• Suzy
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      1. I have been photography nature for some time now. I have always liked it as a creative outlet and to challenge myself to show the details of nature that people may miss if they are just walking by. I have wanted to get better at sketching and watercolors so this seemed to be the perfect outlet that can still play on what I love about photography. 2. I love the zoomed in views in the journals. It is interesting to record different behaviors but also try to capture one specific detail in a subject. 3. Not sure if I have a journaling voice yet, but I am excited to find it!
    • Sara
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      My interest in nature journaling comes from my past experiences working in field biology and taking notes in the field.  I was always BAD at my sketches and relied on my notes around them to know what I was trying to convey.  So, lessons in how to journal and some motivation to practice sounded like a really fun idea. Seeing others' journals, I'm inspired to get out in nature to observe.  I'm sure it will force me to look at everything differently and I'd like to capture a record of different places as some shared as well as maybe record a place through the seasons. I may even go back in time to some of the places I've been through my photos and journal some sketches and memories of those places I've had the fortune to visit.
    • Juan
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Without knowing it specifically and with this name I realice Nature Journals since childhood. Next to the house parents in rural area next to the city of Buenos Aires we had a field with fruit trees, grasses, herbs, all very neglected, the one are visited for a lot of insects and birds. Used to run away after lunch with my notebook and pencils to draw and take notes of the trees, fungi, wild herbs, bones, snails. With interruptions more or less prolonged throughout my life I always kept this activity, since I am very curious, enthusiastic and almost everything interests me. A few days ago I discovered this Workshop at the Birds Academy at Cornell University and I decided for the first time in my life to do something formal about it. With this world situation due to the covid-19 I find myself confined in my house and it is the great opportunity to attend this course. I also have many incomplete pages of my diary and many other photos to catch up on drawing and writing. A big hug to everyone from Argentina
      • Cynthia
        Participant
        Chirps: 24
        I have no image to insert at this time, but I am inspired by every one of the artists profiled in the video. The seven points that struck me were to make a goal to draw regularly (actually our teacher's idea), but not make too ambitious a routine; to record not only the date but the place/setting, weather, and time of day; to use a box so that the figure "pops" from the drawing page; to indicate a "magnification" of an area within the drawing; to consider geometric shapes to get the drawing down quickly; to make a palate of colors on the page to return to if the bird or other object disappears or you must go away from it; and to identify and study the bird at another time. I also saw the idea of adding a map that one of the responders on this set of notes, Kirstie, offered.  Thank you, Kirstie! I too am quarantined, in a section of Philadelphia, PA by the Covid-19 virus, but right now have the good fortune to live where I can find times of day when there are few enough people to walk on trails at a nearby nature center.  So far the birds have eluded me, but at my home there are some regulars at my bird feeders right now. While camping in the wilderness with my husband, I have always loved drawing little figures of the plants or animals we came upon. My journal of trip notes was very small due to backpack considerations.  I have always been fascinated by botanical and zoological artists' work too.  I believe this class is just what I need to make some progress in my goal to become a more skilled artist, though I am definitely a beginner. I am grateful to have this space to share our experiences.
    • Terry
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I looked at the course last week, before the coronavirus pandemic changed life as we know it.  As I reflected upon how much we take for granted, and how much we rely on technologies - that we have lost a connection to the natural world.  Of course, this is a wide spectrum of dependencies - but, I felt fortunate in that upon my retirement in 2015, I fell in love with birding, which got me out first thing in the morning with some purpose - out into nature and the beauty of the day.  I have photographed over 50 percent of the birds I observed and have that documentation and I ebird almost daily -wherever I was (Hawaii, Texas, Costa Rica and my personal favorite - my backyard.)  But in an effort to slow things down, this course has a definite appeal in just watching my subject, for as long as the bird will let me! So, after watching the video on the different styles of journal-ing, I think I'd like to go back to the beginning of 2020, with a study of my own photographic journey of birds in Costa Rica in January, Texas in February and Western NY in March (though Western NY is pretty much all the time.)  I will sketch and color my photos as a primer before I start to go out into the field once the weather gets a bit nicer.  Included with the sketches will be what memory serves as the place and time I saw "life" birds.  I think that creating a journal to recreate these memories will be rich and wonderful, then I will build them more spontaneously when I go out in the field.  I can't wait to draw a skunk cabbage! 203441601 ornate hawk eagle  This is an ornate hawk-eagle seen in Costa Rica.
