• Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? 2. Now that you’ve heard from several other journalers about their processes, and had a peek at their journals, which ideas or approaches do you want to try? 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share?
      You must be enrolled in the course to reply to this topic.
    • Maree
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? Nature inspires me- and my own forgetfulness- when I see such amazing things, I guess I want to keep a record to look back on and spark the memory and wonder.  Curiosity also inspires me- I like to find out more about what I find and keeping a track of that is cool- it makes me feel like I understand my environment more. We have just moved to a little town near the ocean on the southern coast of Australia and have a mix of beach, rockpools, coastal brush and local rainforest to explore- so much to capture! 2. Now that you’ve heard from several other journalers about their processes, and had a peek at their journals, which ideas or approaches do you want to try? I loved Shayna's journal- she has a focus on the visual, but plenty of observations and questions and I think I will do the same of filling in information afterwards.  I also liked her page with multiple ferns - the idea of creating your own field guide- I can see that working for me for so many different organisms in my environment- ferns, shells, starfish, pine cones- endless. I also loved Holly's journal- her pictures are so gorgeous, that one really inspired me to create beautiful pictures, but also the idea of capturing the changing seasons came across really strongly in her journal and I liked that alot too. In Liz's journal I loved the landscape captures- how such vast landscapes could be captured so beautifully in miniature is really inspiring to me- I had always thought more about drawing small things, but will definitely try and capture some big landscapes in miniature now. In DJ's journal I loved the repetition of drawing the same species over and over again but capturing all different details and postures- I mostly draw birds once- usually the first time I see them- and dont really draw common birds like seagulls, but see through DJ's work how trying to capture different aspects could be great to make me a better drawer and to discover things about their behaviour.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I have been receiving the Cornell Uni emails about birds for a few years and I get so many I usually skip them...sorry! However, Liz's one-hour demonstration of drawing a black and white warbler caught my eye and was very enjoyable, and I noted the offer of this course. Well, I looked into it and signed up. Here I am, happily. I am an artist and a birdwatcher, with very few paintings of birds to my name...so far. However, I have been enjoying painting mushrooms, leaves, blossoms and flowers. The idea of nature journaling appeals because I love plein air painting. It allows me to slow down and just be peaceful, note what is going on, see birds come and go, and watch weather changes and light and shadow play over water and headland. I like the idea of journaling each day for a month, and I like the idea of journaling to capture the essence of a trip. I think I prefer vivid pictures of varying sizes together with notes and arrows pointing to specific details, plus writing that runs around the pictures and down the page. I also like the idea of identifying what I have found and adding that information later. Briony Penn published her nature journal and from what I recall it was exquisite. (Here is a link to her book. It is not quite a nature journal per se, although, perhaps it is. Anyway, I think it looks exciting.)
    • NANETTE
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I started nature journaling because I've always loved drawing animals. and when I got into birds I found out about nature journaling and Audubon. so later on I found bird academy and for weeks or months, I was thinking of starting a class. then I asked my mom and she said yes today I just started the class.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I signed up for this course two years ago.  For some reason, unknown to me, I put it on the back burner, meaning to get back to it any day now.   Two yrs went by.  Today, I watched Liz on a podcast & she got me energized again to get out my course supplies & start over.  I was surprised the the little amount of drawing I had done 2 yrs ago showed me that I did actually pick up some knowledge even though I didn't get very far.  So, now I'm beginning again.  I walk every day either in the forest behind our house or along the bluff trail that juts down into the ocean.  Lots of sea birds.  Even though we live in a constant drought here on the central CA coast, there are lots of little wildflowers that I'm going to attempt to draw.  Today I saw some CA Quail running under the brush in the forest.  They are extremely shy & run like the wind so I don't know if I can capture them, but I'll be on the lookout.  They do sometimes come to our back yard to check out our feeders. I'm excited to get back into this course & onward I go.  It's so well taught & Liz is so low-key I think I can do this without being judgmental of my work -- something she stressed on the podcast. Ps: I raise Monarch Butterflies so I will practice drawing their beautiful lines & spots.  They never leave the yard & are very friendly so it shouldn't be too difficult getting them to pose :)
    • Carrie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I was gifted this course by my partner for Christmas several years ago and am now finally taking it. I enjoy being out in nature and have been dipping my toes into birding - or at least learning to identify the birds around me using Merlin and eBird. Honestly, I had initially hoped for a course on identifying birds but looking into it further, I find nature journaling to be appealing (if not a little intimidating). I do like the idea of having a way to more fully and mindfully take in my surroundings - not just the birds (which, honestly, seems quite challenging given their movement) but recording the scenery and general observations when out spending time in natural areas whether for the day or camping. It provides  something "to do" to experience a place without having to be on the move (hiking, boating, etc) and creates a strong memory, both in your mind and one to return to on the page. I like the combo of using color and lines to draw the scenery and doing more close-up/individual studies along with words to help fully capture a place/time. I enjoyed many of the journals shown and can see how various methods can prove useful depending on my time and inclination. The one spread per month is appealing to build the habit especially when time is short. The previously mentioned method of notes+colorful scenery+close-ups would be nice when camping or otherwise spending longer days outdoors. The organization of the first journal felt appealing for a beginner like me, with boxes (albeit, somewhat free form). I appreciate how many of the journals were approachable works in progress. I look forward to honing my art skills and cultivating a creative and mindful way to experience nature!
    • Alice
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1.  COVID hit and listening to the birds around me gave me so much peace.  I learned to identify many by their songs and then by their sizes, shapes and colors.  I wanted to connect on a deeper more intimate level by drawing them. I found I could draw with practice and now I want to improve my drawing/observation skills.  It is healing to contemplate the beauty of the natural world and to be in awe.
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I love being outside and wanted to make a different record than is on my iPhone. I want to learn how to draw and describe the outside world. I am new to drawing.5DCC5F4F-9FF7-41E6-96BE-15F46A79B920
    • Alana
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I live in Stony Plain Alberta Canada, lake country! All seasons bring an abundance of enjoyment when out on the water and surrounding areas. I mostly photograph micro environments and paint larger oil paintings from them. I want to start recording more of the experience through a collection of  illustration, descriptive language, mark making, colour, prints and whatever means possible to tell a story about the places I encounter. It is my hope this will bring a rich layer of meaning to my larger work in the studio. Images included are some past sketches done from memory of places I visited, and a larger oil painting done in studio. IMG_8119IMG_93371_In_Waiting_Deltra_Powney
      • Alana
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Hello, My name is Deltra, the author of this post. Alana is the owner of the course who has graciously signed me up to take it! I work for her at a nature shop and look forward to learning all I can about field journaling! Thanks for the opportunity.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Living on top of  the grand canyon (830 feet)  the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers for 19 years, it's time to document the awesome change of the seasons reflected in nature, sky and river. I want to improve my powers of observation,  learn color with old eyes, explore line and shape.
    • j
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I was inspired to start nature journaling because I wanted to become a better birder. I wanted to be able to identify the birds by sight, sound or even behavior. I wanted something tangible to carry with me to track my progress. I also wanted to learn how to draw my surroundings, so I could immerse myself more deeply in the natural world. More importantly, I just wanted to document my experience in nature. To have something to look back on, and maybe share with people. First assignment. draw the yellow warbler. It took me 40 min 😆 BEC41674-3C5E-4D96-B449-BD418372D52C
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I was inspired to begin nature journaling because I love the blend of sketching, watercolors, and writing. I feel like this will be a wonderful way to express myself.
    • Natalija
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Hello fellow natural journalers! 1. I am currently enrolled in The University of Newcastle, Australia course called Drawing Nature, Science and Culture: Natural History Illustration. It was while searching online for the topic of field sketching (which is the third week homework) that I stumbled upon this Nature journaling course. I have always been fascinated with nature journals and the way they combine text and illustration. Seeing as I am used to drawing from photographs at home, what inspired me to take this course is the desire to get out, observe firsthand and finally create a nature journal of my own. 2. My idea is to try to focus primarily on landscapes, plants and various small natural objects that I run into. I know that I would like to combine several drawing (graphite pencil, colored pencil and pen) and painting techniques (watercolor and gouache) and quick gestural sketches with sustained drawings. I would also like to work on good composition, informative notes and accurate illustrations. 3. I like that some of the journalers recorded the date, time, weather and location in their journals and some colour notations. Not my idea but I have seen in other journals scale references and dissections of plants that illustrate their structure. These are some things that I would like my nature journal to include. I have attached an example of a page that I was recently working on for the above mentioned course. It is drawing natural objects and all of them were done at home on a desktop with desk lamp lighting. Additionally I scanned and arranged the drawings and hand written text in Photoshop. I look forward to starting my nature journal and seeing how the immediacy changes my drawings, my style, composition and most importantly the new ideas this experience will spark!   week two objects small file size
    • Margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I'm taking this journaling course to reconnect with my writing life and to create more vivid, personal memories when my husband and I travel.  I want color incorporated in my journal, which is now computer/word oriented, and though I have had little training in drawing and was frustrated with a watercolor course I took years ago, this course seemed perfect for trying out mixed media in a private space, with pinpointed drawing and painting techniques.  I'm hopeful this will become a spark for creative growth, and already I'm excited by the course content.  Things that spoke to me in this first lesson are Holly's two-sided explorations with nature and with art techniques, and her discussions and drawing/memories of her "encounters" with mushrooms, pine cones, birds, etc.  I also loved Liz's journal overall--it's looseness in form but kind of chatty quality which is very personable--and I especially responded to her reminder that even unfinished sketches have memories associated with them.  I can see that if I catch the habit, it will be for all seasons, and not just the special circumstance of travel.
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Retirement and Covid came at the same time for me.  I have been lucky to be able to be outside and love it, taking walks in our little woods and working on our little garden area.  I have taken many photos and having just discovered the macro mode on my phone  has invited me into the smaller worlds I might otherwise miss.  Drawing with journaling seems like a natural occupation for me because I often sit or stand for many minutes to visually explore and observe.  I especially liked the journals with repeated drawing of one subject as with the hummingbirds and thereby learning the significant features of the bird.  All of the examples sparked inspiration.  I need to learn about drawing techniques and can see that regular journaling with illustrations will help with that. I was so happy to find the course through eBird and am excited to get started.
