I work in fisheries so had some thawing fish heads - My comparison of albacore vs sockeye eyeballs led to a morning spent studying the physiology of the support structure for the two different eyeballs - it was super interesting. I have looked at fish for 25 years and never thought about how the eyes sat in the head and why.
I love drawing from photos because you have time to really study every aspect - the light brown in the feathers, the pattern of black in the wings...Drawing from nature wont allow the luxury of unhurried study
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.