Viewing 43 reply threads
    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Bird_Academy
      What are your favorite nature writers and what about their work inspires you? Share your experiences with writing reflections in your journal.
      You must be enrolled in the course to reply to this topic.
    • Chris
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      HeartBirds
      I like the economy of words in writing haiku because otherwise I don’t focus as well. I use it often to describe things in nature. Bushtit Haiku: Blow in quick, gone fast Kamikazi moves Lightning strike waves on feeder. Group ESP flash Feasting swarm ALERT! Blizzard of bushtits, poof! Gone!     A3D8B051-0B7B-4450-B6E8-1C987B7159DD
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      jigoe2
      Was really inspired to look at some of the authors mentioned that I had not read before.  John Muir, Rachel Carson, Thoreau have always been favorites.  I have never been one to wax poetic, but found the reflection exercise interesting.  I will try to include more of this in my journal.  IMG_5859 (1)
    • Isabel
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      IsabelTroyo
      Mantis religiosa 29-11-19 (2)From The Perspective Of A Mantis Observing Me: When I walked back home and got to the door of my house, I felt an uncomfortable feeling that someone was watching me. As I opened the door, the feeling became very intense. I looked scared to my right and saw two round eyes. The little mantis analized me for a long time. Sometimes I am the Observer, other times I am observed. I was surprised by the strength of her presence.  I wonder what these creatures think of us.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      LinElin
      It was wonderful to see we shared so many favorite authors, Mary Oliver, Bernd Heinrich, Terry Tempest Williams, Aldo Leopold to name a few. Thanks to all who mentioned John Muir, I will be revisiting his work. As I spend time in the garden this time of year (October), there is the "should" to  clean up and put the garden to bed,  both vegetables and native plants. As I get older I find this gets less important, no need to disturb the small ecosystems, most of which I am not even aware of. Better to sit and watch, and maybe draw. Thinking of Mary Oliver's poem "Nothing is too Small to be Wondered About", and while watching life happening on the mountain mint, I saw what looked like tiny flowers moving on the leaves. What an amazing discovery for me. The larvae of the Wavy-lined Emerald Moth, which nibbles off pieces of the flower petals it eats and sticks them on it's back for camouflage and if it moves to a different plant (new color), will change the camouflage to match. Indeed there is nothing too small to be wondered about. unnamed (2)
    • Marydee
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      MarydeeSklar
      IMG_0351JPEG The context for my nature journaling and reflection is set against the backdrop of fire and smoke. I live in Portland, Oregon. We had rented a vacation home in eastern Oregon, months ago. Our plans were to hike and get out into the wilderness of the Cascades. The dangerous levels of smoke in the air that week forced us to stay inside.  After our last dinner, my husband began the preliminary packing of the car for the trip home the next morning. He stuck his head in the door and whispered, “You’ve got to come out here. Be really quiet. There’s a black-tailed deer bedding down, just behind the house.” I quickly grabbed my sketchbook, marveling that I might actually have a nature experience to draw!  Quietly I sat down about a dozen feet from the doe. I was amazed that she didn’t flee. Her large ears and eyes stayed focused on me for a bit until she decided I was not a threat. I have been around deer all my life, but this was the first time that I had the opportunity to observe one so closely for such an extended period of time. As I drew I appreciated the dimensions of her body, the colors and textures of her coat, the unique markings on her face and how those amazingly large ears swiveled to track the sounds around her, searching for danger. All of the sudden behind me I heard a sound, an animal sound I’d never heard before. The sound indicated a fairly large animal. It was sort of like a “m” sound, a hum.  I froze, looking out of the corner of my eye to see if I was in any danger. However, when I glanced back at the doe, her ears were still. She sat placidly chewing her cud. She sensed no danger so I relaxed.    Then, a surprise burst into a view. An independent fawn, still with black spots, bounded around the corner as if to say, “Hey Mom! I’m home!” It was the fawn making that noise! I didn’t know that deer made noises. I watched them, sketching them until dusk made them disappear in perfect camouflage for the night. My “failed” vacation ended up being one of my favorites. I learned many lessons about being still. The lesson I hold most closely came from those two deer. Even amidst the worst of times, there is beauty and wonder if you keep your eyes open and embrace opportunity.
    • Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      JFeldkamp
      I was able to sit for 30 minutes or so with a snow bunting today. Then I used the prompt to write this. "Conversing with a Snow Bunting" Snow bunting, here we meet on the dock.  Human, here we meet on the dock.  Bunting, where did you spend your summer, on what faraway tundra? What is tundra like? I don't know.  Human, where did you spend your summer, in what city? What is a city like? I don't know.  Bunting, will you winter here or migrate further south? Human, will you winter here or migrate farther south? Bunting, what's that you're finding in the gravel and the grass? Human, what's that you're finding in that flat thing that flaps in the wind? What are you doing with that stick? Bunting, when did your feathers change to wintertime white, caramel, and black? Human, where are your feathers? Bunting, I wish I could talk to you. I'm sorry that I don't speak 'sparrow.' Human, I wish I could talk to you. Sorry, I don't speak human. 
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Peckalot
      What a course we need more of themIMG_0213(1)
    • Kimmai
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      KimmaiNunnery
      IMG_4138I enjoy Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau  two famous Transcendentalists.  I love to sit in nature soak in the sun, sound of the ocean and a forest bath and just become content in just being.
    • Tanis
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      tanislynn
      (In response to covid-19 I was looking for quiet road where I could jog and my dog could be unleashed. I found a spot and have returned to it 4 days a week since early April. Much of my drawing has been inspired by what I saw there and now I share part of it with you.) Island and I Early April Island: The ducks are back again, drifting beside me, she in brown, he with his dark head and glowing white eye patch, diving for food then, resurfacing and drifting again. Me: I park opposite this small island in the middle of the Madawaska River, off the gravel road, ready to run with Molly. My eyes are drawn to the river and what looks like chunks of snow floating on it. Eventually I realize that it is ducks but as I draw closer they lift and with a whistling sound quickly disappear. Island: Over the next few days more Goldeneye arrive and some mallard pairs, feeding and seeking places to raise their young. The woman has appeared often, parking her little green car, appearing now and again long the road, stepping out in a small clearing below me with her dog, then disappearing again. Me: I arrive quietly and slip out of the car, binoculars and bird book in hand trying for a clearer view so I can identify these ducks. Finally I decide they are Common Goldeneye. While I observe them for several weeks I never see their nests in hollow trees on the far side of the island nor their young, before they are gone. Early May Island: The Canada geese have arrived. Just a pair make their nest at the tip of me. The nest is away from the road so She will not see it. I wonder when the other pair will arrive. Me: I see a pair of Canada geese floating in a quiet spot at the end of the island. I will have to check it again and see when the young have hatched. When I go down the bank to a sandy stretch I am surprised to see so much black mixed with the pale sand. Looking closer I realize that it is hundreds of emerging black flies. Climbing the bank I lean against a cedar to stretch then see all the small black flies lining it as high as I can see. Hemlocks, maple and poplar are similarly covered. While I may not enjoy my run here next time, the birds should be happy. Early June: Island: I do enjoy the song of returning birds and seeing them flit among the bushes. Jays, kingfishers and sparrows, even wrens fly back and forth. Heron fly down the river and the occasional bald eagle sits atop my tall pines. I wonder if she sees them. Me: There is so much to see along the road. Just the flowers: rosa rugosa, starflowers thimbleweed and cardinal flowers. Some I know but others I have to look up in my wildflower book. Then there was the doe I was watching, lying in the shade on the road when another doe came up from the river right beside me! Both took off while I searched for young. Where are the young? Were these two escaping the deer flies? Another day as I was ending my run, a flutter of swallowtails rose up around me. What joy! They settled on a damp area on the road and could be found there for a couple of weeks. What drew them to that spot? It was no longer a puddle and did not seem to be a source of food? June 18 Island: She has sat there for a long time, looking at me and drawing. Will she capture the rapids and quiet areas which keep the fish and birds returning here? Will see notice my magnificent white pines? Me: It is hard to capture the variety of plants on the island; grasses, bushes, maple or oak and of course the tall white pines. The campers must love lying beneath them. I only wish I could see the other side where the Goldeneyes hid. The colour of the water and the rapids are particularly hard to capture. Three ducks flew up the rapids too quickly to identify. A white-crowned sparrow flits among the bushes beside me, while blue damsel flies dart from water to grass and a red squirrel chatters above me. Molly and I will return because I look forward to seeing more flowers emerge, birds flock up and trees change to their brilliant fall colours. But for today I say good-bye to the Island.
