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    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Bird_Academy
      1. What inspired you to begin 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? 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share?
      You must be enrolled in the course to reply to this topic.
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      q47suzanneknight
      I have an interest in birds and in art. This seems to be a great way to combine the two and get me back in the habit of drawing and painting--and observing. I like the idea of making this a regular practice without being a mandatory chore. Make it fun. I will probably experiment with various mediums. try to do quick sketches and some more detailed renderings.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Kwp
      I really like Shayne's box style and her developing the break-out of the box design; small drawings, lots of notes, magnifications.  Margaret's was admirable in her ability to improve her pencil drawings as she observed the hummingbird behavior over time.  And DJ's focus on form was intriguing.  I hope to incorporate these facets into my journal ... and eventually some color.   My aim is to add depth to my joy of observing nature every day in my own neighborhood and later, when able, in my travels.  Here we go.....!
    • Keva
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Kevaks
      1. I'm not sure when or where I first came across John Muir Laws book, I believe I was doing some research on the Arts + Sciences and I sort of got stuck on it. But never really dived in until much recently, when I changed jobs and had more time to spend in nature. I was learning about all sorts of flora and fauna and wanted to learn more about the practice.     2. I really loved all the journals, I'm most drawn to the flexibility in how to set up your journal and how folks made it work for them instead of giving up the practice altogether. I sort of haphazardly draw things, and so I'm hoping to put some planning and routine observations into practice. IMG_8835
    • Leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      lmazza
      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: 1
      lmeldraws
      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: 2
      ctokoph1
      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
      Linda709
      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: 1
      moniqh
      I enjoyed seeing the various styles, I feel my journal will progress to reveal my own style in time.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Lunder2
      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
      inklink
      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: 1
      suzyorsuzanne
      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
      kgpassa
      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
      RaizyStone
      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: 2
      cgull57
      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: 1
      jackie.burns
      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: 1
      Jmoswald
      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: 2
      mcdee111
      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
      mooseriverglass
      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
      12Cardinal7
      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: 2
      EleanorBrand
      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
      terry_a_smith
      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
      MimiEmig
      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
      mlfulton
      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: 2
      BeeGee916
      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: 1
      SaraAlice
      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
      Eatbeans
      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: 4
      AlisonDundy
      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
      cbaumnewlin
      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: 5
        Bfoxy1
        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.
    • Rhonda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Rhonda_Robert
      We are turning our Irish farm into a private nature reserve. I want to be able to document the changes we’ve made through drawings and personal observations which I hope will complement the scientific studies we are doing. I already paint landscapes but so far I’m rather rubbish as drawing animals and doing detailed work that looks realistic. This course looks perfect for helping me develop new skills.
    • Autumn
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      fukamushi
      1. I recently moved to Alaska and.. the landscape is so beautiful and changes its impression with the weather. Also, lots of birds! 2. Framing the picture and having bullet points of details observed is an attractive approach
    • Elaine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      egibson1
      1. I enjoy journaling daily, sketching and being outdoors. This will refine my observations and experience in all areas. I am taking this course to better connect with nature and to look closer at the world around me. I hope to gain knowledge and improve my sketching skills in order to use my garden this summer as subject matter and canvas. 2. Like Shayna, I will use boxes to frame and highlight my drawings and detailed notes. 3. I like texture. Adding bits of actual samples to touch would be fun, although it would make the journal rather bulky. I may or may not do this.
      • Chantal
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        ChantalProulx
        I like your suggestion of adding samples in the journal to give it texture.  I remember doing this as a kid with leaves and cones.  I found the book recently and it is still quite good looking.  Of course, you would need to treat it for conservation. I too like Shayna’s journal which could be a very good reference book.  I am a Biologist by training and this would bring me back to my biology classes way back when.  I am newly retired and was looking to improve on my drawing skills.  I think this course will really jump-start the process.  It is fun to see what others are doing and learn from their experiences.
    • Analilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Alclay
      As an artist, I have journaled on and off in the past.  As time went on I have stopped doing it and want to get back to doing it because I know it is a good habit to practice drawing and painting.   I love birds and have carved a few, and also have carved and painted their feathers.  For me it is important to get the colors right so that I can assimilate them on my carvings.  I love to create, and have fun doing it.
    • Carole
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      CaroleBD
      I hope to improve my drawing skills and enjoy all that Nature has to offer around me. I enjoy using pencil, pen and watercolor together and think this will be a wonderful experience.
    • Carole
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      CaroleBD
      I like the idea of starting with writing the date , time  and place where I am located for the journal experience. I feel a little conscious about my drawing ability but know that it is my journal and i do not have to share it unless I want to. I also realize that i can only improve my drawing by doing just that .....drawing. I am a true lover of Nature and an avid birder so I am looking forward to getting started with this project.
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      kwilson623
      1. I love birds & I'm also an ecology and environmental science teacher. I want to teach my kiddos about phenology and I thought nature journaling would be a wonderful way to include inquiry and creativity to discussions on seasonal shifts. 2. I want to get better at gesture sketches to quickly capture what I'm seeing for animal behavior. I tend to spend lots of time working from photo references for the bird art I do now so this will be a skill to build on.
    • Margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      MargaretConner
      I am looking forward to this course to combine my two main interests of nature and art.   I want to improve my drawing skills and develop watercolour, which I have never had much success with!   Learning to sketch from life should help my observation practice as you see much more when taking time drawing and really paying attention than if you just take a quick photo.  I think I will learn to appreciate the beauty of  nature much more as I progress.   I would also like to use the journal for identification instead of relying on photos
    • Morna and Esmond
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      MDombach
      We're a homeschool family. I'm doing nature journaling with two of my boys. I hope for my artist son to get more comfortable drawing/painting outside and for my bird-loving son to enrich his study of birds. As for myself, I have worked mostly in oils. I am looking forward to developing my skills in watercolors. They will be so much less complicated and more portable for painting in nature.
    • Priscilla
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mudbirdz
      I want to build a daily drawing practice to improve my drawing skills and I love birds and spend a lot of time outside, so nature journaling seems like a good way to combine these. Since I'm fascinated with bird behavior, I find the narrative aspect of writing about what I observe compelling and it seems like a good way to go beyond just focusing on the thing I'm drawing to include aspects of the whole experience of what I'm observing.
    • Melody
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      run2yoga
      I live on a lake and have recently started birding. What better way to learn birds than to sketch them.
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      SABohio
      I retired a few years ago and set a goal for myself to learn how to sketch and paint. Before I could get "started" Covid-19 hit! We live in a condo community, and I love to be "with nature," so within our 20 ft X 30 ft patio, I have five feeders offering various goodies for the birds we have in the area.  I wanted to take my communing with nature a step beyond just watching to sketching and painting the variety of wildlife we see in our neighborhood.  I can't wait to go traveling within our city to see other species at other parks in the area when Covid-19 is more under control. I am a novice to sketching/drawing and painting and I want to learn as much as I can and practice as much as I can to improve my skills. I loved the unique nature of each of the journals...  I aspire to be more creative and free with my journal, but will include the stats to help me keep my work organized and make it easier to remember when I look back and think about a particular day.  I don't know if I can sketch every day, but that's how I want to start out! Sharon
    • Peg
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      PD Keehner
      I am so looking forward to this class and adding sketches to my vacation journals. I too prefer being outside than cooped up indoors.  I am a beginner for sketching and never have worked with watercolors. My mom and aunt were very good/great artists. Somehow I didn’t get under their wing to practice and learn their mediums. I wish I had.  I quilt and garden enjoy nature hikes and vacationing.  I think this class will help with the art and improve observation and being in the moment skills. As far as journal styles I want to combine the art with notes on my thoughts and allow space for me to record facts that I learned from what ever I am sketching. I plan to include the date and location and like the idea to include the weather of the day. And if possible include both common and scientific name of the drawing. Adding watercolor I hope will bring my things to life. What are my goals?  Use the techniques learned for my vacation journals. And all my vacations include nature experiences.  I would love to say I would sketch something daily, but I don’t think that is realistic so for now I want to keep up with class lessons and sketch at least one thing with each visit to this site. Do the homework. Last year we were to go to AUS and NZ but COVID  hit and that dream ended. So I want to be ready to nature and travel journal should this trip ever come.
      • Peg
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        PD Keehner
        first sketch for lesson : Style your journal your way. A sketch to meet my goal. 045728D8-FE0A-46BE-AFA0-7EE023EECAF8
    • Regina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Rmcoyne
      I am a writer, photographer, watercolorist, bird enthusiast, gardener, and nature lover who is interested in nature journaling. This course seems to be a good place for me to start.
    • Gloria
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      GLOB1958
      After a year of covid 19 secluded life I am always looking for some new activity that can be done alone , especially outdoors.  I received the e-mail describing a course about drawing birds.  As I read along, this course drew my attention as it included more about nature and would be perfect in spring when new buds are blossoming all around.  Although, at 83, I no longer climb mountains, backpack trails and make long canoe trips, I look forward to nature journaling at my slower pace. I hope to improve my sketching and observation skills while outdoors.
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      bjwegene
      I ran across this course when I was looking up a bird and I thought it sounded like a great way to develop my sketching and drawing skills, as well as get into a journaling habit. I made this first yellow warbler drawing according to the instructions. I used what I had on hand, an HB pencil and some pastel pencils. I spent about 45 minutes on this. Based on the journals in the video, I hope to improve my drawing skills and achieve some realism in my work. I am interested to try watercolor, pen and ink, and pencil techniques to start out. I would like to make pleasing journal size watercolor mini-landscapes as Liz showed from her journal.0F015B34-088B-4359-8867-CD148EDE9B05
    • Teresa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      tikitc
      I want to take my birding to a new level and journaling seemed to be the obvious progression. I enjoyed all of the journalers and appreciated each style. I will definitely record the date, time, location and weather and combine sketching and written descriptions/notes. Sketching will help me pay more attention to detail and I can also write write down observations to ensure I capture the moment.
    • Kay
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      kay.thomason
      I love being out in nature hiking & experiencing all of the plants, animals & birds.  I have been increasingly  enjoying birding and recently took Liz's bird sketching class.  Now, I'm hooked!  I like the journals that combine the illustrations with verbiage - observations, feelings, questions.  I expect my style will evolve as I learn more and actually start working on my journal.
    • Maureen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      strength
      I used to draw when I was a child.  Now I am  71 years old.  When walking with others I have always been one of the first who would notice a bird, plant or animal, proclaim out loud, look there's a hawk, a chickadee, trillium etc. I took the class Drawn to Birds, loved it and felt like I wanted to learn more. It seems my drawing skills are not gone and are better than I thought they would be.  It was nice to see the different journaling styles and how talented everyone is. I like the idea of drawing what I see even if I may not know what it is and looking for identifying information later.
    • Leelee
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Leelee78
      1. I love the seasons and want to learn more about the different species of plants, animals, and fungi that thrive in each season. I also have always wanted to document the memories of vacation travel in a more meaningful way than just clicking a photo. 2. I loved the ones with water color that brought the photos to life. The last field journal showing one one species in detail per day then switching to monthly collages was cool. I also loved the landscapes captured in the Galapagos by Jewel. I'd like to try combining the ideas of these two journalers. 3. One thing I might like to add would be to attach physical items such as pressed leaves or a fallen bird feather found that day to give the journals a 3-D presentation with physical links to the memories of that day.
    • Amanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      AmandaBarwise
      I used to draw and paint as a kid and haven't done much at all since high school. I'm looking for a way to get back into art and looking at things more thoughtfully and appreciatively. I'm hoping that having a journaling practice like this will bring more mindfulness to my day and a greater appreciation to the natural world around me.
    • Katie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      clmeis
      I am an avid gardener, nature lover and native plant enthusiast. I believe nature journaling  as well as photography will encourage me to take time in nature to really observe and record my experiences. I believe nature is so restorative to body and soul.  I don't feel like I got much of the artistic genes like many in my family, and I am hoping to learn and practice through this class.  I feel like the more we understand nature around us, the more we humans will protect and sustain it.
    • Dee
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      doveTale409
      For years I’ve enjoyed photographing birds and landscape.  Nature journaling will be a whole new experience for me.  I’m looking forward to drawing and painting in the field and improving my drawing skills.   I think nature journaling can  be a peaceful meditation that has its rewards as you record the details of the subject matter whether it is an animal, plant, or a vignette, etc.  I enjoyed seeing the different journaling styles presented by class participants.  At this point I’m just going to let my journaling style evolve on its own and I might want to include a tangible object now and then , ie. a piece of grass , a pressed leaf or flower or a feather.  I am looking forward to what’s ahead in this class.
    • Jenny
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Jcbuckland
      I am doing a Master Naturalist class in Minnesota and really wanted to develop a style for my weekly journaling. I have no formal art training and have long wanted to learn how to capture particularly birds and get tips on how to draw and paint them. I love the interspersing of sketches and words and the thought that what I observe links to my experience in the world - so have been adding quotes and poems to mine alongside the scientific facts of species and behaviors observed. Loved seeing all the different ways of expression demonstrated in the different journals and am conscious my journey will be an evolving process!!
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      VolvoSoccerMom
      1. I started nature journaling with my children to hopefully make them more aware and appreciative of the nature all around them. 2. I love the look of the watercolour, monthly summary pages but I think I am too regimented and probably tend more toward the daily summary, everything-in-boxes style.
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      maple7
      1. I am looking forward to connecting with nature more by expanding my art skills. Nature journaling looks like it will allow me to capture my experience in a way for others to see the way I see nature.
      2. The approach of drawing my observations each month is appealing. I also like the design element of text incorporated around the drawings.
      3. Not yet!
    • Marlene
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      marpai
      • 1.  I am looking for a different way to interact with nature. I take photos now, but find that I don't revisit them near enough to appreciate what I was seeing. I also enjoy being creative in many different forms so nature Journaling could combine that for me. 
      • 2. I love to combination of photos and descriptions. It is appealing to see and have some more descriptive pieces.
      • 3. I am thinking of a summary of the month and day by day pages.
      • pog
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        pawletpog
        I would like my nature drawing to be more organized.  
    • Hannah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Hannah M
      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
      SharonBenedict
      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
      pnwsundodger
      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: 3
      Chris 561
      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
      vtjemmac
      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: 3
        Chris 561
        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
      slrakow
      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: 2
      Joyce01*
      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
      dman18
      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
      SueGilbert
      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
      vermontplum
      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
    • joanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      andijker
      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
      lvm107
      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
        Vooris
        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
      mcboaz
      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
      moeyfran1
      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
      LDeShantz
      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
      jselisky
      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
        bonneau99
        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: 12
      Banjojanie
      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
      magpatton
      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.
    • Mary Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      maryellen712
      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
      chachaholt
      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: 3
      Anna52
      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: 1
      KSWatt
      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
    • Adrianna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      AdAnderson11
      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
      studiogloria
      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
      hanna.holc
      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.
    • Francesca
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      FrancescaB
      I have long been a journal-er and a birdwatcher.  During the pandemic I've also done some photographing of flowers and plants I find on my walks.  I have never thought  of myself as much of an artist, but I think learning to sketch a bit would help make walks and nature observance deeper and more memorable. I think from my photography experience that I will probably have at least one or two different things I'll want to capture from an outing.  I would like to work up to birds, but might spend some time with plants for awhile since they stay put better...
    • frances
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      flee01
      I like the idea that you can capture an essence of a visit in a journal so that you can go back and be reminded about the day. Little sketches and written material helps with that. Also, I like to use watercolor and this would be a way to exercise the procedure to a full fledged watercolor painting.
    • Melissa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      meli9er
      I have enjoyed being in nature and journaling for a long time, though separately, and am not consistent with journaling. Years ago, I started creating "5-minute sketches" in pencil on each memorable hike I took. I'm hoping what I learn in this class will help me to expand my observations, draw better, paint more, and be more mindful/present when I'm in nature.
    • Jeff
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      ExtrinsicEntity
      Being so new to these skills, to add to the discussion seems awkward.  My takeaway is that my journal will likely begin as a hybrid.  Reflecting on Shayna's breakaways of cubes and magnification for added detail.  Jewels reference color chart is an awesome tool.  Then of course the wonderful Art along with notation employed by Liz certainly a goal to aim for. So here we go.
    • Dawn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Dawn C.
      Really love Holly's style with the watercolour! I dabble in watercolour already so this is a good style for me. I love how she has the dates painted in and the notes are great too. Her style has really inspired me to record even the smallest of items such as a pine cone or a mushroom. Very interesting aspects of the journal!
    • Victoria
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      VikkiBee
      1. I have dabbled with journalling both travel and nature and seen some published ones that have inspired me to do more and more often. 20210201_2028152. I really liked Shayna Muller's journal as she has a way of orgnizing her drawings/notes etc. I liked the idea of sometimes using black and white and sometimes colour. Placing some things in boxes and enlarging part of a plant or animal appealed to me. I like her suggestion of drawing, thinking and writing and later maybe finding out more information. 3. I have usually made a title page of where I am followed by pages of art/words. Underlining certain words is another idea I use. 20210201_202837
    • Robert
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      rbuchsbaum
      I have been attempting to learn nature sketching using a book by a very good nature artist.  But I feel like I would benefit from a structured course on the topic.  Right now, being that it is 17 degrees outside I don't imagine taking as journal outside, but can bring back nature objects, shells etc. and use photos to draw. Would like to make my sketches "come alive" - not just be two dimensional on a sheet of paper.
    • Van
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      VanMcC
      I'd been keeping a journal for years off and on, but it wasn't as artistic as I wanted it to be, so I am hoping following a course, working on drawing or watercoloring, and giving myself a schedule will help me keep on it and grow as a journalist.  Also, go make more opportunities for observation--making the time for it. I liked how some were so artsy, but I don't have those skills now.  I liked the idea of keeping a schedule, of adding observations, backgrounds, and also studying the subject after the fact to include scientific info in the journal. As I was typing this, a Cooper hawk flew onto my tree, so I immediately jumped up and drew it.  It's nice to connect like this.
    • Nina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ntvillanova
      I am more of a nature photographer - but sometimes carrying my gear feels intrusive, cumbersome, and takes me out of the moment. I have been looking for a way to still capture what I see, but carrying less gear.  I like to look back at my photos to understand trends, patterns, etc, and I can use my journals the same way. For now I want to always keep the date, time location and weather at the top of the page - I like that idea for learning more about what I see.  Eventually, I might like to move to a more stylized journal, but I'm not there yet.
    • emilie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      emilieaeyelts
      I have kept all kinds of journals throughout my life and this winter I have made the promise to myself to spend at least an hour outside every day. As I have some challenges with walking, the journalling seemed a great idea to spend the time outside, observe and try to learn some new insights and skills.
    • ellie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      elliets
      I like the idea of using it as a reference to help me remember not only what I saw but facts to remember. I like to capture my enthusiasm when I was thrilled at what I saw.
    • Cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      cburgess426
      I love keeping a bird journal in writing because I enjoy perusing it and remembering the birds I've seen. I'd like to add sketches because I love drawing, and I'd love to create a keepsake for my son and grandson. My son has become a birder over the years because of me and has developed a passion for it. We hope his little son will develop this too. I strongly desire to develop my art, and I think nature journaling will help me be particularly mindful of details by trying to capture the essence of a living thing, plant or animal, on paper. I want to get good at sketching, doing quick sketches of active birds. My style is so meticulous right now, and I'd love to loosen it up. I've already learned a lot simply by being shown what materials to buy and by looking at examples of other people's journals. I'm a seventy-year-old grandma for the first time which has been very exhilarating! As I embark on my nature journaling, I feel equally excited and challenged.
    • Jessica
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      jess504
      1) I love how beautiful nature journals are, and I'd love to get back to painting. I abandoned watercolors over the last year as it all felt a bit too much, and nature journaling seems like a great way to pick up the skill again, at the same time as I focus on being more present in nature. 2) I enjoyed how all the artists had such distinct memories attached to their nature journals. My favorite styles were the ones that combined drawing, color, and words on the same page. 3) I think I might incorporate more growing seedlings in my nature journal, particularly during these winter months in the midwest when it's too cold (for me at least!) to sit still outside.
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Huckster58
      I love all of nature around me,  am an avid gardener, and want to start cataloging my gardens and the critters they attract.   Hopefully with sketches and journaling I will be able to maintain a record of how the landscape around me changes with the seasons/years.  This class will, I hope, get me started on the right track.
    • NDiane
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      NDiane
      Have been gardening for a long time and decided I wanted to not only watch the garden grow, but to sketch (for now) what I was growing so I can recall during the long winter months.  If these sketches turn out good enough I might share them with my children.  Basic sketching so I can get the idea  of shapes and sizes etc. first.  No different idea yet, but I usually incorporate my own style eventually.  Very novice so will follow what is done until I feel more comfortable.
    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      turtleadventures
      I believe I have little artistic ability. And I want to change this! As a novice birder and experienced outdoors person, I find joy in the exquisite designs of nature. I am trying to sketch and draw so I may more vibrantly recall all this beauty. Text and drawings! I thought you were "supposed" to draw just a certain way. I guess I put unnecessary walls around my inspiration. I think I'll scrapbook as well as journal, adding found items now & then, as well as my attempts to recreate them. Maybe this will be a measure of increasing skills.  
    • Ayn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      welleford
      Like many here, I received this course as a gift (from my husband). My interest in birding has increased since I've been working from home due to COVID. My feeders are a welcome diversion from the day-long computer screen. I have been fascinated by the variety of birds outside my window and hope that this course will improve my attention and ability to identify birds as well as my mindfulness in general.
