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      PXL_20210425_185501733.MPInteresting to do this in a neighborhood on a day when everyone wants to be outside and everyone is making noise! Enjoyed the songs the scents, the breeze and the colors of nature nonetheless.
    • Judi
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      IMG_2178 I really enjoyed this exercise. I sat in my front yard by a tree behind a low hedge. It was remarkably quiet with very few cars going by. I spent almost an hour out there. It was very therapeutic. I made quite a few notes and tried sketching a couple of things. I need more practice at the sketching! I noticed that I couldn't name all the plants and certainly couldn't id some of the birds I heard. This is something I will do again just for the pleasure of it!
    • Margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      I enjoy sitting and observing, but always have to make myself take the time, so this was a good exercise and I spent well over half an hour in my garden, in a spot overlooking the pond and bird feeders.   At first I just heard bees buzzing, birds chirruping in the distance and wood pigeons and rooks flying over.  After about ten minutes small birds started to come into the trees and to the feeders.  I did a couple of sketches, but not very successful - this is what I need to improve.    I couldn't observe the bees closely as they were in the flowers and I didn't want to move to disturb anything else.   After the session I went to look at them closely and identify those I could.  NB - I am in England, so the species are different to the US! IMG_1709
    • Beverly
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Multiple failed attempts at this, I am impressed with other submissions and have used them to self-inspire.  I have given myself ten days at this trying to accomplish the sit and awe to take it all in.   On my 4th attempt I was able to sit long enough to let nature come back to me, but I am seriously lacking the ability to sit and observe for 20 minutes.  My journal page looks more like a "to do list".  I am going to have to carry on and work at this aspect of Awe.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I've been doing this for years now and have been keeping a nature journal but wanted to up my art abilities so I could do more visuals. I live in MN and what I like to do is go to the same local spots over and over again...we have several marshes close by and I have photographed the same locations over and over again all seasons. Becoming accustomed to one location like that allows you to see nature change over and over again. Are the marshmarigolds spreading year to year? How is that old tree rotting, what lichen and fungus are on it now that were not here a month ago or last spring.
    • Gloria
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I sat out on my porch and faced West looking out at the small  border plots surrounding the stone patio.   There is little evidence of perennial growth, but it changes everyday. A few bits of green are appearing in the Iris root area, and some greenery was showing leaf growth between the patio stones.    Mostly it was sounds that I heard. A distant motor sound came for some time, perhaps some kind of tractor.  Although I didn't see any birds there were several varieties of chirps and tweets surrounding me.  I spent most of  my time illustrating the metal fence surrounding my small backyard thinking of light and shading as it was late afternoon and the sun was showing its influence.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      IMG_1430
    • Dee
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      Rhododendrons 4-2-21
    • Dee
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      Feeder 4-1-21-
    • Eleanor
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      IMG_20210401_093322835
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      1. I found this challenging.  I usually like to take pictures and them draw from them so I can get all the details more acurately on the page.  I tried to quickly sketch the overall scene without going into too much detail.   Sit Spot 27 March
    • Christopher
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      IMG_0688
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      image
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 28
      Squirrels 1) I have been participating in Project FeederWatch and so I sit often at a window where I oversee an area with 9 feeders. Many squirrels come, too, which is why it's fun to have a journal entry about them. As noted, these squirrels come regularly, but there have been uncommon visitors like the Pileated Woodpecker. That was a thrill because he/she was so big and looked so much like a dinosaur bird! 2) Artistic observations come easily and scientific observations come rather easily as well - but dispassionate ones do not. The hawk who comes occasionally always scares me because I feel very protective of the birds I encourage into the feeding area. I run out and clap at him/her, so he/she flies away....
    • Janine
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      WIN_20210203_13_52_21_Pro
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Not good outdoor sitting weather so I sat and watched my birdfeeders from inside.  Observed Cardinals coming and going and their interactions which I hadn't noticed before sitting and watching for a 20 minute period.  Felt I learned more about Cardinal behavior.  Observing birds came easily to me, would like to get better at making quick sketches of birds.
    • Margery
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      4F1BF545-E02F-4379-8374-A16F14E27508
    • Jessica
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      My sit spot was by a window in my home, looking out over my bird feeders. I think it was too late in the day for any bird (or squirrel!) visitors, but I had fun observing the snow and the rest of the natural view. So much snow!IMG_7919
    • Janine
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      WIN_20210128_17_09_00_ProI just drew in my bird room because it was cold and windy outdoors. This is my Jardines parrot. He loves to have the attention of me drawing him.
      • laurie
        Participant
        Chirps: 34
        What a sweet drawing of your Baby Beau. He looks very puffy! Nothing wrong with adding some leafy embellishments :-) I haven't had the bravery to sketch my buddy- a mixed breed medium sized dog, but I should... especially since he is always ready to be fawned over! He also would be a great character to study when we are on our walks and hikes.
      • Janine
        Participant
        Chirps: 21

