• Maggie
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Finding this course inspired the idea to nature journal.  I hike everyday and photos that I take are disappointing. They are what the camera sees but not what I see.  I've been sketching rabbits for two years now and it's only been through practice that I've developed a style.  I don't know where nature journaling will take me but just like sketching rabbits, I feel that if I just start, I will develop a style that satisfies me.
    • 1. Initially, I signed up for this course because it's the only Cornell course left for me to take! But I used to write in a journal when I started going on retreat to a monastery in Kentucky thirty years ago. I only did it there and it was usually after spending hours outside sitting alone in the woods or by some small lake. I learned a lot about myself from those entries and I want to get back to that. I'm retired now and spend as much time as I can "out there with the birds" and need to start writing down some of the great thoughts I have. 2. I like the idea of using boxes to highlight thoughts and questions and even sketches.  I can't draw - my stick figures are even pathetic but a couple of the journalers did not look like they were Norman Rockwell's descendants so perhaps there is some hope for me as well! 3. I had an eye-opening moment this past summer on a vacation trip to Moscow (Viking River Cruise) where I noticed some behavior by local birds called Fieldfares that really made me think about people - humans in general. I'm going to try to gain insights from the birds I see and how they live by including bigger questions in my journal - questions that likely don't have answers just more questions.
    • Diane
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I kept nature journals many years ago in college natural history classes and loved doing it. Now that I am retired from workaday life, I finally have some time to get back to it. I like drawing but don't have much experience with painting, so I think using watercolors is a simple way to start painting to enhance my nature journal. I will definitely include date/time/weather/location info to document the reference information of my journal entries. There was a great variety in the journals in the videos. I think as I progress i will learn what techniques are most suitable for me.
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I love sketching and do not do it very regularly, the idea of a nature journal seems to put a few of my loves all together with more awareness on time as well. I work with kids and have them keep nature journals, or work on drawing different aspects of plants and trees thus I'd like to be able to better teach and serve the youth with this practice as well. 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 enjoyed the first woman as she had the boxes for writing and drawing and then transitioned to drawings coming out of the box. The mix of observations, questions, names and drawings really struck me as something I naturally do as well. As for timing, I think starting with one or two entries a week feels do-able, perhaps progressing to more as time goes on. I also think I might try in the winter months to draw plants/shells/pinecones/feathers I have indoors as well. 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? I'd like to include the moon phase in the data entry, as well as a few gratitudes in writing, or perhaps drawing, and an overall feel to the day/moment. I enjoy communicating with the plants and animals as well thus recording any messages or teachings I receive would be nice to practice as well.
    • Alanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? Becoming a Master Naturalist inspired me to begin nature journaling, but my best friend buying this course for me has rekindled the flame. 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 would love to try the stylized layouts of the last journalist featured. I loved her use of color and layouts! 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? I'd like to adopt two styles I learned from this video. I loved the monthly layout idea with a highlight of illustrations and then going into more detail like the first journaler with detailed information. I also loved her style of the partial boxes and how the images seemed to jump from the page. I think I'd also like to integrate more charts and tables in my journal. Also, in addition to the time of day, date, weather, and place I'd like to add moon phase to my box on the top of my page. Also, playing around with the boxes location (Top or bottom horizontal, left or right vertical, maybe even a small box for each corner and then moon phase in the middle of the top or bottom left or right).