    • Rita
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1. I've always been interested in drawing but have had no formal training.  I'm a photographer as well, but have had the desire to sketch when sitting along the beach, looking at flowers, etc. The difficulty I've always had is trying to figure out how other people can sketch so quickly even if the subject is moving. Also, I've gotten frustrated with watercolors in the past, but I've always loved the look.  I'm looking forward to learn how to successfully use them. I definitely want to include the pertinent data of date, location, time, and weather conditions. That is what I do in my photography. I always strive to identify any object from nature as well -- seashells, plants, birds, etc. I will definitely include the identification. I want to use a looser style to leave room for my sketches and text.
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I belong to a Pollinator Gardening Club where I live and I would love to learn how to draw/paint the many flowers, plants, bushes, bugs, and butterflies in the garden.  I have never drawn or used water colors so this will be fun to learn the process.  I like to make collages and I think this will help me to be more creative.  I love nature and being outdoors.  I look forward to recording the sketches and journaling my thoughts and observations about plants I am seeing.  I also look forward to the time being quiet and to enjoy and contemplate nature.  I really liked Shayna Miller's nature journal as she had order and structure on each page with the boxes and I think this will be helpful to me in learning to nature journal.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have been interested in nature journaling for a long time, and have started them off and on for years. But I'd love to get more consistent with it! I volnteered for the Wild Wonder Nature Journaling conference last year and it was really inspirational.
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      3F4A3DFE-9C1A-469B-A9E4-65B4A3264555 I was introduced to nature journaling in 2021 when I took a quick lesson through Sketchbook Revival.  It was taught by John Muir Laws. I love nature and I love creating.  I am enjoying sketching and want to learn more about watercolour. To date I have mostly sketched and drawn birds from other’s photos.  I would like to be able to draw them from life.  The page above was easy for me because plants move a lot slower than animals! I also took part in International Nature Journalling Week 2021 and Wild Wonder 2021.  They were eye opening experiences for me. I have so much to learn!  There are so many different ways to do things! I liked all the journals shown in the video.  One thing that struck me was the difference in the amount of time required for each style of journaling. I have limited time, so Holly’s journal really appealed to me. I can do a page a month or a small sketch every day.  Last year I jumped with both feet and tried to do too much at once. I was going in all directions. This year I want to take a slower paced, more focused approach.
    • Larry
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am always looking for ways to learn and improve my creativity. I take a lot of bird and wildfowl pictures however as my collection grows something is missing and that is a more personal connection with my work. Some days I can take hundreds of pictures in a day but by adding journaling, I hope it will slow me down and allow me to connect more with the subject. Journaling should also help me improve my drawing and watercolour skills while adding something to my photographic skills. I haven't figured out how I want to keep my journals other than the basic of date, time, weather etc. but through practice and experience I will develop a process.
    • Terri
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I've drawn on and off over the years but never with any discipline outside of a class structure.  I'm looking for an approach to help me to tap into that creativity and discipline. I've always been drawn to subjects in nature and am an avid hiker and camper and am now spending more time outdoors and traveling.  In looking for a class to jumpstart a drawing practice, coming across this course on nature journaling was a revelation!  It seems like exactly the approach I have been looking for and I'm really excited to jump in.
    • Chuyu
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I want to begin nature journaling since I really love those birds flying through the sky and I enjoy the process of painting. I think nature journaling is a great way to combine these two interests and this process help me to enhance my drawing skills. As an beginner, I don't many specific idea on how will I deal with my journal, but I think that will be an excellent experiences to explore different style of journaling and find the suitable one.
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      My initial interest in exploring nature journaling was as a way to strengthen my sketching ability and provide possible designs for my art as a printmaker. Looking at others’ nature journals, I see that an observational journal could also be useful to me as a gardener. I also realized that not everyone is a skilled draftsman (one of my concerns, as I don’t think I am), but that useful information can be observed and recorded regardless of “artistic ability.” (I still want to get better at sketching, though!)
    • Esther
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      What inspired me to begin nature journaling is to both observe things more closely as well as improve my rendering skills. As with handwriting notes, drawing is a great way to reinforce learning so I think that’s what I’m excited about.   It’s hard to pick one style of journaling, but I like the idea of notations that go along with the sketches.
    • Olivia
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      Since I was a child have been in contact with nature, I have great respect and admiration for animals and I love to draw, so that´s the reason that I decided to begin my nature journaling, I saw the different videos and I think all are interesting, with  differents and personal approaches that brings me ideas and helps me to define and create my own.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Desire to participate in what I’m observing with more patience for detail and form.  A way to give observing greater time.
    • Cecilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Why did I want to begin nature journaling? Seeing the videos of others' journals gave me clarity. I love drawing and painting. Art wasn't my career. I've spent 4 decades teaching midwives, nurses and doctors. I wanted some activities that would take my brain away from health career and stretch my thinking. I've been bird watching with my daughters for several and doing the Audubon bird count. I did the bird sketching class and enjoyed Liz's work so much that I wanted to do more. My husband jokes that when he travels with me and my daughters that we can't walk more than 3 feet without stopping for a bug, a bird or a bud. Journaling will help me document the highlights of the experience without taking endless flat photos.
    • diana
      Participant
      Chirps: 52
      F4DBC5DE-E0C4-4278-80A8-593C5B8CDCDF REBOOT: I’m restarting through this program in the new year to refresh my skills. - I was inspired to nature journal by migrating wild birds in Texas & other floral/fauna on Gulf Coast - by contrast I’m “rebooting” in the winter Midwest / Jan.Feb. - I like how in video Shayna takes a STUDY approach & learns factually through journaling. This parallels my approach. I focus less on the art now and “pretty pages” and more on paths to learning. - ALSO I like how she says her style continues to evolve and be less rigid over time, as that’s also true for me & so she’s  validating. - on my page in the photo (wind chill below zero), I wasn’t going outside, so I had to work harder to journal & from inside my window, studied skies and researched tips to help me briefly re-enter nature when it’s harsh   - ALL of the journal videos/styles & journalists  are helpful for different reasons & especially helpful as I reboot during winter & continue to evolve as a nature journalist
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I've seen other people's nature journals, and they looked like something that would keep me focused, learning, and enjoying nature even more deeply than I already do. My husband is an amateur nature photographer.  He sometimes takes a long time to get his images, so this will give me something to do while he is taking pictures and will give us another way to capture the experience. I like the journal that started with drawing and set things off with some boxes. My journal will probably be sporadic depending on when I get out, but I would at least like to enter some things each different season.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Nature has always been a major part of my art journey, but for the most part I have only worked only from photos. Keeping a nature journal seemed like a good way to capture what might be misted or skewed photographs like an understanding of animal behavior, color, and the atmosphere of actually being there.  This also seemed like a good course to take to see if I wanted to peruse science illustrations as a career or just something I would to keep for pleasure time.
    • Michaele
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am inspired to begin nature journaling to create a record of observations I make when I stroll through a natural habitat. I liked what one journalist said that drawing creates a record of what you see. You have to look closely to capture the details, much more closely than if you just take a picture. I like that I will have a lovely, permanent record of the things I see so that I can go to a field guide and more accurately identify birds and plants that I see.
    • Xhaira
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I have always loved seeing nature journals of all types, even back when I didn't realize that it was an activity that real people did and sometimes took on as a profession. I found a seashell guide book when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old, and I was obsessed with looking through them and admiring the art of different shells surrounded by facts and research notes. I would write extra notes in the margins for myself even though I had no idea what I was talking about. I truly miss that seashell book. 2. I really love the idea of marking the page with the date, time, location, and weather. But I also really loved the monthly journal. The idea of just filling up pages throughout the month and then grouping them all together is appealing to me. It's a lot less structured, which works well for stretches of time where I'm not at my best. I think I want to start with the more detailed method of marking my pages, but on other days I may just mark the date and time under the drawing so I still know when it was done.
    • Joy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I cannot recall the exact spark, it may have been a few years ago in graduate school where colleagues shared A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, Darwin's journies were top of mind, and I wanted to be as provocative as Rachel Carson in defining and presenting how human activities are affecting the environment to insprie collective actions for change. I've been wanting to nature journal for years and finally have moved it up in priority. I want to improve my observation and drawing & painting skills. I like the idea of having a record of a day's memories or trip memories as well. I enjoy birding and think it'd be an added way to memorialize time spent in the field where many more questions on species id arise (insects, plants, fungi, reptiles, etc). 2. I want to try being able to record movement and behavior like the hummingbird journal and dove and spider entries but have them also be even more beatiful with all the watercolor applied.
    • Noella
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am 12 years old and love sketching  realistically so when my grandpa gave me the corse for my birthday I was exited to jump right in. I think that field sketching will be a great way to express my love fore nature through doing something I love. I liked the idea of drawing the different positions of things and to box my drawings I also like the idea to right down the experience behind the picture.
    • kat
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I've written in a journal for years - mostly for clarity in what is going on in life. I always started with the date, weather, where I was and what I was doing.  I love being outside and observing nature. Expanding my journalling to include sketches seems like a natural progression.  I like the idea of spending time to observe rather than - for example - checking off a bird and then peeling off to get another one. Sometimes that's fun too - especially if one has consumed a lot of caffeine. I like that some of the journalers had a question that may or may not have been answered. I like the idea of using the calendar. I need a bit of a push. I think I'd find it too much to do an entry each day but maybe a weekly or monthly pages would be good.  As I am not artistic, I appreciate how some of the journalers gave themselves time and space to observe, practise and write about what they didn't quite capture in a sketch. I am happy about the time of year that I am starting this course - January. Some of the days are so cold and dark but there is beauty in the subtle white, grey and blue tones and shapes of branches. If it's too cold to be outside, I can have a good look at my collection of fossils, rocks, bug bits and pieces, feathers, pine cones and leaves. Or, there's always the bird feeders to watch. Spring is around the corner.
