• Deanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      IMG_4719I 1. I choose to draw two regular visitors to my patio for my comparison study. The dark-eyed juncos are year round visitors while the chestnut backed chickadees have only appeared this fall/winter. It's made me wonder why they aren't here year round (at my feeder, anyway) and if there is competition for nesting sites and food with their cousins, the black-capped chickadees which are more numerous.  The chickadees prefer the peanuts I leave out for them and the nuthatches while the juncos are content to hop around on the patio and in the planters feasting on the suet crumbs that other birds with messy eating habits (such as the flickers) fling around when they  hang and feast from the suet block.
    • Betty
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      I'm including my comparison drawing and remarks about the Downy Woodpecker and the Hairy Woodpeckers that I see at my feeders this winter.  Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 2.09.33 PM
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 74
        I appreciate this comparison because these two species of woodpecker are so difficult to tell apart.
    • Daniel
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
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    • Karla
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      IMG_7044 I have two cats -  a large gray striped cat and a fat black cat.  Odin, the striped cat, realized I was drawing him and left.  Data, stayed put longer.
    • Crystal
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      20AE7A4D-72F2-48AD-AF81-B7A5380E7A0E I did a comparison of two tree next to each other, one was a giant cottonwood tree all twisted and rough bark, the other was a smaller tree with several small trunks, finer bark and narrow leaves.  It was enjoyable to spend a long time just observing two different trees.  I noticed when I was walking back to my car, that I was observing all the different trees and how the bark and tree trunks looked.
    • Heidi
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      Comparison Study I compared two species of gum trees in an area of forest that had a prescribed fuel-reduction burn about 12 months ago.  These gums almost always survive fire and it was interesting to look at the differences in the post-burn growth of two trees side-by-side. I felt that the exercise was incomplete until I went home to look up which species these were.  (There are 29 species of Eucalypt in Tasmania where I live.)  Knowing which species I was comparing somehow made the observation seem more satisfying for me. I thought about comparing a third species, but it wasn't a gum, it was Banksia, which I decided was too different for this comparison.  But I started to look at the tree more closely anyways as they were all dead, none survived the fire. They need fire to open the large hard seed cones, which had me ready to start drawing again and making different observations.  So this very focused, close-up exercise was interesting for me.
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 74
        This is a very interesting study of how natural fires are part of the natural scheme of living organisms.
    • Christine N.
      Participant
      Chirps: 38
      This is where I stalled b/c life got in the way! Moving on...
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      I compared 2 plants growing next to each other at the root of a tree. Ferns grew out of mulch of oak leaves in the valley of roots. Moss grew on tree itself. The different growth areas may influence the characteristics. Fern: 5-8” stems with several dozen upturned flat blue-green elongated oval leaves growing alternately and tapering from narrower at both ends to wider in the middle. Growing out of soil....nutrients available from rich mulch. Fern did not grow where moss was. Moss: carpet-like 1/2” thick layer spread over square foot of bark with many varied shades of yellow green shoots tangled together...more surface area to trap water, etc. since it is growing out of bark? Moss did not grow where fern was. function...shape and number of leaves related to how plants collect nutrients, water, and light? change...these plants remained bright green in the winter forest...processing light energy all year long? scale...they are small plants compared to the trees around them. Do they thrive with more sun when tree leaves are down? quantity...small in size and number, but persist throughout the forest system...fern grew from rotting oak leaves, moss on the living tree trunk...what do they offer tree in return? Plants did not overlap into each other’s s territory. No moss under fern, no fern on moss. The plants all grew in one nook of tree root systems...what was the direction? Comparison made me look and think harder, and therefore observe more. 64D31530-2759-4408-848A-BC1B6902F35FI enjoy the sketching to focus my attention. I need to leave more room for notes, which I added after the sketch...maybe leave bigger area to do that as I think of things while I draw so I don’t forget. Quantitative data was all estimated...take a little tape measure. I think a big rough, kind of minimalist sketch with expanded views of interesting areas would work better than a detailed overall sketch. Use a slightly bigger sketch book. Add color to sketches.