    • Karly
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      KMintz311
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I have loved both art and nature since I was a kid. I've done some nature journaling but really want to take my sketches to the next level. I'm in particular excited to learn more about watercolor technique because I have always found that to be a difficult medium. With the pandemic, I work from home and have developed a lovely backyard nature observation practice and have jotted down what I see each day. I want to now pair that with some sketches! 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 definitely want to incorporate some better watercolor techniques and experiment with different page layouts.
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      rhorwitz
      What inspired me to start nature journaling is...years ago, I took some very basic drawing and watercolor classes and tried to sketch things I found around me. I realized that if I remembered the guidelines given by the instructors, without obsessing over perfection, I could actually make pictures! I had always assumed I had no natural artistic talent or ability. But the basic drawing class convinced me that although only a few are great artists, and many others are good artists, even the novice can draw things that look like those actual things they are trying to capture. I remember paying incredibly close attention to some object, natural or man-made, and feeling the flow of energy and joy as I managed to sketch on my drawing pad. Suddenly I noticed things for the first time! I realized how beautiful and interesting the world is, especially the natural world. I realized that beauty and wonder are literally everywhere. I live surrounded by beautiful sights, and yet too often when I walk on a trail, I feel bogged down with my own crappy moods, failing to feel anything or care about the plants, sky, landforms and earth I tread on.  I continually fail to be moved by the sight of deer, bear, wild turkeys, chickadees, or salamanders. But I think I may have a cure for this problem. Taking my journaling supplies out to the woods or the riverbank or the mountain will give me a purpose for being there, and will inspire me to look at everything and think about nothing but what is before me.
    • Lucas
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      BirdBoy86
      I've always been interested in nature, and when I started birding seriously, I thought that nature journaling would be a great way to make my experience more memorable. I learned about nature journaling from an OFO online session. When I saw the art on Liz's instagram page, I was immediately hooked, and tried to find out more. That's how I learned about the course. I feel like I would like to do mainly sketching at the start and maybe a little bit of watercolour, and slowly do more and more colour. I feel like the drawings are more important than the text, and I want my field journal to have memories and be organized.
    • Gwen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      grroddy
      I have always loved being present in nature, and feeling the calm that it imparts to me, and wanted to find ways to share what I see and feel with others. Photography has only taken me so far in this endeavor, and my writing tends to be either too technical or too personal. After starting to participate in Feeder Watch, I noticed this course, and decided that it aligned perfectly with my goal of communicating what I see in nature to others, and with my return to drawing, a long-lost hobby from my teen years.  I have never tried to paint, so that will be a new experience. My journals will reflect my time in nature, perhaps with first drafts and notes from a walk or hike that are completed when I return home. (Perhaps when I develop some drawing and painting confidence I won't wait until the return home.) I like the idea of adding in  taxonomic information, and capturing date/time/place/weather. I am an avid birdwatcher, still learning a lot about species identification and behavior, but love the idea of including wildflowers, scenes, and other critters in my journal.
    • Jay
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jpurcell
      I am drawn (haha) to the informality of journaling.  It's very in the moment.  Nature is so varied there is always something new to see, perhaps in a different light or distance.  I'm hoping these lessons get me actively journaling as a habit without the need to go to a certain place in the house or at a certain time.   I like writing and creating art so combining should be fun!  I may add some quick poetry into my journal as well.
    • Melody
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      MelodyMarie
      I recently started nature journaling as a way to put down my experiences while birding and to learn more about the things I see. Since COVID started in the spring I took up painting and often birds were the subject. Nature journaling was a class offered on the site I was taking classes and I immediately felt drawn to combining my interest in art and nature. Looking at the variety of journals showed me how my journal should be a reflection of what interests me and what I am curious about and that it is really a personal remembrance of special moments and experiences unique to me and not necessarily for others. Entries can have a wide variety of topics or zero in on one subject. It really depends on the day and where my interest takes me. Since birding is usually what takes me out into nature I always include on my page a list of the birds I have seen that day. I will find this interesting in future trips to a certain spot to compare what I see on another day. I have not as yet sketched in the field, but tend to bring things home to sketch and look up pictures online of interesting birds I have seen that day. I hope to learn more about sketching birds and landscapes as I see them.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      gobigred22
      This course was a Christmas gift from my son.  And as I noted from earlier submissions,  I am not the only one who received this as a gift…. it is a wonderful and challenging gift. During this era of Covid-19, it is a great way to use my time as we isolate here in New York.  Having looked at the various examples of journals, I can see that I am a mere beginner, but hope to be able to capture some of the things which I observe in nature.  I will begin with simple pencil sketches and hope to try using color (pencils or watercolor) as I gain courage.  I think I will start small, and concentrate on our backyard!  And perhaps, with time, venture a bit further afield.  I like the idea of simple sketches including closeups. One journal idea I may zero in on is concentrating on the changes in a very small section of my garden.  I received a book this Christmas of a man who had a project of photographing all the changes during one year in a one square meter section of the prairie near his home, so perhaps I will do the same with my journal and follow the idea of adding something daily, or weekly.....as the one journaler did so artistically!
    • jenica
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jenicaandic
      My father gifted me this course as a Christmas present.  I studied art years ago before raising my family, and this course is my first step in the water after 13 years or so.  I’m looking forward to finding more quiet moments with nature and art, as a way to bring more peace to my life.  I really enjoyed the journals with bold water color styles, and also liked it when artists framed their work.  I like the idea of documenting paired with art, as a way to cement learning and attention to the subject matter at hand.
    • Chloe Hernandez
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      chloehernandez1
      1. I am a lover of all things nature, animals, plants, fungi, and landscapes. I have always taken photos of these things but I have always felt incomplete when I reflect on the photos. Photos cannot capture how I truly feel in the moment. I have always yearned to paint those photos in real-time but never had the time or a journal! I became inspired to nature journal by nature itself. I want to remember what's around me by drawing it instead of taking digital photos. 2. I want to approach nature journaling as a relaxing and educational outlet. I enjoyed Holly's monthly nature journal because of its simplicity. She drew the observations that were interesting to her. I also enjoyed Liz's landscape art from the Galapagos. I want to paint what I find interesting whether it be animals, plants, fungi, landscapes, identify them, and write down interesting tidbits. 3. n/a
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      gdps4849
      I gave myself this course for Christmas. My ability to draw is almost non-existent, and that is the reason I am taking this class. I think practicing sketching and drawing will help me improve my daily journaling. There are times when words just aren't enough.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      LindaKlion
      My husband gave me this course for Christmas, and I’m just diving in. I’ve grown to love my bird feeders and nature that surrounds us in our retirement destination.  My mother was an avid birdwatcher and I remember loving to sit on her back porch watching the comings and goings.  Over the past few years, and learning more about seed, I’ve been able to cultivate a variety of species.  Tapping into my art training (that has been lying dormant for way too many years) I’m looking forward to playing around with a journal.  I liked seeing how others went about getting started and setting up their journals.  Taking that first step is always a bit scary, but once in it is great fun!
    • L
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Jemison
      I got this course as a gift and am doing it with my mother. I think this is a very good way to grow closer to nature
      • Wesley
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        cozyCauliflower
        Me too! I got this course for Christmas from my grandma and I just started it with my mom!
    • Midori
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mikudo
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I was gifted this course by my boyfriend for Christmas, and I'm excited to capture to capture and record the memories I make while hiking/walking. I kept a nature journal as a first grader and remember how much fun it was to be part scientist, part artist. I'm excited to evoke that feeling again and observe the world around me with a keener eye. 2. Which ideas or approaches do you want to try? I'm a perfectionist, so the first speaker's boxes and how "everything had its place" appeals to me. I typically get paralyzed by perfection which often stunts beginnings and continuation, so I'll let myself lean on more structure than not in the beginning. Truthfully, though, I'd love to take on a more organic and freeform approach where I let myself draw/sketch/paint whatever I have the time for, and to not get caught up in lack of specifics. 3. (n/a)
    • Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      corvus16
      My dad gave me this course as a gift, and I'm so excited to learn from others and share! I'm an environmental educator and artist who has been journaling on and off for awhile, and I want to gain some new perspectives that can also help me with teaching. I do a lot of studio art but want to become more comfortable with sketching in the field, and just enjoying being present in the moment. I became especially inspired to try more journaling over the summer, when I watched a bunch of John Muir Laws's amazing online workshops. I really like Jewel Alston's journaling approach, and I also want to try out a loose style that uses both sketches and some prose to capture memories. One journaling practice that I really enjoy is the use of a sound map. To do this, simply find a place to sit and listen for awhile, describing the sounds that you hear scattered around you in a map. You can sketch them in spectogram format, too if you'd like.
    • Jeanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Jeannebhansom
      I want the discipline of really noticing details & being consistent in my record keeping, As a teacher for years I had my students keep a year-long nature journal that we added to regularly thru trips outside, observing bird feeders from the classroom, bringing in a caught mackerel and even a live lobster.  Now I am retired and I have time to really work on my journaling. I have much to improve!
    • Leo
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      LeoSnead2
      Like many others here, I received this as a gift. I bird and keep records of the  species I see and wanted to combine my interest birds, sketching and being outside into one activity instead of dividing my time among them. It appeals to me as a means of recording my outings and travels. Also, like some, I need an incentive to pick up my sketchbook and paints; I’m hoping this will inspire me! I liked a number of the journal approaches and will likely incorporate things like quick sketch impressions, multiple notes and a few scattered “finished” sketches with color. I definitely will drop the inner critic that tells me to finish something with details I didn’t observe. I especially like the idea of sketching with water color to quickly give a sense of the tone of what you’re sketching! Lastly, I’m impressed with the sketches and paintings I saw submitted by some of the participants. They give me something to aspire to.
    • Courtney
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      bcakescw
      I wanted to begin nature journaling because I began bird watching with feeders in my backyard. I have also come across other peoples journals of natural journaling and love it. I am inspired by the imagines they capture and the detail they put into it, along with how much information they learn from just journaling about it. I want to try the journaling approach as the first journalist shared. I love how she has a personal field guide but it can also just be for recording experiences or observations.
    • Janine
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      Janines07
      I love hearing about how the people journaling had to look so closely and appreciate whatever they were drawing much more than just hearing/seeing a bird, etc. and naming it and moving on. I like Jewel Alston's journaling style. I like that the journal doesn't have to be perfect. There can be bloopers and multiple attemps to capture something they see. I tend to want everything to look pretty, which can make my drawings look more frozen, so I'm hoping that journaling will loosen up my drawings. I really want to learn to ID the sparrows of the Southwest, so I like the idea of creating a personal field guide.
    • Jenny
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jenny5526
      Like many here, the extreme boredom and fear of the pandemic helped me notice the changing spring around me.  I wanted some way to document these changes and have a creative outlet to focus my anxious energy.  I started creating a field guide to bird in my backyard, but quickly realized I was woefully inadequate.  I have ZERO experience with art. I am also impressed with the traveling nature journals.  I was fortunate enough to go to the Galapagos in 2019, and my only regret is that I didn't have the course previously to help me create a memory book.
    • Ashley
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Mabarret
      I have been very interested in birding and have taken many beautiful photos.  I want to go to the next level and draw/paint/write about what I see and observe.  I don’t think of myself as an artist, but I look forward to seeing what happens.  I liked the variety of the nature journals presented and feel like I can create a journal that will represent me and my vision.
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      b.kossoy
      I was inspired to begin nature journaling because I love the outdoors, hiking and watching birds.  Also have bird feeders and am familiar with most of the birds in our region.   I enjoyed the first journalist presented.  I like the idea of making a box to contain her picture even though it flowed outside the box in some spots.  Also her circle close ups to provide more detail.  I have not worked with watercolor before so I am anxious to learn how to add this to our sketches.
    • Pam
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      pboard
      Like the commenter below, I took the bird drawing class that Liz taught, and was then inspired to do more. I think of myself as being very unartistic, but have always wanted to learn how to draw, and I also love birds and being in nature. I don't know yet what style of journal I want to follow - for the moment, I want to focus on improving my drawing skills and taking a stab at using water colors. I'm also intrigued by how journalers are able to capture images so well when the subject matter doesn't stay still for long (e.g., warblers  - anytime I observe them, they are in constant motion).
    • Jacqueline
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      CandyLane
      My interest began after the class on drawing birds that Liz taught.   I don't feel like I can draw, yet what I drew in that class surprised me.   I love birds and plants and being outside, so we'll see- it's an adventure.
    • Wanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      wsbirdw
      1. I started taking classes on drawing birds by John Muir Laws when I retired a few months ago. I have never engaged in artistic expression of any kind, but have always enjoyed art connected with nature. I’m just beginning to stumble through finding my way to participate with art and nature. I asked for this class as a Christmas gift and my goal was to more methodically approach this new adventure and also to add watercolor skills. 2.  I liked the zooming in, the mixture of sketching and more detailed colored images. I also like mixing in information about date, location and what was observed, with not too many words. I also liked that people mentioned that you don’t have to finish works or include details you couldn’t see when circumstances don’t allow. 3.  Maybe mix in a haiku here and there; maybe add in ideas for future activities stimulated during the journaling process.
    • Christopher
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      CJoya1989
      What inspired me to start nature journaling now - versus back when I was at Cornell's Lab of Ornithology during the summer of 2017 or 2018 - was a teacher workshop through New York Botanical Garden about amplifying underrepresented voices in the science classroom. One of the assignments was to go out into nature and do a simple drawing and quick recording - similar to what we've seen in the videos so far. It got me thinking about how I just started to draw again (after a many-year-hiatus) and how this would help me develop my skills that are super rusty now. After seeing the videos, I'm definitely interested in doing the Date-Time-Weather-Location box on the page, however, I also liked how some drawings were boxed after being done, or even the daily drawing challenge. A part of me is wondering should I just dive right into the deep end, or slowly swim in from the shallows so that I'm not overwhelming myself. I know the possibilities are endless!
    • Miriam
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      mtalalay
      I've always had an interest in the connection between nature and the arts. I believe that capturing nature through art can help a person find a connection to nature that they didn't have beforehand. I have been drawing animals since I was very young, and would love to have a career in which I can be around and study animals, but also have opportunities to draw them (scientific illustration, or some sort of integration of the arts into wildlife biology). I would love to challenge myself by journaling every day, as it would help improve my skills, and I would have a visual record of my adventures. I think that I may try and integrate some new materials in the journaling process as well.
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kjfriend
      This is a very thoughtful Christmas gift from someone who knows me well. I already mess about outside a lot, but I think journaling will help me focus on small details and it will help me ring fence time for myself. I am looking forward to developing new skills; walking in the footsteps of Darwin and developing my knowledge of the wild space on my doorstep. Gorgeous stationery and art materials already make me excited, can't wait to use this kit (and I will try no to be too precious!).
    • Evangelyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      evteaches
      I am looking forward to giving myself time to really see what is front of me.  I like watercolors and I think this will give me a purpose that seems more doable than artistic.  Mona Brooks freed me from my terror of drawing and I look forward to bringing my journal along on my walks.  I appreciate Jewel saying that mistakes will happen, it won't always be what you planned but it is a process and cements the memory.  I believe in establishing habits and I think this will be a habit I value.
    • worker33
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      worker33
      I am working on a story about a specific place that has a wonderful natural setting. My interest in this class is to further develop my observation skills and augment the photographs and notes I'm taking as I conduct my research. This course offers some basic drawing techniques which I can most certainly use. I've had journals over the years and done some poorly rendered sketching so I hope to grow a bit during this period. After looking at the various journals I was most drawn to the recording of place/time/weather conditions to help recapture the moment, rather like a good haiku poem does. One of the thoughts i have is to incorporate natural found elements within the journal. Although objects may be suspect to decay overtime, I'm drawn to the tactile and believe it will be important to me to include!
    • mike
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      buteomike
      I've been a birdwatcher since high school. I have worked as an educator and field ornithologist throughout my career. I've always enjoyed drawing but have not used it as a regular part of my field notes, a thing for which I'm a bit embarrassed to admit. I'm now 60 and recently retired and would like to develop my nature journaling to include illustrating my observations. I'm a licensed bander and often take photos of various unusual things I observe in the birds I capture (unusual plumage, deformities, etc.). I can imagine drawing some of these phenomena would be a valuable way to notice minutia that might be missed with a photograph. As far as choosing a style of journaling is concerned, I think I'm going to have to just start doing and see what works for me.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      cjmray
      1. I love being out in nature and learning all I can about what I am seeing. I asked for this course as a Christmas present, because I would like to deepen my observations when out in the field and have a record of my discoveries/experiences. 2. It was helpful to see the evolution of their journals, as I am a bit intimidated about starting. It doesn't have to be perfect right away! I like how the first journaler used a combination of sketching and writing on her pages, and her style feels informal and spontaneous. I like the zoom-ins and how at times she treated the sketches as a field guide she could learn from & refer to in the future. 3. I don't have any new journaling ideas - but I am hoping I will develop my own style.
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      AnnReiss
      I am inspired to keep a journal to help me observe and remember more than I would by photos (a point made by Jewel, Shayne and Margaret). What I would like to try is making quick sketches of behaviour and gestures of birds and insects that I encounter (discussed by  D.J. and Margaret). Drawing moving objects has been daunting to me (as mentioned by William) .  In the past I have only done watercolor of static plants and landscape. So I will see how I progress with the difficult task of fast moving birds. I intend to use lots of rough paper to practice gestures of birds before committing the drawings to my journal. I would like my journal to be a lasting memory along with a  notes, date and place. I may try boxes to add style. I was impressed by Holly's beautiful presentation style and skill in her journal but think I might not reach that  level.
    • Lindsay
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Lindsay816
      During Covid lock down, I have been appreciating the birds both in my neighborhood and a near by conserved area where I hike regularly. I had never really paid much attention to the bird feeders set up at the start of the trail. But discovering the feeder cams at Cornell, the need to connect with something larger than myself during covid and a desire to dust off my observational drawing skills impelled me to sign up for  20201210_072914this class. I want to include the weather and other observations, not just isolated bird drawings. I'll use the live cam to practice quick sketching. For my approach, I want to include a mix of loose and organized sketches.
      • Heather
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        cool2homeschool
        Thanks for the tip, Lindsay - I'll try using the live cam to practice quick sketching, which is what intimidates me the most about starting this course and nature journaling.
    • Jeff
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jeffreysmith
      1.) This class got gifted to me, and I think that nature journaling might be a good outlet for me. 2.) I want to try a combination between the monthly journals and the journal with just sketches. I think I could realistically do a journal like that. 3.) I can't think of a different journaling style right now.
    • Dee
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      DeeLutz
      I signed up for this class because I think nature journaling will help me to slow down and look more carefully at what I see.  I'm hoping that it will also improve my artistic skills. I appreciated the variety of the journals.  I like the idea of having some goals to make sure this inspiration to slow down and look and sketch doesn't fall by the wayside.  I'm thinking of a once per week goal of watching/noticing/sketching something.
    • Gina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Gbello
      1) I was inspired to begin journaling as a method of holding beautiful memories on my trips. Also to help me slow down and notice small details in nature. 2) I loved the idea of journaling every day; however, with my schedule, it is hard so when I saw another artist do a monthly drawing method I was sold on the idea. I also what to capture data or details that maybe my art skills cannot like the smells, the weather that day, a little geotag perhaps. 3) I think my style of journaling will evolve but I thought about interesting facts about what I am seeing like if I am drawing a fern perhaps googling something about the climate they thrive in or variations of ferns.
    • Madeline
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Madsg79373
      I am a Field and Ecology Biology College Student and I love to draw and watercolor nature. I was inspired to combine the two things I love to do in to one. I already love taking field notes as a biology student, but I wanted to take it to the next step and include drawings and watercolor in to it. From the approaches and ideas, I liked idea of a monthly and daily journaling unique style to each.   I want to try journaling by making my goal to designate one page a month to fill and rest of the pages each day I try to see and document something.
    • Cristi
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Anna's
      1. I spend as much time as I can in nature and love observing nature, I write my sightings but have never considered a journal specific for nature. I love the idea as it could help me to remember, distinguish and appreciate the animal at that moment in time. It also may encourage me to be even more observant about an animal's behavior or characteristics. I will spend more time in nature and observing every day! 2. I like an organic flow to a journal with sketches or watercolor with comments, description and behavior of the animal. I also would like to incorporate my experience in observing and being present in this particular place in nature. 3. If possible I would put the occasional flower, stem or leaf in the journal if the space allows.
    • Judith
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      judyduffield
      My careers have been steeped in words and numbers, and so I want to work on developing my visual skills. I want to "see" better. My journaling goal is to slow down and observe the details of the plant or animal in my focus. I'm also an art quilter, and I'd like to be able to incorporate drawing/painting into that art form.
    • Erica
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      ericawolfsong
      My goals are to become more intimate and curious and tune my observational skills.   to still my brain, processing piece and just be present, and really see.  I also like the idea of afterward doing a bit of science or data about it.  May it grease the creative cogs!
      • Kathy
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        kjfriend
        I admire and echo your thoughts.
    • Brandii
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      BrandiiH
      I recently moved from Alaska to the Oregon Coast. In Alaska, I grew up learning all the flora and fauna, what to eat, what bloomed fist, when the moose calves dropped. In a new state, I have found that my extensive knowledge is barely adequate. It is harder to learn as an adult so I decided nature journaling would be a good way to recreate that emersion learning experience from hours spent in the Alaskan woods as a child lost in wonder.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      njrives
      I've been doing some field sketches since the pandemic began.  We have hiked at many of our state parks and spent time at the bay over the summer.  My journaling so far has been a combination of reflections, lines of verse that are like poetry to me looking back.  I have just done pencil sketches of landscapes, plants, flowers and a few birds but am interested in learning how to add watercolor, since I always make a note of the colors I observe.  Having a notebook made of better quality paper will probably help!.  I love that the one woman sketching the hummingbirds didn't worry about how many times she tried or how may pages she used up!  That is encouraging to me!  I will definitely be making note of where I am at the time of the entry.