        @laurie Thank you Laurie. I made him a bit too puffy!

    • laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 34
      3 degrees F/-16 C on a sunny day. Not a bird to be seen or heard. Even the squirrels are staying at home. Sat for an hour in my dining window looking down and not one glimpse of wildlife to be seen. Normally this sit spot (my favourite place in my little apartment downtown) is full of activity, especially the antics of the squirrels- leaping, caching, chirping their warnings at me and at each other. Today all is quiet. I struggle with tree branches... I just "fake 'em".  6021CBB8-09AB-4A75-98F2-7D04A294CD1F_1_105_c
      • Karen
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        I love how you managed to find a sit spot in winter, indoors and still find nature!
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 57
        I appreciate the detail in this sketch from the indoor setting, making the most of whats available.
    • Karly
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      IMG_0652I did my sit spot at my window that opens to my fire escape. Since I've been working from home, I've been able to watch and observe all the changes over the seasons, who comes to feed at what times, etc. I have a few regular visitors that showed up today and I was able to include in my sketches, along with a new visitor! I included Stewart, a squirrel who comes to eat the seeds from my halloween pumpkin, peanuts, and bird seed. He's become a hit with my friends, he is very photogenic. Then there is Dolly, a one-legged dark-eyed junco who likes to feed by herself or wait for other juncos to leave. Today she sat alone on my windowsill for a full 15 minutes just watching. She also bounced a little from the balancing. A female cardinal also showed up, which was a new fire escape sighting for this winter and I was very excited she paid a visit! As I was sketching, I started with something to anchor me that I felt might be the larger item, which was the bush/tree to the left of the fire escape. Then I placed the other animal visitors in open spaces and filled in some notes. This sketch isn't too out of the box, so i'd like to continue to play with different ideas for formats.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      This is a bit silly, but which book should we take out to the field?  The black one or the larger blue one?
      • Elizabeth
        Bird Academy
        Either one! The mixed media pad (larger blue one) is great for practicing assignments. The moleskine (black one) is a nicer option for when you want to start your official nature journal. But it's totally up to you when and where to use them.
    • Charlotte
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I noticed patterns more on my second try. Observations of light and sound came easily (in the case of the sound of passing traffic, came frustratingly). Counting things and finding patterns was more of a challenge, maybe because my mind isn't very methodical ;-) Still, I loved how this exercise took me out of daily "to-do's" and into a world of wonder. I can't wait to try it again.IMG_2853
    • lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      nature sit spot
    • Courtney
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      image Sight observations came more easily to me, especially looking for birds. I am used to looking up and spying movement. Looking at plants and other things on the ground was more out of the box for me because I normally don’t intentionally look at the plants around me.
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      WIN_20210101_14_59_35_Pro
    • Lisa K
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      The sit spot exercise was so meditative.  I sat out for about 30 minutes on my back deck.  What a wonderful exercise to draw and observe my little friends I see in a new way.  Loved this! Screenshot 2020-12-31 171817
    • Miriam
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I sat on a fallen log, which was outside the fence for my yard. It was lovely to just sit and be with nature. I found that visual observations came easily, but listening to the forest was difficult for me. I had to clear my thoughts to be able to truly experience the sit spot.
    • Cecilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      105_0035
    • Mwangi
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      IMG_20201224_100749Sit-spotting on Christmas Eve. The writing is not so legible :/
    • Judith
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Devoting 15 minutes of silent time to observe was fruitful! The natural spot I chose was my back yard in suburban Boulder, so many of the sounds were typical of that setting--kids calling, planes overhead, etc.What I did notice, however, was that the birds coming to the feeder were unusually quiet, perhaps because of my presence. At the end of the time, a rabbit came into view, definitely a surprise since I was so close. Because it's winter, there isn't  much plant growth, but there are rose hips. I couldn't capture the dimpled surface very well, so that's a fine point worth working on.journal
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      This is my first page of my field journal.  I live in northern Michigan adjacent to a national forest and trails for cross country skiing, mountain biking, hiking and lots of trees for great birding.  I sat at my desk and revisited my experience outside yesterday and an encounter with a barred owl. I really enjoyed this process.3AC0E9D1-A435-4449-AEE6-269C6D575E76
    • Florence
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      My sit spot was inside as the weather is inclement and cold...  I chose a rose bud. A photo taken  It is a Knock out rose that started blooming in November.  Unusual as I live in Oregon and this time of year it’s rainy  and cold and can snow if cold enough.  Fairly mild this year consequently plants are still in bloom.  Hummingbirds are enjoying them. Particularly  the salvias growing in a large container by the front door.  I feed the birds so we have several varieties. A lot of wildlife even tho living in a residential area.  F0CB6C87-10C1-4940-A404-74F57F61E9F4
    • Lynne
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      1207200948 I haven't had the chance to buy all the materials for this class yet, so I just did a little sit spot in my writing journal. Even though it's just a tiny drawing, I really loved sitting and working on this leaf for a while. I go to Green-Wood Cemetery here in Brooklyn 3-4 times a week to walk and bird (and tree), but this exercise was like a lovely permission to just sit and be present with one spot in the park. I felt sort of amazing after the 30ish minutes I spent just sitting. The fall migration seems to have come to a close in Green-Wood - at least the major activity of it - but where I sat I was joined by a lot of Titmouses (Titmice?), 50-60 geese, two Mallards, one Great Blue Heron, some Chickadees and Blue Jays and I could hear a Red Bellied Woodpecker though I didn't see one until much later when I was leaving the grounds. The bottom of this entry says: "I'm thinking about permission. Like these classes are giving me permission that somehow I needed. Permission for observing to be the all, not just a means."
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      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: 8
        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: 15
      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
      • 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
      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.
    • 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: 12
      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