    • Tanis
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      This was a very interesting exercise. Comparing really helped me focus on the differences where before I just noticed the similarities. I decided to do a balsam fir and spruce because while I can recognize them from a distance I continually confuse them when walking through the woods. Sitting down and drawing the bark and noting the growth pattern of the needles has helped fix it in my mind. Since it was cool sitting outside for an extended time I brought the spruce bough inside to sketch and did the fir from memory. However then I began to question the accuracy of the fir drawing. Bringing in a branch helped me look closely and more deeply at it. This is an exercise that I will continue to do. After looking at some of the other work I see how my records need more numerical data.
    • Phyllis
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      The comparison project fit perfectly with my desire to identify the center seedling. (For assurance about its ID I will wait until spring!) I needed to confirm the ID of the other two plants, also. This area of my front yard is recovering from damage during the Harvey storm in 2017 so I am observing those changes, doing a comparative study, and sketching.
    • Phyllis
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
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    • 20200127_181421-1-1
      • I chose an ornamental fruit vine, and an evergreen, in a pot. Both contrasting in seasonal value, and value. One being fruit, the other fruitless. And one being relatively unchanging (evergreen) and one being a bloomer of fruit, to having no fruit (tangerine.) thx. bk. "THE ORANGE BOWL VS. THE EVERGREEN GAME."
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      I was very encouraged when I looked at the pages of my fellow students to try the colors and got very excited by the Koi Watercolors. I then added color to my last pages and what a difference it makes. I am also adding another attempt at the comparison study. I used two types of onions. the first is a sweet onion and the second is a yellow onion. I'm getting used to the colors and realize that the journal I am using doesn't have the greatest paper for watercolor. It is not a pure white page for one thing, and it doesn't release paint or blend like Archers which has been my favorite for years. I will try the ringed notebook that you recommended. IMG_0029 crop This is my second comparison described above drawn January 27, 2020 at 2:00 inside on a very snowy day here in CO. IMG_0028 crop  
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      The date is January, 26, 2020. I began drawing at 1:45 and finished at 2:25. It is a sunny, cold day with the wind blowing the light snow off the buildings so I stayed inside looking out the door to the balcony to our condo in Breckenridge, CO. I compared two evergreen trees: No. 1 is a Lodge pole pine, No. 2 is a Colorado blue spruce. The foliage is spare on the pine and my summation is that because it was formerly a forest the sunlight was restricted to the trees and so the foliage is always at the top third of the tree. The Spruce is denser and the needles as shorter than the pine, probably no more than an inch long on the longest, and the frond is probably anywhere from 3 inches to 10 with these needles coming out all sides of the frond. The branches start out sloping slightly down but then make a graceful turn upwards with continuous fronds of needles diminishing in length as the branch gets longer. The needles of the Pine are probably about three inches long and seem to stem from the end of a small twig which is attached to the larger branch. These larger branches slope down from the trunk of the tree and then make a graceful curve upward and are very wavy when the wind blows. The trunk of the pine is more warm brown, very rough with little holes in it probably form birds like the Cross Bills we saw pecking on the trees last fall. I think it is also Downy Woodpeckers who might make those holes. The bark of the Blue spruce seems to have small scale like flakes that are closely attached to the trunk. These seem to reflect the light when it falls on them through the dense branches. My drawing of the branches of the blue spruce doesn't give the effect of the denseness of the foliage, because I stopped with the detail and only drew the slope of the branches going out from the tree. Imagine the whole tree going to the ground with the density of the detail I drew in the top half of the picture. There were clumps of snow on occasional branches which held more than the smaller more individual foliage of the Lodge pole pine. This was a fun exercise to do and I will look forward to doing more when there are flower again in Colorado, or when I get home to Denver and my bird feeders. IMG_0025
    • Belinda
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
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    • Gail