    • Melissa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1) My friend Debra inspired me to begin nature journaling! My husband enjoys birding and bird photography and I usually accompany him on his photography outings. He holds the camera and I'm there for support, though often times I'm there just observing either with my naked eye or with binoculars. I don't mind at all. This is especially fun during the summer as to me it's no different than a relaxing day at the beach. Upon a chance meeting of a lovely new friend Debra and her husband who were also birding at one of the spots we visited over the summer, I learned that Debra had recently begun nature journaling. She explained to me that she began journaling as a better way to remember and explore the birds she was seeing when out in the field. I was so inspired by her enthusiasm in getting back to sketching and drawing! I hadn't sketched in years but thought this would be an adventurous idea for me and she was so encouraging recommending this course! Thank you Debra for recommending this journaling course to me! 2) I really liked Shayna's approach to journal set up where she jotted down what she saw but also gave herself little 'magnifying glass zoom in' spaces where she could point to and draw the smaller intricate details in the object as well. I can see myself doing this to show the texture of the features on birds or the patterns in the leaves of a plant... even the markings on an insect. I loved the journalists' approach in always adding dates as I think this will finally be a way for me to remember what we saw when and where! 3) I don't have additional journaling ideas yet but I'm kind of a 'get the ideas once I put pen to paper' kind of person so I'm looking forward to what ideas seem to come up! :)
    • Annette
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Drawing Lesson_9116Drawing Lesson_9117 My journaling activity began in June when I started carrying a sketchbook in the field. Here in Waukegan the bird migration has tapered off by that time and birding is pretty slow. I had bought a set of watercolors a few years ago and found I needed to draw something from life rather than photos. Flowers are less challenging than birds. They are easy to find and generally sit still. By looking at other journals I can see things to do that will make my journal more useful and interesting. I loved the color swatches in one of the journals featured. I have been fascinated with watercolor pigments for a while. I plan on including swatches where appropriate. I have tried boxes on the page and it isn't working for me. My goal is to try to record more information than the illustration includes. My past journaling is weak in that area. My choice of mediums is varied and I require a smaller format book than is recommended here. I have a small (5 x 7.5) loose-leaf binder that fits into a generous pocket. I fill it with a selection of papers. This is time-consuming but it helps me to learn the different mediums. I am learning a lot about the importance of opacity and transparency of watercolors by using black watercolor paper. Probably not a choice for many paintings but fun and instructive to work with. Another paper that is interesting is toned gray or brown paper. Winter here is gray-everywhere. Sketching the gulls on gray paper helps the whites and blacks show. Inserting a photo in my journal is not out of the question, if it is pertinent to the record I am trying to make. I will add tracing paper in case I find a leaf or feather that I can make a rubbing from. Finally the most important suggestion is to jot down questions. This will give life to my observations I'm sure.
    • Michael
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      2BA50E5C-CA5A-4DE1-80A4-AEC5AF96E07C
    • Doria
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      A few years ago, I took a class led by Claire Walker Leslie, who has written several books on nature journaling. Maybe I'm a little intimidated because she is such an accomplished artist and her books are so captivating. I want to take a seasonal approach to nature journaling and since I live in the Northeast I can take advantage of observing the changing of the four seasons. I don't want to be too rigid in my design of my sketchbook. I understand that it will be a process of discovering my own style. That being said, I'm excited to use drawing and painting to capture the essence of what I'm observing. Here's to a great class! Doria
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      What inspired me to begin nature journaling? earlier this year I took a course to become a certified Nevada Naturalist. We had to keep a journal. I had already been practicing drawing from photos I’ve taken so the journal part of the naturalist course seemed easy, but then I thought I should try to draw while in the field. Yikes! It’s a challenge. I like all the different journals that have been presented here. I am not sure what style I will use, but a daily journal seems a bit tough. Maybe I’ll start with journaling One bird while I am out exploring the state and federal parks in my area while bird watching. It’s always nice to be able to stop and reflect on nature’s beauty.
    • Dorothy
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I wanted to start nature journaling in order to further my understanding of the art of it. In other words, what are the actual colors I am observing, how is nature made up of shapes, what details might I see that I would not have seen before. I also wanted to use nature journaling to increase my identification skills of birds, and butterflies. After seeing others' journals, I would like to use some of their ideas. I will do many shape drawings, ovals, circles etc to begin my pages. I will not worry if a drawing is not complete and I will have fun with the whole process! i definitely want to try different mediums on my pages. I would like to see about using colored pencils vs water color and why not use collage style as well?
    • JiSeon
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Hello everyone, my name is JiSeon and I have been fascinated with and  enjoying botanical illustrations for a long time.  That has led to my current interest in learning to nature journal.  I love being outdoors in nature and often see images and scenery that I want to capture, but taking a photo sometimes just doesn’t appeal to me, and that is what peaked my interest in learning to draw details as well as landscapes...colors really draw me into what I am seeing. I am a very beginner, and I really enjoyed looking at the various journals;  I don’t know what my style will be yet, but I am drawn to start with plant closeups using watercolors. Look forward to learning and sharing will all of you!