      image
    • Cindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      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
        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
      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: 10
      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: 9
      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.
      • Lynne
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        Before I went out for my sit spot, I was doing a lesson in the Joy of Birdwatching class here, and listening to a Carolina Wren song, and wrote about what that sound does to my heart. I love this drawing! :)
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 57
        I love this sketch of the Carolina Wren. I have Carolina Wrens in my yard but they don't stay around long, so hard to get an accurate, quick sketch.
    • Janice
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      450291AC-DDC3-4C7D-BE84-836A4458E7EE
    • Caroline
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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.
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 57
        I enjoyed this mindmapping technique of an observation, Martha.
    • Bridget
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      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: 52
      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
        Loved your art, and the message so needed in these times.
    • Dale
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      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: 52
        Nice entry & recollections.
    • May
      Participant
      Chirps: 25
      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: 52
        I love the simplicity of this style. The soft colors are also great.
      • Caroline
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        I love this page, it feels like we were there with you. Love the structure of your layout.
      • Dominique
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        I like the fact that there is empty space on the page still and that you have observations at different scales.
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      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: 52
        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
      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
      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: 52
        Love your drawings here.
      • Marissa
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        You are so talented, Victoria!
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      2020-07-16 Field Observation
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      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
      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: 21
      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: 8
      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: 52
        I can relate to your setting and it’s a good idea using a house plant under these circumstances too.
    • Cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 24
      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
      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
        Thank you!  The sense of your time there is very clear and your drawings bring more detail to your observations.
    • serena
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      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
        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
      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
        In what country do you live?
      • Cynthia
        Participant
        Chirps: 24
        Your writing brought me into your very special haven, the sights, the sounds, the colors, the sense of the wind.  Thank you.
    • 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
        Where do you live?
      • Cynthia
        Participant
        Chirps: 24
        Your drawings are so spare and yet so full of the defining details!  Thank you for your inspiration!
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 57
        I enjoyed these simplistic but elegant and informative sketches of water birds.
    • Priscilla
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      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
        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
      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
      IMG_7707From my sit spot in my yard,
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      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
      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
        Very nice, thanks for sharing!
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 57
        I enjoyed this journal entry from Australia. I lived in Perth, Western Australia for a year and always appreciated the bird life and other animals associated with the Eucalyptus species.
    • Azurekat
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      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
      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: 44
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
        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
      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
        I love the movement in the swallows you painted. They are lovely.
      • Dominique
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        I love the way your handwriting (penmanship style) is evocative of the flight of birds.
    • Ginny Prytherch
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      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
      10E431BE-9D16-499F-9F43-73C5ECBE395A
      • Ruth
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        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
      imageimageimage
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      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
      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
        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
      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
      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: 8
      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: 8
      DSCN1088
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      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
      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
        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
      This is my first journal entry.   20200412_075707
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        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
        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
      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: 44
        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
      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
      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
      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
      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: 7
      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
      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
        Hi Rose, Sounds so lovely. Enjoy.
    • Mayumi
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      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
    • 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
      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
      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
        Backyard Sitting Mar 4, 2020
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29