    • Kuria
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      CalloftheMountains
      I have always wanted to start nature journaling and the last big push for me to really start was reading a book called "Explorers' Sketchbooks" by Huw Lewis-Jones and it was just simply stunning seeing all these sketchbooks over the years. I was thinking of journaling like they do in the book, much more writing along with the field sketches.
    • Tracy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mrstracy23
      I have loved nature for my entire life and have come to love watching the birds at my home feeders for years. A friend mentioned the Cornell Feeder Watch program as she's a feeder watcher, too, and we decided to take part together so we could share in the experience. In doing so, I discovered this class and I was excited by the prospect of being able to draw some of the birds that I adore watching and learning more about. As a much younger person, I loved and had a knack for drawing and painting but didn't continue in any structured way into my adulthood. I saw this class as an opportunity to rekindle the joy I once had in doing so. I have a background in science and I like the idea of creating my own little reference book of the nature without and within my home with, of course, notations of time, place and conditions. I especially liked the format of drawings being surrounded by text, and the drawings being both detailed and broad, as in the finer details of a feather vs a silhouette accompanied with a full landscape view. I appreciate each journalist's perspective and after seeing all of them, I feel like I have permission to be experimental and imperfect and let my journaling evolve, or not, as it will.
    • Angie Paola
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Angie_Bird
      A: 1. The idea of being able to create your own description of the observations, as well as the most representative moments of the trip, make your own sketch inspired by those observed. A: 2. I really liked Shayna Muller's approach, the order in which she does them where she puts the illustration or drawing first and based on this she makes some descriptive notes attached to the drawing. A: 3. I also liked to attach my own photos to my diary, especially of new species "lifers".
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Drawing is Fun
      Enjoying nature and taking time to feel creative is very important during these difficult times.  Our daughter lives across the country, so she and I have enjoyed experiencing these excellent classes together.  We connect online and work together.  The program is amazing, and it has already made me see the world through different eyes.  Journaling will add joy to my life.
    • Sherrie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      HopeKell222
      My love for birds and art lead me to this class. I've started many journals through the years and as I reviewed them I noticed all the little drawings I had done. I enjoyed seeing the various art journals in this lesson and I feel it would be fulfilling  to release some of my creative energy that's been on the shelf for awhile. I'm looking forward to learning Field Journaling.
    • Florence
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      flobro7
      I got interested in journaling after taking online classes.  I love drawing and painting flowers in particular but also birds.  I saw classes offered  in my Cornell lab  email and this  one in particular.  Also want to improve my watercolor painting.  I have gotten some ideas on journaling from the videos and will see where this leads me.  Learning how to “see” is where I need help and this class is doing that for me.  Thank you Liz.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      motto54
      I have always taken photographs of nature that have interested me. I thought this would be a different way to observe and record those things that have attracted my attention. I like the concept of drawing an item, bird, flower or landscape and then incorporating a written description along with it. Also including the date, time location, weather conditions and maybe questions about the subject.
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      PeggyCox
      My friend, Lisa, told me about the course - she's my drawing and painting buddy - so I signed up. The idea of nature journaling appeals to me because if I want to draw or describe an aspect of nature, I need to slow down and really take time to notice all the details. Noticing the details of a bird, leaf, etc., will make the interaction experience more memorable. I want to be looking closely and appreciating nature. I feel like journaling will help me along this path. After looking at the various journals, I definitely will include the date, time of day, weather, and location for each drawing or notation.  I'd like to include color, using the portable watercolor set - watercolors are challenging, so nature journaling will allow me to improve my skills in this area. I liked the "zoom" technique one of the journalers used - to show greater detail of a larger sketch.  I realize even if I can't fully capture all the details, the sketches and notes will be a reminder of what I saw. I like the idea of what one journaler did with the boxes - kind of a way to make the space of the page less daunting. I may use that techique.
    • lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      LOKBIRDS
      I can’t even imagine being able to do a nature journal but I LOVE birds and recently took another of Liz’s classes and she actually has me convinced that I can draw!!!  It was enormously helpful to see the different journaling styles as well as the approaches to capturing impressions.  I’m looking forward to learning how to SEE!
    • Clare
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jeremiadsoul
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? Curiosity is my primary inspiration to begin nature journaling.  Whether I'm hiking in the mountains, birding in the woods, or just staring out my kitchen window, I find myself wondering about the things I see and hear.  Sometimes I know what I'm observing, but most of the time I have to look it up.  I like that nature journaling will provide a way to not only record my thoughts, questions, ideas, but also act as a visual aid to what I am experiencing.  I find myself bird watching and become so enamored by the colors of their plumage or the light reflecting off the pond.  Nature journaling seems like a great way to capture these moments, much more deeper than if I took a photograph on my phone.  I've always wanted to take drawing and painting courses, so this will be a great way to explore a new skill.  I've been keeping journals since I was a kid, and as I grew up I drew less and wrote more.  I'd like to return back to drawing! 2. ...which ideas or approaches do you want to try? In Shayna's journal, I loved her use of boxes after she finished her drawing--I loved the look of the plants popping out of her boxes!  Utilizing a close-up in a separate box/circle is another thing I liked about Shayna's journal.  What a great way to capture detail.  I liked how William used one page for his illustration and the opposite page with his notes.  Having the spaces separated this way is neat.  I'll probably dabble in both having notes next to my sketches and on separate pages to see what I like best.  Lastly, I loved the look of Holly's journal. I don't think a drawing a day is feasible for me at this time, but I do like the look of having the floating date next to the drawing.  I will definitely be incorporating date/time/weather/location into my journal entries, and I may try to add them in artfully as Holly has done with her dates.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Kimrinca
      I would love to learn to sketch wildlife as well as the flowers and plants I encounter in my everyday life.  I am anticipating having to practice a lot before I get the hang of it.  (I'm one of those who is not certain about my ability to draw.)  I'm going to give it a go, and like the idea of a nature journal.  Thanks!
    • Pamela
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      pkburris
      I love looking at the details that abound in nature, especially when I am able to focus in and see particular patterns that are present.  I often try to capture these via a digital photo however I find the inability to make a notation of what or why I was drawn to take the photo (not to mention the quality) leaves a gap in the significance of that moment.  I have a hobby of making and painting on pottery and would love to learn how to translate images in nature onto my pottery. I plan to experiment with a variety of ideas and techniques for nature journaling shared by other journalers.
    • monique
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      monique1615
      What appeals to me about journaling is the recording of something I see in nature. Capturing the image in a sketch. Maybe enhancing the story with text. I am hoping to learn how to add watercolor to my sketches. To be able to capture birds that are in motion would be a great accomplishment for me. A sketch a day appeals to me although I know I probably cannot realistically fit sketching in my schedule 7 days a week, but most days. Marjolein Bastin is the person that has been an inspiration for me since I was young. I am excited to start this course and begin my journey.
    • April
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      sunnyraye
      My inspiration for journaling I think began as a child - my Father painted and I have always adored the idea of painting but have not actually really explored it on my own.  Combine that interest with birding and the love of nature - journaling just pulls together something that I cherish and really want to explore and participate in.
    • Bonnie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Grandma Bon
      1. What inspired me was the act of recording my observations because, otherwise, I forget so much of what I see. I love closely observing anything in nature and then trying to draw or paint it. Just the act itself makes me look so much closer and notice what I would never otherwise see. 2. I loved seeing how the others used their journals. I think the first one was close to what I wish to create....although the last woman's journal was so lovely. Maybe someday I will be able to do what she does. I also liked how the first woman's journal (and a couple others) evolved as she moved forward. She started out putting everything in boxes, and then she had the drawings burst out of the boxes. I think I will probably be too uptight and perfectionistic in the beginning, but I hope I can quickly get beyond that and see the journal as a tool to ask questions and look for answers in growing my understanding of the natural world. I've always had a goal of understanding my little corner of the world with depth and detail, and I see this journal as a tool in moving toward that goal.
    • peter
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      peter207
      I took the Drawn to Birds Course last week and it inspired me to take up drawing and especially painting birds and making a journal.
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      dranderson8
      I took the Drawn to Birds workshop last weekend. I like the lady who had the daily drawing at first, not because I feel like I want to or could draw every day, but I liked her realistic depictions of birds, and that's what I aspire to do. I live on the Rhode Island shoreline, so we have a large variety of shorebirds and some migratory birds that pass through. I've always been good at sketching, but mostly because I'm an engineer. I sketch inanimate objects well. Now that I'm semi-retired, I'd like to expand to birds as well, and the Drawn to Birds workshop really helped with that. This looks like a good next step to depict some of our local birds, with some information and background scenery. Experimenting with watercolors will be completely new to me.
    • Blanca
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      BlancaManzanilla
      Hello from rainy Belize. I took "Drawn to Birds: A Sketching Workshop with Liz Clayton Fuller" last week and really enjoyed it. I want to learn more about sketching and drawing. I have a pretty cool backyard - howlers, birds, Mayan temples of Lamanai, jungle, insects, etc - and I do write sightings in my daily journal, but I want to do a better job. I like Holly Faulkner's idea to start with. Nov 19 - Oropendolas calling from Cohune tree during a break in the rain! Thank you!
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Library Lady 3232
      I love to travel, camp and hike and would like to record my observations and practice my sketching on a more regular basis.  As a retired Librarian, Master Gardener, past Girl Scout and Boy Scout Leader,  I love to research about the animals and plants in the places I visit.  Journaling will offer me the opportunity to explore, draw, paint and research a variety of topics.  I will be 70 next month and I hope to never stop being curious about the world around me. I hope to use the boxes to guide my drawings, paintings and observations.  I am ready to get started!
    • Diane
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      deejayv
      1. I like the idea of having my own field guide - to look back on experiences and help recall details of the day that might of otherwise been forgotten.  It will also make it easier to share with others & deepen my own learning and understanding of my surroundings. 2. I like the idea of using "boxes" to help me get started in organizing my thoughts & observations.  To get my art on the page first, and include details around it.  I like the idea also of trying daily/weekly/monthly.  Lastly, I like the idea as well that not every page has to  be "perfect" - that even an incomplete sketch can still evoke memories.
    • Lindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      lindyjs
      I've often thought of including sketches in my travel journals over the years but rarely did it.  I saw this course and thought I might get some tips to motivate me.  Of course, I'm not travelling now and it's almost winter.  On top of that, I am at home recovering from surgery.  However , on the positive side, I have lots of time on my hands to try something new.  I'm hoping I can find things outside the window or in my backyard to get started.
    • MARY JANE
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mjsmhw
      1.  Inspired to begin nature journal by a deep desire to give it a try it.  I often stand and stare intently at natural objects or living critters in an effort to really "see" and connect with what I'm looking at.  I am 77 years old and have always felt inhibited when it comes to any type of art expression.  Probably some long ago criticism shut me down.  It's time for me to "get over it." 2.  Margaret's very free pencil sketches of the humming birds was inspiring.  Quick sketch, quick sketch, observe, and SEE!  Jewel's sharing of her struggle to "find her style" is encouraging.  Shayna's open boxes for her drawings appeals to me.  Various journals have incomplete drawings, DJ said, "You don't have to catch all the features."  I've dabbled in watercolor and would like to incorporate that into my journal. 3.  All of the the featured journalist drawings were wonderful!  I admire the freedom to simply do it.  This is what I wish for myself and anyone else diving into Nature Journaling.
    • helen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      helenbn
      I love nature and when I walk or hike I often find something that I love and wish to remember....such as droplets of rain on a fallen leaf, or my backyard birdfeeder filled with birds waiting their turn or squabbling over available space. This course seems perfect for me.  I also enjoy drawing and painting although watercolor will be a new experience. What fun this will be?
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      seadahl80
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? My background is in biology. In my free time I have always been happiest outside in nature and have always had the casual hobby of sketching, mostly influenced by nature, particularly birds. I consider myself a birder and I've been taking several of the bird courses offered through Bird Academy and have really enjoyed fine tuning my knowledge of birds and bird identification skills. I came across this course on Nature Journaling and was immediately excited about leaning new ways to use my sketch book, particularly in documenting birds I see out in nature. I like the idea of capturing more detailed observations about the birds I see and trying to record drawings of their behaviors in real-time. I would like to improve my bird drawing skills and incorporating this with writing more notes about what I am observing seems like a great combination. 2. Which ideas or approaches do you want to try? I'm excited and scared to try adding water color to my drawings. It has been many years since I dabbled in water color and I think it will be a fun challenge to incorporate this technique into capture more details about the birds I see.
    • Ryann
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      skippyrd
      I am writing from California, I was inspired to take this class to motivate me and my family to get outside (now that the smoke from wildfires have cleared).  I have always felt being in nature is like therapy for me and I need it more than ever.  I have always been on/off art projects nothing formal.  Nature journaling and sketching seems like a perfect blend of combining art with nature observation.  My 11 year old son is an amazing birder and takes great photos.  I plan to get us out birding weekly and use that time to journal.  I really like the journal that had a daily goal and a monthly goal for adding to the sketch book.  I plan to incorporate that into my sketching goals.
    • Isa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      icheren
      I took a course 6 years ago (I didn't realize so much time had passed until I pulled that notebook out to use for this course) that was an intensive field study along with learning the basics of using watercolor . I don't consider myself to be a skilled artist, I look for ways to be supported in my pursuit in a low stakes manner. I love being outside and often marvel at shapes and color, this course seemed like a welcome opportunity to commit time to improving skills with color and basic drawing skills. In this time of social distancing, I hope to see others progress and inspirations. I like the combined words and sketches, some with completed color, some not. Like others have mentioned, nature journaling is a welcomed counterpoint to my left brained career in medicine.
    • Tiffany
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      ainwena
      1.  I have always loved nature and being outside.  I grew up in the woods and on a bay, and as an only child there weren’t many kids to play with, so I spent a lot of time exploring by myself.  I kept track of what I saw here and there but nothing serious.  As an adult, I enjoy hiking and camping and I have tried to start a journal but have never kept it up.  Due to Covid, I have been reevaluating how I want to spend my time at home that is both creative and fulfilling and I have rediscovered nature journaling. 2.  I like the approaches that are about the learning first and the drawing second.  I think for me this will translate into the observations, questions, and connections as the majority of the page and the illustrations will support it.  I do like the use of watercolors as the medium, but that is intimidating for me at this moment so I am going to start with pencils/colored pencils.  I do look forward to learning watercolors in this series. 3.  For practice, I want to incorporate sketches from my most memorable photos from previous experiences in nature.  I have a few that have really strong memories associated with the photos, and I want to get the memories down on paper-and practice drawing the subject of the photo too.
    • Kirby
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      pelagicbirderkirby
      1. I have loved nature ever since I was a little boy. My parents have always encouraged me to explore our natural world. We would go on hikes, climb mountains, go skiing, traveling, and I was lucky enough to have a grandmother that had a beach house in Stone Harbor, NJ. Exploring the beach, catching sand crabs, going fishing with my dad, and just being in the salt air every summer inspired me to go to college for Marine Biology. I currently have my bachelor’s degree in marine biology from Stockton University and work as a naturalist/marine biologist and first mate on a whale and dolphin watching boat. Both of my grandmothers have also enjoyed feeding the wild birds in their backyards and they passed this love of birdwatching on to me. My grandmother on my mom’s side of the family is currently 97 years old and continues to amaze me every day! She loves to paint, do crafts, play with our dog and still keeps feeding the birds. Her father was an artist and my great great uncle, Prosper Louis Senat was a famous French Painter with some of his artwork currently in a few museums. I feel like I have to have some type of artistic skills if it’s in the family right? Nature journaling to me, will be a way of connecting myself not only to nature but also to my ancestors in the same way that they expressed themselves through art ☺️ 2. I really liked the watercolor journaling. I definitely want to incorporate watercolors over top of pencil sketches like the girl in the final part of the video. I just really like the bold colors that pop out using watercolors. I would also like to try out some colored pencil sketches too as a personal challenge, since i’ve never done detailed sketching with colored pencils. 3. I’m also really into photography and my father has been a professional photographer for the last 35 years. I would like to maybe include a few pages in my journal that include some of my nature photography taken with my Canon 40d DSLR camera. I think it would be a neat way of learning how to sketch/paint using a still photograph, and then work my way up to sketching wild birds, whales, dolphins, sharks etc. that are moving ☺️🐧🦅F788C4EF-675C-4168-8C4D-3EB149B9A094🐋🦈🐳
    • Leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      menikoff
      Hi Everybody, my name is Leslie. I live in Texas.  I have been on again/off again nature journaling for the past five years, but mostly off! When I revisit a page, I think, why don't I do this more?  It is amazing how the nature journal can take you right back to that moment.  As I read other people's stories, I'm struck by the retirees' comments about living busy lives and not having time to create.  I am impressed by their new commitments to journal and also moved to make time to create at all stages of my life. I'm taking this class for three reasons:  1) get back on the horse 2) improve my watercolor skills and use watercolor in journaling which I have never done and 3) journal the everyday, but also record my hikes and travels (when this whole pandemic is over...) IMG_4368
    • Alisha
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      alishabirdie
      Hello there!  I was inspired to begin nature journaling about four years ago.  Having just moved from Toronto, to Ottawa Ontario, I was exploring some new hobbies including photography, cross country skiing, and nature journalling!  I took an EdEx course called Illustrating Natural History, which was wonderful, however I'm even more excited about this course as it will include birds!  Like many of my fellow students here online, I've had a lifelong passion for birds, learning about them, watching them, and enjoy bird painting/arts in my spare time.  What excites me most about the journalling is that it really helps one develop an eye for details, and appreciate the natural world so much more deeply!  I also look forward to this process helping me document, and identify plants and birds on my nature walks. I want to ensure my journal has a real blend of science and art.  I want to include lots of descriptive writings, and I also want to have sketches that I can reflect on later that are accurate, and aesthetically pleasing.  I'd like to observe and record any behaviours, patterns, things I notice.  I was really impressed with the journal of the spider/bee and the memory the writer had of that moment in time. I started a new mixed journal at the beginning of the Pandemic, and in it I included some backyard birds.  I would sketch, and fill with colour pencil or watercolour, and then add some descriptions that I'd learned through some simple web searches.  It helped me learn basics of each bird.  I kept 1 bird per page, and my goal had been to draw all birds I saw.  Sadly, my journal was not meant for watercolour and so the pages wrinkled :(.   Birding June 13 009Birding June 13 008Birding June 13 007 Happy journalling! Alisha
    • Meagan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Mayngrl
      I’ve always admired other people’s journaling with drawing and watercolor but thought it was completely out of my reach. We’ll see. I see so many beautiful things outside around my house, at camp, at outdoor events, on walks...At the same time I feel more and more like a consumer in the age of “scanning”...walking with headphones on, scrolling through online media while sitting outside.  I want to become more focused again. I’m hesitant to pick a journaling style because I feel like I will be copying someone else a la Pinterest, so I will sees as I work along.
    • Rachel
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      rvblakey
      Even though I work as an ecologist, I end up spending most of my time on the computer and I feel disconnected from the naturalist I was in my younger years. I hope that nature journalling will help me reconnect with my study areas and taxa and also the surprising and beautiful natural world of the megacity I live in, during these hard times. The journals in the short video were incredible, I have no artistic experience whatsoever, so it seems incomprehensible to me that I would be able to produce anything similar, but I'm excited to learn. Some of the journalers' reflections really resonated with me, I like the way they used their journalling to observe and understand animal behavior, I thought the habit forming approach was very cool (daily/monthly journal) and I really enjoyed the idea of having a record of your experiences to share. I also think nature journalling seems like a really great way for older people to fight depression and reduce the risk of dementia, particularly during this pandemic, so I hope if I can get the hang of this, and when I'm able to travel overseas to safely visit my mum again, I can share this with her. The picture I've attached is to give you all a laugh and show just how baseline my baseline is: zero art experience, zero journalling experience, here are the last pictures I drew of plants and animals I'm currently working on for the whiteboard where my wife and I keep track of the papers we're writing. Let's see what happens!IMG_8074 2
    • Rose
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mzrosed
      I have recently become interested in birdwatching in this pandemic. We live in the country and have lots of room to roam and view all of the more inland birds of Monterey County. Sometimes I see a bird and want to capture it's features quickly so I don't forget what I have seen while on a walk. Sometimes I sit and watch for a length of time and thought about sketching. I have also thought about dabbling with water color. I already keep a birding journal and started some rough sketching. I found this course and it inspired me to look into this more and hope it becomes a habit which helps to ground me in nature and life. I like the journaling aspects along with visual representations, more random and practice for me as a novice. Some of the journals are overwhelming to view as a beginner. I was an art major in college but switched to psychology and education. I want to return to the artistic side and create in many different ways.
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Joulesscott
      I am taking this course because I have recently been geeking out about fossils. I assigned my students to draw the six main types of fossils and some of my students' work was amazing.  I tried drawing some fossils that I found but my drawings were mediocre at best. The next thing I knew, this course showed up in my email. Bizarre right? Wish me luck.