      • Michele
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        uuandme2014
        Hi Tanis:  What a lovely and creative piece of writing.  You really spent some time and gave it so much thought.  Your family will cherish this.  I sincerely enjoyed it and feel I know your running spot a little.  Michele
    • Matt
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      mgoldberg
      IMG_6534 This is the most recent entry from my journal. I have watched this Japanese maple for years, sometimes from the chairs I tried to include in my watercolor, sometimes looking up through the leaves while lying in a hammock. I have used its branches to teach my students about stream order in watersheds. There is a remarkable resemblance in the branching of trees and the branching in rivers. A colleague of mine dubbed it "a lightshed." There are two poems that have stuck with me over the years. Mary Oliver's The Summer Day and Robert Frost's Nothing Gold Can Stay. I've also enjoyed reading Wendell Berry. From the Long Legged House: "We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world... We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that i it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and to learn what is good for it... For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it."
    • اليازية
      Participant
      Chirps: 27
      Alyazia
      It took me ages to answer this question. The reason is that I discovered that we don’t have well-known Arabic author specialising in nature writings. There are some pieces here and there but none could be categorised as nature writer. There was a book on nature I read before - yes the book subject is relative, yet the author is not. The Arabic title is: غريزة أم تقدير إلهي I read it twice.. the rest of the books I have are translated.  This made me wonder if it is me who’ve never thought of the subject or is it the publishing industry that doesn’t pay much attention to the topic? Anyways, the book I’m enjoying at the moment is Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees. I can say it is the sociology of trees’ book!
    • Daniel
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      sphawk74
      A Reflection Once, I found a lover's note, and wept for simple beauty. Strange, that what to microscope, was only carbon stain on oxidizing cellulose, could cause such longing, pain.  I found a desert lily, once, and wept for the sheer beauty. Saint John said "... the Life was the light of men." As all reflection is light, I think this is what inspires me most.
    • Stefania
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Stefiex22
      I did like Aldo Leopold. However, it is difficult to make a judgment for an extract of something. It would be good to read more to have a clearer sense of what the nature writer wants to share with the world. I have realised that I do not write a lot in my sketches. I tend to write the place and the time only, but more details could be helpful to be added in the future.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      Lindabeekeeper
      Annie Dillard is by far my favorite nature writer.  Through her, I discovered the genre of creative non-fiction.  She changed my view of nature through her discussion of abundance.
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 43
      CBMac7
      Some of my favorites not mentioned already- Claude Monet, John James Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, Susan Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, & Sir David Attenborough. I find that I have similar perspectives with each of them and connect to the peacefulness, relaxation, and the wonders of exploring the natural world especially more in the time of Covid-19. Thank you to all of the fellow students who have shared suggestions, support, and insight throughout this course. Thanks Liz.
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      CPagel49
      P5230026I noticed a large insect flying over a trellis in my desert back yard while I sat on my patio.  I was amazed that the dragonfly was of the same color.  It thoughtfully posed for me as I took this photo.  I am not sure I would have investigated what it was had it not been for this course.  Noticing even the smallest things comes easier after being still in a sit spot.  Terry Tempest Williams is one of my favorites.  I am working my way her essays on national parks the The Hour of Land.  The Hidden Life of Trees  by Peter Wohlleben will make you walk through a forest with new insight and respect for the ancients that live there.
    • Kathy B.