    • Tracie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      IMG_7008 1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I have long been an artist that kept journals with doodles, art ideas, small sketches, but rarely a true record of my day or observations with my art. Most of my art is abstract, but I can draw realistically when I want to. Sketching quickly from nature is a gift that eludes me. I started plain air painting with talented friends and discovered that I am terrible at it! It is difficult for me to see the "big picture." I would usually wander around, take pics of birds with a telephoto lens and then go home and paint the birds I photographed, sometimes several on a canvas. Still, this was not as satisfying as what my friends were doing: making a record of a moment in time outdoors. I want to be able to sketch birds and items in nature outdoors while I am enjoying it. I visited Massachusetts last month and drew these leaves I collected from the lawn of the Norman Rockwell Museum later that evening. It is a special drawing to me that brings back that day I spent with my family and the beautiful lawn and bright orange leaves even if I didn't add that color to the sketch. This is not part of a current Nature Journal,though I probably will use a combination of pen with watercolor in my nature journal. I love nature, birds, animals of all kinds. I am excited to learn more about nature-journaling and learn from those who do it professionally and those just starting into it. I have a deep admiration for Scientific Botanical Artists! I have photographed our travels for years, nature journaling will help me savor the moments I think. 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 like the idea of a consistent element or look to the page, although I think it doesn't have to be a "rule" or I could tire of it quickly. I know I will most likely add lots of written info to the page. 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? I have done frotage (rubbings) of leaves in some of my old written travel journals. I have only just started this course so maybe you will mention that in lessons to come. Also, collage of found items using a repositionable glue stick might be a fun thing to add to my journal. Either paper or leaves or other small objects: feathers, seeds, etc. Thank you I am totally excited about learning this and sharing with others interested in this "Nature Journal Journey"
    • Judith
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I started keeping a watercolor sketchbook in 2002 and have dabbled off and on with various journals. I liked seeing the various journals. I like the watercolor sketches and notes in each of them. I loved the idea of a drawing a day or filling a monthly page. I don't journal every day, but I like to record the date, time, weather and location and usually I draw birds. Here is a page from February of this year about some winter ducks. page from journal of ducks
    • Christine N.
      Participant
      Chirps: 38
      Hello all, I just enrolled in the course and have yet to put pen to paper......but.......I look forward to beginning. I enjoyed watching the milkweed that had planted itself in my front yard (a small area in front of my stairway) and I watched the cycles of it through this summer as it broke through the earth, grew, bloomed its flowers, watched the bees pollinate, discovered a few monarch caterpillars (last year 2 chrysali), and now the pods have started to pop and spread their seeds. When I saw the pods open, I noticed all of the various textures, how the seeds were so precisely packed into the pod and how they released themselves when the wind blew. I brought some pods into my classroom to show my students and it was at that point I thought how nice it might be to draw them. I have enjoyed drawing at various times of my life but never had any formal training except the few classes I took in high school and college. I did consider becoming a scientific illustrator as I finished college but I felt it was going to be a hard turn after pursuing biology for 4 years. I didn't know how to begin or where to go to study at that late date so I went on and found myself teaching various types of biology for almost 20 years now. But when I saw this course I thought maybe I could revive the little bit of skill I once had and get some better training. I also thought if I knew how to go about it I might impart some of that information to interested students. I enjoyed watching the videos of the students who had completed their journals and I was very impressed with their collective skills. If I can get anywhere near that, I will be happy! I'm not sure how I will organize yet, but, most likely words with pictures on the same page or maybe picture on one and words on the adjacent page.  Happy journaling....Christine
    • Paul
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      1. I started journaling after my parents gave me this course as a gift. 2. I like the idea of mixing drawings with notes. I really want to get into color so I'm going to get some watercolors at my local art store and give it a try. 3. I'm going to try some journaling at the beach watching the surfers, seals, waves, etc. After the first lesson I grabbed a sketch book dormant for years and went into my backyard. It was pretty fun watching my bird feeders and the visitors I am so used to. I watched them more closely then I have been lately.image (2)
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      #1.)  Nature journaling will be a unique way to document places, plants and birds. I am very excited to give it a try.  I can recall many unique places I have been and saw something unexpected.  This will be a great way to record my experiences.
    • Liliana
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      1- Hi, I think, like many of you, that a Journal with drawings and paintings is something that I wanted to do since many years ago. I love birds, nature, and travelling. I use to made a journal of each journey, but mostly with notes, or some drawings trying to make a sketch of birds songs. a few times, from birds colours. I find it very hard to draw, but I love to write so I can remember details of the trip years later. The advertising of this course inspired me to get started. 2-I want to try them all :)   I think that perhaps the idea of a monthly journa, while I'm at home, would be great. 3- No new ideas so far. I don't usually carry colors with me. 20191118_235404
    • Cherie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I hadn't ever thought of starting a nature journal. I have always loved birds ( I have three -a 20 year old male eclectus, 14 year old female cockatiel and a 3 year old India ring necked parakeet). I have been a bird watcher in southern Ontario Canada and in Costa Rica where I have a home. I also am retired and was a professional photographer so my first instinct is to grab the camera. Being in Costa Rica gives me an incredible opportunity to observe birds, insects and all sorts of wild life. I know I can draw but need to really work on this skill. Looking at the journals in the video it showed me all different formats and skill levels in drawing.  I found it  thrilling that everyone was able to capture the subject they were drawing no matter what skill level. I am just joining now on November 16 so am behind somewhat some of you. I think I will incorporate the boxes or circles in my journal and also some photographs (although I would like to move away from taking photos.) It will be a challenge to sit and sketch without the instant image through digital photography. Being visual I am going to try and incorporate written information as I proceed along... I have a feeling this will be a work in progress. With all the ways of electronically communicating we have , it will be nice to communicate through our own eyes revealing how you see nature and what catches your attention. And now it begins.... Cherie
    • Lauren
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I was inspired to begin nature journaling when I was looking for a topic to do for my (8th grade) capstone project. It took me forever to find something I wanted to do. It seemed like a combination of a bunch of my interests so I went for it. 2.  I prefer the style of journaling that uses both illustrations with watercolor as well as notes and small annotations. I think that having all of it down on paper will make it more memorable to look back on. I also like the idea of including colorful illustration as well as some in black and white. Some sketches I want to focus on color more, and others more on texture.