    • Teresa
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      1) I live along a river with fields and woods. I’ve always loved birds and gardening. A guy in an international gardening/wildlife group got me interested in fungi and then mosses, lichens so I started noticing so much more on my own property. I thought about nature journaling after years of taking pictures that mostly live in the computer (I know, I know.)  Having a journal of what I’ve seen and experienced to look through over the years is intriguing. I’m hoping I can learn to ignore the critic within and fully enjoy capturing nature in this way. 2) I like the idea of a monthly sum up of a variety of items. I want pictures and writing. Color is very important.  More informal design.
    • Kristine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      As a few others have mentioned here, I was looking for a way back to a regular drawing practice, something I haven't done much as an adult.  I love to be outside, hiking and observing, and nature journaling seems like a good way to incorporate what I already do with what I would like to do more of.  I appreciated all the perspectives of the journalers  in the video, but I especially liked the way Shayna used boxes to structure her pages and "zoom" shapes to indicate detail drawings.  I agree with Holly that a drawing each day may be a little intensive, but a weekly or monthly page or section is an attractive idea for keeping me in the consistent drawing mode.  I want to make sure I feel free enough to just draw/journal without worrying about the finished look of it, especially for now.
    • Arwyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I was inspired to do nature journaling when I had gone through a winter tree ID training and also after I had taken a course in college that had us create our own field guides (although that was in PowerPoint). I thought that drawing tree buds would be more effective than taking a picture of them. Journaling allows me to take notes to help me understand what I'm seeing in the moment. 2. I like the idea of doing a sketch a day, like Holly Faulkner did with her journal. I thought that was beautiful how she set that up according to days/months. 3. I don't think I have any different journaling ideas, but I might have to do a couple of different journals - one with the sketch a day, and another for more in-depth studies.
    • Joan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I like the idea of journaling  but but not a lot of writing, but  more drawing instead. I want learn to draw better simply from live things like bird, and sometimes foxes and deer  and maybe some landscapes when possible. I usually use my camera to capture some of the birds,foxes and deer but when I thought about it some time later. I take a ton of pictures. Then thought I could  stake some picture then sketch some might also help a me draw better living thing over time. So I am taking this course and reading another book for tips. I realize my sketching will be most likely yucky for a bit but love the idea of draw animal from life and adding some color from water color pencils or just enjoying sketching for fun and enjoyment.   Joan
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am inspired by a group of talented artists and gardeners who volunteer together at the Mountaintop Arboretum in Tannersville, NY. We are learning about native trees, and the birds that nest in them. I am a rank beginner, with very poor eyesight, but I believe that starting a nature journal will help me to identify and observe the trees, plants and birds more readily. I don't have to be an ace at drawing, but I'd like to learn about the nature around us. Ultimately, I'd like to be able to draw more accurate landscape and garden designs.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Nature journaling seemed like an ideal way to combine a few intentions of mine: to give a kind of structure and inspiration for any art I want to do, and to give me another means for practicing mindfulness and observational skills. I hope it becomes a means for me to focus on my intentions, both with art and with my thoughts and actions in the world. I particularly enjoy the journal styles that blend drawing and notes on the same page, and I like the idea of picking individual subjects, rather than whole scenes, to focus on details, or one particular aspect (e.g. shape, colour, composition, patterns, behaviours). I'm curious to try out different techniques and layout and see which works best for me over time.
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Although I am passionate about outdoors, gardening, etc., I have a very tiny suburban, almost urban backyard to work with.  Still there are very many critters that call my backyard home, or at least a place to eat and hide daily.  I wanted to learn about nature journaling because I like to jot down notes about the garden for future reference, sort of my own personal backyard almanac.  Every yard is it's own sort of micro-climate and the timeline for what I'm growing and the things that happen in my garden differ from others in my same area.  Anyway, I thought nature journaling would be a nice and useful way to document the life of my little garden.  Of course anytime I am able to get out into the outdoors I will be able to add to my journal that way as well.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I started falling in love with birds and wanting to know them better at the beginning of the pandemic when I moved to teaching remotely. Seeing birds more and more, I sometimes try to take pictures, but I would like to have something more personal to focus where I want and write about what I see. I've always written poetry, but I've never drawn much. That's where this course comes in for me. My mother-in-law bought it for me as a Christmas gift, and I'm excited (though a bit nervous) to learn more about drawing and to incorporate this into my journal.
    • Rick
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I started bird watching in earnest as a pandemic activity to get outside and spend time finding birds. I journaled but without drawing. I would draw birds separate from journaling. My son bought this course for me as a Christmas gift and I am excited to combine observation with drawing! I think the first journal example best fits me. I only just started to experiment with views of birds from angles (instead of just side views). I am not ready for the creative flourishes in the other journals.
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I like the simple, graphite journals, focusing in on one topic.
    • Jorge
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I had a class where we were assigned to different topics, there were reading a book then writing about it, bird watching, and nature journaling. I got bird watching and I was unhappy at first but I dealt with it. I told my mom about my unhappiness and she got me this course! I forgot to tell her it only lasted for a week, but I hope this class improves my drawing skill of real animals.
    • Adrienne
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Journalling was a daily part of my ESL teaching, freewriting while my students wrote. The freedom from worrying about mistakes & simply 'thinking on paper' has so much to offer - for language fluency in L2 learners & teachers alike. I can see from these nature journal clips that it's much the same here &, still a beginner in drawing & painting, look forward to getting into the habit of letting go of my tendency to perfectionism in my first nature journal. All of these journals offer inspiration & i think i'll just wait & see which of their strategies pop up as i begin mine for this course. It will be a great boon to be able to pursue it together with my dear friend & walking buddy Susie.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I've always been interested in drawing and painting, and art in general, but I've never taken the opportunity to delve into as I would have liked.  I though that nature journaling could allow me to step into that realm.  I've been trying my hand at nature journaling for several years, although not consistently, but I'm making an effort to make it a habit.  I want to capture those fleeting images that I see in the out-of-doors, things that a camera doesn't do justice for.  I wanted to capture the details and to note what I saw, as well as improve my technical skills of drawing and painting. I like the idea that Holly Faulkner had, of having a page per month, and entering a variety of sketches of things she observes, and not being "locked in" to having to make a sketch per day.  I also like how Shayna shared her progression of moving from placing everything in boxes to allowing a more free-form style of capturing her observations. I'm including one of my first nature journal entries, looking at the bird feeder outside my kitchen window.  I took a photo, and then worked off of that, since the birds were flying so quickly.Nature journal page
    • Susie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Ive drawn and painted in spurts over my lifetime during each of which I have been fully  immersed - daily activities set aside as I lose track of time, drawn ever deeper into the process  - with long dry spells between I am now in my late seventies - and am no longer have the physical strength or stamina  for many of the cottage and gardening season activities that I loved. I was attracted to this course as a 'right sized' endeavour - which would rekindle my love of drawing and painting and writing and through this activity extend/expand  my enjoyment of the cottage and gardening and the old train bed walks I take with an artist friend .  She also has been looking for ways to re-start her drawing and painting - and so the two fo us have signed up - and will share our experience with each other - and it is our hope that this will  sustain our engagement long enough to establish a pattern/a habit of daily/weekly observation and representation of  the natural world.
      • Tony
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Your entry resonated with me, Susie. I have also enjoyed many aspects of nature for a long time and am now in my mid-70's and finding gardening and weeding and long treks in the woods to be sometimes problematic. How nice that you have company that you can support and be supported by. My wife also is a nature lover and birder, so it does help a lot to join in thee activities together. I, too have dabbled in drawing for many years and the idea of drawing things in nature always sounded exciting but beyond my reach. I have done a few birds from photos I have taken and that has been fun. But the idea of sitting in a spot for some time to observe and notice and write and draw or paint sounds very inviting. The journals presented all had components that I would include in my nature journalling journey. I like the structure of always having date, location, weather and time on the page. I like playing with box or no box. In the past, I draw shapes like boxes to provide structure and find myself excited to draw in and out of them! Drawing outside the box resonates for me! I also liked the monthly page idea that was shared towards the end of the video and want to try that out. I take many photos of nature and birds so I should have enough material to compose a page once I am ready. I like the idea of coming back to a page several times in a month to capture all that the month has offered! Here's an attempt at a towhee~Towhee
    • Kallen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I’m an avid journalist and nature lover, but aside from taping or tracing leaves into my journal, I’ve not really sketched or painted nature. Probably because I’ve never considered myself much of a visual artist.  I love the idea of observing more carefully and making deeper connections between my outside and inside worlds—and trying to do this more visually. There were many techniques I appreciated in the sample journals that I’ll likely incorporate: drawing boxes with specimens that escape them; little color palettes; finding geometric shapes. I’m eager to learn more drawing/painting skills and have enjoyed reading others’ comments here too.
    • Carey
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      The first time I saw a nature journal, in a book by a nature journaling instructor, I was so taken by the beauty of it that it never left me. Fifteen years later, I was struggling with depression, and to feel better I started trying things I had always wanted to do but for some reason had never done. I've been working at it on and off ever since, and it has become a part of my journey. Art and creativity don't come naturally to me, and I have trouble with the muscles in my hands, which prevents me from doing some things, like using colored pencils or a water brush. But I have also discovered that I love watercolor, and for the first time I have created a few sketches that I can stand to look at. I love all of the approaches in the video. Some for their color and beauty and others for their close study and attention to detail. I'd like my journal to be unstructured enough to practice any of these approaches.