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      KBelletireArt
      Here's my journal page from March 16. Liz had just taught us to look for our "Sit Spot"; our place to sit, sketch and make observations. However, it was too chilly to be outside as I noted, so I watched a Carolina Wren, my favorite bird, from my window, and made a few quick gesture sketches. These wrens have the most animated body language that changes their shape from sleek to puffy and fat as they hop, run and launch themselves into the air. I see them year round in Southern Illinois;Sketches of a Carolina Wren KBelletire 3-16-20 they often build nests in the most inopportune spots, regardless of human activity. I wrote: "A wren, one of our pair who've made a nest in the wreath by to our front door, sitting on the crook (that holds) a lantern. He bobs and looks left, bobs and looks right, repeats then hops down to the birdbath. Again bob, tail up, tail down, bob, look look..." Thanks to all my fellow students for their insights and lists of favorite nature writers and poets and shared journal pages. I'd like to add Hannah Hinchman, nature journalist extradinaire to our list, and Michale Pollan for his wonderful book, "The Botany of Desire", and artist Andy Goldsworthy who creates the most splendid ephemeral sculptures outdoors from twigs, rocks, leaves, sand and ice. His work can be experienced in the video, "Rivers and Tides, Andy Goldsworthy, Working with Time" from 2001.  It's reassuring to know there are so many other nature lovers out there. Kathy B.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      jirwinromo
      Thanks to my fellow students for your suggestions on nature writers that you enjoy. I had not heard of Mary Oliver before - I don’t read a lot of poetry, but will look for her work. I’ve enjoyed Peter Matthieson, Bill Bryson, Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire, and just finished Terry Tempest Williams’s The Hour of Land. I’d like to read more of her work. I have started journals many times before, but never with the intention of also connecting it to observing nature and actually illustrating it. My journals have tended to be about what I “do” not what I “feel” and I hope I can bring in more of the latter. One of the positives for me of having this coronavirus lockdown has been a chance to more intently observe the natural world around me. Lots of walks, hardly any driving, and really noticing the changing from late winter to early/mid spring. Also, to contemplate what changes seem to be happening all around us due to the “built world” and climate change. In the Chicago area, we’ve just experienced our wettest May on record and Lake Michigan and surrounding waterways are at all time highs. How will this affect our area going forward - both from a human standpoint and for our natural world? Will this time of “stay at home” have any longer term impact - maybe not on our environment, but perhaps on our attitudes towards it, so we appreciate and will fight harder to protect it? All things to continue to observe.
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      Suzy64
      IMG_7566I taught this text for over twenty years to high school juniors. As part of the assignments they were to keep their own journal by observing nature in their yards, on their walks with friends, on bike trips, and any other opportunity. It was usually done in the spring for two weeks, but once it was done in February. Though the students at first were a bit reluctant, most of them at the end of their experience said it was one of the most worthwhile things they had ever done. They had never noticed before what was around them. Now that I am retired I, too, notice what is around me every day in my yard, on my walk or bike trip. As the air clears all over the globe, due to Covid 19, I am grateful that Mother Earth can breathe again and that I have time to notice her beauty even just in my yard. I will draw and paint and record and feel soothed and refreshed and grateful.
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      BirderCheryl
      While I have read nature writers like Muir, Thoreau, and Darwin, I haven't read them recently enough to claim a favorite. I'll work on that! I just went to my toasty desert backyard to do some reflecting myself and found myself waxing a bit philosophical, comparing the needs and worries of a house finch to myself in the time of a pandemic. It was a helpful to sit overlooking nature and think beyond myself for a short while. I look forward to spending time with my nature journal on a more regular basis, observing, recording, and thinking. A quote from my journal, "In these uncertain, frightening, and divisive times in the midst of a pandemic, nature provides a bit of solace, some salve for the spirit." I'll make an effort to continue looking for the emotion support in nature and art!
    • Deborah
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      dtfoise
      I read Wendell Berry in college and loved his writing.  He lived on a farm in Kentucky and since I live in Ohio, I felt we were neighbors. I hear a little traffic from the freeway but the house being built next door is silent and I am hearing birds in our wooded yard.  Oops, someone's doing yardwork.  It is supposed to rain hard later but now it is fairly quiet and cool, around 55 degrees outside.  I  really feel at home in the woods, especially being alone there.  Looking forward to practicing my new drawing and watercoloring skills out in the field.  There is a lake close to me that I look forward to painting soon, as the weather picks up.