      • Juan
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        Hi Terry! how beautiful your story! I get around a lot. Like much of the world I am also in quarantine inside my house taking this workshop. I am very sensitive to your story. I wish you the best of luck, a big hug from Argentina and take good care of yourself. I would like to keep in touch with you, excuse me my bad English. I leave you my instagram in case you are interested in sharing our drawings @juan_de_souza_natura. I loved the photo of the crested eagle! It is an incredible bird and you are a very good photographer.
    • I have always been an avid birder, birds have been a part of my life since I was about three years old. I love drawing our feathered friends, and want to get better at it, but I would also like to keep track, which is how I found nature journaling. I want to try to go out in nature, sketch birds and take note. And I do not really have any journaling ideas, would like to learn techniques to help get better.
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      We are inspired by other people (Thanks for the video with journaling examples- very inspirational) and love being outdoors and art, so this is a great combination.  ..... looking forward to the beach this summer when we can practice outside.  It's still wet and cold here in New England, but we are drawing all sorts of "nature" that we can find!
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I love hiking, backpacking, bird watching, and just going for really long walks. I've never journaled in any form but I want to try something that could be fun while writing/drawing it and also fun to come back to. 2. I think I'll have to let my drawings go wherever they want to because I'm not an artist and would like to allow myself the ability to restart over and over. I like the idea of coming back afterwards and penciling in some bounding boxes to make it appear a bit more organized/intentional. I may utilize the zoom idea and I definitely want to capture a few salient thoughts about what the day was like so that I can transport myself back to that moment when I'm looking at the journal at a later date. 3. I might incorporate who I'm with or who I was just with or will be with that day - sharing nature experiences with people is very important to me and I'd love to have this journal as a way to remember all of the nice times I had enjoying nature with my loved ones.
    • Lynn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am inspired to begin nature journaling because I want to be more mindful. I notice things and want a way to record it other than with a camera. I really do not go back through my camera rolls very much. I think a journal will allow me to connect and reflect on what is around me in a different way. I am also a elementary science teacher and I hope to bring some of the techniques I learn back to my students. I need to give myself permission to enjoy the process and and not focus on making the end product "perfect". I need to remind myself that it takes time and practice and patience to learn a new skill. I also am inspired by naturalists and scientists (past and present). Journaling is the way to document what you see and really take a closer look. Connecting the hands to the mind by drawing.... The process makes memories and makes connections with a place or thing.
    • Kirstie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. While driving between family visits and listening to a public radio interview with Obi Kaufmann a few years ago I was completely captivated by Obi's story of his connection to nature through his art, and I was feeling incredibly reconnected to the Bay Area I had grown-up in and so deeply explored and loved in my youth.  I stopped at a nearby bookseller and purchased, Obi's The California Field Atlas and later I went down the proverbial internet "rabbit hole" which lead me to John Muir Laws website.  I was hooked and began studying Jack's techniques and experimenting with my own nature journaling.  Jack's website and the Nature Journaling Conference in Asilomar has continued me on this path of learning from other nature journalers... which lead me to this course. 2. In the examples of nature journals from this first lesson I found several approaches to illustrating birds, recording dates and details, and zooming-in for a closer look of what I am observing... wonderful examples, thank you! 3. One journaling idea I've picked-up is to include a map with some of my observation records.930F0808-7B44-479B-A60A-E4AC51802BB1_1_105_c
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1.  I enjoyed seeing the variety of journals and approaches.  I've always enjoyed sketching in my travel diaries.  They are my son's favorite parts of the books.  After teaching high school science for 32 years, I am now teaching K-6 science and outdoor education.  I want to incorporate more nature journaling into my work with children, modeling for them and sharing the joy and knowledge that can come from observing nature closely. 2.  Although Shayna's technique is what I am most likely to use, I think DJ's advice and technique may work best with younger students.  Doing shape observations and outlines noting key positions and features with short notes will appeal to them and not overwhelm them.