    • Samantha
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I have been bird watching for as long as I can remember and been involved in conservation and native rehab projects for most of my life. I had never thought to record my observations and experiences until recently. I have been diagnosed with PTSD as a result of working in Policing. It was suggested as a rehab and mindfulness to assist with recovery and I just love it. I really liked the idea of drawing and journaling everyday for a year, today being the 1st January 2022, I will begin my journey.. below is my first nature journal entry d:28/12/21. I like some of the other ideas which i will include in my next pages. Nature journal
    • Michele
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      1. I love nature and art and wanted to get back into drawing (something I haven't done much of as an adult). This seemed a great way to combine the two. Further, I teach middle school science and want to introduce journaling to my students. I think they would really benefit from this. 2. I like a clean page (no lines). I also like how some of the journals make boxes to contain, define their data. I am curious about what I see and would also utilize field guides to confirm what I'm seeing or learn more about it. I like the use of color, but am lousy with water color. So I might stick to colored pencils (for now).
    • Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I'd like to try drawing and journaling fish I see diving as a way to pay more attention to details and to remember details for identification. Obviously this will be different since I can't take the journal underwater. I don't photograph fish but I do have access to a lot of good photos. Ideas????
    • Glen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1.  I started journaling when I was taking my master's degree in Outdoor Education from Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, TN.  There was a class in the progam specifically on nature journaling.  Then elements of journaling were incorporated into several other classes.  One class was a week long canoe trip in the Boundary Waters National Park up in Minnesota.  One of the requirements on this trip was to have a daily journal. All through my life, I have always drawn from pictures or things in nature.  Since then I have started to put my drawings into a journal format.  As a high school science teacher, I'm using journals in my classes.  In the classroom setting the focus is on class content, not so much on outside observation due to the climate of the classroom.  The students journal every week.  The format is to divide a full page spread into five sections.  Each section is labeled as D1, for day 1, D2, D3, D4, and D5.  D1 is Monday and D5 ends up as Friday.  Then specific things are required in each day.  D1 is the title and statement for that week's topic of study. This information is given by an electronic newsletter from the science dept.  D2 is a picture, D3 is 4 bullets of information, D4 is another picture or chart, and D5 is the question and answer.  The question is again listed in the electronic newsletter (aka: Science Zone).  Throughout the week from demonstrations, class lecture, text book reading, and visual materials, the students are to get the information to complete each day of their journals.  The students are given guidelines about colors, outlining and use of space.  This is my first year doing it and so far it has promising results. In looking at this first section, I have found this class to be thought inspiring and look forward to completing it as I look for new ways to add to my nature journal and as a tool for the science classroom. 2.  In seeing another nature journal on the internet (Amazon.com) which I ordered a copy, I've started using the format that they used.  This was before I started this class.  Now from this first section, I see the value of dates, locations, and weather.  These different details, provide valued information for what is put down in each page of the journal.  I haven't done weather but now I plan to add it to my pages. At this time, I'm planning to experiment some with watercolors in my journaling process.  I've done watercolor paintings in the past but at this time I have been using colored pencils with black outlines, which is the format from the journal copy I purchased.    In my own journal I have also been using common names and scientific names. I'm seeing there are some common points to journaling but yet there are differences in styles which I can use to improve my own skills. 3.  My ideas have been mixed in with the above response.  1) journaling in the classroom and 2) copying the style of another journal that involved colored pencils, black outlines, and bit of information and facts.
    • Michel
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I have been birdwatching many years but still have difficulty identifying certain groups of species like sparrows. I am thinking that by drawing and colouring my drawings I can improve my bird id skills. I have started taking drawing lessons only recently (at 60!) and I « discovered » watercolour crayons which I would like to use with my drawings. I often take nature pictures on my iphone which I like but end up throwing out not knowing what to do with them. By transferring them to a sketch book I would have a record of what caught my attention which I would like to share with family and friends.
      • Glen
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Several weeks ago I wanted to do a journal page on some birds from my feeder in the backyard.  I had some pictures on my phone but it keeps powering off.  So in identifying the birds, I used a bird ID book to make the identification certain  Then I use the phone pictures and book to make my drawings. In drawing the birds, as you stated, more of the details of the bird is noticed.
    • Dawn
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      1. I love to watch birds and keep lists.  Recently took an intro drawing and watercolor class and thought nature journaling would be a good way to continue to practice art skills and record my outdoor adventures.  2.  I want to use a journal with good watercolor paper so that I can continue to improve in that technique. 3. I have been keeping a nature journal for a year, but I don't do much field sketching.  Much of the time I'm on a paddleboard at it doesn't work (I have tried)!  So, I take digital photos with a small waterproof camera or my phone if on land and draw from the computer later in the comfort of home.  I do make notes in the field or write down my bird lists as soon as I get home to combine with the photos later.IMG_1022
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I live on a ranch—I spend lots of time outside and my house has lots of windows so I’m constantly hearing and seeing nature. I take lots of pics but wanted a way to draw/paint and write to capture my days. 2. Which ideas do you want to try? I like that all the journals I saw are sort of continual and stream of consciousness. I do like tracking the date, conditions, and other notes about what I’m observing. I really like the magnified views and details the one journaler did.
    • Biz
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1.) The National Park near my home has some phenomenal and breathtaking views, as well as beautiful birds, and I would love to be able to capture that beauty in something tangible and that I can show to other people. By putting these things on paper, it helps me to develop a deeper love and appreciation for birds and nature in general. 2.) I want to start with a drawing and add annotations around it. Then if I have time, I would like to research a little about what I am documenting and add some more information about it. 3.) Maybe include how the item or place makes you feel or your interaction with it.
    • Risa
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      1. What inspired me to begin nature journaling? As I go through my Senior year of high school, I have had to think about what I can do to continue learning after my "required" school is over. This is a fun way to spark my creative side (which doesn't come out unless I really force it to) and to continue learning outside of textbooks. Birds inspire me to put my hand to something Im not that great at: Drawing. In fact, my first real piece of art (you know, not the 5 year old's stick figure "drawings") was of a Cedar Waxwing. Since then, the only thing I really feel comfortable drawing is birds. So I don't want to settle for mediocracy in doing the thing I love. But to reach for greatness, and see where this wonderful journey through God's creation leads me. 2. Something that I found fascinating about several journals from the video, was the special noting of...well...noteworthy things. For example, the "magnifying glass" technique in Shayna Muller's work. Another thing that stuck out to me was the attitude of "its ok if its not perfect." In fact, DJ McNeil, purposely omitted some features because he hadn't seen it well enough to draw it. I'm naturally a perfectionist, so I would struggle to leave a bird faceless or to leave a scene unfinished. But its a relaxing and often motivating thought to be okay with however your drawing turns out.
      • Michele
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        As a teacher, I love that you see this as a way to continue your education!
    • Rebekah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I began nature journaling as part of my journey through healing from trauma (a decade of domestic abuse). There is something about being present in nature and observing details closely and understanding that we are all part of a bigger picture that instills hope and possibility and that is no small thing when your mind is filled with anxiety and worry and always overactively scanning your environment for perceived threats. Nature journaling is grounding and inspiring and so good for our mental health. 2. Now that you’ve heard from several other journalers about their processes, and had a peek at their journals, which ideas or approaches do you want to try? I love the idea of recording time, place and weather. In the past, I've just jotted down the date but the extra details bring the memory alive so much more. I will also keep using watercolor, as I love it.   3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? I'd love to bring in the art of hand lettering and practice decorative lettering in combination with nature observations.
    • Liz
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I love how this is a mix of art and science. It really shows a level of connection to the nature rather than just a study of it 1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I am a forever learner and started birding march 2020 during quarantine. I realized while I like learning the science I really love the beauty and connection. I’m excited to mix my love of learning with my hobby of art 2. Now that you’ve heard from several other journalers about their processes, and had a peek at their journals, which ideas or approaches do you want to try? I want to go with whatever feels right in the moment. Perhaps like the first one of having drawings and words in loose boxes 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? maybe adding how you felt that day. Adding what your human experience was being with the subjects
    • Anastasis
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      1) This course was a gift from my husband. It was a beautiful surprise. Some time ago I started to paint and draw and also we like to go outside and appreciate nature. So he taught it would be nice to combine both activities. I am excited. 2) I like the idea of appreciate and record God´s creation. Also have a close connection with nature and learn about different species. I want to enjoy and relax at the same time memories are created on my 1st nature journal.
    • Andrea
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I have long wanted to start nature journaling, but either got frustrated by not being "good" at it immediately, or just never took the time to figure it out. I recently moved to a new city, but to the region I have long called home. While I planned my move, I decided to finally take up nature journaling as a way to get to know my new surroundings, reacquaint myself with the region, and get outside when I have a an annoying tendency to stay inside. 2. I am inspired by the journalers who -- implicitly or explicitly -- recalled a time and place where they observed the subject of their sketch, and even remembered how they felt that day. The casual mention of a warbler in the field, to the near-scientific notation of location, date, and weather. For so long I have thought of nature journaling (and journaling generally) as a product for someone else to look at, not for myself. I am certain that this is why I have had such a hard time sticking to it. I always got frustrated if I couldn't write something "profound" in a journal, so what was the point? These journalers have demonstrated that the nature journal isn't for anyone by themselves, and the joy, memory, education, and perhaps even therapy, that comes from their experience.
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      As I am new to sketching and painting, I know that I will depend on words and reflections often in my journal. But I would like to get to the point where I can illustrate the same things I might write about in pictures, colors, shapes, etc. but I think I will always incorporate thoughts and reflections in writing as a complement to pictures.
    • Shoshana
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I live on one of the Southern Gulf Islands and with my job and house and garden and sailboat, I feel like a rarely have time to do anything let alone anything artistic. Except that I need to journal every day just to stay in touch with me. I always feel the need to express the beauty around me. On our last trip, this one to the interior of BC, I bought a book called Nature sketch and started sketching out of it because i have always wanted to be able to record the beauty of our travels somehow. So I really want to learn to sketch, draw and paint! I liked how the author of this book learned about what she sketched and wrote it down so I could learn it too. My friends who are biologists tell me stuff all the time which I promptly forget. I know I will remember it better if I sketch the details of what they are talking about. It also feels when I do like Nature is not separate from me, and I am more a part of it. Also, in my profession I use lots of plants and flowers. I keep a blog just for fun (nothing to do with business!) and would love to illustrate it because it feels so personal and is a way of putting more of myself into it. As you can tell, I am a complete beginner. But as a child I used watercolours to show all kind of animals and nature living their lives in an interwoven way. I would like to do the same thing again with this course. Thank you!