    • S
      Participant
      Chirps: 32
      twistybear
      When I was a little girl, we had this book on the table in the den at home - Audobon's Birds of North America. unnamed I spent hours looking through it over and over again.  The paintings were so beautiful.  It was a 'good' book, so I had to handle it with care.  It was an inspiration to become an artist (something I'm not at all today).  My mum was an inspiration to pay attention to nature, as she knew all the birds from their songs and all the wild flowers in mountains.  When I moved to a new country a few years ago, one of the things that bothered me right away was that I didn't recognize the birds any more. This course is my first real journal.  I've started many but never stuck with it.  This course has been a wonderful inspiration. Hopefully I will continue when it's over.
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      David Santos
      This is a text I wrote years ago but I think it suits well in this. I hope it does. "My first day of this year fieldwork for the Breeding Birds Atlas was a good one. I saw 35 species and around 100 individuals. I'll try to visit the places I choose not to visit last year. Methodology plays a huge role. Last year was very rainy during Spring, so I had to rush things a bit, like using the whole day length to accomplish it. Although the best hours to look for birds are the 2 hours after dawn. Even if I sleep 3 to 4 hours usually the night before!!! You need to sleep better!!! The Dawn choir still is fantastic. It's not real polyphony but a mix of counterpoint, polyphony and minimalistic music. A powerful wave that doesn't overwhelm our ears. Psycadelic sounds, Trance or House can't be compared. Birds don't like beat boxes (?) Their beat box is a drumming woodpecker."...
    • Denise
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      dchaffner
      I’ll never forget the day I purchased my cork screw willow. It was just a twig in a pot. Every season I have watched it grow and twist some more. But now today just four years later what a surprise! We had torrential storms last night in East TN. Looking at my rain gauge I noted 5 inches of rain ! So I took a. Short walk around my property and spotted robins bathing in a puddle of water surrounding the cork screw willow. What a delightful scene to view on this blustery cool spring morning. Below is a quick sketch of the scene.image
    • Mudito
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      Mudito
      imageAnother page that explores nature but, this time, it is my nature that is being looked at.
      • S
        Participant
        Chirps: 32
        twistybear
        beautiful
      • Deborah
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        dtfoise
        Love that you are exploring your nature!  Nice painting!
      • Suzanne
        Participant
        Chirps: 22
        Suzy64
        I love the storm clouds. Such a great metaphor for our times. Thank you.
      • Tanis
        Participant
        Chirps: 23
        tanislynn
        This reminds me of a Joni Mitchell song which often comes to me when I walk to the top of the hill and see the clouds. We are getting more stern clouds now. The end of August reminds men that the times are changing as well as the seasons. This was a very evocative submission.
    • Mudito
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      Mudito
      Mary Oliver is a dear and much favoured inspiration for me for the last several years.  Her deep connection to the natural world always touches my heart. This is a painting from my backyard and some comments that came to me as I sat in the sun doing this work. I feel that the character of my journal is gradually emerging.image
      • Suzanne
        Participant
        Chirps: 22
        Suzy64
        I love Mary Oliver, too. Thank you for the lovely reminder that she has much to say about our time spend in nature. This journal page is wonderful. I am keeping a photo of it for inspiration as I observe nature and connect with Oliver again.
    • Student Birder
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      trudy10024
      I love many nature writers and many of them have been mentioned.  I also have some nature poets that are wonderful.  Here is a favorite poem by the great Mary Oliver. When I Am Among the Trees by Mary Oliver   When I am among the trees, especially, the willows and the honey locust, equally the beech, the oaks and the pines, they give off such hints of gladness I would almost say that they save me, and daily.   I am so distant from the hope of myself, in which I have goodness, and discernment, and never hurry through the world but walk slowly, and bow often.   Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out, “Stay awhile,” The light flows from their branches.   And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say, “and you too have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.”
