• Hannah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I love to observe and study plant, animal, and mineral forms. I'm curious about what I see and also love to look for patterns over time and from season to season. Sketching what I observe seems a natural extension of something I enjoy. I like the idea of using a journal to capture and remember special moments, or to answer a question. It also makes sense to me that something you've observed closely enough to sketch is something you'll remember, something that becomes a part of you.
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have always loved bird watching, gardening, plant identification and art. I’ve loved the idea of a nature journal, have a ton of empty journals. Now, as I’m thinking of retirement, it’s time to start putting it all together.
    • Kristina
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I like the idea of writing and drawing to remember the experience. I think what will be hard is to find time to journal while I am in the moment and to resist the urge to go back and finish drawings or add a drawing later. I didn’t hear anyone mention that they did that. But I guess that’s the thing with journaling. There is no wrong way and plenty of different ways to journal!
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I've always enjoyed being outside, watching what was going on around me.  I initially picked up Clare Walker Leslie's book, The Curious Nature Guide, and was drawn in by her sketches.  Someone shared that she was a naturalist and nature journaler.  I had the opportunity to take a teachers' workshop with her at Clark University in Massachusetts, followed by a weekend retreat.  That, combined with my long interest, but little action on my part of developing my artistic skills led me down this journey.  For awhile I was very diligent in recording in my journal, but I got out of the habit, and I'm working to re-establish that practice.  I like Jewel's approach, of using her nature journal to capture her observations and then share them with others so they can experience what she saw and experienced.  I also like Holly's idea of shifting from a daily  documentation to a monthly page, where she's added to it through the month.  It allows for flexibility, but maintains the practice.  I haven't been one to add much writing, beyond the observations that I note, but I do find poems that I like, and often keep clippings of writing that speaks to me tucked into the journal.  I'd like to find a way to incorporate those into my practice. Nature Journal page with leaves
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I enjoy getting outside and taking pictures of nature and asking myself "what can you find?". I love to look closely, look at what's different, what's going on, who made that, etc. Once the ice melts I'm in my kayak most days, watching the loons, observing their behaviors, seeing what else is on or in the lake. I gave myself an art tool kit for Christmas so I can take it out on my kayak, or on walks and begin to get in the habit of nature journaling. I've only had a couple of entries so far, but hope to get inspired to do more.
      • Christine
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        Hi Jane,  I'd be interested in the art tool kit you referenced in your post.  I also do a lot of kayaking, and am forever seeing bald eagles, ducks, turtles, and fish I'd like to capture.  I haven't tried nature journaling while paddling, but I think that needs to change!   ~Christine
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I have always enjoyed art and nature. I have dabbled in nature journaling and have always dreamed of making it a regular practice. Time to make it a reality. 2. I particularly like the idea of the art moving outside the bounds of the frames / boxes and the close up views. I also really liked the hummingbird study. The pure observation was great and shows it is not always about a pretty picture.
    • Joyce
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I retired two years ago and my daughter sent me a sketch book and a Nature Journaling book.  I have always liked to draw birds and animals and like observing their behaviors.  I like drawing flowers as well and am fascinated by the growing stages of flowers and plants.  I live on 6 acres of woods in the Ozarks and we have deer, wild turkey, squirrels, and lots of birds, which we feed.  I like to watch the birds behaviors at the feeders and observe them on their nests and feeding their young.  I've always said that I would rather be outside than inside.  That is where I am happiest.  We keep most of our property natural so that the animals and birds have a little sanctuary to come to where they know they are safe.  This course will help me practice my skills and learn more about the outdoors. It will also help me to record what we see on our road trips to the National Parks and Bird Sanctuaries we visit.
    • deborah
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I had never thought of actually journaling to record what I've observed. I'm trying my hand at drawing birds and saw this course and thought it would be perfect to perfect my skills along with recording my observations and outings.
    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have enjoyed nature photography for years, but one major shortcoming of photography versus sketching is you don’t necessarily pay attention to detail. I loved drawing as a kid, but taking the time to draw as an adult seemed indulgent. Taking this course is to help me slow down and really pay attention to the detail in nature and help me better remember what bird I just saw (for example). And it is also to allow myself to take the time to sketch.  But mostly I am taking this course is because it will be fun for me. I definitely will be drawing and writing all over all pages.