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      katmaiDNA
      Zebra_Finch800 I’ve been an amateur naturalist since I was a kid, loving to learn about the names and habits of all the plants and animals around me. When I was in college, I spent most weekends backpacking in the mountains and every week day I could steal hiking in the redwood forest. My kids remember one camping trip to Canada stopping at every volcano or new tree species along the way. About 5 years ago, I picked up colored pencil with the goal of being a portraitist of birds. It took me months to complete each drawing. I’ve never studied art, but I decided I wanted to learn to draw. In January, I got an iPad Pro with an Apple pencil, and it made me a lot bolder in my drawing experiments. I started a journal with sketches. When my mother was trapped aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship with the coronavirus (she’s fine), I switched to drawing quarantine comics. During the pandemic, I’ve been walking the boundaries of our property in the Santa Cruz Mountains, observing all of the changes at a new level of detail. I’ve watched juncos, spot-sided towhees, California towhees, Wilson’s warblers, Stellers jays, quail, crows, and a stealthy pair of sharp-shinned hawks raise their broods. The SCU Lightning complex fire boundary is a half mile from us. During our month of evacuation, all of the birds except the rufous hummingbirds and the chickadees left. Even the juncos, who have always been here in abundance, were gone. Over the past 6 weeks, the birds slowly came back. I’m 59 now. The Western forests that have been my deep love and my delight are under threat, along with every being who lives in them. I want to celebrate and record all of this life. The different journal styles gave me ideas and freed me from the idea that my nature journal needs to be any particular way. I can try different ideas and discover what works for me and what doesn’t. All of the examples of partial or unfinished drawings are a great reminder that my journal will be its own journey. The drawing is a zebra finch from my aviary.
      • Lindsay
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        Lindsay816
        Heather, I love your bird here. I too am thinking of getting an ipad pro and pencil. Your line quality is so wonderful...not at all overly finished as I would have expected a digital drawing to look. Thanks you for sharing your zebra finch! Looking forward to this class. Lindsay
    • Cecilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Cecilia.V
      IMG_6933 I've always loved to draw and write. In grade school I was in pretty high demand for my realistic pencil drawings of the Beatles, done with the help of my Magnijector, which allowed me to project their photos on my wall. After getting a degree in English lit (and birdwatching when I should have been in class), I went back to a trade school for graphic design so I could actually get a job. I was amazed at how awful my drawing was when I started, it was like I was back in 5th grade. But I was also amazed at how quickly I improved with practice and observation and good teachers. I've always had an opportunity to do art of one kind or another -- Shakespeare costume design, poster design, quilting, but my drawing is back to 5th grade again. I am fortunate enough to live in a town (Arden, Delaware) surrounded by woods, and I love my daily walks, taking photos with my iPhone, often just details, like the patterns in a mushroom (see the photo) IMG_6915or frogs disappearing into their background. I would most like to express the beauty of our Arden Woods. Many, many thanks to the journal makers in that great sampler video. They were all inspiring. I loved Shayna Muller's boxes and it was inspiring seeing Margaret Corbit's drawing evolve as she captured the hummingbirds' hover. I could almost feel the wind beneath their outstretched wings. The journal that spoke most to me was Holly Faulkner's. I love her organization by day or month and her obvious love of typography, along with her exquisite drawings, of course. But the graphic design — the combination of image and text — I found that approach inspiring. But enough writing, and on to drawing. Today I opened my sketchbook and headed for my favorite autumn mums, but stopped before I got there and sat down and drew a single leaf from the hardy begonia on my porch. I am looking forward to learning how to use watercolor, because that would be so much better for capturing the color and texture. Also, I should sharpen my pencils.
    • amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      amykarst
      I think the finished journals are really cool, and they represent a very special time spent with one's self. I have always loved birds and my mother always had feeders and we would feed the birds in the winter months. I am an ESL teacher and try to teach my students about our state of Pennsylvania and, about 2 years ago, I realized they were not familiar with any of our birds. I designed a unit on Backyard birds and assigned each student a bird that we commonly see here. We spent days drawing them and writing short information about them. I was amazed at how much the students helped each other with their birds - the wings go more like this, or a second grader suddenly realizing the relationship of the beak and the eye and how they were located on the head. Drawing the birds was also very comforting and relaxing and the students spoke to one another and developed real friendships even though they were aged from Kindergarten through fifth grade. Students started coming into class telling me what birds they had seen after school or on the weekend and sharing what they looked like. We would look them up on this website and talk about them. I was so inspired by my students, that when I saw a class a few months ago I waited too long and the class was closed. When this one popped up, I jumped on it. I am really excited to start  drawing and journaling!Backyard Birds
      • Cecilia
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Cecilia.V
        Amy, I just read your post on exploring birds with your students. I tutored reading comprehension and also worked with my son, who had a learning disability. My main tool was the Lindamood-Bell program, Visualizing and Verbalizing, which you may be familia with. The thing is, I found that my students with comprehension problems had difficulty sorting information -- everything they learned in school kinda went into the Big Box of Right Answers, which was such a jumble they could never retrieve what they had learned and often gave very bizarre answers on tests because they would retrieve the right answer to SOMETHING. (Mammals have wings and lay eggs.) I found that any kind of sorting, any kind of close observation and the labeling of parts often just flipped a switch for these students, and they started recalling information, adding vocabulary. I had students sort a silverware drawer, sort buttons. But the best was birdwatching or identifying flowers and trees. When "bird" just means a big blur of flying things, a lot of other things are blurs as well. But when you start to see a cardinal, a robin, a house sparrow vs. a song sparrow, a pine siskin, the world comes into sharper focus. You see color, size, special feathers (outer tail coverts), beaks, behavior. You hear songs and calls that are distinct. Of course, discovering birds is a joy in itself. But the way it opens up learning is also quite magical. All the best to you and your students during this strange and difficult time. Cecilia from Arden, Delaware
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      BarbE7936
      I have always enjoyed drawing but have gotten away from it. I do need to learn to work with color. I love nature and taking walks. I think this course will give me structure and an incentive to get back to drawing. I liked how people use the journaling to observe and remember what they saw.
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Bnoel2
      The very first video gave me a sense of surprise and relief because it showed an easy way to give structure to a page. It showed boxes with sketches inside. I though, ‘Oh I can do that!’ Immediately my bit of anxiety at starting this new venture lowered. I also saw with surprise that the sketches were also breaking out of the boxes to provide some energy and movement on the page. As a very beginner who has limited experience with visual arts this gave me both a sense of the familiar and controllable (boxes) and the inspiration to break out of them. Another student entry before mine also mentioned how her environmental value to fill the page was important. This is true for me as well. I can see that the sketches can be small and leave room to write about what I was experiencing in the moment and about what I was noticing about my subject.The same student entry also mentioned how sketching plants might be easier at first and I that is a very good idea to start with. I also like her idea of sketching her garden and particular trees through the seasons. This is something I can also easily do. Another video mentioned using the basic geometric forms (as in the doves) and this is something else I’d like to focus on as I think it will be a good way to more efficiently capture the basic contours of my subject.
      • Barbara
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        Bnoel2
        After reading posts from fellow students, I’m replying to myself as a way of remembering some of their good ideas. One said she wants to include pressed samples. Another student wrote that she wanted a way to capture her elation by drawing her emotion on the page. This reminds me of Holly Ward Bimba’s work that initially inspired me to even think I could start sketching. She gave me a calendar with sketches of items she had foraged in the Virginia woods. I love being able to include real items like this. I also like the idea in one of the videos whereby her sketches surround a month at a time. I think I’ll have to get a lot better at sketching to get there. As others have written, the pandemic and my sudden retirement hold a silver lining in that I now have time to slow down and  savor the minute details nature offers us so quietly.
    • Faith Celeste
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      CelesteArcher
      1. What inspired me to begin nature journaling?  I'm getting close to (if not already am) retirement age, and I've always been attracted to art and gardening.  I took a course at a local art institute - painting the flower as art.  The class was excellent, but as a beginner, taking a "non-beginner" class I floundered a lot.  So about 5 years later,  today, as a matter of fact, I happened to be out in my garden and took a look at a tree I have - a flying dragon.  I decided I wanted to draw or paint the tree - because I love the leaves in fall, and I love the bark which appears like a snake.  I sat down at my computer after breakfast and this course was listed as on-sale in my inbox...... and now I realize, I would really like to journal my garden through the seasons. 2.  I like all of the journals - being an environmentalist I prefer the pages that are packed full of drawings and notations -- this seems to be the best use of paper and space -- I also like when people preserve their errors, there is a lot of interest in the errors, and certainly the errors show progress in a "first time accuracy" kind of way - as opposed to just the final perfect picture.  I VERY much liked the "close ups" that one journalist used.  I also really enjoy colour -- and I loved the pencil sketches that emphasized the shapes and gestures - like the doves with the pronounced foreheads.  So certainly lots and lots of ideas from the journals that I viewed. 3.  The though of journaling is about 3 hours old to me at the moment -- so no, I have not thought it through much - with the exception that I would like to revisit the same plant(s) - throughout the various season rather than a one snapshot look at a plant.  I would like to also journal animals, but am currently not sure if my memory or speed will allow me to capture my subject -- perhaps a cell phone picture to assist me in the beginning...... but then on second thought, I feel like I would loose part of the experience by relying on technology.... so like others, I'll take my imperfections.
    • Rafael
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Rafael Navarro Leiton
      I ended up really enjoying Holly Faulkner‘s journals and her painting techniques 7EA661AE-D9F0-4DBE-9767-A6487002EB93
    • Lynn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Lkieffer
      I'm newly retired, a long-time birder and have always been visually oriented, having spent nearly half of my career as an art director putting pictures and words together. Now that I have the time, I want to get back to putting my own words to pictures, combining poetry (haiku) of my nature observations with illustrations. During the pandemic, I've found my own backyard to be full of inspiration, whether it's the many birds at my feeder and nest boxes, our small but active frog pond or the butterflies and bees attracted to the pollinator gardens I planted in spring. My goal is to sharpen my observation and illustrating skills to quickly capture the essence of what is see around me.
    • Steven
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      sstadler
      1.  I'm an engineer, so most of my time is dominated by the left half of the brain thinking.  There is much creativity that comes with engineering, but it is mostly analytical.  I also enjoy nature photography.  I enjoy learning the behaviors of the subjects I want to photograph so I can get better photos.  I think this uses some more of the right side of the brain, but I still think of these situations analytically.  I started reading "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", but it didn't hold my interest.  Seeing how you draw nature in your journal looks fascinating to me.  I am interested in slowing down, experiencing the stillness of the mind, allow myself to quiet down and observe, and take the time to draw.  But, I don't know how to draw!!  I hope you can show me the way :-) 2.  I like the idea of no strict format, draw something in whatever space is there, add the date, time, weather, etc. and making notes to describe observations, thoughts, and feelings.  I like how the use of boxes with the drawings flowing out of them adds dimension to the sketch.  I also made a mental note about drawing as a means to remember the topics I am studying.  Many years ago I had signed up for the Home Study Course in Bird Biology, which I thought would help me be a better bird photographer, knowing more about bird behaviors and habitats and such.  I hadn't finished that one and have migrated over to the new course, Ornithology:  Comprehensive Bird Biology, and I'm thinking that drawing out what I am learning would be so helpful in remembering what I want to learn.  "Learning how to Learn" style. 3.  Capturing moments through photography is wonderful and fun, but doesn't require so much slowing down and writing down observations, thoughts, and feelings.  I'm sure I won't be leaving my photography gear at home, so I'll most likely capture a few photos, then attempt to sit down and take the time to draw and write.  Just thinking about doing this brings a feeling of relaxation throughout my body!  WoW!
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      hollidog
      Learning to draw different types of birds and getting colours and behaviours to help in identification and also build memories. Become more mindful of my surroundings
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      hollidog
      • 90646D66-7BD9-4E02-9A0E-76DEAB7E2A5EI’d like to improve on my field comments with color. Also more structure to my pages
    • suzie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      suziebirder
      Hi all My inspirations? My very part time business is collage card making. Improving observation and drawing, painting skills will be a plus.
      • My small city yard is a native garden habitat in which I see and am learning all I can to support pollinators and the environment I am a casual but enthusiastic birder. I don’t like to write in journals but I would be coaxed to draw, paint and jot if I paid money for a course !EE0182B1-5ABD-44A6-B24C-61BBC98463B4
      • Cecilia
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Cecilia.V
        I am blown away by your dragonfly, the patterns, the textures, the polkadots of your collage! I just started the course, and have only seen the videos of other people and their journaling. Haven’t started any journaling of my own. That will have to wait until tomorrow. But your dragonfly has really flown out of the box and inspired me. I hope you post more.  ~Cecilia
    • Anne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      franklinia
      I am a natural resource land manager yet never have time to observe, record and investigate nature in the detail that I would like to. I also have mental images of nature that I would like to capture in an artistic manner. And I would like to be able to draw better and capture the essence of the subject relatively quickly.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      JCharnley
      I have spent my entire life in the outdoors, hiking, camping, climbing, sailing, kayaking, bird watching, and many other outdoor activities. I began keeping a journal in college as part of a course I was taking on Environmental Outdoor Education. I’d read naturalist writer’s books and looked at examples of field journals. I just began sketching, never having taken a course on drawing or nature journaling. The ideas that appealed to me from the other journalers included keeping track of the date, time, location, and weather of where they were journaling. I liked the idea of zooming in on a part of a sketch to really get the close-up details. I also liked seeing the simple sketches, getting the general shapes of the birds, and sketching the same subject a number of times. I can see how this would help to build the skills and confidence to create more detailed sketches. DouglasSquirrel
    • laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 31
      Vagabondgirl
      Hello! How inspiring it was to see various styles of nature journals. 1. What inspired me to start journalling (double "ll" is the British/Canadian spelling): I just started journalling while taking another Bird Academy course for teachers that focuses on citizen science. Taking courses during the pandemic is a perfect opportunity to a) get outdoors, b) enjoy solitude, c) explore new interests and d) develop new skills. I don't have an artistic background, but I have a long history of careful nature observation. Journalling  will help me chronicle and reflect on my observations and "encounters" and help to deepen my understanding of what it is that I am observing. 2. Which journalling approaches I would like to try: I like filling a page with words and sketches. I want to let go of the need to "finish" a painting/sketch. I appreciated the quick sketching of the hummingbirds, for example. I also want to embrace the idea that things need to be completed before moving on. The journal-creators' comments on the memories associated with the journals resonated with me. Likewise, the purpose of a given entry can be different than the entries before and after it. Sometimes I may focus on posture, other times plumage. Sometimes shape and other times movement. Considering the journal as a work in progress and an evolving style is helpful to reduce anxieties associated with perfectionism/incompetence. I really liked the idea of multiple entries on one page. This allows a feeling of a completed segment of either greater detail and/or reduced time. 3. What different journalling ideas do I have not mentioned in the video: 1) I've always been interested in taxonomy but never studied it. When species of flora/fauna or classifications of rocks/minerals are identified, I like to write down the common name(s) along with the latin name. The latin name is fascinating and often gives history, description and other information in its translation. This practice is something I will most likely continue to do. 2) I like jotting down a comment of something that is happening parallel in my life (son's new job, global affairs, special event) to give the moment context within my own life and how, even with other things going on, I found time to sit, reflect, observe and ground myself in nature.
      • amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 20
        amykarst
        I like that, Laurie - relating something personal that is happening in your life when you drew the picture. Amy
    • Nicole
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      NicoleMahoney
      I've always wanted to draw and spend tons of time observing the plants and birds on my patio and figured this would be an ideal class to learn more! I still don't know exactly which style will work best because they're all beautiful! I think I'll try a less structured approach rather than use boxes at first. Thanks all for sharing your stories.
    • Dale
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Dale Naomi
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    • Nicole
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      nheaton
      I am inspired to begin nature journaling because I like to record things about my life and I like to spend a lot of time in outdoor spaces. I am a photographer and writer. As a child, I drew a lot. Drawing and writing were my earliest passions. Weeks after my mother died when I was in high school, I had a negative interaction with an art teacher, and I quit drawing after I was finished with her class. The desire to draw never left me, though. Although it has been more than 20 years since I gave up on it, I want to re-learn how to draw and enjoy the experience again. I look forward to this course helping me get back on track with that. I think my approach will be more about combining notes about what I observed and felt alongside my drawings. I do plan to give my drawings priority and fill in with words around them. I want to capture my experience of nature more than the technical details.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      lrclum
      I started nature journalling because I bought a book called Keeping A Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles Roth; I bought some colored pencils and started sketching; I was on an island and had a lot of time and I found it so calming and meditative and it gave me pleasure so I started doing it every day I was there. In particular, I liked Liz's journal because it had a lot of landscape in it and I spend a lot of time looking at landscape and the light on it; she also was concerned with texture and she used the word "beautiful" to describe a sunrise and sometimes I want to record the beauty I see. I don't have any journalling ideas from the ones shown; I find that it is now, as Autumn. approaches, a little too cold somedays to capture the sunrises over Lake Michigan as they happen. So I suspect I will use some photos and work from them later in the day.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Karen Watson
      My world narrowed somewhat during the pandemic. My walks in the park and my backyard observations of wildlife and plants helped me navigate these months. Each observation and sometimes a drawing or painting of my interest were like little vacations from the news swirling around me. I took the Identifying Bird Songs course and practiced on my walks. It was so rewarding to actually be able to identify a call or a song. I decided that as the fall approached I wanted to have some focus on learning. I found this course and The Biology of Birds course to help me through the winter months. I have a love for botanical painting which is a slow process. I want to be able to draw and paint birds from nature and sketches. I have done some paintings from photographs, but I really am looking forward to drawing and painting from nature. Now I just have to figure out how to keep the raccoons out of my bird feeder. The visitors to the feeder in the winter are a constant entertainment during the winter. I think it will provide me with many subjects to draw when the weather keeps me in.
      • laurie
        Participant
        Chirps: 31
        Vagabondgirl
        Hello Karen. Yes, this pandemic has certainly impacted our daily lives and our social interactions. I noted this in my comment above. Instead of focusing on the obvious negative aspects of a global pandemic, we can choose to use the opportunity to reconnect with nature (and ourselves?) in a new way through nature journalling. I've also always loved botanical illustrations. I may never be able to emulate the artists who work at that calibre, but I don't need to. That's their fabulous role in this life. I am happy to fuddle-duddle my way through my new journal just to gift myself with some "down time" that is solely for me.
    • Johanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Johanna23
      I began keeping a garden journal 18 years ago, when I moved to a house with a beautiful, established garden.  There was so much to see, to keep track of and to do!  There were animals and birds too and I loved chronicling it all.  Now I live in a city and I want to try a new kind of nature journal.  I hope this program will help me develop some new observational skills and learn how to illustrate some of what I see.  The journals gave me some great ideas...jump right in and start with the drawing, look for the geometric shapes, think about the palette of colors, capture an interesting moment or behavior, think about how this scene or animal or plant makes me feel, ask questions, go back and find out more about what I have seen.
    • Janelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jmazariegos
      1.  I find inspiration in nature, but I don't always remember those inspirations specifically.  I want to be able to record my experiences in nature in a more effective way.   Also, I'm a 7th grade life science teacher, and I want my students to be intrigued and inspired by the world around them.  We made our own nature journals last year in our life science and life science/STEM classes, but I feel the need to broaden my ideas.  My students sometimes feel intimidated by the art part.  I want to get better at explaining that to them so they can feel proud of their own accomplishments.  Science and art are both about observation.  It's an advantage to have an understanding of both.
    • Andrew
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      andrew.david.white
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I kept a field journal the summer of 2009 when I was in school for landscape architecture. The memories of that summer (journeying along the Trail of Tears and then to Costa Rica) are more textured than more recent travels. My colleague Teri Nye, an avid nature journalist, has also inspired me with her work. I've fallen out of the habit, and would like to get back into it. Thanks to my mother for enrolling me in this course :-) 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 liked the way the first journaler framed her drawings, but then allowed them to break out of the box. I think that animates the page in a way that I would like to try. 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? I'm going to try and keep a phenology journal of observations here in Atlanta. I do lots of work outdoors, and it will be good to record my observations of natural events in a notebook that is organized chronologically by week - so, one spread per week. This is something I can return to year after year. The images are from my 2009 field journal.IMG_20200926_185540IMG_20200926_185941IMG_20200926_185928
    • Diann
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      DiannMountain
      Hello fellow nature lovers! 1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling?  A friend shared the link for this course with me a week ago.  She is an amazing artist and I have always admired her journals.  I love to journal when I am traveling and filled pages with my words and recollection of each day of each trip I have been on.  I am taking this course to gain the confidence in drawing what I see/experience and to add beautiful images to my journal pages.  I am a naturalist and have a business guiding  folks at Mount Rainier National Park and have had the desire to write a book of my experiences.  Adding drawings to my journal will help add more emotion and clarity I believe.  I take lots of pictures and am excited to feel and see the difference in my connection to each trip through the act of drawing. 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 appreciate each of the techniques shared and had never thought of using a certain style.  I really enjoyed Shayna's style with the boxes and like the idea of going out of them as an expression of space and life expanding.  I like how the journals used different colors and had the swaths of each color used.  Perhaps this is part of the technique we will be learning. ?? I am completely new to anything like this and am soooo excited to gain the skills to add more dimension to my journeys and go beyond stick figures at age 59:)! Thank you for making this available!
    • Camellia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Camillabird
      Wow! I am so excited to learn to draw the amazing scenes, or details and bits I see in Nature.  I am captivated by even the smallest fungi and in awe.  I want to be a part of it and find myself taking photos, but it's not enough to 'feel' what's happening. This is what inspires me to journal. I want to share what I see, and somehow until that manifests itself into some thing to share besides my exuberance - I will learn to draw. Every person and their journal was great.  I enjoyed all of the styles and could certainly place myself in the scenes, that each observer talked about. It seems like the action of drawing it (the scene), puts the emotion into the moments captured. No-one criticized their own work, but used all the lines as reference points to discuss what they saw. That was my favorite aspect of all the journaling.  If I were to pick a style I like, or would even like to emulate (I dare say), but not copy, is the first 'journaler' that used boxes.  Maybe the boxes made a reference for the language or verbal observations for her to connect - but if that was a book, I would be attracted to the feeling it gave me, and want to buy it to reinvent that feeling each time I opened the book.  I want to learn to do that for myself and how I feel when I'm in Nature!
