• Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I strategically placed bird feeders outside my window during my year of "Covid Teaching" last year to stay sane and balance screen time, and began to wonder how to record the little details of things I observed everyday.  After seeing these examples, I am inspired to combine my love of letters and calligraphy with my nature observations. I know I won't have time to enter something everyday, but I like the idea of the journal tracking my nature observations over time through seasons, so the dates/weather seem more important to me now.  I, also, like the ideas of thoughtful composition....the journalist who grappled with the use of squares. Most of my art experience is with oil paints and human models who sit still for lengths of time.  So my big question is how do you accurately capture creatures that move???  The one journalist talked about capturing the shapes, so I found that helpful, but what about colors and details??  I'm looking forward to the challenge and delving into watercolor.
    • Eileen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I'm just learning to draw in retirement and there are so many subjects in the natural world that I feel will be inspiring and challenging as a beginner. I loved the journals that captured the change of seasons and provide a diary of things you see each day or month. Combining drawing with poetry appeals to me, also drawing and discovering the names of birds, trees, insects that you may not have noticed in the past.  I like the meditative quality of drawing, so I think just being able to slow down and observe closely will be a very comfortable way to spend my time.
    • Jocelyne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am a watercolorist who uses my own photography as my guide/reference while working in my studio. I have always loved being in and observing nature, as my paintings show. However, I have never been much of a nature journalist, preferring to capture my subjects via camera because sitting with bad hips and back is painful after a short while. NOW, post hip surgeries, back surgery, a year and a half of COVID, and also being a full time caregiver to my mom, I have a deep desire to nature journal! I been working on a series of paintings of clouds and monsoon skies and my I-phone camera always meters for the whites, making the blue sky too dark to use as a reference. Plus, I spend sooooo much time at home now. My sanity project has been to expand my wildflower/native flower gardens, thus increasing the pollinators to my yard. An avid bird watcher, I have feeders all over the yard so the blossoms, birds, bees and butterflies bring absolute delight to me and my mom who is battling cancer.  Journaling these backyard wonders will enable me to stay close to my mom while staying creative and increasing my observation skills. Jocelyne Shiner
    • Vanessa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am a science teacher at a Montessori middle school with a land-based program on 13 acres and used to draw/paint but haven't in years (motherhood, work, etc got too busy). I am excited to see the dusting off of an old hobby merge with creating purposeful, mindful appreciation for our campus. So far my kids have LOVED the experience. They even took their material and worked on their journals off campus on a trip. It's been a joy and I am so grateful to have the format of this course to help all of us grow and develop our skills. Thank You!!!
      • Michele
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        I hope to do something similar with my middle school students! We don't have the land, but there's a small lake up the block we can easily go to. I can't wait to get them started!
    • Katherine
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I've enjoyed birding for the past two years.  I typically bring my camera and capture birds on my walks through trails, parks, and other nature locations.  Although I have been extremely satisfied with birding and photography, I want to improve my bird and nature observation skills.  Nature journaling will help me slow down, but I also look forward to learning more drawing and painting skills.
    • cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1)I capture the “flora and fauna” near my home and wherever I travel. I now want to study, reflect on and record the details of the subject. I have always admired others’ travel and nature journals, so I am excited to begin my own. 2) Each journalist came to the projects with the skills they had acquired elsewhere. The evolution of their depictions and their focuses were different and I appreciated each style. I will review this lesson to take notes on what speaks to me and I’d like to incorporate in my journal.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      • My first nature journal was made on a family trip across the US when I was 15. Now I am 72 and retired and trying to pick up drawing again. Looking for inspiration to get me started.
    • Marianne
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      I bought a book on nature journaling in 1998 and started a journal in 1999. I have a number of entries for 1999 and 2000, then one for 2007, and nothing until 2020! My original journal still has empty pages. As I am looking towards retirement, I want to spend much, much more time in nature. I love the idea of a page or two per month, but am a bit intimidated by my lack of drawing skills. I love the idea of doing lots of practice drawings. Hopefully I can be patient with myself.