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      I really enjoyed this journal practice.  I spent almost an hour observing and illustrating the bark of an American beech and White Pine bark.  The bark was strikingly different.  The beech bark had lots of lichens and I noticed that the majority of its lichens were black, spider-web like strands that branched out like club moss in different directions.  There were more lichens on the north side of the tree due to the moisture and coolness on that side.  The white pine had very thick, plate-like strips of bark that were very rough and had no lichens on it.  It was located next to the beech so even though they were in the same location, there were no lichens on it.  Very interesting to look so closely at the bark of two trees and to see the amazing colors and shapes. I like the idea of having more illustrations with some observations rather than writing.  I will probably continue my nature poetry and illustrations as part of my journal work as it brings in a spiritual aspect that does not occur when being more scientific about my journal and observations.   Comparison of Tree Bark
    • Leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      KWDGanJvSUqSF54D+z80kQ_thumb_1a33
    • Leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      sCynPuzjT8KWa4YPRQ1OUA_thumb_1a34I studied two kinds of hummingbirds at the feeders in Barbados. It took me a while to discover that there were really two types, and then I became more aware of their difference in size and in their beak shape. One kind that comes rarely has a crest- but only on the male- so then I realized that for some varieties I could differentiate not only their type but sex.
    • Sallie
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      IMG_1280 I made this comparison study of two October seeds, one is invasive and one is very necessary to our region.  I appreciated the time I spent counting the seeds inside the milkweed pod - and I do hope that those 30+ seeds will work their magic in my yard next spring.
      • Avery
        Participant
        Chirps: 28
        Nice job!
    • LeslieAnne
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      I decided to draw from a couple of botanical prints since the weather outside is quite frightful, and thoughts of flowers give me hope through long winter evenings. The comparison study really helped me to focus on the details of the flower petals and stems, and then to wonder about how the differences worked to attract pollinators. Do the larger, flashier iris flowers attract larger pollinators than the delicate petals of myosotis? Why do  the smaller flowers grow in clumps of larger numbers of flowers than the more dramatic iris? The study definitely lead to lots of questions about form and function. I need to work on better organizing the written and drawn parts on the page.6CB09CD6-9D6D-46D4-A712-FB46278BC260
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      Here is my comparison study. It's very cold here (on Cape Cod) and so I needed to run in and out of the house to check details. I am fascinated by lichens so I chose two different types growing on the same tree. I found pieces of the lichens (fluffy shrubby oneComparison_exercise is Usnea "old man's beard" and the flat, lobular is a Parmontrema) in the leaf litter on the ground and brought them inside, as it was impossible to sit outside in the freezing weather. Ended up using a magnifying glass to see exactly what was going on in detail. Challenges were the meticulous tiny details in which the different shading techniques we've learned came in very handy. But also I wanted to indicate the color and couldn't quite capture the chalky quality of their color.
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        I love your drawings. Did you use ink? Adding the limited color as you did is very effective
      • Susan
        Participant
        Chirps: 30

        @Claire Hi Claire, thanks for the comment. I didn't use ink, I usedthe twisty erase pencil that we bought for the class. It's pretty dark on the paper and easy to draw with and build up the dark areas. I also used water over the pencil to soften it and smudge. I limited colors because I think we were supposed to be focusing on drawing... and it's easy to get carried away with the watercolors (ok and 1 tube of white gouache to try to get the chalky effect!). I'm way behind on classes, my work has gotten away with me!

      • Avery
        Participant
        Chirps: 28
        • Interesting subject, great job!
    • Sketching forced me to look at the differences in detail of shape, color texture, etc.  Those differences made me wonder if they were a function of environment, eg, did they blend in better where they lived with those differences? Did they prefer different places? For example, the Box Crab prefers rocks & muddy bottoms, the Kelp Crab is found in the intertidal zone, the Red Rock Crab is found on jetties, intertidal pools & under & around rocks. CrabCompareSketch
    • margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      comparison
    • Casside
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      imageimageimage
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      IMG_7102