• Mackenzie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am a very big birder, and I've found that a lot of birding is trying to see as many species as you can during a certain time or at a specific place, a lot of birding is all go, go, go, rushing around from species to species. Nature journaling will help me slow down and take time to appreciate the little things about the birds, and their environments, that I love. I want to begin nature journaling to understand my favorite birds more in depth, and become more knowledgeable on their behaviors and plumages, all while keeping track and cataloging experiences so I can look back at them forever. I liked the first girl who had boxes around her drawings and writing woven in between the boxes. I like how she set aside a seperate space for her drawings, I think trying that in my own sketches will be helpful to me because I write a lot in my journals, so much so that sometimes words have to take up the whole page, and the sketch has to go on a whole separate page. I like when both the sketches and their explanations are on the same page. I am very excited to do this course!
    • Joshua
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have always loved nature but birding definitely inspired me to journal. I am also a fly fisherman and see amazing things while out on the river. I'm excited to integrate that in my journal as well. I think my journal will be a combination of the styles we saw but was particularly impressed by the first girl with the boxes for drawing and writing around them.
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I can't access any videos. It says that the video may be temporarily down or could have moved to another location...:(
      • Elizabeth
        Bird Academy
        Hi Patricia. I hope the issue you encountered with video access was temporary, and that you have been able to view videos since. If you run into any technical issues in the future, please contact Customer Service directly. Our specialists will be happy to assist you. Happy journaling!
    • Magpie
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      Actually I did not want to have a journal, and I still don't. I just wanted to improve my sketching and painting of nature. I am a bit disappointed to find so much information about journaling but perhaps I didn't read the fine print well enough.
    • This will be a new area for me; although I have taken a variety of art courses, and have sketched birds in the past I like the idea of combining what I actually see on the trail instead of just taking a cell phone pic or making a note on my phone. I think the issue will be standing, since I have moderate arthritis. I'm not sure how much I'll be able to sketch on trail.
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      (Unfortunately I keep losing my notes here when I temporarily switch to another page. )   I am a retired field biologist who worked in natural resources.  I have sometimes used field notes to keep track of my field trips, but often those included notes and small sketches about miscellaneous, non-target, issues.  However, those notes later helped me piece together things that later became important to what I have seen.  So the idea of field notes/journal is something I value, and should have used more. I have tended to use photography more than drawings to record images of interest to me, and recently have tended toward macro level images... small details of twigs, insects, flowers etc.   But interesting images and patterns of all sorts attract me.   I would expect my journal to be one with detailed images flowing across the page with only minimal respect for borders and frames.   (note photos at: https://rgdudley.smugmug.com/ ) -RGD  
    • Heidi
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      I am an English teacher who taught Henry David Thoreau's works for years. I started nature writing during that time. This past summer,  I was inspired to keep a journal because I took trips to Nova Scotia and the Galapagos and wanted to keep notes of these adventures. I also spend a lot of time on Cape Cod during the summer. I tried to include drawings in my journal but found it never looked how I wanted it to, so I stuck to writing. This course popped up the other day after I had asked someone about taking beginner art lessons, and I thought it was a sign. I was inspired and a bit intimidated by the drawings of the woman who used boxes on her pages to create her pictures and then write her observations around the boxes. I liked the looks of the boxes and felt like I could make some small pictures to start with. But I liked everyone’s journals, and I’m excited to add images and colors to accompany my writing. I wish this class had popped up a year ago.
    • Deb
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I have always loved being in nature, whether it be for sporting activities or just observing.  Lately I've started to take time to be more present and in the moment in all aspects of my life.  I thought perhaps by starting a journal this would help me to slow down and really take time to focus and observe the nature I was enjoying.  Trees, plants, lakes, streams, birds and all wildlife.  I also think by drawing and writing about what I see will help me learn and identify what I don't already know. I'm excited to get started.  I just hope I'm not too hard on myself because I'm not the best artist like some of the journalists I watched in the videos.  They are so talented.
    • Carrie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I just love birds and I was really looking for a way to reignite my love of being outdoors and my relationship with nature.  I wanted to pull myself away from devices more and pursue the magic of the natural world.  I very much enjoy whimsical art that uses animals and nature as the focus.  So I am hoping to use this course as a stepping stone towards creating art that integrates nature, birds, whimsy, and magic.
    • Laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I have always been surrounded by naturalists.  My dad ran a lecture series at the Smithsonian and my mom was an illustrationist. My dad was involved with rehabilitating and banding hawks and owls for Fish and Wildlife. Great Horned Owls both injured, one by barbed wire and one by a car, lived outside my window for many years until they could be placed at a nature center. (Monongahela, the male GHO will live forever in the Roger Tory Peterson bird guides) Redtail hawks, screech owls, and barn owls were in breezeways, closets, and large enclosures on our property preparing for release.  I learned to cut up mice and carrion for the youngsters that were brought to us until they too could be returned to the wild through falconry, etc.   Now that I am retired from teaching I want to venture back to that world.  Ebird and Merlin have reaffirmed my knowledge of birds as I move around our 200 acres.  I wanted a method to document and share my observations other than my bird lists.  Journaling has filled that gap. Writing down and drawing my observations has taken me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to look for details.  Hearing and seeing swamp sparrows, song sparrows, white-throated sparrows, and then a fox sparrow (the first time on my list) and then drawing each of them was a challenge. But in so doing I learned their intricacies. I also want to add plants to my repertoire.  I enjoyed all the journals and hope to replicate and tweak what they have done. Each day I will travel with my dogs to the woods, listen, observe, write down, and sketch what I see.  I will fine-tune it when I get home. My nature journal will travel with me to my grandkids' houses and I will get them journaling. They are all still in elementary or younger institutions but on our walks can identify most of the birds we hear, with me and Merlin filling in the blanks.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I used to draw and paint often as a teenager in my early 20s until life became too busy. Also, I lived in a place where it wasn’t safe to be on your own outdoors. Now in my early 60s, when the pressures have eased, I’ve been longing to get back to my art. I didn’t know there was such a thing as nature journaling until I saw the course advertised. I’ve never wanted to write a diary but do worry that I forget so many of the things that I experience. I’ve just changed career from another field into bird conservation, and now have opportunities to be in nature much more than before. So, everything has come together to make nature journaling something I would like to try. 2. Strangely enough, I like the idea of starting each page with notes on the place, date, time and weather. I would never have thought of doing this! I like it because it shifts the focus to scientific observation, rather than having to make a work of art, which takes some of the pressure off. I’m not keen to do too much other writing - maybe only some unique features or personal responses - so am aiming to fill my pages with different views of the same subject, like the person who drew the Mourning Doves. I am also going to try his technique of first blocking the main shapes of the head and body, as I really struggle with getting the proportions of a bird correct. 3. Drawing from photos is obviously an alternative but I think the special thing about nature journaling as described here is that it is done ‘live’ which creates a completely different dynamic and emotional response, along with particular challenges.
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      It is so easy to take a picture of what you see, but then it gets left behind in the nether sphere. I like that a journal tells a story.  It helps you stop and better observe what you see.  I feel that once journaling becomes habit, it will provide insight over time of all the things that I observe.  Also, the more I do it, the better I will get at capturing what I see on its pages.
    • Martha
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I want to be drawn deeper into the natural world through quiet observation, and I'd like to be able to keep a record of what I have seen and experienced besides through words or photographs. I thought each of the journals had something really interesting to convey -- the layout of the boxes and then moving outside them, to let the journal show mistakes, noticing geometric shapes, how watercolors give you color quickly, using the journal as a discipline to do one sketch a day, and then moving to a month. I'd like to try them all.
    • Stephanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I just returned from a trip to Costa Rica.  I brought my sketch book and WC paints and found much inspiration to draw/paint....however, I am most comfortable looking at a photo vs. drawing or painting en plein air.  I am hoping that this course will help to give me tools/techniques and confidence to try to sketch/paint what I see vs. a photograph of it.IMG_8925IMG_8926
      • Deb
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Wow, these are beautiful drawings!  Are they Costa Rica birds?  We are going to Costa Rica in 2 weeks and so excited to see some interesting new  birds!
      • Stephanie
        Participant
        Chirps: 5

        @Deb Hi Deb - yes, we saw the brown pelicans daily along the shore and the motmot at a nature reserve in Samara.  I highly recommend going on an "adventure trip" with a naturalist to help you see the variety of flora and fauna in CR!

