During the past 2 years I began photographing birds in Central Park in NYC, developing some skills and becoming part of the local birding community. For many years I taught illustration and painting to high school art majors, then opened a studio in midtown where I created nature-themed paintings and illustrated the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe (The Raven), Wallace Stevens (Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird), etc. The pandemic arrived, I closed the studio and began working from home. Most mornings I am in the park, just two blocks from my apartment, where there are ponds, waterfalls and a reservoir. It's been a struggle, however, to get back into painting. Through photography I've been able to spend more time observing the habits of wildlife. I want to get excited again about painting. Keeping a nature journal seems an excellent way to slow down and observe life, creating visual and written notes. I was inspired by all of the journalers, each one had something unique to offer. I'm ready to begin!