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I've had a lot of extra time to pursue my lifelong hobby of arts and crafts since working from home. I find art courses helps to keep me consistently inspired and they help me to broaden my horizons in terms of drawing subjects. Journaling has always been a hobby as well, so it made sense to combine the two.   2. I would love to implement templates across my pages, although that idea may be inspired more by my love of comic books and manga. I also think that consistently having a place for flora, fauna and scenery would help make for nicely varied subjects. I'm also going to base my art off of photos more often than not to I don't run into the problem of having incomplete details, especially with birds. I also want to try to use mixed media, both watercolor and colored pencil and see which gives me better results.   3. Templates and themes within my journal, though not entirely a new idea, may be an interesting way to help organize my pages and make them as organized and informative as possible.
    • Margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I love birds and have always had a hard time drawing birds for some reason, despite the amount of time I spend watching them. I love being out in nature and appreciating the little things. I hope this will nurture that vein in my soul! 2. I really liked the idea of capturing the general shapes and motions of birds, even leaving out facial features when the bird flies away, and not pretending to have seen the face and filling in the blank. I also like the idea of incomplete drawings, like that is a natural part of the journaling process. It takes away from the obsession with perfection, and redirects the focus on the goal of the journal entry, whether that be general shape of birds. I also was surprised at people being able to capture birds despite how much they move! I'm interested in trying the journaling style that includes mostly drawing (for that is mostly why I am taking this course) but includes notations and questions, because I'm sure I will have some!
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      1. I've been intimidated by nature journaling but Liz's Robin watercolor class gave me some confidence so I thought I'd give this a try. I love art and can watch little insects and animals for hours - seems like the perfect combo! 2. Noting flora and fauna and general observations about the environment (sounds, colors, patterns, etc) and maybe leaving some space for extra details that can be looked up later. Love the zoomed in details in the first journal!
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      27FEBCDA-DEA6-4FC1-9676-5953B7B83B6B I am not real good at all this tech stuff, but I hope you get it and can make sense of my meanderings.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I strategically placed bird feeders outside my window during my year of "Covid Teaching" last year to stay sane and balance screen time, and began to wonder how to record the little details of things I observed everyday.  After seeing these examples, I am inspired to combine my love of letters and calligraphy with my nature observations. I know I won't have time to enter something everyday, but I like the idea of the journal tracking my nature observations over time through seasons, so the dates/weather seem more important to me now.  I, also, like the ideas of thoughtful composition....the journalist who grappled with the use of squares. Most of my art experience is with oil paints and human models who sit still for lengths of time.  So my big question is how do you accurately capture creatures that move???  The one journalist talked about capturing the shapes, so I found that helpful, but what about colors and details??  I'm looking forward to the challenge and delving into watercolor.
    • Eileen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I'm just learning to draw in retirement and there are so many subjects in the natural world that I feel will be inspiring and challenging as a beginner. I loved the journals that captured the change of seasons and provide a diary of things you see each day or month. Combining drawing with poetry appeals to me, also drawing and discovering the names of birds, trees, insects that you may not have noticed in the past.  I like the meditative quality of drawing, so I think just being able to slow down and observe closely will be a very comfortable way to spend my time.
    • Jocelyne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am a watercolorist who uses my own photography as my guide/reference while working in my studio. I have always loved being in and observing nature, as my paintings show. However, I have never been much of a nature journalist, preferring to capture my subjects via camera because sitting with bad hips and back is painful after a short while. NOW, post hip surgeries, back surgery, a year and a half of COVID, and also being a full time caregiver to my mom, I have a deep desire to nature journal! I been working on a series of paintings of clouds and monsoon skies and my I-phone camera always meters for the whites, making the blue sky too dark to use as a reference. Plus, I spend sooooo much time at home now. My sanity project has been to expand my wildflower/native flower gardens, thus increasing the pollinators to my yard. An avid bird watcher, I have feeders all over the yard so the blossoms, birds, bees and butterflies bring absolute delight to me and my mom who is battling cancer.  Journaling these backyard wonders will enable me to stay close to my mom while staying creative and increasing my observation skills. Jocelyne Shiner
    • Vanessa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am a science teacher at a Montessori middle school with a land-based program on 13 acres and used to draw/paint but haven't in years (motherhood, work, etc got too busy). I am excited to see the dusting off of an old hobby merge with creating purposeful, mindful appreciation for our campus. So far my kids have LOVED the experience. They even took their material and worked on their journals off campus on a trip. It's been a joy and I am so grateful to have the format of this course to help all of us grow and develop our skills. Thank You!!!
      • Michele
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        I hope to do something similar with my middle school students! We don't have the land, but there's a small lake up the block we can easily go to. I can't wait to get them started!
    • Katherine
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I've enjoyed birding for the past two years.  I typically bring my camera and capture birds on my walks through trails, parks, and other nature locations.  Although I have been extremely satisfied with birding and photography, I want to improve my bird and nature observation skills.  Nature journaling will help me slow down, but I also look forward to learning more drawing and painting skills.
    • cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1)I capture the “flora and fauna” near my home and wherever I travel. I now want to study, reflect on and record the details of the subject. I have always admired others’ travel and nature journals, so I am excited to begin my own. 2) Each journalist came to the projects with the skills they had acquired elsewhere. The evolution of their depictions and their focuses were different and I appreciated each style. I will review this lesson to take notes on what speaks to me and I’d like to incorporate in my journal.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      • My first nature journal was made on a family trip across the US when I was 15. Now I am 72 and retired and trying to pick up drawing again. Looking for inspiration to get me started.
    • Marianne
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I bought a book on nature journaling in 1998 and started a journal in 1999. I have a number of entries for 1999 and 2000, then one for 2007, and nothing until 2020! My original journal still has empty pages. As I am looking towards retirement, I want to spend much, much more time in nature. I love the idea of a page or two per month, but am a bit intimidated by my lack of drawing skills. I love the idea of doing lots of practice drawings. Hopefully I can be patient with myself.
    • Alexis
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I'm much more of a writer than an artist, so my journal is mostly descriptions of observations, records of my questions, and how I answered them through further observation or research. It's like a journal of discovery, as well as to record memories of places and birds, flowers, insects, animals I've met. I can open to any page and find joy. The illustrations where there are any are just to aid a verbal description. So, I'd like to get better at drawing so I can incorporate that element. I'm just starting with pencil sketches. I am so impressed by the watercolor sketches, and hope to someday be able to learn that skill as well.
    • Tobias
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I've always been passionate about nature and I'm planning on going back to school for wildlife conservation and to become a wildlife biologist. I've always also been fairly decent at art and really admire those who are talented in the ways of arts. I want to try and find a way to combine my two passions while also improving my observation skills and artistic ability. 2. I like the last one where she did multiple sketches for a whole month. I love all of the color and want to do something similar, but I also love adding in all of the written observations as well. I think the first journal is probably the closest to what I want to do.
    • Margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I have always loved being in nature and recently began birdwatching. I would love to improve my art skills and be able to capture what I see on paper. 2. I like the idea of including information about time and weather. It will be cool to track changes over time.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I have always been interested in the natural world. I have, even though I have an Art degree, felt my drawings skills were lacking. I started taking course work at the School of Botanical Art and Illustration offered by the Denver Botanic Gardens. I still fall into old habits of heavy line work and dark values. I am hoping to refine my ability to see proportions, line weight, and value use by starting a new habit of drawing each day.
    • Katie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I think I like the idea of being able to use art in a way that is personal and "every day."   I enjoy recording my experiences and those of my family, and I think this can be another way to collect memories.  I am also interested in drawing what I see more accurately.  2. I have tried the art every day, and it seems too demanding for me at the moment.  I'm a mom of three, and quiet times can be few and far between!  I think I like the monthly idea.  Doing a little here and there as I am able seems most realistic at this stage in my life.  3. I don't think I have any other ideas at the moment, but maybe there is a combination of styles that would suit me.  I guess I'll find out!
    • Rebekah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I really never thought I could draw but I enjoy the idea of journaling and after taking Liz's course on sketching birds discovered I probably can draw and so I want to give nature journaling a try. 2) I liked the journal with the boxes that expanded to loose boxes with drawings going across the edges.  I like a bit of order but I also like to think it doesn't dictate an experience :).  I read one of the other discussion posts where the author noted that she had moved into a new house and had used her journal to capture the changes over time in her yard.  Just yesterday we had topsoil put down at our newly built house and trees, shrubs, and perennials planted and I will take this other student's suggestion and make the changes over time in our yard the beginning focus of my journaling. Becky
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      My father often sketched nature whether scenery, a flower, bird, plant but never had a story with it.  I saw journals with stories for various life aspects and the nature one intrigued me the most.  I liked the idea of small sketches and stories thru the day, sort of like Liz but also some of the other ones.  I might be more likely to journal about my day and then put in sketches perhaps without all the info about the item I am doing.
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I bought a new home approximately four years ago and the builder removed nearly all of the natural habitat in the neighborhood. I've since planted many trees, shrubs, and flowers and have enjoyed watching the birds build nests in the magnolias, the bees feed on the lantana and holly, the American goldfinches eating the coneflower seeds, and the morning doves sunbathing on the fence. I have northern cardinals that swoop in for a quick snack, hummingbirds that adorable the crapemyrtles and (the dreaded) mockingbirds that can't seem to remember where they build the nest (so they build another one and another one and....) My hope is to use my nature journal to document the changes in the yard as it matures, capture the seasonal (and permanent) visitors, and enjoy the habitat I've created. I live in a city with high growth and we are constantly intruding on the natural world. Planting my pollinator-friendly yard and watching the visitors come and go has been so rewarding (and feels a little redemptive). I'm planning on using my nature journaling as a way to really appreciate the space throughout the year. Thanks to Liz, I've also recaptured my joy in drawing but have almost always done black and white sketches. I am looking forward to adding some color, learning new techniques and just tap into my creative mind.