    • Alexis
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I'm much more of a writer than an artist, so my journal is mostly descriptions of observations, records of my questions, and how I answered them through further observation or research. It's like a journal of discovery, as well as to record memories of places and birds, flowers, insects, animals I've met. I can open to any page and find joy. The illustrations where there are any are just to aid a verbal description. So, I'd like to get better at drawing so I can incorporate that element. I'm just starting with pencil sketches. I am so impressed by the watercolor sketches, and hope to someday be able to learn that skill as well.
    • Tobias
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I've always been passionate about nature and I'm planning on going back to school for wildlife conservation and to become a wildlife biologist. I've always also been fairly decent at art and really admire those who are talented in the ways of arts. I want to try and find a way to combine my two passions while also improving my observation skills and artistic ability. 2. I like the last one where she did multiple sketches for a whole month. I love all of the color and want to do something similar, but I also love adding in all of the written observations as well. I think the first journal is probably the closest to what I want to do.
    • Margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I have always loved being in nature and recently began birdwatching. I would love to improve my art skills and be able to capture what I see on paper. 2. I like the idea of including information about time and weather. It will be cool to track changes over time.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I have always been interested in the natural world. I have, even though I have an Art degree, felt my drawings skills were lacking. I started taking course work at the School of Botanical Art and Illustration offered by the Denver Botanic Gardens. I still fall into old habits of heavy line work and dark values. I am hoping to refine my ability to see proportions, line weight, and value use by starting a new habit of drawing each day.
    • Katie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I think I like the idea of being able to use art in a way that is personal and "every day."   I enjoy recording my experiences and those of my family, and I think this can be another way to collect memories.  I am also interested in drawing what I see more accurately.  2. I have tried the art every day, and it seems too demanding for me at the moment.  I'm a mom of three, and quiet times can be few and far between!  I think I like the monthly idea.  Doing a little here and there as I am able seems most realistic at this stage in my life.  3. I don't think I have any other ideas at the moment, but maybe there is a combination of styles that would suit me.  I guess I'll find out!
    • Rebekah
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I really never thought I could draw but I enjoy the idea of journaling and after taking Liz's course on sketching birds discovered I probably can draw and so I want to give nature journaling a try. 2) I liked the journal with the boxes that expanded to loose boxes with drawings going across the edges.  I like a bit of order but I also like to think it doesn't dictate an experience :).  I read one of the other discussion posts where the author noted that she had moved into a new house and had used her journal to capture the changes over time in her yard.  Just yesterday we had topsoil put down at our newly built house and trees, shrubs, and perennials planted and I will take this other student's suggestion and make the changes over time in our yard the beginning focus of my journaling. Becky
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      My father often sketched nature whether scenery, a flower, bird, plant but never had a story with it.  I saw journals with stories for various life aspects and the nature one intrigued me the most.  I liked the idea of small sketches and stories thru the day, sort of like Liz but also some of the other ones.  I might be more likely to journal about my day and then put in sketches perhaps without all the info about the item I am doing.
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I bought a new home approximately four years ago and the builder removed nearly all of the natural habitat in the neighborhood. I've since planted many trees, shrubs, and flowers and have enjoyed watching the birds build nests in the magnolias, the bees feed on the lantana and holly, the American goldfinches eating the coneflower seeds, and the morning doves sunbathing on the fence. I have northern cardinals that swoop in for a quick snack, hummingbirds that adorable the crapemyrtles and (the dreaded) mockingbirds that can't seem to remember where they build the nest (so they build another one and another one and....) My hope is to use my nature journal to document the changes in the yard as it matures, capture the seasonal (and permanent) visitors, and enjoy the habitat I've created. I live in a city with high growth and we are constantly intruding on the natural world. Planting my pollinator-friendly yard and watching the visitors come and go has been so rewarding (and feels a little redemptive). I'm planning on using my nature journaling as a way to really appreciate the space throughout the year. Thanks to Liz, I've also recaptured my joy in drawing but have almost always done black and white sketches. I am looking forward to adding some color, learning new techniques and just tap into my creative mind.