      • Barbara
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        Bnoel2
        “It seems like the action of drawing it (the scene), puts the emotion into the moments captured.” I love how you phrased this. It truly captures one of the reasons I’ve signed up for this course.
    • Chari
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      norgardc
      I love to be outdoors and am an avid photographer (just for fun).  We recently moved to Arizona and I'm loving all the different cacti and birds.  We've discovered the Hassayampa River Preserve and have been there several times.  I usually just take photos but thought it would be neat to learn to nature journal, especially in that area.  Initially, I plan to keep my journal simple and try to get over the intimidation of a blank page and my tendency to perfectionism.  I enjoyed seeing all the journals and different approaches.  I'm not sure which style I will try so may just experiment initially.  I hoping to improve my observation skills which I think will also help my photography.
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      sjessop
      I am an artist who loves nature and birds.   I get excited all over again whenever I see someone's nature journal, or travel sketchbook and want to be more intentional about my observations and recordings.  When our kids were little we took the time to stop and watch every ant, spider and bee and I want to feel that wonder again.  I'm trying to slow down while I find my balance between loose watercolor, and detailed line.   I'd like to add more words into my pages, and I love the way the boxes look, so I'm going to try that to unify my ideas.  Here is a page from last year - what I really like about it is that my dog walked on the book and left a pawprint.  It really looks like a smudge, but the note makes me smile and remember sitting there outside, drawing with my daughter, while our dog bounced around.   Pen and watercolor.IMG_2884
      • Margaret
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        Margaret mackenzie
        I like to do nature journaling exactly like you have done above. It's simple and very effective. Beautiful. I like what you say about wanting to find a balance between loose water-colour and detailed line. Me too!
    • Marta
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      MartaOli
      Hello to all nature journalists! I'm new to nature journalism; I took a watercolor short course a couple of years ago and then started to draw in nature, but in non organized way. And without writing, taking notes, ... So, (1) I'd like to learn new techniques, and try them also in drawing birds (2) explore new ways of using the page (for now I prefer not to fill it in with lots of details; I like the idea of drawing in one side, and writing in the opposite page... although I admire Liz and those journalers in the video that draw amazingly and use so much of the space!) and (3) I sometimes use a separate sheet of paper to test the color (because I have doubts if it's what I'm looking for).
    • J Daniel
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      brauniesfather
      When I go out in nature I often take my camera.  While the camera allows me to capture the moment w/out much delay, it doesn't give me the wealth of detail that journaling forces me to notice.  I feel I get much more of what I see by journaling than by simply looking at something or by simply taking its picture.  I was most attracted by Shayna Muller's method; I believe I'll try to follow her example.
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      erinallen28
      I was inspired to start nature journaling by thinking about how I could unite my desire to explore drawing more with my habit of being outside.  I love how nature journaling can travel with you to different locations, and it is a hobby that can transition across seasons - it really is a little time capsule!   It piqued my interest that nearly all of the journals shown here had small "bite size" entries.  The entry was bite size in how it filled the page, in the time it may have taken to complete, or even in the skill that was being explored.  That was really eye-opening for me.  I am hesitant to dive entirely into my journal because I want it to "look nice."  But really I am doing a disservice to myself and my exploration - I can keep my entries brief and my self-reflection forgiving!   One additional journaling idea I have is to play with the orientation of the page.  Instead of always working with the same horizontal orientation, for example, you can work vertically or upside down!  Break the page into 3's or 4's.  Don't limit yourself to a standard orientation, because then you'll be taking what you see and trying to force it into that space or habit.
    • mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mdesbt
      hello! 1.I am an art major, but I work as a field biologist. A profession I randomly fell into. I love the outdoors and the natural world and I love art. I do not let my artistic side out as much as I think about and should. I am hoping this will motivate me to look that much deeper into my surroundings and capture the moment.  I also want to become better with watercolor-a medium I struggle with.  I paint mostly abstract with oil. 2. I like the idea of putting something on paper everyday. I have tried that, but life gets in the way. So maybe being more realistic with a few times a week. Really focusing on that time. 3. Adding feathers or pressed leaves or flowers. 04884C19-1407-4E6B-ABFD-C19767991B67
    • Beverly
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      BeverlyEvans
      I have several reasons for taking this class on nature journaling.  After my daughter gave me The Naturalist's Notebook for tracking changes, I started my own journal.  Like the last journalist I wanted to enter something every day but it was to difficult so I ended up not doing it at all.  I then started to paint birds with acrylics and have finished several nice paintings but what I really want to be able to do is sketch nature and then put it into my paintings. My second reason is to help me create a bird identification book for children.  I am presently working on Warbling Warblers.  Studying warblers was a Covid-19 goal because I could do it from my own yard.  I am hoping that I can learn to observe and listen more carefully and be able to draw the birds for my book. I am so excited about taking this class because it combines many of my interests in one class.  I love birding, nature, drawing, painting , and journaling.
    • Cindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      cduffy
      1. This was a gift from someone who knows I like nature. 2. I want to incorporate drawing with written comments. 3. I would hope as I get started my style will become unequally my own.
      • Cindy
        Participant
        Chirps: 14
        cduffy
        oops mean to say uniquely
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      jigoe2
      Until I improve, I thing trying to draw something everyday might be good.  I liked color on the page, boxing and writing around subjects.  I'll need to remind myself that it doesn't need to be perfect.
    • lynn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lfruit
      I live in St. Petersburg, Florida. A favorite walk is Weedon Island which has boardwalks among the mangroves.  I've always had a little difficulty identifying red, white, and black mangrove.  A a former project manager, I constructed a spreadsheet and listed their attributes.  No wonder I can't remember which is which.  Drawings will be so much more fun!
    • Joanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      FurMama55
      I like Holly Faulkner’s approach with filling a page, or pages, each month. Nature Journaling is different than what I thought it would be, but sure I will enjoy anyway. As I was listening to both Liz and the other journalists, I jotted down some notes, some simple sketches, goals, and emotions or adjectives . Joanne F06F64EC-9F24-4362-ACC3-BA7D0C32CC79
    • joseph
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mjrkiss
      • Out of high school i wanted to be a science  illustrator but found at the time it was hard to make a living doing it
      • I turned instead to biology with a minor in art
      • I taught college biology at a junior college, but since work as a railroad engineer.
      • I have always loved nature and now find the time to feed this joy. I have done things still in the field of biology; owl prowls, nature walks and gardening.
      • I like the style of boxed in art with wording surrounding it.
       
    • Caroline
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      benjaminboies
      The pandemic has "forced" me to enjoy my immediate surroundings. I've never spent so much time in my backyard to observe nature (rather than plowing through a list of to-do's like lawn moving, and cleaning garden beds). My husband, son and I have spent hours walking in the woods trying to enjoy the moment, but also to identify birds, trees, shrubs, mushrooms.  We started buying books, then applications to help us in this journey. Then one day, my son asked me to paint a blue jay for him, and I was so pleased with the result, I feel that documenting this process that came naturally to us is the next thing for me. I absolutely loved the realness and movement of Holly's journals (both 2016 and 2019), her use of colour but also how she placed the dates beside each element in 2016, or how she used a gradient of yellow and green to write 'March 2019' in her second journal. Screen Shot 2020-09-07 at 2.45.04 PM
      • Victoria
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        VikkiBee
        I really like your painting of a blue jay. You have a good eye for colours and I like the way the bird is standing and leaning forward.
    • Adrienne
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Adrienne291
      I was inspired to begin nature journaling because I felt like it would be a way for me to connect to the environment and wildlife around me. I have dabbled in photography, mostly of birds, but I felt like if I was too concentrated on getting the perfect shot, I couldn't concentrate on watching the birds' behavior. So I feel like taking the time to draw or paint a bird (or plant or other animal) would allow me to connect with it more. I have started sketching without any instruction and I realized after watching the videos that I may have been sketching too many things. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get close to the birds (or they moved away too quickly), so right now I'm just trying to get the shapes. I'd like to get to the point where I can slow down and capture the subject from many different angles. Watercolor is also of interest for me, but I haven't tried that yet. I would like to try to capture the colors, though. With practice, I'm sure my confidence will build.
    • natalie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      nataliemoore
      1. I am more of a nature photographer, but want to expand my observations beyond a single image.  I think the detail of journaling will provide a more fulfilling experience. 2. I like the idea of boxing images after completing them.  I also liked the idea of the journal calendar, though I am hoping my journaling will be more detailed text to complement the image so that I am going beyond what my photography currently does for my observations.  I liked the idea of different angles of observations, like as the environment changes or the bird moves, adding art to match the evolving observation.
    • Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Annajv
      My favorite place to go has always been the woods, fields and anywhere outdoors, throughout my life.  I have an artist and naturalist personality and enjoy the process of creating, more than the product, although that is nice, too.  I like how the journaling is an ongoing process and that inspires my creativity.  The combination of sketching and words, and being in the present is appealing to me.  Nature tells me as seasons and time passes and whispers her majesty to us everyday.  I can’t wait to start my journal and listen to her whispers and record her creations.
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      kimmie06
      I was inspired to nature journal after installing bird feeders on our property and, having more time on my hands due to COVID-19, gave me a way to pass the time. Two days ago a baby fox squirrel fell from a palm tree, so here’s the image I drew to remember him since he is now recovering at a local rescue organization.  I plan on incorporating weather conditions and very much like the boxing idea for organizing.  Knowing that some sketches will be unfinished and mistakes will happen are also helpful tips. F37CA705-197A-4555-9D28-9ED64231BB30
    • Leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lwspencer
      I'm a naturalist, have been a nature guide in two different organizations but have relied on photo taking to capture my observations.  Recently I started studying drawing and watercolor, and I'd like to take these two disciplines into the field which should also enhance my observational skills.  I'd like to try the daily entry, paint in watercolor, and include in words my observations.  This I hope would help me to  be more focused and detailed in my learning about nature.
    • Lauren
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      tierneyl13
      I wanted to get better at visual journaling for work and also for outdoor adventures and day-to-day strolls. I like the daily/monthly approach.
    • Lumi
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      lumifox
      1. I already was drawing and painting various birds and animals, normally from birds in my bird or animal books, but almost never from observation, and thought it would be interesting to try a new way of capturing an image of an animal or bird in a different way. 2. I like the idea of bringing the drawings out of their boxes, because it seems like you are ‘freeing’ the drawing a bit more. 3. I like to add notes on my sketches, because if I think differently on a fact or even a photograph in one of my books (coloring off in the photo, a different observation that the book doesn’t cover, etc.) I can write it down, and it’s almost like I’m making my own field guide.
    • Kimmai
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      KimmaiNunnery
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I love to spend time outdoors, sketch and watercolor. I also took a class with csumb and teach middle school science where we nature journal in the garden. I also saw a talk with John Meir Laws that was very inspiring. 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 really like the monthly 1 page or nature journals. To have a goal to keep working on art with a somewhat flexible goal. 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? I've noticed that I enjoy sketch, watercolors, to just colored pencil. When I write with my drawings, I feel like it takes away from my art.
    • Sara
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      saradonohoe
      As an landscape architect and artist, site sketching is my favorite way to experience a space. I love being outside and capturing my feelings of a place in my sketchbook. They aren't always accurate and I definitely take a "creative" approach, sometimes making up things as I go in order to capture the feeling. I hope I can learn to practice a more scientific or observational approach to sketching while still getting creative and capturing the moment. I'm really looking forward to adding my nature journal to my sketchbook collection.   sketchbooks
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Maryj91
      I really loved how Liz was able to find the answer about bird incubation without looking it up, just by observation. I really feels like a good motivator to keep journaling! Nature journaling feels like a really grounding activity for 2020 and a great way to pay attention to the beautiful things in our world.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      LinElin
      Hello fellow journal keepers. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about journaling and some your drawings in this chat box. Although I have kept a nature journal for many years, both during travel and in the backyard, I haven't mastered the art of the quick sketch to capture the essence of a subject. It is so much easier to sit with a plant than with a scurrying beetle or mouse. My goal for this course is to be persistent in skills practice to become a better sketcher and not such a perfectionist.  I am looking forward to joining you on this journey. unnamed
    • Martha
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Mswearin
      These past spring/summer months of 2020 have given me the time to explore my own backyard. The early visitors, their habits, their disappearance, the stalwart year round neighborhood birds and the persistent insects and even the hardy weeds have captured my attention AND my thoughts. Details emerge that were once overlooked. Putting them to paper will sharpen my observation skills. Dating each page and adding a quick weather note will give a time stamp that will be important years/decades later. Freeing up the hand on paper will give me the “flow” —-first impressions and organic thought aside from deduction will help generate creativity. Highlighting smaller details  that stand out, either box or circle form makes the pages cohesive. I may press a few small specimens from non-public spaces as this drying can bring out other details.
    • Cecilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Cyanocoraxyncas11
      I love Nature and this is a new way to enjoy and learn more. I like the different ideas and perspectives. I want to see more of this course to decide how to make my nature journal.
    • Jessica
      Participant
      Chirps: 27
      jmckenna
      I love spending time in nature and have always enjoyed sketching and painting. I am a K-2 STREAM teacher at an elementary school and began incorporating nature journaling a few years ago. I would like to do more of it with them.   I like the monthly nature journaling approach. I think it would be a nice way to track seasonal changes and document places I have visited. I would be sure to include the date, time, weather and then detailed notes along with my sketches.   I am apprehensive about the watercolors. I never thought of them as being easy to use while on the go but I am excited to give it a try.
    • Dana
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      D Mulder
      I really liked Shayna's journal layout with the subjects breaking free of the boxes.  That seemed like a really effective way of framing the subject and organizing the page, and also was playful and flexible.  I am an elementary teacher and outdoor enthusiast, I am looking to build my own experiences documenting nature through journaling as a way of holding memories.  Also, I hope that as I build confidence nature journaling,  I can better support my students document their experiences, curiosities and learning in nature journals.  I love the idea of mixed media nature journals and am inspired by some older nature books I've read that read like nature journals: Rachel Carson's "The Edge of the Sea", David J. Carroll's "Swamp Walker's Journal: A Wetlands Year" to name a couple.
    • Erica
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      eszey0569
      1. I love written journaling and I love art, nature journaling seems like a great way to connect the two. Also I would like to connect more deeply with nature and give space to notice subtleties. I tend to be a perfectionist, I am hoping that nature journaling helps me to loosen up my art a bit. 2. I like the idea of doing art while out in nature and using it as a way to document experiences in the moment (rather than looking at a photo reference later). 3. I really want to try integrating nature journaling and meditation. Not only documenting direct visual observations but also trying to communicate the emotional experience of connecting with nature or the behavioral personality of certain species.
    • dgolson
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      dgolson
      Hello fellow journalers! Journaling is a way for me to slow down and observe what's around me and to look at nature from different perspectives. I like the journals that show multiple views including the setting, but also present at the detail level with some labeling or explanation about the weather or other conditions. I like the idea of using pencil, ink, and watercolor. I've kept journals on and off and thought this class would be a nice introduction back into journaling again. I look forward to learning with everyone.
    • Bridget
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      rimuridge
      1. Reflecting on what I enjoy. Yearning for a way to grow my naturalist skills and document nature's gorgeousness. 2. I especially like the idea of documenting what was actually seen. To quickly, yet elegantly, show the subject, note behaviours and include other interesting snippets. I like the approach of lots of images and sections to accompany text. The pencil work in DJ McNeil's journal really inspired me. 3. I'm thinking about including natural material samples in my journal such as pressed plants and feathers.
    • Bonnie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      bjreimann
      I’m a professor and will be teaching a seminar course to first year students this fall and the theme for me will be about nature.  I’d love to have students nature journal but need to learn more about it myself.  I really like the idea of making nature journaling a regular process - I was intrigued by the woman who did a daily journal and then a monthly journal.
    • Nina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ncfoody
      I am still in high school, and am absolutely set on pursuing ornithology in college. I am also beginning to take up photography as well, but I think that a journal would be way more fun, and really help me connect more with nature, or even the subjects that I am trying to photograph.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      janetmacneil
      Hello everyone! I'm a science teacher and am excited about honing my nature journaling skills so I can share ideas with teachers and students. We use science notebooks at all grade levels. They are such a great way to inspire curiosity, creativity and learning! I love using Mod Podge, tape, or contact paper to add pressed leaves, bits of sand, flowers, etc. into my notebook. (A great, easily-accessible activity for kids too!)
    • Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      EllenHarrington
      Hello All.  My name is Ellen (there seem to be a few of us I see).  I have recently retired settling on the New England coast.  I spend a good deal of time exploring my new environment and wish to chronicle my sights and feelings.  I hope that by doing so I may inspire my children and grandchildren to take time to see more and and take more care of our natural world.  That being said, I am thinking I will take the approach of dating, weather observations and location hen add sketches and pertinent observations.  I want to go back and remember those moments that has me stopping to watch a bird or snail, see an unfamiliar flower and more.  So I believe I will incorporate ideas from the first and last journal examples.
    • Victoria
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      mvrestre
      I just started taking this course, I am a photographer and videographer and I spend most of my time outdoors recording nature. I also paint tropical birds in watercolor, but my painting are very detailed and I put a lot of time in them. I think this class would give me another perspective of what I see, and it will also give me the opportunity to take notes of my feelings or maybe to add some details that I might not be able to capture with my cameras.Andean-motmot
    • Fabiola
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      fabiola22
      1.  What inspired me to begin nature journaling was the John Muir Laws website and I took one of his classes.  I was hooked.  I loved the idea of documenting our experience in nature.  I would have hundreds of journals by now.  But, there is no time like the present!  2. I want to try to journal daily, even if it's a 5-min sketch.  I want to put my daily experience on paper and make it into art and inspire others.
    • Julie and M
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      M&Julie
      M (9-years): my mom. Mom:  I have two (2) goals: 1) my wish is to strengthen my bond with my daughter through a long-term,  conflict-free activity (nature journaling)  in a conflict-free environment (nature) that we can share through the ebb and flow of our relationship, and 2) to connect my daughter to her natural environment by engaging all of her senses (sound, smell, sight, touch, etc.) so she will eventually discover quiet moments of solitude without loneliness. M: I want my dates to pop out in blue just like Holly Faulkner's. M: Draw a chipmunk and add the moon cycle to my journals.
    • Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      ebwbridge
      Love birds, drawing, and learning more about nature. Nature journaling is the perfect marriage of the three!
    • Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      ebwbridge
      The last woman’s journal blew me away! The crispness and colors of her drawings made my heart leap, and I realized right away that I want to zoom in on these details as she did. I love the micro nature of her drawings and am now inspired to REALLY study not only nature but drawing as well. She is a wonder!
    • May
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      May-A-A
      Hello, my name is May. During my studies, I was introduced to journaling in general. Out of curiosity, I researched about it and came across fascinating journals that document so many topics. When I watched the Bird academy video by Instructor Liz Clayton Fuller, I liked the idea of nature journaling which resonated with my interest about nature. I've always collected leaves, feathers, stones and spring flowers to keep. Sometime I sketch them, add colour and write a note about them. I never thought of keeping a nature journal that document the date, time and weather, nor explain and write about them as the course shows. That's why I decided to join the course and learn about nature journaling. I’m glad I did. After watching the nature journaling approaches in the video in lesson 1, I was amazed of the ways we can document our observations. I can’t say that there is one specific journal that captured my attention to adopt its approach, as each had a process that could be looked at and combined with others then add few touches to come up with my own style. Below are the processes I would like to try in my nature journal: Shayna Muller documentation style of zoom and detailed drawings along with notations. Jewel Alston process of depicting different tones of colour. William Nnuro Jr process of capturing the moment. Margret Corbit of thinking about subject through drawing. D.J MacNeil process that tackled behavior by drawing simple shapes with few detail. Holly Faulknor style that evolved into monthly sheet that contained her observations. Instructor Liz Fuller organized journal that incorporated so many techniques that turned the nature journal into a nice documentation of visual experience. So I might try and give it a go putting it all together to fill the pages of my first nature journal. I haven't done nature journaling in the past. Yet, I have few drawings here and there. The thing that I would add to my journal is a sample of the flower I’m sketching. I attached one of my drawings that included a sample of the flower which I pressed and kept with my drawing as a reference to look at and observe the changings that occur to the dry flower! May-A-A-drawing
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jcsouthall
      I am terrible at drawing and have avoided it since childhood. Almost fearful of it. I am going to give this the college try and see how it goes. I’d really like to be able to keep a nature journal, hopefully those skills are learnable.
    • Camille
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      crmeyers
      1. I've always loved observing animals and drawing, so nature journaling is a perfect mix of these two loves. I also love the way nature journals look in how they combine drawings, paintings, and writing. They can tell a story and capture a moment in a beautiful and informative way. As much as spending time in nature is relaxing for me, I have not been doing it enough lately. So, I'm really looking forward to spending more time outdoors while nature journaling. 2. I like the approach of making good use of the page by filling it with multiple sketches of the same subject from different angles or zooming in for more detail. I also like the style where the text flows around the drawings and makes notes on observed behaviors. 3. Since I am also a creative writer with a background in biology, I think it might be fun to add poetry to the journal pages.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      saraherter
      Question #1: What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I have always enjoyed art, but have never fully pursued my interest outside of a couple of classes. I realize now that one reason this interest went unfulfilled is because I hadn't found the right medium. The moment I discovered nature journaling, I realized that it combined my love for the natural world with sketching, painting, journaling, observing, reflecting, learning, and remembering.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      saraherter
      Question #1: What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I have always enjoyed art, but have never fully pursued my interest outside of a couple of classes. I realize now that one reason this interest went unfulfilled is because I hadn't found the right medium. The moment I discovered nature journaling, I realized that it combined my love for the natural world with sketching, painting, journaling, observing, reflecting, learning, and remembering.