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      The idea of nature journaling is not new. I used to have some descriptive field notes but I lost track where I store them. I keep trying to discipline myself in give another go, so another type of approach to field notes is a fresh start and probably will keep me motivated to do it more often. Looking at the journals style, the I identify better is the first one (Shayna’s journaling style). Even if I don’t like too much about the boxes to write. To my view the journal has a lot of text, as a flow of mental notes put on paper, that helps to not lose information of a journey outside. The zoom of the draws is a pretty good idea I’ll probably take for my journaling style.
    • Marla
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I love going bird watching or walking thru the vaious nature trails around me. I live in the piedmont of NC and back to Duke Forest. I've always wanted to start drawing again. When I saw this course came up I thought it looked like it could be lots of fun. 2. I like the approach of telling a bit of a story that I might have seen. For instance, the 1 journal had noticed a hurt moth and found that she described it and drew an image. I enjoy photography but like the idea of staring at a tree and noticing all the different colors in the bark or leaves. 3. I see a lot of different kinds of butterflies and moths that I could journal and keep my own little field guide with me. I think I'm going to try to use the water color approach.
      • Beth
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Hi Marla, I spent a lot of time in Duke Forest as a forestry student years ago and just had a chance to hike there again a couple of weeks ago. Enjoy your time out there and natural journaling. Beth
    • Stan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have always liked reading and viewing others journals and being outdoors.  I have been learning how to watercolor and now I want to combine the two to improve my skills and focus my energy on nature.  I like the journals that have the larger painting and drawings with sparse tetxt that flows around the objects.
    • Jon
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I worked in natural resources for almost 35 yrs and I am drawn to natural settings.  When I retired I took a drawing class with the thought of eventually learning to paint, which I have always had an interest in, but never really done. I now have taken a watercolor class and most recently did a class on "30 portraits in 30 days" to get over some of the "fear" of drawing people.  Then this class popped up and seemed like a good next step.  I love the mix of art and thoughts / observations  and how each can stimulate the other and this seemed like a good way to explore that.  I have yet to develop a daily habit of art, and classes seem to be a good way to encourage me to work on art.  Most of my work is from photographs - usually what I have taken, so some work in "plain aire" mode would be good.  Writing notes has always been a good practice for me to better remember things, and I am intrigued by the role that art might also play in that process.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I work almost entirely in text but I've been getting into bird watching in my urban neighborhood quite a bit lately. I started with some amateur photography but I've also been reading quite a bit about "drawing to see" in my discipline. As I develop new projects on climate change and precocity, I've been thinking about how valuable nature journaling can be as a method. I'm stoked to see so much text interspersed alongside the illustrations. I think that mix will help me transition (as someone who falls into that category of "I don't know how to draw...at all...seriously"). I also like that the "mistakes" are present and there and serve a purpose. It all feels so embodied and processual.
    • Polly
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. The idea has been floating around in my mind (as a means be outside, draw, and learn), but crystallized when I saw a fellow birder in Costa Rica drawing in his journal.  He recommended this course. 2. Lots of good ideas illustrated in the various journals.  The most important was that if you have paper and a writing/drawing implement, you can create a journal entry.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I've been taking a drawing class, and drawing regularly for the first time in decades. I like drawing birds and flowers, and thought this class might help with that.
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I volunteer at a National Park, and I want to have a record of how the park changes during the year as well as the different species of plants and animals. The structure of the broken boxes was really nice, but I also liked the more repetitive  drawing of the birds as a way to learn more about their behavior and anatomy.