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      suzukiawd13
      My favorite nature metaphor is from a song called, "All I can do is write about it." The line is, ....."have you ever seen a she-gator protect her youngin', or fish in a river, swimming so free......have you ever seen the beauty of the hills of Carolina, or the sweetness of the grass in Tennessee." By Lynyrd Skynyrd. Some of the other nature metaphors I enjoy are, a song by John Lee Hooker, Blue Bird. Where he sings about the travels of a bluebird, in his opening lines. I reformatted a Skynyrd poem, into my own verse. ........."Have you ever seen an Orange Spider, spinning her webs, so skillfully. Have you ever seen a Hummingbird fly, so free and so free. Now see Spider and Bird dance and fly together, so gloriously." I like the fact that birds are the universal animal for states and stamps. Why ? Do all countries have a national bird ? Do all states, countries, and post offices use a bird for a stamp ? My favorite bird is an IBIS, because it has multiple sides/traits. Sort of comical, bold, fat, skinny, short, long, etc... Not pure boldness, (EAGLE) or humor. (TURKEY) A Funny Bird. A 'combo.'  
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      whipporwheel
      SagamoreSagamore paintingHere are two pages from my Nature Journal.  I painted the outflow creek from Sagamore Lake, and wrote a reflection on how much that place means to me.
      • S
        Participant
        Chirps: 32
        twistybear
        Really lovely.
      • Suzanne
        Participant
        Chirps: 22
        Suzy64
        What an inspiration! Off to my backyard to observe my pond and stream. You have inspired me. Thank you.
    • Juan
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      Juan Jo
      Birds are the definition of freedom in the world, flying through the skys with out limits. IMG_4110
      • Penny
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        PanamaPen
        Very nice Quetzal!   Sadly, our quarantine here in Boquete, Panama coincides with quetzal season so we only had a chance to see a nesting pair 0nce this year before we had to isolate.  I have wondered if the birds aren't enjoying the privacy instead of the usual flurry of birdwatchers near their nests! I do hope that you've gotten to see these wonderful birds in person! PennyP1090702
    • Craig
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      cmflyer
      Went out and visited the cottonwood from the scene I painted in February. Saw a buttercup and a Skwala. Reflected a bit on new life and the original social-distancer, John Muir, my favorite writer in nature. 0947FFD3-7283-4258-BB25-B5943DC64D12485493C6-BE98-4132-8C5E-C0A6CF67E381
    • Christi-June
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      christijune
      I love the works of Edith Holden, Maria Sibylla Merian and Beatrix Potter. Also Emily Dickinson's poetry20200310_001521
    • Gail
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Gcoffeywriter
      My favorite nature writer is David Carroll-his books are a reverent and spiritual look at New England's turtles, wetlands and riparian habitats.  His intimacy with the Blandings, Spotted and Wood turtles that he follows from Spring through Fall in Webster, NH is inspiring and fascinating.  He knows each of the turtles by their carapace and knotches he has made on their tales.  His deep love for the swamps, wet meadows, marshes and streams that he knows through many years of walking through them is an insight into wetland ecology so few of us have experienced. Bernd Heinrich is my other favorite nature writer.  His book-Trees in My Forest- is an amazing forest ecology and natural history book.  He writes about the forest on this property in Maine and its history and ecological changes through the years before and after he acquired the land.  I learned so much about tree morphology, physiology and anatomy, and chemistry. I write nature prose and poetry.  I have for over 20 years now.  Being in the New England woods and mountains, watching birds and wildlife, observing plants and trees is a spiritual and inspiring experience for me. It makes it so easy for me to write and reflect on the amazing beauty and diversity of the Earth.
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      suzukiawd13
      oceanfowl 2.0 for d.w.IMG_20200223_175531~3
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      jalexaphotography
      I like Thoreau, Bill Bryson, John Krakauer, and Edith Holden. Thoreau expresses how I feel in nature: Bryson adds a touch of humor and reminds us to laugh at our mistakes out in nature: Krakauer is a great journalist about man in nature and reminds us that while we can laugh at our mistakes, some mistakes are fatal: and Holden's journals from 1906 are exquisite in their artistry and prose.