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Being outdoors is Life to me. I grew up moving through the landscape on skis, hiking up local New England mountains and finding peace paddling quiet rivers and lakes. It wasn't until college, however, that I took my first ecology class and began to learn how to look more closely at details and patterns in plant growth. Ephemeral flowers became seasonal friends to visit. The shape and texture of tree bark, spring buds and leaves literally stopped me in my tracks. Flipping through my now-tattered Newcomb's guide and bird books I see notes I took decades ago. I have dabbled in nature journaling and sit spots. It is meditation. It calms me. Brings me focus. It is my Intention to pay more Attention to the present moment.  I have never made nature journaling a regular practice, but very much want to see more in the natural world and help my young daughter do the same. I never had much art as a child and always felt quite hampered by my lack of skills. I don't understand perspective or how to use watercolors effectively and I am quick to judge my efforts. I am grateful for what I already sense I will start to gain from this course!  I really enjoyed all of the styles of journaling presented thus far because the people making them had JOY in what they were doing. I am most attracted to including in my own journal notation of date, time & place and a mix of drawing and writing about the details of what I see. Watercolors make me gush. naturejrnlIMG-0609
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 74
        I can appreciate the details in this sketch with the labels, date and temperature.
    • joanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have recently retired and am interested in nature journaling as a hobby that I can do forever. It appeals to me because I love to learn about nature, especially bird and plant identification. I think observing nature in this way is the ultimate mindfulness activity.  I loved the journals that have a lot of writing, rather than mostly painting.  (probably because I have no confidence in my own artistic ability).
    • Luz
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      We recently moved to a new country and live in a small mountain village in the midst of a UN Biosphere Reserve. I've been wanting to take up nature journaling for over a year, but always felt overwhelmed by my lack of drawing skills. I felt most drawn to the journalers who combined images with words, and memories with observations and questions. Having a perfectionist streak, it's important to remind myself  1. to not compare my drawing and painting skills with others who may have been doing this for years, and 2. that it's ok if my journal gets messy.
      • Sarah
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        That sounds great, I'm glad to see you've figured out ways to enjoy nature journaling with the artistic abilities you have right now.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      048C83B2-AB47-4FC3-B195-0C5AC3B19E39I love nature...I volunteer at our neighborhood park, feed birds at my house, and in retirement have become more and more focused on the natural world. I even take care of my neighbor’s chickens! I have also started painting and am trying to find a way to incorporate all of those elements into some cohesive format. This seems like a natural progression.
    • Maureen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have always enjoyed the outdoors primarily through active sports with my family - hiking, skiing, fishing, canoeing, camping, biking etc. During the pandemic, I started to concentrate on a deeper observation of my surroundings, especially spring flowers, first identifying them and then pressing them and creating bookmarks on thin slices of wood to share with family and friends around the world. I had a very surface experience with bird watching, but became more involved after taking a number of classes with the Bird Academy and setting up a mini-sapsucker woods type bird feeding station this winter.  Nature journaling and sketching seems like a natural progression in developing a more observant, knowledgeable, creative and mindful  relationship with nature. I am attracted to it's calmness and excited, but a bit nervous, about drawing for the first time! I'm interested in a style that would include writing and sketching on each page incorporating pressed flowers when relevant.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I’m always trying to document my surroundings, usually with words and photos, and more recently as a beginner water colorist. Nature journaling feels like the right progression and I’m hoping to improve my sketching and water color skills. I live on Lake Michigan and it will be spring soon, so I’m looking forward to sketching all the grasses and wildflowers as they begin to bloom. I am drawn to a mix of words and images on a page, and I want to incorporate pressed flowers, feathers, and other found objects. I don’t like to be without a camera so I think I’ll be incorporating instant photos in my journal as well. Can’t wait to get started!
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      DJ's quick renderings of the doves were so revealing as to getting the big picture with simple geometry. When I begin, I want to take photos, but feel like it's cheating. I'm curious about other opinions on that. I like textures, like the bark of a century-old burr oak, and I'm not sure how to approach the sketch to do it justice.