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1. I am trying to be more present in my daily life, living in a more mindful and meditative way. At the same time, I'm following another course of study that makes me want to connect more deeply with animals and the living world around me. I thought perhaps learning to draw them and capture them descriptively in words would help expand my creativity and my attention, as well as helping me develop patience to spend the time getting the little details right. 2. I want to learn to paint things... I don't have any experience with paints, so I'm starting out sketching. But I'm looking forward to painting. I want my journal to combine art and words to paint the full picture of the experiences I have. I am a writer, and want to improve my writing by paying attention to the details in a way I feel can be achieved by drawing and painting. The first journal in the video struck me, as a combination of art and words that seemed very satisfying to me. 3. I would love to add creative writing into my journal. Poetry, storytelling, dreaming... so along with the lyric and detailed description through words and art, I can evoke the spiritual or emotional experience of what I see.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      I suppose the idea is really a romantic one.  In my minds' eye it just seems to be a great way of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of the 21st century and communing with nature.  I also want to capture the beauty of what I see and what appeals to me.  I have very little art experience, so it's a bit intimidating.  More like a dream than anything else.  But I'm also hoping the drawing will help me truly see and be able to identify what I'm looking at and help me to learn more about the natural world around me.
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I was inspired by some of the great ones. First Henry Thoreau but most recently John Muir. I have been writing for years but have always desired to sketch in my journals. I am not retired nor am I a young student. Older but still running my business. But I was impressed by the comments of spending a long time observing. One journalist said she watched a hummingbird for 1 1/2 hours! I realized life is moving quickly for me and I do not want to miss things. Many had simple sketches and a few notes but it flooded their memories. I loved that. I am ready to begin my greatest adventures!
    • V L
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      1.  I have always liked to draw, but not done any drawing in a long time.  I was really inspired to start nature journaling by a planned trip to Australia.  I am not a photographer and get impatient with the process, but I wantb to be able to document the trip and "own" the birds I see. 2. I want to develop my drawing skills and learn about using watecolor.  And I like the idea of combing words with drawings  - of noting observations and questions.
    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      I had been closing in on retirement for some time, and every time a Cornell Lab Nature Journaling class notice came across my email, I promised myself that as soon as I retired, I would take the class. Well, I finally retired in June! I am attracted to the journals that are more colorful and "busy." I also like the close-up detailed drawings of individual flowers and birds, rather than landscapes. I have never really drawn or painted, but I have kept word journals for many, many years, especially when I go on trips, and I am looking forward to enhancing my words with pictures.
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I live near Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding beauty has inspired me. Nature journaling will help me record the details of what I experience each day or week. I love that each journal is personal to the individual.
    • Kayla
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      I started nature journaling because I really love to paint and see wildlife. I also really love the idea of being able to explore, document, and draw what I see each day. Nature and painting are both a big part of me, so I figured why not start a nature journal. The ideas and approaches I want to try are just leaving the imprint of the bird, and the very last journal in the video. It was so beautiful, clean, and organized. I really hope I can create something beautiful with my own spin on it. I really appreciate the creation of this course, and I can't wait to watch the other videos.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I am trying to connect my ongoing coursework at the Denver Botanic Garden's School of Botanical Art and Illustration to a daily practice of observation and sketching.  I saw this course and felt that it would start me working on a new habit.  The habit of slowing down and watching the world around me.  I work in the Information Technology field and it feels like we are running at full speed all the time.  I am hoping to take a breath and record those little daily miracles that surround us via this class.
    • Lynne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I too love both art and nature (particularly birds) and want some direction on how to enjoy both and create a memory. I am curious as to how you get a bird to sit still long enough in order to sketch it! I would like to experiment with pencils, colored pencils and watercolors