• Leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I really wanted to develop my field journal to include drawings and more visual aspects to my descriptions of plants and wildlife.  I would like to be specific in my drawings, journaling specific behaviors, postures and the seasonal changes in plants as well as document the environmental and climate changes in my region.  I particularly like the first journal that had the images pop out into the descriptions and sometimes adding a zoomed in feature to the drawing for more intricate details.  I like the idea of a rough pencil sketch but love the finished quality and detail of watercolor.  Also, I would like to use my journal as more of a project based documentation, ie. the study of Monarch butterflies or the Spring arrival of certain native plants in my region, especially to document the changes occurring in our environment, habitats and diversity due to climate change and loss of habitat.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      I've been dabbling for a couple of years...just with pencil and then colored pencils. I think doing a monthly page or 2 is where I will start. Last spring, during the pandemic, I hiked every morning before heading back to my "desk at home" and found I saw so much! I wanted to get it down on paper, both in words and images.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1.  A nature journal will help improve both my observation and drawing skills by incorporating my love for nature in a physical recording.  I look forward to learning the techniques as I go through this course.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1 - I started watching the birds in my backyard and have moved on to taking field trips to watch birds.  2 - I'm intimidated by the idea of putting my ideas on paper, but want try.
    • Moniqh
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I enjoyed seeing the various styles, I feel my journal will progress to reveal my own style in time.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am a near complete neophyte when it comes to field sketching and maintaining a journal. My initial reaction is to feel a bit intimidated by the whole process. Given that tendency, I believe that delineating space for the drawing and utilizing bullet points for written observations, will most likely help me overcome my discomfort.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I enjoyed seeing the different interpretations of each person's journal. Seems like each of us will have to experiment a bit to learn what works best– it's nice to get affirmation that there is no one "right" way to approach it.
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      I completed the Florida Master Naturalist Classes, and though I enjoyed them tremendously, I remember so little of the vast information we covered. Documenting  with illustrations and facts will help me to remember not only new moments/experiences but the details of the marvelous creatures and plants I've seen. I've used online watercolor tutorials this past year, and hope to build skills in this class. I'm thrilled to marry my love for creation and painting.
    • Kevin
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have started a job position where I have very little contact with nature, very long hours inside, even though I live and work surrounded by world class nature and wilderness.  So am eager to learn to draw, paint and follow through maintaining a journal to savor the moments of nature I do have.
    • Raizy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      My summers in Maine fill me with so much joy and love for the plants and animals around me, and last summer I tried to paint and draw what I saw, but didn’t quite know how to capture the feeling of a particular spot or a particular species. I was drawn to this course because I want to be able to observe my surroundings more closely and appreciate the natural beauty to the fullest. The final journal was so beautiful to me, and I resonated with the artist’s initial ambition to paint/draw EVERY day — and think that a page a month is probably more realistic. :)
    • Carolyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Many years ago, I enjoyed taking some drawing and watercolor classes.  I’ve wanted to take another art class, had been considering a botanical drawing class.  The pandemic restrictions of the past year have allowed me to notice and enjoy the natural world around me more, including keeping a rudimentary journal of new discoveries in my backyard and walks around my neighborhood and nearby park.  For the first time, I noticed migratory birds, seeing several species I had never noticed before.  I hope that I can continue to enjoy more discoveries, and love the idea of keeping a more beautiful journal, incorporating drawings, watercolor, and reflections.
    • Jackie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      In my retirement I have become a potter, and I also enjoy felting.  I would like to become better at drawing and painting so that I can use my artwork on my pottery pieces and on 2-d felting pieces.  I have long enjoyed studying nature; it inspires my work.  I have gotten journals in the past, started them, then set them aside.  Also got watercolors several years back, but succumbed to the fear of the blank page.  I am looking forward to this new-to-me way of exploring the natural world, and to actually using some of the supplies that have accumulated in my home.
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I have wanted to keep a nature journal for some time because I derive great satisfaction from my natural surroundings; I’m a born chronicler and I love how sketching allows me to really experience a bird, a plant, an animal, etc. Yet, I’ve been intimidated by the empty page or a new journal. I don’t want to “ruin” them, as Cindy said, and my desire for perfection has kept me from jumping in. What I so appreciated about seeing the shared nature journals was realizing that it’s personal. It’s what the journal means to the one who keeps it, not what it means to anyone else. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Each journaler spoke of how their sketching captured the day, the observation, the experience for them in a rich way that a photo never could. It was so heartfelt.
    • Dee
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1) On a visit to Indiana Dunes National Park, we took a ranger led boat tour on Lake Michigan. The ranger asked us to sketch the shoreline and dunes. I felt very uncomfortable with the request that I draw, but found it to be a satisfying experience as I recorded my observations in a way that was more meaningful than taking a picture on my phone which would have lacked detail and personal interaction. 2) I’d love to by able to create a beautiful, water color journal, but since I have no experience with water color, I think more simple pencil sketches would be a better way to start. 3) I keep a brief, daily diary in a planner and would like to add art to some of the entries.
    • Cindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. This course came up as an ad. I have always loved to draw and paint, but never could put anything in any kind of order.  I just liked to hoard sketch books and was afraid to "ruin them". Now that I am retired I will get the chance to slow down and try going out into nature to sit and observe and use a journal to record what I have seen and enjoyed. 2. Anything that will help to keep things in some kind of order instead of my usual "all over the place" approach to everything.  I like the look of the incomplete boxes around drawings and separating information with boxes. I definitely will want to look information up about each animal/plant that I explore.
    • Amanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1.  To gain a deeper appreciation of the natural world both in my own backyard and in the wider world.  I've always admired John Audubon's work, but felt intimated to try sketching and journaling.  I'm glad to have found this course! 2. I would like to try to incorporate more scientific information about the plant / animal I am sketching, while still focusing on the art of making the journal. 3. Possibly including personal experiences about what you felt as you were sketching?
    • Eleanor
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      1- I like to draw and nature journaling is a good way to make time and get out in nature as well as draw. I think this class will introduce me to new things (I have never done nature journaling before), and I hope it will help me improve my drawing and watercolor skills. 2- I like the journals that have more pictures than words. I liked the ones with lots of different angles of the same subject, and I liked the spider one where it was drawing out a process and the different steps.
    • Terry
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Since I am so new to this whole process, I would like to experiment and try different methods.  I'd like to try sketch and watercolor but also colored pencils, and pens.  I believe I might start off with the boxes around an object just to get and idea of how much space I can use on the page for journalling and drawing.  I like the idea of zooming in on an object for details and also the use of ovals or circles  for drawing birds. I think it will take some time to develop my own kind of style.  The fun is in trying though.  Terry.
    • Mimi
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I've been a writer, photographer, and artist since my early retirement 7 years ago. I shifted towards nature writing during the pandemic to tie in with my photography. I now want to try nature journaling to sketch and water color on my walks.
    • Michelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I was trained by a fabulous zoologist who was a colleague and friend in the Grinnell style of notebook keeping. Very formal. Very data driven. It was a method that worked great for a vertebrate museum collection. Not so much for what I wanted to do with my field notes. I was often 'too far afield' in my note taking style. What it took me many years as a field biologist to realize was that I was a nature journaler and not a museum collector. While I absolutely understand the value of those formal field notes for academic research the artist/biologist in my needed to fly a different path. 2. I loved the use of boxes with the drawings and also the approach of a drawing a day or a month spoke to me. I might like to try a combination of those styles.  
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      The pandemic lead me to walk in different areas around my home, as where I usually walked became a lot more traveled by more people. So, I went to an area near a quarry close to my house.  There were many animals there, and birds, and I kept a written journal for the past year of what I saw and when, and some other observations.  It has been quite a year of loss, but I am drawn to document this year as a nature journal.  Those daily walks and observations kept me anchored in a good place, for at least part of every day through a difficult year. I do not think I have quite the skills for the task, but I think I will learn a lot by creating this journal.
    • Sara Alice
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I journaled on the sides of my bird lists for years and it grew to flowers, landscapes and notes. I like the idea of boxes to relieve the clutter. I think I saw a white tailed kite on a trip years ago and since I recently found one near my home I want to find that journal and see.  I would like to know about giving some depth/detail to my sketches. And I have NO idea what to do with water color. Looking forward to finding out. Hurray, that things don't have to be finished, and it's fine to not get it perfect, and it's ok to try try try. This will bring more delight to my expressions.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Whether I'm in my own garden or on vacation in a National Park, I spend more time than I should probably admit just watching and listening to what's going on around me. Like one of the nature journalists in the video, I find myself falling in love with certain plants, animals, fungi or lichens. Taking time to capture more -- in writing or in a sketch -- about the qualities of a particular barnacle, blossom or preening songbird that I've fallen in love with will help solidify that memory. Nature journaling will help me be more disciplined in recording what I see, when I see it and note what else is going on at that time. Though I love going through photos my husband and I have taken, it's not the same. I am inspired by all the nature journalists who shared their journaling methods in the video, and I'm eager to learn more and get started.
    • Alison
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      I decided to take up nature journaling as a tool to improve my observation skills and develop a form of visual note-taking, to improve my memory of what I observed. I'm a birdwatcher and birding has become my gateway drug to a broader interest in and observation of nature. I haven't had an art class since kindergarten, so I appreciated the very modest sketches some of the nature journalists shared and what can be learned from them. And I was awed by the great artistic skills of others. Nature has always been my solace, so I expect that there may be emotional responses or thoughts that arise while observing and sketching and I will record those too in my journal.
    • Catherine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I enjoy being outside in nature (especially bird watching) and dabble with painting, but came to a greater appreciation of both throughout COVID. I am a teacher and  it has been such a stressful few months. Sitting in my backyard watching birds has literally been a sanctuary experience for me. I even began to turn my backyard into more of a habitat for birds and other critters. I love noticing the light at different times of the day and being aware of the cycle of things. It is truly calming. I feel like I sync with myself when I can notice other creatures going about their native and instinctual ways. Nature journaling feels like a natural way to extend my experience and look forward to working my way through this class.  The picture below is of a newly fledged eastern bluebird. We watched as all 4 fledged from the birdbox from a distance in our backyard last May. IMG_3885
      • Bernadette
        Participant
        Chirps: 12
        I am also a teacher.  I have enjoyed birds and drawing my whole life, but COVID has brought me so much closer to nature.  I found myself studying the birds instead of just listening to their songs.  It has also become a sanctuary for me and a way to relax from the stresses of the situation.  I began sketching and painting birds, and when I heard about this course I knew it was going to help take me to the next level.