    • Martha Davis
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      pattonmd
      cd This is from my very first entry--a drawing of my ultimate "journaling hero," Charles Darwin. I'm more of a writer than an artist but am fascinated by the interconnections among the artist (whether visual or verbal) and scientist and in the salience of all their observations and reflections (Darwin's fighting words). So! You can imagine how delighted I was by Liz's selection of texts, from some of my all-time favorite observers and reflectors. I was unfamiliar with Kimmeler and Heinrich, so am glad to be introduced to them. Thank you!
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 32
      donnacnh
      I have been writing for a while adding drawings brings a new dimension to my journaling.     EC6060CB-AAA2-4696-B3B2-3B90A6B3F713
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      pegs-birder
      There are several nature writers whose work I enjoy. At the top of my list is the poet, Mary Oliver. Shortly after her passing (January 2019), I started a journal incorporating some of her poems with my watercolors. I’ve also enjoyed Lyanda Lynn Hauptmann’s “Crow Planet” and others. Reading Bernd Heinrich books I’m always amazed by his beautiful sketches. This class has inspired me to get several of my favorite books from the shelves to reread parts.502668B0-7F15-4EF4-A00E-CF070444B75C
    • Robert
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      rdueweke
      I enjoy reading Thoreau and Muir and sometimes their books accompany me into the woods. I find much inspiration reading Teilhard de Chardin, such as "The Phenomenon of Man." Their works remind me that we are all interconnected, no one is an island, and we -- including all nonhuman life forms -- are all inter-related in some fashion. In a cosmic sense, we are stardust.   A favorite poet is Gerard Manley Hopkins. A striking line for me is from his poem "God's Grandeur" (1877): "The world is charged with the grandeur of God. Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod." (Today's journal entry:) My personal challenge is to slow down, waste time; know the difference between looking and seeing. This morning, a friend and I took a long stroll through the Untemeyer Park in Yonkers, NY. The sun was intensely bright against the cerulean blue sky. The air was cold and crisp, making one wanting to inhale deeply the breeze off the Hudson River. Birds were particularly quiet on this November morning. An occasional crow made its presence known in the tall oaks. I did hear the song of a bird I never heard before. It was beautiful and odd at the same time. It came from the high weeds at the edge of the woods. Then the song was not heard again. It was as though it fled because I had stopped to focus on its presence. One thing I noticed in the surroundings of this beautiful park made me deeply sad. Leaves of maples and others still hung to their branches. The trees should be bare at this time of year. Is this a consequence of climate change? The warmer days are extending more into the months of winter. Will fall eventually morph into spring and winter will only be a memory? What will the future climate be like if I do not learn to feel? IMG_5414 This is the picture I took today from the park. Across the Hudson River are the Palisades Cliffs in New Jersey.These basalt cliffs are over 200 million years old.
    • Kati
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      KatiJackson
      I enjoyed writing about the bird alarms I had heard this morning. It was very much not their usual baseline chorus. I spent time trying to figure out what all the hubbub was about. Writing down the different birds that were all in on it, helped me feel more connected to them. I also spent time writing about the sheep on our farm, noting their subtle behaviors and different characteristics. a very nice calming exercise!
    • Montecito
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      favelasco
      I liked the way Charles Darwin describes the sea luminous experience, I found interesting the details he gives about his experience, and how he deduced many things from the observation. Last weekend I went for a walk and also aiming to have a great birding day for my birthday, I could not draw, but i started thinking about how nature writers express their observations and I preferred to start writing the feelings of that moment. IMG_5590
    • Sandy
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      SRMelton
      IMG_0048
    • Sandy
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      SRMelton
      This course is inspiring me to seek out writings of naturalists! My experience has been limited to quotes in calendars and such. John Muir's "When we try to pick out anything by itself we find it is hitched to everything in the universe" is a favorite. Another is "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best it today", a Chinese proverb. The act of nature journaling is requiring setting time aside for quiet, introspection, and observation. It is becoming an outlet for thoughts that have been rolling around in my head for awhileIMG_0049, concerning how did we get to now, and what is true?
      • Tanis
        Participant
        Chirps: 23
        tanislynn
        We have a Phoebe which returns every year. It likes to watch us the way this one is watching the goats. Fun picture.
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