    • Isabel
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      isabelanna4
      I have journaled for the past year- more of a travel journal and not necessarily only for nature. I would love to incorporate some of the movement and variety found in nature into my process. I love bits and pieces from each of the the journals shown- the broke boxes from the first journal to delineate and give space for notes, the color palettes from the second journal so you can mark not just the image but all of the colors present. I also really like the idea of a month page- where you don't have the pressure of a day to day, but can slowly add on to the page to build a memory for the nature moments you sank into in a particular month.
    • Kadi
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Kadibirdie
      Reading old journal notes of small, forgotten nature memories brings me so much pleasure. I signed up for this course as a way to gift my future self these moments of joy, as well as to honor all of the ecological tidings that I spend so much time appreciating. Thanks for setting up the course, Liz!
    • Adelaide
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      adelaide.johnson
      My sister and I wanted to do an art project together - in a remote way.  She is in New Hampshire while I am in Alaska. A goal is to develop a regular drawing practice. I would like to place multiple sketches on one page using graphics to capture an image of the morning. One new idea is to do a quick sketch each day to describe the weather with an illustration. For example, today the clouds and fog are obscuring Mt. Juneau...kind of a scruffy start, but thank you for this opportunity to reflect, learn,June 15 and improve!
      • Bonnie
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        bjreimann
        I love this idea of describing the weather each morning with an illustration!!
    • Jean Oliver
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Jean Oliver
      I want to instil a habit of journaling and thought taking the course, spreading it out step by step over a few weeks would help me do that. I keep extensive written journals when I travel. Those journals and the photos are invaluable, but personal observations are thin...sketches and carrying a field journal will help me dig deeper into what I am seeing and feeling, and also slow me down which is good for me. Watching these videos, I was inspired by the use of white space, and liked the idea of boxes, how written details seems to add to the "art" of the pages, various organizational tactics, and the use of shapes to quickly get details down. I also liked how the images sometimes crossed over two pages. My goal is to improve at quick studies, and can gain skills in capturing movement in the subject. Orn Lab covid skulls sketch
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Laura Schofield
      I have been inspired to strengthen my nature journaling skills. When I travel, I always have a journal, small watercolor set and colored pencils. When I look back on my journals, it's the pictures that I most associate with memories rather than the text. I would like to bring these skills into my middle school science classrooms...help students slow down, observe and make more memories from their environment.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      marynucci
      for me, it is trying to return to my love for just being outside.  at 62 i have spent much of my adult life working and raising children.  although i live on a farm, taking the time to just BE in nature is rare--always something to do.  i want to nature journal as a gift to myself--to allow myself to slow down and enjoy the wonder of the world around me. i particularly am drawn to the stories of the nature journalists.  i hope that i can create a bit of my own style while copying the beautiful work shared with me here.
    • Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      JFeldkamp
      I'm an outdoor lover and active birder. I spend as much time outside as I can. Since I live in the upper Midwest, it is highly seasonal how often I can be out. I actually wrote a nature journal in the '80s that my sister illustrated. Since then, I've seen a couple exhibitions with field sketches and botanical illustrations that I thought we stunning and wonderful. So when I saw this class, I immediately wanted to take it. Yet I've been procrastinating and feeling intimidated. I'm not artist, and I'm the type whose stuff should always be 'good.' So it will be a stretch and challenge for me to try this. But it will also be healthy and give me another reason to explore outside.
    • Roseann
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      roseann.millward
      I have been writing down birds in a journal for some time but have been very intimidated to incorporate drawings in my  because I can't draw. I was encouraged to find that some of the journalers did not have perfect journals. Seeing the different journalers gave me hope that I can incorporate images in my journal.
    • Tiffany
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      tlutnick
      6/7/20 1. I've enjoyed drawing since childhood, but don't do it as much anymore as it feels hard to make the time between the demands of work and having elementary aged children. I was inspired to start sketching while hiking and camping a few years ago, which led to an interest in nature journaling. When I did, I loved how it really solidified memories of that time and things I experienced. I felt like it enhanced the way I experienced a hike or camping with family in a way that photos or writing alone did not. However, I wished I had some help improving my drawing skills and learning to watercolor, beyond a couple of nature journaling books I have, so this course really interested me. During quarantine, I started drawing daily with my kids, which has been a great way to improve my skill, keep creativity alive & fresh, find some balance at the end of hectic days managing my kids' education and my work, and also to encourage my kids to be creative. We've also been taking walks around the neighborhood and, going the same places so often, have taken notice of the changes in nature as the seasons progress. As a result, I've been inspired to take a page from my kids' nature program and do a weekly "sit spot" in the same area in my yard and create a nature journal page of what I'm noticing that day. I think that could be a really fun record of the changes throughout the year to look back on. 2. I already use a similar style to the first journaler in the video with the boxes and partial boxes and text all around to note observations and questions, as well as a box with place, date, and weather information, so I plan to continue with that. I liked the color swatches another person included too. The last journal was inspiring with the regularity of the drawings (one each day or a month's worth at a time). I don't plan to journal that frequently and prefer more text with the drawings, but it was beautiful and I'd like to aspire to that level of illustration.
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      kelbrio
      Hi, I'm Kelly.  I read through many of the responses to the question and found that I share many of your interests. I love nature, especially birds.  I enjoy drawing and photography, and I keep travel journals to record my experiences. When I saw the course being offered, it felt like the right time to bring all my interests together and to express my outdoor experiences through a creative lens. I'm not sure what approaches I will take, but I am open to the process of dabbling to find what speaks to me. I can't wait to get started and see where this journey takes me!
    • Michele
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      uuandme2014
      fullsizeoutput_486 6/5/20.  Hello to Liz and All:  After I retired as a school social worker over 10 years ago, I decided to volunteer at a nature center.  I also took a sketching course at the East Lansing Community Center and got a wonderful teacher, Sharon Griffis Tarr.  Sharon invited me to take a weekend nature journaling class.  I was hooked.  I just finished my first book, but it took over 5 years.  I had never drawn before  but can attest to what a wonderful experience nature journaling has been.  You don't have to be a perfect artist but your artistic skills improve if you are inspired by nature journaling.  This class looks like the perfect opportunity to get out and appreciate nature, learn and have tons of fun.  I loved the idea of doing a monthly page of little thumbnails of nature around you.  For me, nature journaling imprints a lovely moment in my memory much better than a quick photo.  I look forward to every second I will spend in this class.  MLS
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        BirdShir
        Lovely story along with your lovely journal page. Thanks for sharing both.
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      patofvta
      6/4/2020  Hi! My name is Pat.  I recently retired 4/3/2020 and have from now to the rest of my life to do what I enjoy.  I have been a beginner birder for several years.  I am a watercolorist and photographer.  I remember how much better I see when I take the time to sketch the subject.  I had it on my bucket list to get more invloved in ebirds and this seemed like the perfect coarse.  It brings several areas of interest together and I am hoping will inspire my creativity, help me to better identify the species of birds, and provide a journal of my adventures. Pat
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      beckgard
      6/03/2020  This covid quarantine is lovely for us creative introverts.  I am lucky to be able to telework and my supervisor is encouraging me to explore some story telling projects that couple library research with artistic map making.  I work primarily on computer.  I am treating myself to this course as a way to disengage from technology and re-engage my skills as a draftsperson, artist, and observer.  I like the nature journaling format because there is no pressure to create a work of art (shiver) it allows for experiments, mistakes, and Growth! to happen. I will draw what presents itself.  My husband is retired and gardens and cooks and so there is amazing subject matter to draw right here in my own home.  We have two rat terriers who cavort and snuggle and will be wonderful models, plus we enjoy primitive camping, birding, and fishing and so I will incorporate some landscapes and observations from the wild in my journal too.  It will be a Life Journal. I appreciate seeing and hearing about the nature journals presented in the video.  The journalers could tell us so much about their observation; even the weird little wiggles had a story, thought, and attempt attached to it.  I do like the idea of setting a Rule for myself such as a drawing every day, or placing a box around my drawings...perhaps just starting with the date and location and weather!   Rebecca on her porch in NM: crickets chirping, wind calm, stars twinkling overhead, moths attacking my computer screen...better get drawing!
      • Caroline
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        benjaminboies
        Couldn't have said it better, Rebecca. I love that you said "creative introverts", and thank you for sharing your story.
    • laini
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Lainiforrester
      I have always been very interested in sketching and painting but I have never taken a class or learned from professionals. My grandfather is the one that pushed me out of my comfort zone to begin this course. He is one of the best artists I know. It is always good to get out and try new things. I'm hoping to learn a lot about myself and my abilities during this class. I was very drawn to the first journaling style due to the organization of her pages yet fullness. All her pages were very detailed so she could look back and be able to tell exactly what she was doing and looking at. That's what I hope to achieve in my journal. I do not have any different journaling styles to share but I hope to maybe create my own during this experience.
    • kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      kattykort
      My path to nature journaling has been a slow progression. I first starting birding about six years ago and for the past two years have dabbled in drawing. The first example of the journals really appealed to me because I always come back to the house and research what I have seen. It would be great to have a page dedicated to each subject, with research added to document my findings. Journal Class Notebook This is a sample from one of my birding journals
    • Heidi
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Meierdvm
      49A40457-2AEE-4A81-85E5-F690F3A27A95
    • Heidi
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Meierdvm
      I am very excited about this course. I have been doing independent nature journaling for a couple of years. John Muir Laws nature journaling was my inspiration. He has been a valuable resource for guiding me to look at nature more. My goal is to journal daily, in or out of the field. I would like to add more maps with keys, more drawing, more scientific data analysis, plots, and charts. I tend to just write and bullet things I’ve seen. But, transforming this into imagery would be great. I maintain several logs for bird migration, bird species count, butterfly, dragonfly, damselfly, beetle, frog/ toad, and wildflower on either a daily, weekly or when noticed in nature. Nature grounds me. I get so excited when I see seasonal migrants/ flowers and enjoy logging all my findings.
    • Joanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      JoannaLovett
      My goal is not the end product but the doing. To be free to experiment and learn new things. Change/not to be afraid to  make mistakes. Sometimes I know this will mean going a little too far, but how will I know if I don't try. Commiting to this I know , whatever the outcome,  that I will be giving myself the gift of seeing - something that happens every time I allow the time for a regular practice of drawing. I will begin to really see  all the wonderous details in everthing I see - throughout the whole day. Can't wait, and so encouraging to see the other journals and read the other comments of people on the journey too! thank you! Joanna
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        BirdShir
        Hi Joanna, I like your thinking. I feel a bit the same way. I feel perfection strains my creativity and natural ability to sketch what I see. If I wanted perfect, I would just take a photo or find a perfect with Google and print it. I find one wrong line is not the end of the world and is the beginning of my creativity of really making a sketch my own. Sounds crazy I guess but that is me. I am sketching and drawing so many other projects and things along the way slowing my course to make certain I am learning to apply the concepts as I go along. I am a bit farther along in the course than you as started a good while back. Right now I am to the adding color part and have really taken a break from the class just to try out watercolors and brushes I already have - I am finding them quite nice. I had never thought of sketching out my pic first and then adding watercolors. I had always just thought you created with the brush. I drew three intricate roses yesterday and instead of the usual colored pencils, I used watercolors. It went quite well ---hahaha...until I got to the background which I suspect I was supposed to have done a wash first before painting anything else. I flubbed it but that is okay....I scanned before adding color so I can do it again if I so desire. Probably not, though. Will just sketch a different kind of flower and give it another try. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I really think you are going to be very successful - remembering it's not about perfection but the experience. I like that! Sketch Flower Rose Last Day Of May Loves Watercolor
    • Carol & Shirley
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      birdykes
      A6AB62CF-0C6E-40EA-8A18-FEC4B1CD1FB2
    • Shirley
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      sandrews2525
      I love capturing the beauty of nature.  It's important to me to record the details.  It helps me to relive the experience.  Writing in a journal is a way to connect to nature.  Viewing other's journals have greatly inspired me.  I began tracing leaves and soon learned the identification. I tend to do more writing then drawing because I'm not a great artist but would like to learn to draw more and add color. The tracing of the leaves helped me put size into perspective.  I filled in the veins by hand, added color to some.  That was an encouraging way for me to do something that looked nice without drawing the full object.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      NancyChew
      1. I took an introductory art course a couple years ago and learned the basics of drawing and painting but have only done a little bit of painting since I completed the course. I feel painting in a journal may be less intimidating than a stand alone painting. Also, I started birding a little while ago and would like to be able to keep a journal about what I see -- not just the birds but also plants and other animals I may see. Nature journaling seems like the perfect opportunity to allow me to practice drawing and watercolour painting and improve my observational skill. 2. I want to try the combination of drawings, in a box,  and journaling about the experience or observation.I like the structure of having the date, time, place and weather in a small box in the top right corner. I want to try the idea of showing a magnification to show more detail.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      sarahklo
      I'm inspired to begin nature journaling because the drawings I have made that I really liked in the past have been of nature--particularly a few good bird drawings done from taxidermied specimens, when I took an ornithology course in college. I'd like to practice doing it more, practice drawing from life more, and mix it with the kind of idea gathering journaling that I use to inspire writing. I find that the style I like best is one that intersperses plenty of textual record with drawings, and I really loved the examples with boxes drawn around the artwork after the fact. I expect that I will be doing quite a lot of backyard birds and plants. I want to think about how to use a fountain pen or two in journaling, because I've seen writer friends do that in ways I would love to try out.
    • Sally
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      sally19
      Hi, my name is Sally. I really enjoyed watching the videos of the different journaling methods. I would like to start my journaling with date time and weather. I like the insert boxes that show magnified parts of the drawings. I will be using watercolor to begin with and I would like to use a nice script done in a very fine pen. I am a bit of an organised person so I am sure I wont be happy with my journal until I have a method of setting it out. I will probably use loose paper or another pad to jot things down in and to catch my rough drawing then tidy up in my art studio into a more permanent journal. That is just me.  I love nature and can think of no better way of enjoying it than to start a nature journal. I am always taking photos but in doing this I have noticed that I am actually missing out on really seeing the things that I photograph.  I never even knew that nature journaling existed until quite recently and I was thrilled with the idea of making one. What a wonderful way to enhance memories of thing that we see. I am very happy to begin this course.
    • Caroline
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      cwparks
      Hi, my name is Caroline. I bought this course as a birthday/retirement gift to myself! My retirement plan is to live and travel full-time in an RV and to develop my creativity and my ability to express what I'm experiencing in nature. I haven't done a lot of drawing in my life, and I've never really experimented with watercolor or colored pencils, so I'm really looking forward to exploring all these different techniques in the course. I really resonated with the way Jewel used her journal as a memento and a way to share her experiences with others. Also, one of my goals is to learn to distinguish the various colors in what I'm looking at, and to be able to represent those colors in my art, so including the color swatches on the pages appealed to me.
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        BirdShir
        Hi Caroline, Congratulations on your retirement. I wish you joy and many adventures on your RV tour and look forward to hearing or reading some of your exciting journal entries. Thanks for sharing.
    • Duane
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Purepenguin
      Hello Everyone, my name is Duane. I have to say Liz inspired me to begin this course. I am not sure how I came across the Bird Academy, but I started reading and watching the videos. I have been an artist all through out my life. I live in Alberta and love nature and all things found in it. Biggest part of my goal I have set out to achieve, is to enhance my drawing-painting skills with birds and nature. I have also never written a journal, I think this is fantastic. I feel this excitement to share this learning experience with everyone here.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lmosiecki1
      1. I was inspired to begin nature journaling because I have always loved birds and wildlife.  The last few years I have tried to be outside to get my "nature fix" at least once a day to relieve stress. I am trying to expand my skills with photography and watercolors, as well as remember the wonders that are outside.
    • Terry
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      livingsystems
      61196976038__52024A7F-08E9-4B22-8FFA-3E5CB8FD17EBHi my name is Terry and I took the course as a way to do something creative during the lockdown this summer and reconnect with my previous study of Goethean Science.
    • becky
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      bmeldorf
      Hi everyone my name is Becky. I have enjoyed reading the reasons others have enrolled in this course. I have kept written journals in the past, but I have never sketched or used water color to record the natural world around me. I’m hoping to acquire these skills.
    • Dale
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      DFarrar8
      I’ve always loved nature and have been taught by great uncles, grandmas and moms to see things that are hidden by slowing down observations. I love the idea of a scientific journaling habit that would also help me meditate. I’d like to try a journal with a couple of main pictures of the subject and smaller detailed “pop outs”. I think this would be most valuable to me if I write observations, behavior notes and a note about researched facts.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      kbarlow
      Currently, I paint wildlife from the photographs I take.  I would love to be able to quickly paint a sketch of what I see.  My block has been picking and choosing from all my tools in my studio...I cant take my studio with me, but can easily take a camera.  That has been my excuse.  My diary has kept the dates, location, weather, etc. for the photos I take.  The journal would do the same.
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      CPagel49
      I have been looking at this course for the last year.  I even bought all the materials and then did not enroll for a forgotten reason.  I just finished the beginning birding online class offered by this organization and after looking at birds in my neighborhood, came home and drew them.  My skill with watercolor is non-existent, so I decided to take this course to add splashes of color to my drawing and start taking my journal with me on my walks.  Social distancing has offered up opportunity for this kind of activity.  Walking alone gives me time to study things around me that I see every day but don't really look at.  I enjoyed all the journals and was thrilled to see that even with the different styles and abilities the results were so pleasant to me and so meaningful to the person creating the journal.  I look forward to starting.
      • Dale
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        DFarrar8
        Cheryl, I am thinking the same as you. My sketches are okay but I can really ruin them by adding watercolor. It makes me a bit nervous. I am doing this because of social distancing, too. I hope this journal can become more of a habit that I can look back at and enjoy.
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        BirdShir

        @Dale Hi Dale, I have been wondering about that, too, re watercolor to my sketches. I usually scan my sketch before I add color as even with pencils sometimes color changes my sketch. I decided to print a couple of those and add watercolors. The sketches have detail of the feathering of wings, etc. but after adding the paints though they look nice, I have lost my feather detail. So am hoping to gain a bit of skill of how not to do that. Taking a breat from the instruction at present and as Liz asked us, just trying to get familiar with my watercolor and art supplies and play around with colors, etc. before continuing on to the next section. It has been fun so far.

    • Genevieve
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Meowwings
      I have always enjoyed being outdoors and learning about nature, but usually I was very active, hiking or biking. Now that I have small children we cover a lot less ground, and that gives us a chance to appreciate the details. I am interested in nature journaling for something to do while my kids are immersed in outdoor play and also to do with them as they develop the interest. There are so many wonderful nature apps (eBird!), but sometimes I find myself on my phone more than I like,  looking things up or taking pictures. Hopefully nature journaling will help me to stay present in the moment and also help model appreciation for nature for my children.
    • Rachel
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      racheldykeman
      I have always enjoyed drawing... it helps me to focus on details and to look closer at things. I am married to a knowledgable biologist/ ornithologist and we are both passionate about the outdoors and wildlife. I love recording our findings in my nature journal. I have been keeping a nature journal for a while now, but haven't focused on it lately and wanted to spark a little life into my artistic pursuits again.   I'm also hoping to improve my drawing skills, in order to draw more realistically.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      maryer
      I have been a lazy journaler and now have time and space to invest in paying attention to the beauty around me. I am fascinated by the little brown birds in the backyard feeders. I want to get close, to somehow capture who they are. Nature journaling as a creative discipline seems like the perfect solution!
    • ANDREA
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      barnea2
      I'm really going out on a limb here (pun intended) trying this nature journaling. My main goal is to enjoy the process and be satisfied with what I can do, not what I think I "should" be able to do. I really love the beauty of nature in all its forms and hope to be able to capture some of that beauty on the page.
    • radha
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      radhamoorthy
      I have a large back garden that I am trying to cultivate and grow.  In the past I was not particularly interested in gardening, although I grew up in a family with keen gardeners.  The past two years I have taken to gardening and it has become a labor of love.  I have watched the garden grow and change.  I am observing all the flowers, vegetables, berries, insects, birds and animals in the garden.  I want to record what I observe in a creative way and in a more conscious and active way.  Presently, I take a lot of pictures with my phone.  I like the time, location and weather stamping method.  I also like the boxes around my drawings.  I am hoping to be organized in my journaling, I am not particularly organized so that should be interesting.
    • Adella
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      adellamarie
      1. Hi my name is Adella. I love nature and watching behaviors of birds, enjoy plants, watching insects/butterfly.  I live in Florida and love the subtle change in seasons.  I love looking in bird field guides.  Love the photos and admire the detailed drawings.  I like helping with citizen science projects.  I never thought of nature journaling, but a friend of mine gave me the idea.  I do not have a talent for drawing, but would like to give it a try. 2. My favorite is Holly Faulkner.  I like the way she presented her pages representing each month.  I liked D.J. McNeill's sketches. I liked Liz journal.  It reminded me of the way a children's book is layed out. I would like to try a combination of my favorites. 3. Not at this time.