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1. I am trying to be more present in my daily life, living in a more mindful and meditative way. At the same time, I'm following another course of study that makes me want to connect more deeply with animals and the living world around me. I thought perhaps learning to draw them and capture them descriptively in words would help expand my creativity and my attention, as well as helping me develop patience to spend the time getting the little details right. 2. I want to learn to paint things... I don't have any experience with paints, so I'm starting out sketching. But I'm looking forward to painting. I want my journal to combine art and words to paint the full picture of the experiences I have. I am a writer, and want to improve my writing by paying attention to the details in a way I feel can be achieved by drawing and painting. The first journal in the video struck me, as a combination of art and words that seemed very satisfying to me. 3. I would love to add creative writing into my journal. Poetry, storytelling, dreaming... so along with the lyric and detailed description through words and art, I can evoke the spiritual or emotional experience of what I see.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      I suppose the idea is really a romantic one.  In my minds' eye it just seems to be a great way of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of the 21st century and communing with nature.  I also want to capture the beauty of what I see and what appeals to me.  I have very little art experience, so it's a bit intimidating.  More like a dream than anything else.  But I'm also hoping the drawing will help me truly see and be able to identify what I'm looking at and help me to learn more about the natural world around me.
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I was inspired by some of the great ones. First Henry Thoreau but most recently John Muir. I have been writing for years but have always desired to sketch in my journals. I am not retired nor am I a young student. Older but still running my business. But I was impressed by the comments of spending a long time observing. One journalist said she watched a hummingbird for 1 1/2 hours! I realized life is moving quickly for me and I do not want to miss things. Many had simple sketches and a few notes but it flooded their memories. I loved that. I am ready to begin my greatest adventures!
    • V L
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      1.  I have always liked to draw, but not done any drawing in a long time.  I was really inspired to start nature journaling by a planned trip to Australia.  I am not a photographer and get impatient with the process, but I wantb to be able to document the trip and "own" the birds I see. 2. I want to develop my drawing skills and learn about using watecolor.  And I like the idea of combing words with drawings  - of noting observations and questions.
    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      I had been closing in on retirement for some time, and every time a Cornell Lab Nature Journaling class notice came across my email, I promised myself that as soon as I retired, I would take the class. Well, I finally retired in June! I am attracted to the journals that are more colorful and "busy." I also like the close-up detailed drawings of individual flowers and birds, rather than landscapes. I have never really drawn or painted, but I have kept word journals for many, many years, especially when I go on trips, and I am looking forward to enhancing my words with pictures.
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I live near Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding beauty has inspired me. Nature journaling will help me record the details of what I experience each day or week. I love that each journal is personal to the individual.
    • Kayla
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      I started nature journaling because I really love to paint and see wildlife. I also really love the idea of being able to explore, document, and draw what I see each day. Nature and painting are both a big part of me, so I figured why not start a nature journal. The ideas and approaches I want to try are just leaving the imprint of the bird, and the very last journal in the video. It was so beautiful, clean, and organized. I really hope I can create something beautiful with my own spin on it. I really appreciate the creation of this course, and I can't wait to watch the other videos.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I am trying to connect my ongoing coursework at the Denver Botanic Garden's School of Botanical Art and Illustration to a daily practice of observation and sketching.  I saw this course and felt that it would start me working on a new habit.  The habit of slowing down and watching the world around me.  I work in the Information Technology field and it feels like we are running at full speed all the time.  I am hoping to take a breath and record those little daily miracles that surround us via this class.
    • Lynne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I too love both art and nature (particularly birds) and want some direction on how to enjoy both and create a memory. I am curious as to how you get a bird to sit still long enough in order to sketch it! I would like to experiment with pencils, colored pencils and watercolors
    • Arleene
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      In my younger years I loved drawing for pleasure and did a lot of it. I did sketches with pencil non coloured and coloured. I have not done this in years and as I was looking at the courses on Bird Academy I noticed this one. When I retired I was gifted a sketch book and pencils but haven't used them yet. I have never sat out in nature and sketched I mainly sketched from pictures. However I love being outside and spend much time outside on backpacking and biking trips, birdwatching, gardening, etc.. I feel this course will be a great course for me to take to bring my love of sketching back into my life. All the journals were interesting, I liked the fact that I can make the journal my own and change how I organize it etc as the mood strikes me. I do like the ones that have the date, place, time and weather indicated for each drawing, as well as the field notes. I found them interesting to read. I feel this would help me recognize a bird, flower, etc..  next time I saw it and it tells a story with pictures and words. Also I feel it will slow me down and make me more aware of my surroundings and the details with in it.
    • Phoebe N
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have been keeping written journals of our travels, but don't usually illustrate them.  Now that I have turned 80 I find that 'sit-down' activities are much more appealing, and I love being outdoors.  There are so many possibilities for sketching birds and plants anywhere. I watched a doe give birth to her fawn in our paddock several weeks ago and wished I had been able to record it on paper.  I'm hoping this course will help me gain the skills to do  that.
    • Charlotte
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I work in conservation on some of our UK reserves. The monthly journal really called out to me as a goal. It would be fantastic to get monthly memories of how the reserves change throughout the year!
    • Sylvia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I'm a gardener, birder, beach naturalist, mushroom hunter and all around nature nerd. I'm also a mindfulness practitioner and I love the idea of bringing all of these things together through nature journaling. I'm drawn to the idea of a monthly entry as goal and hope I can learn to use watercolor effectively because I love color!
    • Sylvia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am a naturalist, and help with monitoring Eastern Bluebird nests, and banding the young birds.  Although I trained as a wildlife biologist, I work as a teacher/tutor.  I like photographing landscapes, waterscapes, plants, and close-up details of plants, and see how things change over the various seasons.   I also love birding, and would enjoy learning how to draw or sketch birds.  I am interested in learning to sketch bird postures, silhouettes, and details, so that a particular species will be recognizable.  I also want to have fun with it! I enjoyed seeing all of these various artists/journalists' nature journals.  Each has a different technique, and great ideas.  I would like to combine sketches with detailed observations.  I liked the idea of using a page for a particular date, or for a month.   I also liked the idea of using "zooms" or insets, to show a particular detail. Since I am not an artist, I wish to learn the basic techniques for pencil/pen sketching, as well as water colouring.  Water colouring is challenging, as the paints can bleed or run.  So I would wish to learn how to work with water colours correctly.   (I am from Canada, so you will see Canadian spelling!  I see it's trying to correct me on "colours"!) Sylvia
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I'm really interested in tracking the changes of native plants throughout the year. I know I'm looking for a balance of written notations and images, but haven't worked out how to include the progression through time. I'm considering having a page dedicated to a specific plant that I revisit throughout the year. Then I can come back to that space different times throughout the year and add drawings next to other dates for easy comparison.
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am a WV master naturalist & enjoy spending time outside in the woods around my property. I want to try nature journaling to help me become more observant and also improve my drawing skills. I liked Shayna's style.
    • linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      To be more aware and learn to focus more on my surroundings. To look and examine and to have fun with it.
    • Sally
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I liked the idea of making a commit to journaling by Month because Nature changes each month.  Journaling has been a part of my life in the past and so has drawing but I want to upgrade my practice.  I have tried watercolor pencils and brushes.  I will try both again.  I did find a mechanical pencil and will try that.  I like the idea. Documenting the item and then coming back with added research appeals to me.  Adding the place is a good idea.
    • Marc
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      Hey Marc here, I have been big into journaling and love going out into the field with my daughter and identifying everything we can with iNaturalist. I have also been pressing flowers from my garden and presenting them in my journal too. Citizen science is pretty awesome. I really like nature and I use to draw when I was a kid (not very well and probably not so much now), and engineering sketches for work,  so why not get into field journaling that I can share with my friends and family and show them a hobby I truly enjoy! I actually was really into the first journal with the flora exploding from the boxes and notes all around it. Maybe I’ll try that style but I’m sure I’ll make my own style who knows.
      • Arleene
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        Oh pressing flowers, great idea, adding leaves or interesting feathers would be cool too. You made me realize that the journal does not just have to be about drawing but one can use any medium that interests them at the time of discovery!
    • Jacqueline
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      I became interested a few months ago after putting up a couple of birdfeeders in the backyard and then trying to identify the birds as they came to feed. I have been an instructor for marine education on a barrier island for school groups, so I am very familiar with our coastal birds here in North Carolina. But backyard birds (inland birds too) not so much. so after observing birds more carefully for colors and shapes and habits for ID ( using eBird and Merlin)I started to really pay attention to what was round.  While out on hikes and runs through local parks and trails, I would come along some flower or bird and stop to take a picture and try to ID it, if I didn’t know it. Or just take a picture of it because I wanted a record of it.  I saw a short video of you talking about nature journaling and just thought it would a good next step.  I guess you can say, I am inspired by nature and Liz. Oh, and Robert Johnson.  He has an exhibit of his work in gauache & colored pencils of North Carolina natural habitats at our local art museum. His notebook with field sketches and notes that are used, are displayed for each particular work.So, I am a beginner with no drawing skills, ready and eager to get started. My style is not set.  I like your and one of the first girl’s( Shanya)preference for page set up.  We’ll see.    
    • Leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Greetings,  For my nature journal the approach I intend to blend into my recordings will be modeled after Shanya Muller's journaling style - how her journal is organized into boxes and the order in which she records her observations - recording data, such as date, weather, time, place, then observing and sketching either a specific species or landscape.  I am an educator and students that go through our program at Wind Dance Farm & Earth Education Center keep nature journals and each year I explore how to expand on their recordings.  Currently they record meta data, such as date, time, location, weather, clouds, then they sketch, write scientific and common names, and write three reflections:  What I noticed, what I wonder, and what it reminds me of.  I am almost embarrassed to say that I don't keep a nature journal, yet I expect it of my students.  Time for that to change.  I am looking forward to this class and incorporating what I learn into my own life and sharing new guidance for students who move through our program.  You may appreciate what we do at our center and I invite you to visit our website winddancefarm.org.  Thank you for offering this course and onward I go!
    • cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I began creating a nature journal with my granddaughter, inserting leaves, feathers, flowers, pine needles, etc. noting date, place, then drawing maps of our walks.  I took the bird watercolor course and loved it.  I have always kept travel journals with semi-cartoonish maps and drawings.  This course is exactly what I need to improve my skills, eye, and enjoyment of journaling, now to share with my granddaughter!
    • jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I love the outdoors and I'm intrigued to learn how to draw nature. We have local woods where I walk at least weekly and I enjoy seeing all the many changes the seasons bring to the landscape, the flora and fauna and I would love to document these changes and the wonder I see in some small way.
    • Dominique
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      1 I discovered nature journaling just recently, having taken an interest in birds during pandemic lockdown (bird watching from my balcony and getting familiar with garden birds). 2 I’m impressed with the beauty if the journals and i really like it when the journal shows landscapes and plant as well as animals. It’s a good idea to show the whole scene and also small details (like a flower bud or bird’s beak) i.e. show things at different scales. I’ve only just started journaling with plants and birds, but I want to try to include landscapes and rocks (geology). So far I’ve been using ink pen and watercolor pencils, and I look forward to gaining confidence through this course.
    • Diane
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have always been fascinated with nature journals.  I didn't know where to begin as it all seemed time consuming, sitting and drawing, noticing the fine details of nature.  I'm a teacher and would like to have my students keep a nature journal.  I enjoyed looking and hearing about all the journals in the video especially Shayne's and Holly's.  Shayne's is organized just the way I like to keep things organized on paper.  I thought the zoom was a great idea.  Holly's journal looks like a book, very artistic.
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      1. I'm a birder, a long-time gardener, a hiker and back-packer (back in the day) and have drawn all my life.  I've taken a number of courses at the local art museum, and have kept a "regular" (not a "nature") journal for years.  The idea of combining all these loves made perfect sense.  Also I've just turned 80, and as my eyesight fades, alas, I want to do as much as I can to see and record the precious details of the world around me.  2. I appreciated ALL the journals, for each represented a deep personal encounter.
    • Esteban
      Participant
      Chirps: 128
      I was inspired to begin nature journaling because I wanted to try it. I like Liz´s journal and  Faulkner´s .  I also would like a idea of kind of Mcmullan´s field guide.
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I am inspired to begin nature journaling because the act of describing and drawing something homes my observation skills. I have been amazed at how much I don’t see! I need words to go with my drawing because my artistic skills are underdeveloped. Due to this and how long it takes me to sketch I have considered taking photos then drawing from the photos. Or printing and pasting the photos in my journal. The next step would be to emphasize the small details through a sketch. The only negative about this is that the actual process of drawing facilitates observing the small details and creates an intimacy with the subject that ‘taking’ a photo does not do in the same way. I have recently learned about “receiving” a photo. I think this attitude of receiving could help create more intimacy. And I could use photography as a bridge while I am working on drawing skills.
    • Tatiana
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      1. The thing that inspired me to begin nature journaling was my love of both nature and art. 2. I think the nature journaling approach of  a drawing a day was neat. 3. I had an idea one day to put a comment beside each bird I recorded in my nature journal, instead of just pictures. This is one of my journaling ideas.IMG_4409IMG_4410
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 57
      I am a photographer that also likes to sketch and color. I made the sketches below while on a camping trip to the Pilbara area of Western Australia. Since I was traveling with others, there were times that were not available for photos, so I sketched while in the moving Toyota off the road vehicle. I love sketching as much as I love photography and in recent years, the drawing has prevailed with advent of digital photography. I am landscape artist that loves the detail of the surrounding area complete with the local flora and fauna. I am now learning digital photography, so my sketching needs to go along because I am not content with photography alone, as it may not catch the whole experience. I will incorporate a combination of photos, sketchwork, and internet research. The internet research was not available during the times I spent in Australia in the 1980's.
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 57
      IMG_20210630_141135
    • Judy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I'm combining two amateur interests: birdwatching and watercolors. I'm not aiming for perfection, just enjoyment, and a more interesting way to document travels.
    • Lesa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. Ive always wanted to draw but not had the confidence to try nor the patience tp persevere. Im hoping that I might learn from others to encourage me to have a go and continue with the initial process. Also I think as i move towards retirement this could take me into an area of interest or a hobby to pursue. 2. I would like to try and be confident and accepting of sketches, completed or not and also to try a range of different topics both flora and fauna and also to use watercolour paint. 3. Not at this time but as I am in the southern hemisphere my material will be different.  
    • Becki
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I want to learn to observe more closely and keep a visual record of at least some of the things I see, including in my own gardens.  I was encouraged to hear the naturalists talk about how their style evolved and to see varying degrees of "artistic skill."  It made me feel less timid about jumping in.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have always been fascinated by the idea of keeping nature journals and by those who have done so. So, I wanted to try it for myself. I think what draws me to it is the idea of having to slow down and observe everything around you.
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I work in wildlife research and conservation and have always been interested in art. I'd love to combine these two passions and use this course as a way to start to stick to sketching/painting.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      In January of 2020 I took up watercolor painting.  After over a year of learning this art I have discovered a need a purpose to paint.  Coupled with the long time practice of scribbling notes while on vacation that ultimately get lost, the notion of nature journaling seemed like the ideal solution. While we are a bit past most spring activities, I want to start my journal from the point of view of looking out the windows to our gardens to a walk about these gardens as the growing season progresses.
    • Tere
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I simply wanted to learn how to start a nature journal.
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have wanted to try this course out for a long time.  I felt intimidated about my skills when I look at others work.  The classes i have been taking and the work i have done in an open studio setting have given me the confidence to give it a try.  I know that my style will be something that will develop over time and I will be able to depict the things that I observe in my own way.
    • Johnna
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      The desire to document the nature in my own backyard, as well as what I observe on nature walks, has inspired me to begin nature journaling. I've documented through photography, mainly using the iNaturalist app, but want to practice more of a mindfulness approach to my observations. Nature journaling requires attention to detail and "being in the moment," and those are some of the characteristics of mindfulness. Another inspiration is related to my profession as a teacher. Next year I will be teaching science to 5th and 6th graders, and I plan to have them keep science notebooks to document their work. I want to sharpen my own skills this summer to be more prepared to guide my students in a careful and focused approach to notebook/journal entries.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1.  I am a naturalist by vocation and avocation--I have spent the past 18 years teaching very young children, and their teachers, to love nature and to know about much of the nature around them.  I am retired now, and would like to use journaling as another way to keep getting me outdoors and keep me learning new things about nature.  I enjoy nature photography, but as several have noted, it is easy to be drawn into looking only through the lens, and also easy to forget about the photos when the day is over. I am very slow at drawing because I am detail oriented and a perfectionist.  My goals for this course are: a. To form a journaling habit, b.  To learn to draw more quickly and expressively, c. To learn to use color. 2.  I enjoyed all of the journals in the video.  I particularly liked Shayna's, with its blend of art and observation, especially the zooming.  I think I would do better emulate DJ's less detailed sketches. I loved the flow of the daily journal in water color.  I think it would be good to try a sketch a day or at least weekly to push me out there.  I think I would like to do more with images and less with writing if that is possible, though the notes are valuable learning tools. 3.  I do not yet have a different journaling idea, though I do want to consider a dedicated journal to use to document the plants and animals we see on our family's mountain forest property.
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      1. Being out in nature and observing plants, landscape and birds has been my grounding place during this pandemic. I participate in a couple of citizen science projects, which I love doing and have also been restorative, especially during this time. I think the nature journaling would enhance this experience and develop my observational skills. Plus, I have wanted to learn to draw and paint birds since starting birding a few years ago when I retired, but thought, I'm not an artist. It resonates more with me than photographing what I see. And Liz says we all can be artists! 2. I liked the balance of observations and visuals in Shayna, Liz and D.J.'s journals. I will use the boxes, at least at first, the way Shayna evolved them. I also really like her "zoom lens" to show detail. I want to pay attention and record my impressions of the visual beauty, even if I don't have time to draw and paint it all - as Liz said, these triggered memories for her. I especially appreciated D.J.'s attention and focus on behavior of birds and other animals. Several of the journalers referred to questions and curiosity arising, and going away to research and learn, then returning to the journal to record what they discovered. I very much would like to do that - to become absorbed in something triggered by my observations, and enhance my knowledge as a naturalist. This also brings up another thing that appeals to me about nature journaling - and the reason I was captivated by birds on retiring. I slow down, lose track of time, and feel connected to something larger than myself of my human world. It is very relaxing and peaceful. It is meditation. 3. Being in nature is my cathedral. I think the journal will help to evoke that for me, even when I am indoors. I took a class on writing haiku last winter. I think I will sometimes be evoked to do that by something I observe, or write about a memory that has been recalled, or a prayer that has been inspired. I may also sometimes include an inspirational quote, such as Liz as done in the text for this course. So while it will mostly be more science oriented, I think adding the art points out the beauty of nature, which does bring up a spiritual component for me.
    • Pat
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Now that I'm retired from teaching math/science in Alaska, I have time to really explore the interconnections between the things I love....spending time with family, being outside in the wilderness, learning, birding and writing.  This is the perfect intersection of all these.  I really liked the journal that was mostly watercolors organized by month.  I would definitely add more text- thinking about details, what I discover and what questions I still have.
    • Kate
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1. I guide canoe trips and was looking for a different way to capture our connections with the environment around us. In the last 24 months or so I've seen so many nature-journal-watercolorists show up in my social media feeds. It finally feels like the right time to develop the habit and learn some art skills. 2. I loved how many trial and errors there were across many of the journalers' pages - a good reminder to shoot for progress not perfection. While the first journaler opted not to continue with boxes, I think I might start there to help myself get over the fear of how to fill the page. I like structure until I learn enough that I can break out of it. 3. Not yet! I might as we go along.