    • Koen
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? When I bumped into this course  a couple of weeks ago , I realized that my relation with nature has been fading away for a too long time.  Upon browsing through the introductions and videos, vivid flashbacks from my childhood popped up.   At that time, way back in the sixties, I spent my summer holidays at my uncle’s cottage  in the middle of a large marshland reserve. There was also bird ring station where I helped him with catching, ringing, and registering the migrating birds. My uncle taught me the names and calls of the local birds and I remember how he encouraged me to make small sketches to memorize their identification features.  And so, a new life long bird watcher was created… Not only  the  adventurous birding activities, but also the natural abundance and magic atmosphere of the marsh wildlife connected  my soul with all living beings.  Later on, as life became very busy, I  dedicated my limited free time in nature on short walks while  taking pictures of plants and birds. Eventually I found my way into  Miksang  photography.  This is  a meditative practice through taking pictures  based on a direct and unbiased observation of pure forms and connections.  (https://www.miksang.com/) . Now I am heading for my retirement, it is time to resurrect that dormant inner child. I look forward to  embrace nature more intimately through a direct dialogue, free from technology and I believe that the pure act of drawing  is a perfect way to accomplish this.    A drawing hand triggers an authentic interaction of my body, and my heart with the land and all living beings around me. However, there is a small practical problem: The last drawing I made was more than forty years ago… So, there is a steep way to go  to develop my drawing skills and that’s the place where  this course comes in… Let’s go for it!   2. Which ideas or approaches do you want to try? 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, I  recognize that  boxes are very helpful to provide or a more clear layout. On the other hand, I  also attach importance  of  harmonious  empty spaces on the pages. Unlike drawing, I  have been journaling for several years by writing (haiku) poems or contemplative pieces of prose.  So, it is quite evident  to combine them with my sketches.  They will be  a great source of inspiration for other artwork such as so called  ‘haiga’.  Haiga is from origin a Japanese art form where  a haiku, calligraphy  and a  picture are combined.  Both picture and poem complement each other in expressing an experience triggered by an observation in nature. This condemns me also to a course in  calligraphy .. Whatsoever, my journaling style will be fluid and evolving just as nature does.  Only the present moment will tell me which technique I will apply.  So I guess I will experiment with a couple of styles and I will just let my style evolve as I become more skillful and mindful.
    • Koen
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? When I bumped into this course  a couple of weeks ago , I realized that my relation with nature has been fading away for a way too long time.  Upon browsing through the introductions and videos, vivid flashbacks from my childhood popped up.   At that time, way back in the sixties, I spent my summer holidays at my uncle’s cottage  in the middle of a large marshland reserve. There was also bird ring station where I helped him with catching, ringing, and registering the migrating birds. My uncle taught me the names and calls of the local birds and I remember how he encouraged me to make small sketches to memorize their identification features.  And so, a new life long bird watcher was created… Not only  the  adventurous birding activities, but also the natural abundance and magic atmosphere of the marsh wildlife connected  my soul with all living beings.  Later on, as life became very busy, I  dedicated my limited free time in nature on short walks while  taking pictures of plants and birds. Eventually I found my way into  Miksang  photography.  This is  a meditative practice through taking pictures  based on a direct and unbiased observation of pure forms and connections.  (https://www.miksang.com/) . Now I am heading for my retirement, it is time to resurrect that dormant inner child. I look forward to  embrace nature more intimately through a direct dialogue, free from technology and I believe that the pure act of drawing  is a perfect way to accomplish this.    A drawing hand triggers an authentic interaction of my body, and my heart with the land and all living beings around me. However, there is a small practical problem: The last drawing I made was more than forty years ago… So, there is a steep way to go  to develop my drawing skills and that’s the place where  this course comes in… Let’s go for it!   2. Which ideas or approaches do you want to try? 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, I  recognize that  boxes are very helpful to provide or a more clear layout. On the other hand, I  also attach importance  of  harmonious  empty spaces on the pages. Unlike drawing, I  have been journaling for several years by writing (haiku) poems or contemplative pieces of prose.  So, it is quite evident  to combine them with my sketches.  They will be  a great source of inspiration for other artwork such as so called  ‘haiga’.  Haiga is from origin a Japanese art form where  a haiku, calligraphy  and a  picture are combined.  Both picture and poem complement each other in expressing an experience triggered by an observation in nature. This condemns me also to a course in  calligraphy .. Whatsoever, my journaling style will be fluid and evolving just as nature does.  Only the present moment will tell me which technique I will apply.  So I guess I will experiment with a couple of styles and I will just let my style evolve as I become more skillful and mindful.