    • Len
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Starting a journal is hard for me. I stared at the blank page in my book for days making excuses about why I didn't have time to draw today before pulling out a scrap piece of paper and finally drawing the yellow warbler. The idea of a journal where all my drawings, mistakes and all, can be seen scares me so I procrastinate instead. I vow to start a journal.
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        Time is my enemy....I like the way the instructor said in the introduction how she would guide us through the "terror" of the blank page! But I plan on making the time to do it, probably weekends.
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      1.Getting what I have done and will do in a presentable form. All those scraps of paper 2. I will try a formal approach to strengthen the illustrations. 3. No, I have scraps of paper.
    • Judith
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1. An instructor at the New York Botanical Garden's Botanical Illustration program suggested keeping a nature journal. I was inspired by her motto that all sketching was good and the practice (always in ink) served to make you better at "seeing" the world and improving your skill. That was 1995. I have kept one ever since. I find the practice meditative and forces you to be in the moment. 2. Over the years, especially when my children were young, the journal served like a diary. Looking back at those pages brings back lots of memories. At some times, the journal is more of a field journal with illustrations and descriptions of particular specimens. In the hopes of keeping up the practice, when life got in the way, I have tried to vary the subject, from backyard flowers to cityscapes. On most excursions, even a museum, I will try to bring a journal and a pen. 3. I like Liz's style and my style is similar. I like to use ink pens. Sometimes I add watercolor washes and/or colored pencils. Recently I purchased a set of tinted graphite pencils and look forward to experimenting with them.  Sometimes, I have included bits of writing or quotes that pertain to the subject or the times.
    • Martha
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I love all the journals, yet I am intimidated, because I have no art training... no background in sketching, painting. And very little background in biological sciences. So, this is opening a brand new door for me.... In the past, I have tried to use books and videos to teach me drawing... I was a teacher and a mom, so my time for drawing was quite limited.  I am retired now, so I hope to give it another try. I like the boxes in the first journal examples....
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        I am moving toward retirement as well and I thought this might be a good skill to share with my granddaughter eventually. She is only 20 months so I have time to practice!
    • Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I first kept a nature journal in 2012 as part of a master naturalist course. I did some limited sketching, but focused on photography and specimen collection due to my insecurity with sketching/painting. I am now in a phase of life where I have worked in the conservation field for awhile and have young children and feel that I never stop moving and have been so burnt out that I don't spend as much time outside for pleasure and with no agenda. I want to take time to really observe in a more artistic way, rather than the sterile analytical way that I do for work or in the distracted way that I often spend time outside with my kids or doing work around our property. I also want to create a habit in which I can include my daughters at a young age. 2. I like the approach that they all took with a mix of sketching/painting and writing/descriptions. I like annotated sketches a lot and I liked the idea of using as a way of essentially creating your own field guide. I have never been strong with ferns or wetland vegetation and would love to use nature journaling as a way of strengthening these abilities. I would also love to use it as a way of documenting the species at our home and the surrounding 3-acre forested wetland that we own in rural Maine. Not only creating a sort of species catalog, but also documenting it zoomed out as a habitat throughout the course of a year would be very cool. 3. I would love to start a family nature journal that everyone could use to document their experiences at home in the woods to show different impressions/interpretations/perceptions of the same place.
      • Chris
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        I really love your idea of creating a family Nature journal. What a great way to teach as well as learn from each other. This has unlimited potential. I hope you have fun with that project and kudos to you for helping to instill a love of nature with the next generation.
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        I know what you mean by a sterile, analytical way. After 20 years of teaching in a high school, I find I myself need more than just textbook facts to be a good teacher.