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      biocrt
      1.  I have always wanted to nature journal but never believed I could draw anything that would ever be recognizable to me let alone anyone else.  I, therefore, took up photography and have used it to create shutterfly books of memories of all my international trips.  But with Covid 19 and more time as well as no options to take my next international trip I thought this is a great time to try and develop this skill to add to the word journals I do when I travel. 2.   I want to mix my words with my drawings and then add in the background I can look up when I get back inside if I don't happen to know that background already. 3. Not yet but I think the more I journal the more personal the style will become.
    • Andrienne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Duranella
      I am Andrienne. I have been doing nature journaling or at least nature drawing for many years. I have an associate of arts degree in studio art from Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, MA,  and I have also studied art at many other places. I am not  a professional artist really but I regard art as my avocation. I call myself a civic artist, by which I mean I participate in local events in Fitchburg, MA where I live, which invite artists to draw scenes of Fitchburg. And the works are later displayed in a public place. What inspired me to do nature drawing is that I love gardening and I enjoy bird watching and watching squirrels and whatever other wild animals come into my back yard— yes, even skunks. I have taken nature drawing classes at Tower Hill Botanic Gardens in Boylston, MA. So when I saw this class offered by Cornell School of Ornithology, I just naturally signed up for it. Of the different artists who showed their journals in this first lesson, I really liked the journals of Shayna Muller and Holly Faulkner the best. I like the way they interwove their comments with their drawings and especially the way Shayna drew rectangles around her drawings in a way that seemed to create unity, but I derived some inspiration from the other artists as well.
    • Henrietta
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      hmdahlstrom
      I'd begun nature journaling before this pandemic, but rather haphazardly, with no real plan or schedule.  Several friends were doing it, and encouraged me.  I watched a number of John Muir Laws videos and really liked his approach.  Now that I have more time I decided to take this Bird Academy course to encourage myself to sketch every day.  I've been walking in the woods near my house every day for the past weeks, recording the birds I see and especially noting the new ones arriving as they rest during their migration.  So since I'm outside already, I'd like to use some of the time to sketch in my journal.  I also have a small journal where I've been sketching all the different warblers, noting their markings in hopes to learn them better, but I'm doing all this from books.  Now I want to be able to draw directly from what I see outside.  Gesture drawings are something I really want to practice and get better at.  I like the combination of drawings with written observations and questions.
    • Priscilla
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Priscilla Taylor-Williams
      Like many of the folks who responded I have joined this class during Covid-19; a nature journal seems like a good way to really be in the world and present to it, while still social distancing. The idea of sharing my observations feels challenging and yet absolutely critical as a way to reach out to others; a way to share the world. Since I retired about 4 years ago I revived my interest in describing the natural world and asking questions about my observations. At that time I began to learn to draw and work with watercolors as well. It seems natural to join learning words to describe what I see (from natural history and gardening) and drawing. I suspect putting both words and art to a page will help me "see" much more. All of the journals in the video gave me ideas for my own journal as did the beautiful examples of other respondents. Having tried to journal before I will be loose about the when of my observations-so the idea of a month of contributions and a record of how things change in the month will work well I think. I like the idea of boxing images and key ideas after writing/drawing. One of the things I loved from the videos was that people went back over their experience of drawing and observing and gained new insights. I would like to take a page each month for a reflection on what I have already drawn or written. I loved the description of what the spider was doing and liked the idea of adding specific notations on behavior where possible. The journalists seemed to both work out the colors and "how to draw" along with how to observe and what to observe. This is exactly the juxtaposition of art and science I would like to try out in a journal.
      • Laurie
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Laurie HGibb
        I enjoyed reading your note.  I, too, am trying to find ways to get out of my house in socially distancing ways.  I usually love camping but am not sure how that will be possible at this time, especially in more natural areas.  I've decided to begin right where I am, in my tiny back yard.  I have a feeder and want to try to use the quick sketches of birds to show behavior and posture.  Also, I suddenly have two baby squirrels coming often.  I think I've always taken them for granted.  But as I watch them I see how delightful they can be.  I want to try to do quick sketches to capture some of their antics.  As flowers bloom I want to do sketches with dates as a way to keep track of what's happening.  With climate changes I can see doing this over the years as a way to document changes.  Hopefully, I'll get to be in nature and can do more "wild" living things.  I've made some attempts in past but would like to be more intentional and consistent about my nature journalling.
    • kitten
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      starkap
      I love being in nature.  I try to  catch as many specifics in my surroundings.  I also love feeding & watching birds.  I saw the course offered on the Cornell site & thought it would be a good way to learn more about my surroundings. I am retired & started journaling about my daily activities, thoughts, feelings ... I also took a watercolor class at my local Art Museum school & I thought the combination of nature journaling made sense. All of the journals were unique & interesting—I really liked the organization of Shayna’s, her use to study with it. I really want to try the idea of a daily or monthly journal os sketches, observations, & specifics/details of what I see. I do not have a specific idea for my journal yet—that will come.
    • Maria
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      mariacordell
      1. I’ve been doing some drawing and painting for fun, and have even taken a painting class, and nature journaling seemed like a great way to combine the fun of drawing with really paying attention to nature and capturing (or attempting to, at least) its beauty in a really personal way. 2. All are really interesting. I liked the inset/boxed-in images approach, and also the attempt to draw one thing per day (though that would be really challenging!). I’m sure I’ll end up with some mix of all these approaches, and it’s probably good to vary and try different things, too. 3. Not yet, but I’m sure I’ll end up with my own style at some point.
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 44
      CBMac7
      1. I've always loved being outside in nature, exploring, hiking, listening to the sounds of nature, enjoying the smells & sights, as a child, with my parents & grandparents. Nature journaling will finally give me an organized place to keep all the memories & older items, (pebbles, dried leaves, twigs, & the old feathers of birds), that my parents and I would watch for. 2. I think that I will be inspired by Shayna Miller (use the boxes for the drawings), Jewel Alston (add a watercolor key to some of my drawings), D.J. McNeil (use simple behavior drawings), & Holly Faulkner mostly (incorporate a monthly drawing, using both watercolors & pencil), but I've learned lots from all the journalists. 3. Surprisedly I do. I live on a 5-acre parcel of land that is bordered by my husband's family farm on 3 sides & the National Forest on the 4th. I grow lots of Native flowers & trees and I have pressed flowers, petals, & leaves that I hope to add some 3 dimensional texture to my journaling pages.
    • Carolyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Carolyn Albright
      1. My daughter inspired me to begin nature journaling. She and I share a love of birding, and she told me that nature journaling was awakening her creative side. I also feel that "nudge," so I signed up for the class. We live on 38 acres of wooded property. 2. I would like to use my nature journal as a record of observed species, and to practice my drawing/watercolor techniques. It will be fun to review my journals and notice seasonal patterns. 3. I might also record how I am feeling about the animals/plant life/fungi I'm observing/drawing. Being out in nature is a stress reliever for me.
    • Carree
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      TytoFurcata
      I really like Shayna's use of the boxes to separate the images from the text in an elegant manner.
    • Sally
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mandosally
      Enduring the Covid-19 pandemic, I've been trying to find ways to be creative during my time at home. Last month (April), I wrote a song (or sometimes a "song-let") each day. This month, I decided to sketch daily. I have a wonderful book on nature journaling (John Muir Laws' guide to nature journaling) and I'd signed up for this course awhile back, so I thought this beautiful spring morning, May 2, 2020, was a wonderful day to start my next 30-day challenge. I took my sketchbook outdoors and observed a few things in my backyard. I'm looking forward to the days ahead, learning and practicing and, hopefully, developing a good habit.20200502_NatureJournal
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Jennifer63
      I have a keen interest in nature and spend many hours alone enjoying the woods near my home.    I do not have any art experience at all but wanted to explore that side of myself.   This course seemed like a good way to combine my interests. I really like the idea of a monthly page in my journal.     Where I live is very seasonal and it would be fun to capture the monthly rhythms with art.    We’ll see how it goes!  Jenny
    • Geri
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      cooperhawk2
      I just joined today (April 30th) and haven't read through all the replies but empathize with us all for reaching out for focus, art, and observation.    I am an avid bird watcher, sometime artist (when I don't get distracted) and garden person.  I enjoyed all the journals - about how they can be a process, don't have to be a final product, can be focused on shape and pattern (D.J.), beautifully rendered(Holly), enthusiastic about color and shadow (Blue Footed Boobies and rocks - William), organized and synergistic with illustration and writing observations(Jayna), and observing and playing with color and palettes (Jewell).  I also liked Margaret's pondering about the hummingbird and stages of observation.  Onward! Geri
    • Quentin
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      CaribouQ
      For one sketching is just cool. I really like looking at other people's sketchbook. I teach and absolutely love having students practice their sketching skills. Of course, many think they cannot draw and once I get them started, I am always amazed at what they end up doing. I am convinced this is a healthy exercise not only for the study of natural sciences, but also to keep balance in our fast-paced world. Journaling is an obvious bridge between art and science. I want to improve my observation skills and eye/mind/hand coordination to represent on paper what I see. Choosing one journal was really difficult. I like Jewel's humbleness, Margaret's study of hummingbirds, and Holly's determination all stick out. I overall preferred D.J.'s spider entry. His taking the time to properly observe behaviour and sketching it is closer to what I want to accomplish.
    • Kayla
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      wagn0562
      Journaling my thoughts and feelings have always been therapeutic for me. Due to COVID-19, I decided to finally decided to try a new hobby: watercolor painting. This course seems like the perfect way to blend the two. I am a recent graduate of wildlife biology so I would love to use this practice to enhance my field skills and continue to be curious about nature. I liked Shayna Muller's and Holly Faulkner's journals. Many people have mentioned how Shayna used that zoom in approach, which is something I would like to try. I tend to become hung up on layout (blank pages can be intimidating). So I would like to jump in and make it more collage-like and random. Which brings me to my goals for this class. I get caught up in the notion that art needs to be perfect. My goal for this class would be to let go of all expectations and allow myself to feel the simple joy creation can bring.
      • ANDREA
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        barnea2
        Great plan! I too hope to let go of all expectations and allow myself to feel the joy of the process - not something I'm very good at, so this will be a challenge for me.
    • Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      odonnee6
      My friends and I decided to do this course together. This is great because it gives us incentive to stay on track. I have wanted to keep a nature journal for awhile but don't think I can draw that well. I am excited to try and I have come up with a goal which really excites me. My son and I have started beekeeping and I am an avid gardener. Now I am wondering what pollinates all various plants around me. I think it will be fun to observe my garden closely and find out the answers to this question. I like Shauna Muller's journal keeping style because she keeps information in a way I find attractive and logical.
    • Azurekat
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Azurekat
      I like the idea of putting similar thoughts on one page, expressing an idea on one page through these pictures rather than a making it a memory of a single trip or visit somewhere. I hope to use this type of journaling to gather and organize my thoughts, and perhaps to express sentiments. I know most people seem to be using this type of journaling to capture a memory, and maybe I'm way off mark, but that's my plan. I used to draw a lot when I was younger, and in recent years have tried some watercolor and acrylic but was really pretty lost about how to go about it. In the last few years, I have been working on my garden, planting natives and butterfly and pollinator plants. I have registered my garden as a Monarch Waystation, and a Pollinator Garden. I have had so many little visitors I was in awe! And now I want to capture my guests, my feelings, my little patch of the world through this journaling and maybe share it with the world. I hope this course will give me some direction and insight on how to make this a reality.
    • Nolan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      nolrich829
      Hi, my name is Nolan. I'm excited to begin nature journaling because it will be a fresh new way to express my love and fascination with the natural world. I enjoy birding and identifying plants, and I think journaling will enhance these activities. I like the first journaler's journal. I want to have a fun and creative fusion of drawings and text to help remind me of these experiences and for knowledge retention. I'm pretty stoked.
      • Azurekat
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        Azurekat
        Hey Nolan, I love bird and plant watching also, I just have such a terrible memory that once I identify something, I can never remember what it was and have to look it up constantly. I never remember. Maybe if I get good enough at this journaling, it might be a way to remember names and features of particular animals and plants. Thanks for the idea!
    • francisco
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      staffanell
      I have been retired from government service: case worker, case worker supervisor, probation officer, psychiatric social worker, and finally correction's counselor. I have been restoring my health for the past 5 years: I changed my diet.  I used to keep a large garden before I got ill.  I am looking forward to growing a small garden soon. Grew tomatoes, garlic and onions plus lettuce, carrots and peas. At this stage of my life a Journal will help me organize myself in preparation for the day that will surely come. thumbnail
    • Michael Kaproth
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mtk5
      1. To Journal like this allows me to revisit the trip, the experience, and those days. I am looking forward to using the combination of the scene and setting, the artistic details or subjects, and then adding notes and observations, or tiny maps, to be better able to conjure up the moment again. 2. The first impulse I have for a direction on a journal style: I think I would be adding pages to the journal as brief pencil and pen sketches with added notes, observations and speculations. I will try to add watercolors of special images, or do color swatches to remember images.  Jayna's description of zooming in for a detail or a color swatch sounds interesting, and will be tried first.
    • Stacey
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      S E Wilson
      Inspiration: I have alway been a keen observer of nature but have never tried recording what I see artistically--I can see where this would be very helpful in learning species--plants, animals, insects etc...I was interested in the course previously...now with some extra time at home ( there is only so much Netflix one can watch...), I decided to take advantage of the generous free offer and give it a try. Journal Style: All the journals were beautiful and interesting...I really liked the idea of using a "zoom" image for details..I liked the including the date, time, weather, location idea...I like including both observations in detail, quotes, and images--I also like the idea of organizing some pages with boxes  while others may be more free formed... Journalling Ideas...I have played with art journalling a little, I may also add some other paper cuttings or images into the nature journal.
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      LauraStovel
      1. What inspired me: Lately, during the COVID 19 epidemic, I have been going into the nearby forest alone and observing, drawing and journaling. I was amazed at what I was learning just by paying attention. I also started to sketch the birds I was seeing, memorizing what they looked like, then returning home to identify them, learn their songs, and sketch them from photos.  I want to continue this rewarding habit and sketch more and more directly from nature.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      jirwinromo
      I saw this course on the website and gifted it to my sister (free!) then decided to buy one for myself. I never had art in school - all music and books for me! But I took a water color class at a community center decades ago, before marriage and kids, and now have some time to try it again. My mother instilled in my family a love of nature and the outdoors. She passed away last year at about this time. Thinking of her and now having to slow down with Covid-19 restrictions have inspired me to give this a try. Without being able to travel, I think it’s time to appreciate the environment I have the privilege of living in, the northern suburbs of Chicago close to Lake Michigan. The elements of the journal examples I think I could re-create are the notes and info on place, time, weather, etc. Some of the talented artwork will be daunting! I am still waiting for my art supplies to be delivered - purchased online, I guess they aren’t an essential service. It will be fun to get those paints out!
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      SusanBallard
      This course is a gift from my children and their spouses for my 65th birthday. My family knows of my love for all things nature (especially birds) and the course will help me capture memories and the wonder of nature. I want to leave a journal & sketches for my family to enjoy.
      • Cathe
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        cchatter55
        Happy medicare birthday! Mine was also a gift from my biologist son for my 65th birthday. I am looking forward to this journey!
    • Kimberly
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      kcollingwood
      I have wanted to take this course for awhile, but I am a very busy teacher of 8th grade and college.  I finally have the time to do it!  I also have some burrowing owls across the street from me who always have their babies in May, so I thought I could capture some of their antics.  I really liked the monthly journal or the journals from trips that people made.
    • Les
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      Lesbrandt
      My inspiration for taking this course is my lifelong love of nature and a desire to learn to draw and record what I see. I think I was born with that desire but it was put on hold many decades ago when I was nine or ten and I was trying to draw a deer jumping across a log. My teacher looked over my shoulder and told me I shouldn't try to do that anymore because I couldn't. So I have motivation!  I also want to use what I learn to show young people all the things there are to appreciate in the outdoors and that drawing and painting does not have to be frightening and intimidating.  Love the ideas on how to compose pages and information, and to look at my journal as an experiment, not as something that will be judged, not by me or anyong else. I want to learn and have fun.
    • Amanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      agaskin
      Watching my daughter take her online art lesson at home due to Covid has reminded me that hey, I used to do that.  I had many wonderful art teachers over the years in public schools but over time, I stopped creating with pencil and paper.  I have never stopped making some kind of art; it just hasn't been on paper.  I do sew creatively.  For example, I make my kids' Halloween costumes, quilt, and do all kinds of needlework (embroidery, cross-stitch).  My oldest son and I are both into nature photography and we take mostly bird photographs.  Recently, I took up ceramics but that is on hold now due to Covid.  Animals have always been a large part of my life as pets and as subjects for observation.  I volunteer as a naturalist for a local Audubon Society and that has rekindled my love of bird-watching which I have alway participated into some degree but there have been highs and lows to that.  I guess I have a bit of short attention span and like to try new things!  Yesterday, my son and I participated in backyard bird count with our local Audubon Society and we counted 22 species.  Not bad for not leaving the house!  We were supposed to go to Peru and the Galapagos this summer.  That may now be on hold.  Regardless, I would like to try my hand at depicting some of the nature I see at home and perhaps in these wonderful wild places.
    • subadult
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      subadultwheatears
      1.) I've been drawing for as long as I could hold a pencil, and I've loved being outside, but I never really connected those two things entirely as a kid. I've been wanting to become a better nature journalist but haven't had time will being a student. These journals (and journals I've seen on social media) have inspired me! 2.) I like the idea of creating bounded boxes for works. I struggle with space and placement when journaling, and I like the look of the boxes. I think it will work! My work has often been an afterthought of birding. I predominately work in colored pencil which is difficult, if not impossible, work do in the field. I'm hoping this course will help me branch out of my comfort zone and explore my home with COVID rages on. mecklenburg
    • Kirsten
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      kirstenlissa
      I’m a Texas Master Naturalist and love exploring and learning about our beautiful world. I also started water coloring local flora and fauna during the recent quarantine. It’s been such an enjoyable experience so I wanted to learn more.  I thought I could incorporate it through my volunteering as a Master Naturalist but also to keep record of my experiences and travels (I lead global insider trips, but those are all cancelled right now). I most resonated with the first and last nature journals in the video. I loved the mix of watercolor, sketches, and blocking with details. The last one was just beautiful and inspiring more as an artistic approach to nature journaling. Looking forward to this course. Thank you!
    • cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      c.e.anderson
      This course is my gift to myself as part of a year of learning to celebrate a big birthday. I hope that once it becomes easier to travel again as COVID wanes, I will have had practice in my yard and neighborhood and can sketch as I explore new places. I am trained as a landscape architect and look forward to developing interpretation and representation skills that I really never grasped in school. The journals where impressions and experiences are recorded in little vignettes and text really appeal to me. I am awed by the beauty of the sketch a day/page a month journal, but also took valuable lessons from the fact that many journalers had drawings that were interrupted. One of the approaches that I think I'll adopt is capturing the colors present in swatches - even if I didn't get everything thought through on paper, those colors would help spark memories. For me, I hope to make my journal a collection of memory triggers that brings me back to the experience of the place and time.
    • Marjolaine
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      MergeMerge
      1- I have developed an interest for birds in the past few years and sometimes I sketch them on the field to document my observations and identify the birds back home. So I have actually been journaling without really acknowledging it... But the drawings I have done so far are awfull!! I hope to get better at drawing my observations after doing this course. (a photo of my horrible drawings attached) C56196E5-034B-4887-96ED-31FC495DF1B3 2- I am also very curious about the vegetation that I find in the woods and I usually use photography to keep the memory of it. But I love the idea of drawing it instead. For this purpose, the first journal presented in this video is the model I would use to start. A square around the drawing and lots of notes. I like the scientific approach of it. (I attached a screen capture of my Instagram page on which I post my nature photography under the name 1xparjour) ACC23E7F-72E7-4EDD-BBC8-4BE3019EFC0D 3- I would like to start a herbarium as well, maybe as a side project to pair with my journal.
    • Christa
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Christa Dillabaugh
      I've been wanting to improve my field notes and field sketching for years and this course came to my attention when I was in the Amazon rainforest in March.  Two of my fellow travelers were enrolled in the course and their journals were amazing.  I really like filling a page with a balance of notes and sketches in a blended sort of way.  Not too formal and not to loose.  Excited to get started!
    • Dora
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      DoraZarzavatsaki
      I am a nature photographer. I have been occasionally journaling in the past. I find exciting to capture the mood and impressions of a day's exploration in nature. I would like to include material from journaling to nature books and exhibitions. Drawing feels to me is like a meditation. The sense of time is other.
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Blueskyberg1
      A friend gifted this course to me after we spent time in Maine tracking lynx.  What a sweetie! Each afternoon, I would come back to our cabin and I would write down my observations for the day.  No sketches during the day, because of the cold.  I would like to spend more time journaling outdoors, as I usually take a photo and then get to painting it later. I want to slow down, notice the details and describe them. Be present to the moment and capture it quickly. I also want to notice how I feel when I am out there, what messages come to me.  What else do I notice while I sit there using my senses.  Like what birds did I hear or see while I was sitting drawing skunk cabbage.  Maybe a poem will come, or just a little phrase.  I like the idea that the drawing will help me remember the moment, but I also want to notice how I feel and to record that.