    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I think I will start out small with only writing and work into adding some sketches and then plan to develop those sketches into artwork!
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have always been happy in nature and the outdoors which has been a means of rejuvenating myself.  I have enjoyed drawing and painting at different time periods over the years but not for the last few years. I blame it on busyness but also feel intimidated about getting back into watercolour painting.  Seeing this course that can be taken on-line at your own pace and combining nature and art seems like the ideal way for me to get back to doing what I feel is part of who I am but have neglected.  I think I like the idea of drawing or painting what inspires me in nature in the moment and then journal about that. My journal style will likely be very casual capturing beauty in nature and learning more about what I see.
    • Charlene
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I've always liked the idea of keeping a record of my observations of nature. Recently I came across a small box of index cards on which, some years ago, I had recorded observations on tree swallows nesting in our backyard, an interesting spider on the garage wall, etc. I want to revive my long-lost sketching and waterpainting skills, and I'm hoping this course will get me going again. I'm looking forward to having a journal with drawings and paintings to illustrate my notes.  I particularly like the use of boxes to enclose sections of notes and drawings, of drawings that don't fill the whole page, enclosed in a box together with some notes.  I like the idea of showing an enlarged, more detailed study of part of the drawing.
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I'm inspired to start a nature journal since I'm going to Cape May, NJ in May.  
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I like the idea of recording trips with a nature journal since I travel in my van a lot.  I also like the idea of mixing drawings with writings. And using boxes to define certain parts of the page.  I have been nature journaling now for about 3 years and can see the difference in my approach and also in my ability to observe, which has also made me more observant in other parts of my life.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I’m inspired to begin nature journaling as a way to record and remember my observations.  I want to date each page and describe what’s happening with sketches and notes.
    • Monica
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I want writing and drawing to be a stronger habit in my life in general. Occasionally I'll draw a picture when I feel up to it, but I want it to be a consistent thing I do. I'm specifically doing nature journaling because I want to develop a stronger and more personal connection with nature. I feel like if I do this, I will also understand myself better. 2. I like the approach where you draw the main thing that caught your attention, then add writing around it to solidify what you got from that experience and what you may have learned. 3. I think I might to quicker and simpler sketches with pen, then go back later and do more detailed and color drawings on the following page of the journal.
    • lorna
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      For about the last year. I have been taking some watercolor, painting classes, and the teacher likes to do journaling. Feel I have improved greatly, and really enjoy the process. I focus on the painting and my mind is only on that. I feel this is something I will continue to do for the rest of my life  the original is from an email from Cornell and the Painting came out pretty good  it’s not like I am going to be a professional artist but the joy it brings me is priceless IMG_4075
    • Heidi
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I have been wanting to start a nature journal for the last few years, often making it one of my new years resolutions! My sister gave me this course for christmas and I'm excited for a structured way to learn more and begin a practice. 2. I like the ones that describe drawing first and then coming back and filling in the story, and more details. I also want to try watercolors, which is not something I've really used much at all.
    • Becky
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      1. "What inspired you to begin nature journaling?" Thumbing through books about nature journaling, viewing others' nature journals and an overwhelming feeling to "create" have all inpsired me to begin my own nature journaling. 2. "Now that you've heard from several other journalers about their processes, and had a peek at their journals, which ideas or approaches do you want to try?" I have purchased the materials used by and recommended by Liz, and I would like to try the approach of talking a walk in the woods and simply drawing what inspires me. I'll try to start small, easy, and not be too hard on myself if I feel that I am not "accomplishing" what I think I should be accompishing. A leaf, a tree, an outline of a bird, colors of the sky - I might start with something like these. 3. "Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you'd like to share?" I'd also consider taking a photo of something that inspires me, and sketching that.
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I'm recently retired, and in the process of purging old boxes came across both journals and sketch pads containing my thoughts and talent from 30-45 years ago.  So happy to revisit them, got me thinking, what if I'd continued to develop that talent for the past 30+ years.  Ahhh..... life takes us different places than we expect.  Very inspired to get back at it, have a few laughs at the first attempts with a pencil, then see where this takes me moving forward :).  I live in nature, so no lack of opportunity - very excited to see what's in my heart, head, and hands!