    • Mudito
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      I love to paint and draw, especially outdoors, but have never kept a journal of those times as such.  Thought this would be a fun new project.  Stay tuned for results
    • Beecher
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I hope to use nature journaling to calm focus and engage my mind.
    • Koen
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      1. What inspired me to begin nature journaling? When I bumped into this course  a couple of weeks ago , I realized that my relation with nature has been fading away for a too long time.  Upon browsing through the introductions and videos, vivid flashbacks from my childhood popped up.   At that time, way back in the sixties, I spent my summer holidays at my uncle’s cottage  in the middle of a large marshland reserve. There was also bird ring station where I helped him with catching, ringing, and registering the migrating birds. My uncle taught me the names and calls of the local birds and I remember how he encouraged me to make small sketches to memorize their identification features.  And so, a new life long bird watcher was created… Not only  the  adventurous birding activities, but also the natural abundance and magic atmosphere of the marsh wildlife connected  my soul with all living beings.  Later on, as life became very busy, I  dedicated my limited free time in nature on short walks while  taking pictures of plants and birds. Eventually I found my way into  Miksang  photography.  This is  a meditative practice through taking pictures  based on a direct and unbiased observation of pure forms and connections. Now I am heading for my retirement, it is time to resurrect that wondering  child. I look forward to  embrace nature more intimately through a direct dialogue, free from technology and I believe that the pure act of drawing  is a perfect way to accomplish this.    A drawing hand triggers an authentic interaction of my body, and my heart with the land and all living beings around me. However, there is a small practical problem: The last drawing I made was more than forty years ago… So, there is a steep way to go  to develop my drawing skills and that’s the place where  this course comes in… Let’s go for it! 2. Some ideas or approaches I have now I  learnt from the examples that   boxes are helpful to provide or a more clear layout. On the other hand, I  feel that  a harmonious  distribution of  empty spaces is also important. Unlike drawing, I  have been journaling for several years by writing (haiku) poems or contemplative pieces of prose.  So, it is quite evident  to combine them with my sketches.  They will be  a great source of inspiration for other artwork such as so called  ‘haiga’.  Haiga is from origin a Japanese art form where  a haiku, calligraphy  and a  picture are combined.  Both picture and poem complement each other in expressing an experience triggered by an observation in nature. Whatsoever, my journaling style will be fluid and evolving just as nature does.  Only the present moment will tell me which technique I will apply.  So I guess I will experiment with a couple of styles and I will just let my style evolve as I become more skillful and mindful. Koen D.
    • Kathy B.
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Hi, I'd like to respond to question #2. I was delighted by the varying  levels of the students art abilities in the video; how being a beginner wasn't a factor in determining the importance each student's journal had for them personally. What was important was the memories and learning their journals recorded and recalled. Kathy B.
      • That's what struck me, too!  I love it that there was such a variety of styles and ability levels (and that the students were generous and brave enough to share their personal efforts with the rest of us!).  Thanks!
    • Mika
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      What inspired me? I love to observe nature and often spend time in my garden taking photos.  Journaling, observing and sketching strikes me as a more intimate activity, and it will force me to slow down and get grounded. I have a crazy job that often feels like a time-warp. Communing with nature will shift perspective to things that are truly important. In any case, the course popped up in my email and the reaction was visceral - this appeals to me. What will my journal look like? As I have no sketching or drawing experience, it will probably be more script-heavy with its-bitsy drawings until I develop the confidence to try something bigger. I appreciated all of the journals and the different approaches. I'll give my style time to develop and will focus on enjoying the experience. What is exciting is that the journey will be memorable!