        @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

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

      • Carree
        Participant
        Chirps: 8

        @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
      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
      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
      IMG_5942
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        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
      Hello all, Trying again to load my sit spot on Plummets Island20200328_141332, 5 miles from Washington, DC. Avery              
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        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.
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 57
        I appreciate these beautiful sketches, the kingfisher is very appealing.
    • Dorothy D
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      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
      IMG_5382
      • Andrew
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        Very cool integration of text and image!
      • Carol
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        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
        I also agree, I like the way you incorporated the text and imagery into one cohesive scene.
      • Dominique
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        Great the way text runs through the plant stems, makes it more complete.
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      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
      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
      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
        I enjoyed your use of watercolor and I loved your comments and questions!
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      8AF14D27-873C-40A1-ABF7-33EF60F0CAA3
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      IMG_1563
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      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
        P.S. Sorry for some bad spelling.
    • Koen
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      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
      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
      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
      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
      20200305_173743
    • Jeanette
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      sit log
    • Toni
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      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
      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
      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
      My comment and uploaded photo are not showing up here today.
      • Patricia
        Participant
        Chirps: 23
        My comments/uploads didn't show up, either.  I tried twice yesterday.
      • Patricia
        Participant
        Chirps: 23

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

      • Toni
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        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
      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
      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
      otter
      • Andrew
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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: 7
      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
      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
      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
      IMG_0343IMG_0344
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      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
      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!
    • cornell yellow bird. 2.0
      • 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
      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
      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
    • 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
      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: 13
      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
      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
      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
        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
      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
      sit spot observation
      • Paige
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        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
      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
      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
        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
      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
        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
        Agreed. The salt grinder is terrific - you can tell light was shining on it from different directions.
    • 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
        Great descriptions and painting of the hummers.  I like how you inserted color into the drawings!  Nice work!
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        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
      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
      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
      image
    • 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: 12
      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: 12
        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.
    • Helen
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      image
    • Karen O
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      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
      FC5F8E2E-A285-4365-A4CA-7044926E46EA
    • Christi-June
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      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
      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
      hummingbird1Hummingbird2field study nuthatches
      • Constance
        Participant
        Chirps: 26
        Your wonderful sketches and paintings really add to your observations.
      • Paige
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        I saw a red-breasted nuthatch yesterday! Upside down on a pine tree eating insects I presume.
    • Seth
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      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
        I like that your observations raised many questions. It's very interesting to see everything growing on that stump!
      • Karen O
        Participant
        Chirps: 14
        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
      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
      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
        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
        Unusual and interesting subject matter to draw.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3