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jmheldenbrand
      I want to move from the thinking about creating a nature journal to the actual work of journaling. I've dabbled here and there, but didn't always get the results in my drawings that I wanted. I so enjoy closely observing the world around me, it seems nature journaling would be a natural fit.  Observing the work of these journalists, I found bits and pieces from each journalist that I'd like to try - Shayna's drawing causes thinking causes writing cycle and her "zoom in" sections in her drawings, Jewel's it doesn't have to be perfect, but feels like a sacred text, William's picture on one page, text facing page, Margaret's easy style of pencil with multiple attempts to go after the details she wanted to portray, D.J.'s concentration on impressions and behaviors, Holly's lesson to use smaller brushes to get the details she wanted with water colors, and Liz's combination of large scale using contour, and intimate scale using details.  Liz's style is most natural for the approach that I'd like to take with my journal.  I like the way images and text enveloped each other. She has a way of capturing the essence of the day or experience.  Hannah Hinchman's journaling style is another one that I enjoy.
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      JHMason
      A peer in my Master Naturalist chapter suggested this class.  I want to become much better at sketching.  Also, I'm hopeful that the close observation sketching requires will translate into helping me identify plants more easily.  Also, I've never used water colors (although I paint with oils), so I'm excited to try a new medium. I really like the idea of recording the date, location, time of day, and subject of each sketch.
    • Dorothea
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      dsotiros
      I am eager to learn to identify more critters, and I am sure nature journaling will be a big help. And I have always wanted to spend more time drawing. I want to use my nature journal in the field to help capture memorable sights.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      lisamac88
      • My daughter was kind enough to give the course to me as a gift; however, I completed my first watercolor class at a local community college this past fall, and we share a love of birds and the great outdoors making the gift not only thoughtful and appropriate but timely as well during COVID-19.
      • I appreciated all of the journalers' styles but was particularly struck by Shayna Miller's and Holly Faulkner's journals. I gravitate toward outlining my art in black as in Shayna's journal, but I also love the crisp, artistic quality of Holly's pages. With that said, I also think something could be gained and used from each of the journalers' styles.
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      kballantyne
      Like many others I decided to pick up this course while I'm sheltering in place because of COVID-19.  I drew so much as a kid and it's a habit I have been trying to re-establish for years. I'm an avid birder and nature lover so I figured this was a good way to merge several things I enjoy.  I really liked the example of the journaler who had the daily and then monthly spread.  Daily is definitely too ambitious for me but filling a page per month seems doable.
    • Stefania
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Stefiex22
      1. The fact that I wanted to connect with the nature in a creative way.  I am a lecturer on Innovation and Creativity and the recent radical change has given me time to reflect upon my life and to plan to write a book. 2. I have noticed that everyone has a structured way of journaling. All of them have changed their styles during the learning process. Clarity needs time. 3. I like taking photographs, I would like to add them too.
    • Gena
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      genathompson
      This course was a gift from a friend during this COVID life that we are living. I was inspired to begin nature journaling because I have always enjoyed watching animals. I am an elementary teacher. Trying to get my students to try something, even though it seemed so foreign to them, has always been a challenge. Understanding that, made me realize that even though this course is a challenge, it should be something that I try because I have this interest in drawing and nature even though I also have a belief that I can't do it! I liked the journal that used more shapes to talk about how to draw. My college art professor taught the same way. It was the first time in my life that I could actually get something on paper that was remotely identifiable! She talked about using lines and shapes for everything that we are attempting to draw. I also like the journals that included writing about what they saw. I think this will help with the journaling by adding a hook into the memories of that day. I am so excited to try nature journaling!
    • Bonnie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      PierceCC
      I love being outdoors and am an avid birder and although I have made a couple of brief attempts of self expression related to the natural world, I never pursued it.  After documenting my goals for this course and thinking about the approaches I appreciated in the journals we saw, I realized I have a lot of ideas but they go in many directions.  I'm looking forward to see where in the world this course takes me.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      archr1
      I am a longtime nature observer and lover, and a retired cartographer. And I keep a personal daily diary, so I am practiced at writing. Before my hand began to shake, I could draw straight lines with ease but although I have dabbled in drawing and painting ... I have animal painting in my family heritage ... I do not feel confident of my ability to capture natural forms. This course will help me to turn my observations of nature into a record and I hope to learn to create simple drawings and paintings. I liked Shayna’s style for its combo of text/thoughts with image and I thought it was very rich in ideas in both elements and they were successfully integrated on the pages. I would like to emulate that. I purchased the course some weeks ago but have been waiting for spring. It is still a little chilly outdoors but as everything else is on hold while we isolate, this seems a good moment to start. I have been collecting “earth treasures” for many years and I am wondering if it will be possible to include some bits in the journal ... they would need to be flat, pressed leaves or flowers or perhaps spores or feathers, little bits of reality alongside artifice.
    • Chad
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ChChad
      <p style="text-align: left;">Started getting serious about birding this year, but have always love the outdoors, whether it's hiking, fishing, or bird watching.  I've also flirted with art on and off over the years and even went to college for it, LOL. I think it would be cool to combine the two and create some lasting memories, but I'd also like to work on cleaning up my style a bit and doing more realistic illustrations. I liked D.J.'s simple pencil drawings and Holly's clean, isolated subjects the best. My wife surprised me with this course for my birthday. Pretty excited to get started. I should be working. (shhhh!)</p> cardinalnewttree-study
    • Bonny
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      OvertheRainbow
      Just as I was bemoaning how poor I am at drawing and beating myself up because its so hard for me to identify birds, a beautiful huge bird flew by and came close enough that I could clearly see he was a bald eagle. I think maybe he winked at me.  Greetings to other COVID shelterers.
    • Lena
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      lena.gibson
      I enjoy sketching stuffed birds at the Slater Museum of Natural History. I also enjoy sketching flowers from my yard. This seems like a good way to pursue these interests. I have had a life long interest in sketching and I have plenty of art materials. The idea of adding the writing is new to me but seems useful.
    • Amie
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      windflower3
      My sketches tend to be from photos and I always feel the need for them to be perfect. Although I have always loved art this need for perfection leads to it being stressful.  So,  I have decided to put these goals on the inside cover if my sketchbook. Perfection isn't necessary,  just relax and enjoy. Draw what I actually see, not what I think I know. Learn more by taking time to really see and then research later. Record so I can be reminded of God's beautiful creations and happy moments.
    • Cory
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      CorShaw
      1. When I bird I always have a camera, sometimes I think I miss out on experiencing the bird and the other birders because I'm focused on taking a picture.  Slowing down and really looking at the birds and the landscape is something I'm looking forward to. 2. All the journals were so different, it was good to see them and have the person tell you what they were thinking and what they captured with their sketch.
    • Dorothea
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      dsotiros
      I am working on a naturalist training course, and I want to be able to draw my observations to help me remember and learn more about them, and because drawing can be go gratifying! So I will be using my journal on outdoor outings.
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      geekscruff
      I liked the style of the first one, that felt quite me, but I also like the bird drawings which focussed on capturing specific details rather than the whole bird. I started birdwatching around 18 months ago, as something to do on dog walks, and I quickly started to notice a lot more than just birds by slowing down and spending time looking - I'm seeing insects, butterflies and plants that I have walked past a thousand times, but never notices. And a few months ago I started drawing birds that I'd seen, once I got home, or just birds from pictures online. And I'm really enjoying both, so combing the two into nature journalling really appealed to me.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      birdloverone
      Holly's colour filled pages appeal to me as well as her determination to produce something daily. I need this inspiration to help me reach my goals. Saturday, April 11, 2020 (Covid days in our world)
    • Auwal
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lugga001
      I was inspired to start nature journaling in order to share my views as well as inspire others on the beauty of the mother nature. I like the journal by Shayna Muller the most. Also, I am motivated by Margaret Corbit that I could be a better nature journalist with time.
    • Alicia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Aliciatrow
      I've just recently started drawing again after not really doing any art since high school. I'm working from home with my two daughters, and we are doing this course alongside my boyfriend's mother (who is an amazing artist and person). I am hoping to become better at sketching live things versus drawing from an image, and I am also looking for my daughters to gain a deeper connection to nature and the world outside around them. One of my daughters wants to be a game warden or work in nature somehow so this is right up her alley. We all love to hike and take walks through the woods, so perhaps this will help us slow down and really take in everything around us.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      walkingwoman
      I enjoyed seeing and listening to each person's approach, style and comments on their process.   I also liked the tips on how to draw using shapes to illustrate birds.  I plan to use the drawing/watercolor  first with observations on the same page , making my own type of field guide.  I also like the the idea of the daily monthly approach for a possible future project. I am inspired to get started.
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      carolrasowsky
      Tried to attach this
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      carolrasowsky
      I first saw this course last fall, and experimented for a few weeks with nature journaling on my own. But with so much free time during this strange “new reality”, I gave myself the gift of registering for the class – and am so glad that I did! What an inspiration! What a treasure you have created with this course... So much information and so many valuable ideas. Thank you for including the discussion board, and for allowing all of these resources to be available at any time.  I’ve been blogging about birds and nature for 6 years, and am hoping the structure of this course will help me transition to more journaling as well. My goal is to gain the motivation to make nature journaling a consistent habit. Tried to attach one of my early nature journal pages from last fall, but it didn’t work :)
    • Line
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Bline65
      I enjoyed keeping field notebooks in university. I'm hoping to combine my interest in science and love of drawing , I'm keen to add color to my journals, and to develop a journaling habit. I like the idea of showing a larger image of place combined with more focused (smaller?) studies. Now that I am so much at home, it seems like a great opportunity to start this, even if its just in the yard.
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lbfawks1
      I began a nature journal several years ago, but never got into the habit and stopped sketching. I miss it and really want to get into it again. During this stressful time of social distancing, I think meditating on the beauty of nature is exactly what I need to feel more positive. I was really blown away by all the journals! I will be incorporating elements of all of them I'm sure, such as "zooming in," focusing on shapes to help with my sketches, dabbling in color, etc. In the past, I liked to focus on sensory descriptions such as hearing and touch, rather than just focus on the visual.
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Winter Owls
      I've found myself for years, stopping on walks to look at bark, fungi and other bits of nature that are easy to miss. I've taken photographs which I've later sketched, but I love the idea of recording extra information in a journal, where, when, how, why etc. I looked at this course for several months but now having been stood down from work due to Covid-19, I have time to do it and really immerse myself in it. I find drawing very stress relieving and it's really helping smooth the edge of anxiety about the current sad situation. I teach art to adults with mild intellectual disabilities. Just before we got shut down, I had introduced them to nature journaling, which they really loved. I'm hoping to send them home a package so that they can continue their journals at home until we can see each other again. I think it will be a lovely activity to compare our journals when we return. I loved looking at all of the journals and will probably take bits and pieces from all of them. I'm also thinking of having some theme pages, such as mushrooms or feathers not all found on the same day, but dated as I find them.
    • Tracy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      bmadison
      I have, in my adult life, been doing some sort of nature journaling in each of our 35 family trips (my late husband, my two daughters and a variety of friends) to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on the Minnesota border with Canada. Since completing the Master Naturalist class offered by the University of Wisconsin Extension over two years ago I as motivated to become a regular chronicler of the world around me which is rural at my home about 25 miles northwest of Madison, the remnants of a farm settled in the mid 19th century by my late husband's family. This year, with more time on my hands and being a perpetually curious person I decided to attempt to make nature journalling a habit. I am drawn to a blend of Liz's style and Shana's, but more toward Shana's. I am more interest in the record of the observations than in the art of the form. I will likely develop my own style as my journal evolves.
    • diantha
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      diantha54
      i would like to establish a practice of seeing, observing more closely.  in order to know that is happening, it will be good to have a record of the journey.
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      mcoravsky
      1. I was inspired to begin nature journaling as a way to develop art skill like sketching and painting. My husband and I spend summers in SE Alaska and there is much opportunity to explore nature. I wanted to have more than just photos. 2. I really identify with the way Liz has kept her journal. It is more than just a book of sketches. Each segment is attached to a memory, recording a time and place of meaning where she may have spent a considerable amount of time or felt a closeness to what she observed that she wanted to preserve.
    • Kristen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kmmattson
      I am a naturalist and educator, but have the great fortune of being exposed to an art program with a lot of focus on nature. I have worked a few times on nature journaling in partnership with the art instructor and have really been inspired by her work! I'd also like to use it as a way to improve my observation skills, slow down, and direct my learning about what I see in nature. I tend to prefer the nature journals with more images, less writing, and collages of different sketches on the page. I love beautiful lettering and more impressionistic sketches.
    • lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lisa.jespersen2015
      What is the Art Watercolor Album for?
    • lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lisa.jespersen2015
      Thank you for the free Nature Journaling Course!  The sample journals are inspiring.  I can’t wait until I’m as good as them.  Patience is a virtue.
    • La La
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Lalawalt
      I have recently started watching the birds at our feeder, sometimes spending hours, noticing small things and thinking I should jot this down. I saw this class in my inbox and thought this would be a great stress reliever and also a way to re-spark some creativity and enjoy nature in a different way. I noticed that I liked something from each person... the way the date was painted, the notations, detail expanded And not worrying about mistakes since it is part of the process and capturing a feeling or memory. I can’t wait to get started.
    • Daniella
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      BozzoneDaniella
      I just got started with this today. I have always been bird watcher and hiker, and I am also an illustrator and it just seemed like the perfect combo of interests. Plus, we are in the middle of the corona quarantine, the weather is gorgeous, I can only go to my house or outside, so it seems like the perfect time to do it. I suspect a lot of my "field" in my field journal will be in my front and back yards. That's alright though -- we have all of the spring blooms and critters getting into action now. Plus we have tons of trees and the birds around here really like our yard. I suspect my pets and husband's vegetable garden may get featured occasionally in spite of their fully domesticated status.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Gags will
      Just completed participating in the Feeder Watch Project.  My husband and I like feeding and watching the birds.  In addition to bird watching, I used to draw growing up and took a lot of art classes.  I've done photography over the years, but now that I'm retired, I'd like to get back to drawing.  This seemed like a great way to combine my love of nature with my love of drawing.  I haven't used watercolor before, so I'm excited to try!
      • Priscilla
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        Priscilla Taylor-Williams
        Hi Nancy, My husband and I have been participating in the Feeder Watch program for about 5 years now. Luckily, thanks to Cornell we can go back and see some of the changes in our own yard.  I have not drawn much ever until about 2 years ago, when I retired and decided to learn. Like you I thought this would be a great connection to the two aspects of my new life. I am encouraged to think that others are also experimenting with making connections and learning from our journals and observations. So it is nice to "meet you".-Priscilla
    • Giuliana
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      giulianacpferrari
      I'm a biologist, a frequent fieldworker and have always loved to be outside in nature. Would love to explore and learn how to merge my love for watercolours with my love for observing the poetry of every-day tropical life. I'm interested in sketching from landscapes to the animals I see and work with, to be able to have treasured memories for the years to come
    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      rstaker
      Question 1:  What inspired me?    Well, like millions of others I am social distancing.  I am a middle school teacher in rural Colorado and there are only so many hours you can spend in front of the computer screen so I decided to try to enhance my journaling abilities while at home. Question 2: I want to give the "zooming" in aproach a try.  I like this broad/detailed approach.  I have always used colored pencils in my journals in the past, so I am looking forward to working with water colors.
    • Lauren
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      cokerpelli
      I used to have a small field journal to sketch my bird observations. I haven't done it in over a decade, but when I look back at those journals it transports me back to the time and place. I can picture myself in that location with certain people who are no longer with us. Now that I am working from home due to Covid-19, I wanted to take some time to immerse myself in the nature that surrounds me. I am convinced that by taking the time to truly observe the natural world near my home and the daily changes that are occurring here in early Spring, it will help me through this extraordinarily challenging time for all. Thank you so much for offering this course - the timing is perfect.
    • Sally
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      ssmaida
      I've always been interested in birds and have tried a variety of ways to take in and experience their presence. I'm planning to do more birding, which I've always done informally, and want to be more intentional about learning and experiencing nature. I liked D.J.'s basic sketches which really capture the beauty, shape and positioning of the birds.  And Holly's illustrations were beautiful. While I doubt I can even aspire to that level, her goals and practices of noticing and enjoying part of daily nature walks is something I feel confident I can incorporate into my life.
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      EatingOnTwoWheels
      I've had my eye on this course for a while now, and finally asked for it for my birthday. And? Here I am!  I am outdoorsy and a wanna-be naturalist. I love photographing nature (so proud that one of my photos is in use by my local Audubon Society!), but sometimes I feel that photography reduces, rather than enhances my observational skills. Sketching seems to be not only a practical and creative way to improve one's observation and identification skills, but a beautiful way to "honor" the natural world around me that I love so much. I am a bit nervous. I hope that perfectionist-me can find a way to derive richness and meaning from this activity without being perfect. Or even... good. Thank you.
    • Sonja
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      savena
      1. I am inspired to nature journal because I now have a structured way to get started--thank you! 2. I really liked the journal that had the many pictures on one page, and they were all done in a month. I like the idea of reflecting back on that time in your life. It would be good for just every day.
    • serena
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      serena bakx
      I want to remember everything I see and I love drawing nature.
    • Shir
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      BirdShir
      I guess my journaling is a bit different as some days it is nature and other days it may be a weather girl or something. My daily nature journaling all started when a friend from church had to leave her home and go to another state to be near her son thus moving to assisted living. several years ago. I have sent her a note everyday since she left. It always starts with a sketch from a recent experience and then a story or note about the sketch to bring life into her room besides thinking of being unhappy there. I know I could just put a photo of my bluebird but it is important to me that it be a personal sketch. My goal is to make her smile, laugh or relate to something from her former days. I do not get feedback from her or return notes. I never give up though. It might be a new green with white spots bug I saw running down the street or a bird that was on my feeder and as I mentioned - today it was me as a weather girl being blown and swirled with leaves by the wind. Over time, I also send this to 5 other people that I feel need cheering and inspiration in their day. So my day starts with a sketch and a note not about how they are doing but a story or experience to brighten their day. I also print my sketches as wallet size prints and share them with children at church and all of the adults want one, too. I was interested in the course as it is so me. It is what I do, take nature walks, watch the birds, get excited over the tiniest bug or flower and have a wild story to go with each. I felt perhaps I would learn some hints on how to better my skills. I sketch with a black pen so no erasing and my marks that go astray make my characters take on a charm or character of their own. I will tackle sketching anything I see knowing good and well that I can not do it. However me and my magic pen somehow am able to do it. I amaze myself each time. So that is a bit about my story and my desire for nature journaling. It helped to see other journals and realize that journals do not have to be formal and can be ongoing - like at first a sketch book and later going back and adding notes. I was impressed with the work. I especially like when the page is more about the sketch so far as space and the writing is the minor part that meets the eye. Thank you for sharing.
      • Laura
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        lbfawks1
        The way that you share your sketches and stories with others is so heart warming! Thank you for the kindness and joy you spread!
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      kfoh57
      1-Have a collection of things I’d like to sketch, shells, twigs, very small skulls. Hopefully this course will help me, inspire me, to discipline myself to achieve this. 2-The journal examples are all very nice, each in their own way. I’m not going to pressure myself to do a daily sketch. To learn observation and documenting.
    • Martha
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mrmcalister
      I was inspired by my love of nature and enjoyment of drawing and painting.  I want to use journaling as a means of learning more about the world around me as Shana does by using a straightforward approach to observing nature, drawing and asking questions in the field and researching books and online guides at home.  I like Holly's idea of drawing every day.  I like the look of her pages.  They look refined, with good color and lots of detail.
    • Liz
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      lizberg
      1. I was actually inspired to start nature journaling by reading a book "Planetwalker" By John Francis. He spent years walking and painting/sketching his surroundings. I have always loved the outdoors (particularly birds) and I did some of my own nature journaling back in college. Now that I'm on a Sabbatical I'm excited to jump back into the practice for my own enjoyment and self-discovery. 2. I like the writing interspersed with drawings. I was more drawn to the less organized journals than the ones that were more formal. I also liked the journals with no lines or grids. 3. I would love to incorporate poetry into my journal as well even if it's just a few lines. It could be my own poetry from that moment or a line or two I'm reminded of while sketching.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      shamby
      I've always loved and been fascinated with nature. I also love crafty, creative things. Nature journaling is the perfect combination of all that I love. It is creative, educational, and a lovely way to record memories. It doesn't take up too much space or require too many expensive supplies. I've never felt like I had any ability to draw, but I've started practicing and after just a few months, I have learned so much. I'm still not good, but I feel like I am beginning to understand the basics of drawing. Patience seems to be the important thing. I found all of the journals impressive, but Holly's was particularly appealing to me. I love that she did a drawing every day one year. Her drawings were so skillful and gorgeous. I can see why she didn't continue it for another year, though. I don't think I'll be that ambitious, but I'd love to reach her level of skill someday.
    • Tsao-Chi
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      q6712084
      I really love birds, especially their behaviors. It usually takes me one or two hours to watch a bird  preening, taking shower, foraging... I recorded these views by taking pictures before, but it's hard for me to think deeply about the birds. After access to the nature journaling, I believe its really a good way to record all of the nature. By the way, I also want to record all things about my pet pigeon. I'm wondering if I draw my pet or draw something in the camera without going out, is it still called "nature journaling"?
    • Barb
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      sbejohn
      I thought it was great to see a variety of journals. I’m hard on myself and this helped me realize it is time spent observing and recording that imprints things into my mind. The sketch may not be that great but if I take notes and sketch even something quickly, I will remember the experience vividly. i have always loved recording notes about nature and sketching. I am not very consistent however. I liked the idea of doing a page a month and adding bits throughout the month.  I also would like to do a better job of recording when I’m traveling.  I’m excited to take the class and make this  a habit for myself. I find it is a great way to learn and be more observant.  It is also calming for me to spend time observing nature and sketching what I see.
    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Rhutchings
      Not very outdoorsy bu