Nature Journaling Blog Series
by Molly Graham, Education Specialist
I have been using this book to get ideas and inspiration!
My name is Molly and I am part of the education team here at Nauticus. As someone who loves the outdoors, I wanted to find a way to still connect with nature during this time of social distancing. A friend of mine recommended keeping a Nature Journal, and I have found it to be a fantastic way to be creative while also being present with nature. I have been using the book “Keeping a Nature Journal” by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth for inspiration. But I have found that one of the things that I like best about nature journaling is that it is personal to YOU, so you can follow whatever format you like. I walked to different spots around Norfolk and wrote down a few plants and animals that I observed. I’ve also thought about adding a weather log and maybe some poetry or quotes that go along with the season, just to list a few creative ideas. The world is your oyster, or in this case Nature Journaling is your oyster! Do whatever works for you and have fun with it. This is about connecting with nature and paying attention to all the things we are normally too busy to pay attention to. I found that it was often the smallest creature that I would normally overlook that I had the most fun observing and drawing. Case in point: my beautiful bee drawing below.
So to start out with, Nature Journaling about paying attention to the world around us. You can do this by taking a walk or going into your backyard/patio or looking out a window; whatever is safest and best for you. Just take a moment to observe the outdoors and all of the sights, sounds, and creatures that we normally don’t pay attention to. Take a moment by yourself or with your family or roommates to look at how cool nature is and all the things we can find right outside our own windows!
For my first entries, I took a walk and wrote down a few facts that I could remember about the things that I saw that I was familiar with. Things that I could not identify I took pictures of so I could look them up later. I used an unlined notebook, colored pencils, pens, and markers for my journaling, but you could get as creative or keep it as simple as you want to. Again, Nature Journaling is all about doing what feels and works best for you!
Here are some pictures of my first pages! DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a very good artist (at all) but it was still so much fun to create something and be present in my local environment.
My first page! I’m very proud of my first effort and have really worked on what I liked and didn’t like to do in the future. Practice makes perfect as you can see by my next two page below, they were slightly more successful!
AND finally, I thought I would share some pages from my friend Kathlean Davis, an artist and outdoor educator living in Richmond, VA. She included some really cool stuff that I can’t wait to put on my next pages like a season song: a list of all the sounds she could hear.
I hope this blog has inspired you and given you some good ideas on how to connect with nature while social distancing. I know that I have already gotten my coworkers involved and it’s been really fun to compare what we all see and experience right outside our own homes. Hopefully you will start a Nature Journal of your own and journal right alongside us here at Nauticus. Next week, I am hoping to focus more on a marine environment and think about how the critters I see relate to the maritime world. I am so excited to continue my nature journaling in the next few weeks and be able to look back through my journal to remember all of the cool things I saw and learned during my local nature adventures! This is a great way to practice mindfulness at we gear up for Earth Day and I can’t wait to see all of your journals then!
Happy Journaling Everyone!