      • Laura
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Hi John!  I like to include photos in my journal - I just print them out and tape them in.  I also sometimes use my photos to sketch from - it's not quite the same as sketching in the field, but it's still something you created yourself.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 25
      I'm an avid photo-naturalist and hope to add nature journaling to my practice as an extension for deeply seeing and appreciating my natural history interests. I like the idea of using extension tubes, and a daily or monthly page format.
    • mag
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Taking the time to look closer at the world using the combination of my own art and words inspired me to take this class. I want to improve my drawing skills, too. Having a record of where I was and when, and what I saw that caught my eye is pretty cool. I like the journalers who use combined art and language. I like having many images on a spread, whether they're completed or not. Connecting with the world, learning more about it, improving as an artist, recording thoughts and feelings... just slowing down to do these things will affect me in ways I might not be looking for, too. I'm very excited to begin.
    • Last summer my main relaxation was tending a vegetable garden and walking trails.  I found myself interested in plants and bugs and birds like never before.  I took pictures of them and used an app to identify them.  I put it all together in a file and love looking back on it.  Sometimes just looking at a particular flower or lichen brings back a whole day of happy memories.  I've been dabbling in watercolors for several years.  The idea of combining these interests was too much to resist and I'm really looking forward to this class and how I'll use the skills this spring and summer.
    • Cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      This past year has been rough, as it has been for many I am sure. I've found myself depending on my time outside (just as I did when I was growing up) as a respite from the noise and uncertainty. Many moons ago, I was an avid journaler but somewhere in my late 30's I got caught up in job and family responsibilities and all of that went to the wayside. Emerging from this year, inspired by a reconnection to nature, I want to build back that rhythm of observation into my life. My husband and I love on the edge of a marsh. I'm an avid native and vegetable gardener as well as a bird watcher (the cranes have just returned!) and so...I think was drawn to the gentleman who had multiple sketches of birds views on each page, just capturing all angles in the same space, and the daily/monthly diary of the last journaler (amazingly beautiful). I like how that style captures the rhythm of time passing and changes happening in a space. I think I might also look to add language or phrases that are inspired by the observations that might be incorporated into meditations. I think this will also assist me in affirming the mindfulness I feel when I'm connecting to nature.
    • Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      As a child I loved drawing and coloring and have wanted to pursue this joy as an adult but haven’t had the courage or time to pursue until now.  I also love nature.  I started birdwatching this year and want to record what I see.  I want to sketch my subject but also want to add color.  I like including text about the subject and finding out information on the subject to add later.
    • Karla
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I really enjoy watching and photographing birds with my husband. I have also enjoyed drawing, but I don't think of myself as an artist. I thought it would be fun to combine these passions and to spend time trying to capture some of what I am seeing. Though I do not think it is the recommended approach, I might need to bring some items home or capture them with photographs so that I can do the journaling at home because I live in Scotland where it is often times too wet, windy or cold to sit outside long enough to finish an entry. I'm really looking forward to this. I included a page of objects I picked up on the beach or at the house I was staying at on the Isle of Lewis last spring. 20210228_144721
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 74
        I can appreciate these colorful sketches of a yellow daffodil, a crab claw and a scallop.
    • Adrianna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have committed myself to set out an bird more this year. It is a hobby I truly enjoy and one of the few times I allow myself to be content with the "quiet." One of the reasons I want to begin nature journaling is to be able to bring some of those joyful moments home, so I will have something physical I can go through later to remember my experience. I find photos to be too impersonal, and journaling is a better way to capture the subjective moment.
    • Gloria
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I was gifted this course by my husband for Christmas, and I would love to have it inspire me to begin documenting all the beauty around me here in our new home in Florida.  We live on the Nature Coast, and it's kind of a wild beauty, not perfectly manicured, and I love that about it and would love to be able to create a journal to capture it.  I'm just so in awe of the completely different types of landscapes, birds, plants and animals here; even the light is different.  We have also started doing some traveling and I would love to be able to keep a visual record of that too.
    • Hanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am so excited to begin! I've started drawing a bit to learn something new during the pandemic and have been drawn to nature subjects. I was also diagnosed with a type of autoimmune arthritis this year so on days when I want to spend time outside without physically exerting myself too much, this will be great! My grandma is also a great artist and I love to see the field drawings that she's done to remember something she's seen or to learn more about her subject.