    • K
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I want to improve my art and think that drawing birds will aid in doing this.
    • Audrey Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Since I was little I have loved to doodle and sketch. Over the last few years I have also started birding. This class seems like the perfect was to add the two together and to better my technique and learn water colour. But the biggest reason of all is I want to be able to take the time to slow down and appreciate and feel the beauty that nature has to offer.
    • Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      I have been drawing and painting every day since October 2018.  I participate in daily art prompt challenges and using different media in my art.  My husband and I recently have started birding.  I have been wanting to try nature journaling for a while now, but did not know where or how to start.  I came across this course while searching for ways to learn how to begin a nature journal. I would like to try Shayna Muller's way of nature journaling because her style seems to match what I would like to capture in my journal.  I like the boxes and having the art work peek out from the boxes while having journal writing surrounding my art.
    • Daniele
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      First day for me.  The beauty of it all is overwhelming. The colors and patterns of birds mesmerizing.  But all of this calls forth my detailing brain.  What I want to be able to do first is to capture the feelings as unadulterated as possible. Not sure how this is going to go, but that is what I will work toward first. Will report back omg how the journaling progresses.
    • Sherri
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      During the beginning of the pandemic, while out of work, my only touchstone or routine was to visit the same wooded trail and river by my house each day. I took many, many pictures. While I love the instant gratification of photographing nature it often feels so rushed. My goal with nature journaling is to slow down and learn to pay more attention, while hopefully developing some drawing and painting skills. I enjoyed and benefited from seeing the variety of journals and processes in the videos. I love the look of using paint in a journal and also the idea of grouping nature observations by month. I also enjoyed how some of the journals featured the smallest details such as the close-up patterns noted on a leaf. I’m certain my journal will have lots of text, perhaps some poetry, and may even include some embroidery in its pages.
    • Saroja
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I love nature and being immersed in nature.  I would like a way to capture what i see in nature and how it makes me feel.  I tried photography but found that i do not enjoy seeing nature through a lens, as it takes away from just experiencing the sounds, sights and feel.  I think nature journaling would be the perfect way to capture what i see and feel while still being full immersed and present.  I was also thrilled to find out that you do not need to be an artist to nature journal. I think i resonated most with Jewel Alston’s presentation in that her journal was more of an experiment.  I feel like this will be me.  I am really leaning toward Liz’s style of sketches filled in with notes, etc. but i don’t really know what my style will be until I begin but I have a feeling it will be a bit messy, etc at the beginning.  But I am super excited to get started.
    • Denise
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I’m inspired to begin nature journaling because I have too many hobbies that are treated as separate pieces and I see this as a way to consolidate them in a way that allows me to share my experiences. I was interested in the journals that combined the descriptions with sketches to showcase more or less a storyboard of their observations. I tend to scrapbook a lot with items that I find in my explorations. My goal is to combine my urban experiences with the natural environment that surrounds us. I’m excited to start this process and see how it evolves.
    • nina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I'm inspired to begin nature journaling because I spend a lot of time looking at things up close; exploring color, texture, and pattern. However, I notice I struggle to communicate or translate what I saw later without photos and want to be able to absorb more by adding a new level of intentionality and interaction to the practice of observing and aiding my memory. I like the routine of adding date, time, location, count/number of items etc. also adding a color swatch on the side or below an image is fun and helpful. I tend to like very clear and detailed drawings that are well proportioned that still allow for multiple images or words to co-exist on a page and allow for a zoomed-in portion.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Being able to draw/paint what I see and writing down my thoughts will be much more personal for me than taking a photograph.  One day, a few years ago, I was so excited about a bird I saw in my backyard that I found a piece of paper and wrote down my feelings at that moment.  That experience has inspired me to continue this excitement with nature journaling. I would like to try the approach that Liz uses.
    • G
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      We have a lot of wildlife in our back yard.  I am an inspiring artist - learning to draw and paint and nature journaling is a great way to practice drawing and painting, and to capture images of the plants and animals where we live. I like the journals in the video.  One I'd like to try, eventually, after some practice is the one drawing a day, or one page a month.  It seems like a great way to record changes over a period of time.   It would be really fun to go back after a year to see the changes. I also like the landscape drawings & paintings.  Ultimately I'd like to do a travel journal when on holidays.  This will be great practice for me.
    • Catherine
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      1. Plants and animals and natural landscapes fulfill a deep yearning for connections with what is outside my own petty concerns. I would like to see and experience natural wonders more clearly and keenly. (And hone my artistic skills in the process.) 2. I definitely will note date, time, weather, and location. I love the use of watercolor, and the mix of image and words. I like the loose use of frames, as well as both gestural/geometric and more detailed approaches. As a beginner, I am going to need to be comfortable "failing forward" a lot. I'm sure that I will do a lot of research after the fact to label and name features of my observed plants and animals. 3. As a poet, I image lines of poetry will become part of my observations. And I might also incorporate quotations by writers I admire when they occur to me as I read or as I am out in the field.
    • Debra
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      In 2017 I read a biography of Henry David Thoreau and realized that birding and journaling don't necessarily happen 'out there' but can happen right in our backyards. I've contributed regularly to a journal since then, but I've only recently tried to add visuals to my observations. I am excited about this course because I want to do a better job of capturing what I see; I like the quick sketches and color and boxes and accompanying descriptions of place and weather conditions, and I believe that is what will be most satisfying in the long run. Thank you for this opportunity!
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Journaling helps me see and understand how things are connected. It takes me beyond a walk or a book and helps me slow down. It also gives me something to look back and reflect on.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I have made a stab at nature journaling in the past because drawing and writing have a way of focusing your attention on something you think is special. By recording that special animal, plant or scene, you have also embedded it in your memory. I really like a couple of the journals. I like the idea of sometimes, at least, of boxing in the drawings with writing and other things outside. I loved the way some of the journals used watercolors in their artwork. I've only tried colored pencils. I also liked the idea of drawing or observing one thing per day or session. In busy times using one large page a month totally made sense. I also liked the way that page captured the essence of that month in nature. I love birding and birdsong. I'd like to try to capture the feel of a song or call as a drawing too. Adding a simple sonogram might work.
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      1. I started journaling because I wanted to do more than just photograph everything, followed by disengaging in what I saw. I've found that when I draw something I become totally invested in it. Uh... by 'invested' I mean, the object, the situation, the details get glued into my memory and I can thereafter enjoy that bright spot, over and over again. 2. I love the 'drawing each day' journal. In the past I think I kind of wanted some special something-or-the-other to trigger my wanting to draw. I think it's better to just get out and draw, and that way special something-or-the-others pop up daily, rather than once in a bit. 3. Nope, no bright ideas as yet!
    • Marion
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      This course was given to me as a gift. I have never been able to draw but I love watching nature and think think will be a great help with my gardening journal.
    • Zariel
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I have always loved art and nature, even when I was a little kid I brought a little notebook with me to parks and tried to draw the animals and plants that I saw. I have been working to improve my art skills and at the same time be able to better illustrate what I see in nature, especially plants and animals. In my journal I would like to include the date, time of day, species, and location. I want to fill the page with images and also write some notes.
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I’ve always enjoyed dabbling with sketches but have never felt very adept. I love the goal suggested in the materials of “practicing drawing without self-judgement.” That’s a good one for me. Also the freedom to use lots of attempts to capture details—I don’t have to get it “right” all in one go. I’m in a new area (arrived right before the pandemic shut everything down) and surrounded on all sides by astounding natural beauty. Time to express gratitude through art. Here’s my first attempt! We spotted this little guy before I began the course, and I was inspired to give it a go mostly from memory. Thanks, Bird Academy, for the invitation to step in!DAE62ACF-E834-419E-ABDA-300AC597D1E9
      • Leticia
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Kathryn, I hope my first journal attempt will be as sweet as yours. I’m inspired. Leticia
    • Janice
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I'm finding sketching plants very calming during the pandemic, taking my mind off everything that's going on in the world. I started with indoor plants then as the weather warmed and plants starting sprouting outside, I moved outdoors. I haven't been doing much writing, other than identifying the subject and date the sketch was done. No color either yet, so I'm looking forward to making them a part of my nature journal. I have never done any formal art lessons so I'm excited about this journey!
    • Barb
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      About 6 years ago, I started birding.  I retired 3 years ago and took some courses on colored pencil drawing.  All of my art work is based on photographs I have taken.  I have discovered I am very detail oriented and a perfectionist, so have not done nature journaling as the art is done in the field.  I want to learn to be more free flowing in my art and not such a perfectionist.  Of the samples I looked at the one I like the best was the picture on one page and the writing on adjacent page.  I also noticed that the art and pictures were not "perfect" but allowed the person to remember events and recall places and feelings.  Sounds like a good goal for me!
      • Sarah
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Hi Barb, I too am very detail oriented and do most of my drawing (at least of animals) from photographs.  One of my goals for this class is to force myself to work faster and with less detail.  I am eager to experiment with gesture drawing and with color, which I haven't used much.
    • Judy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
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    • Katharina
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I love artistic stuff and nature journaling is a way for me to practice drawing from the source instead of using reference images. I love nature but I hardly ever get out to enjoy it, hopefully with this new venture I will get out more. I think I'll try a combination of the various different journaling approaches. I definitely like Shayna's process of starting with the drawing first. I think I'll make my drawing larger though, cover more of the page with less written stuff. I'm not sure what I want to do with the written portion. I like the idea of including descriptive and informative details for close ups and journals focused on animals and a more poetic approach for landscapes.
    • Pat
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1.  I often see birds visiting in my yard and always take many photos in an effort to ID who is visiting.  After having taken the Drawn to Birds in the fall of 2020 an interest was sparked in me to learn to draw some of the birds that I observe.  I also like to observe insects and perennial plants in my small city yard.  I thought that attempting to record in a nature journal would be a very interesting project to capture memories of nature encounters in my own yard. 2. I definitely want to record the date, time, and weather as I believe this will help bring back the memory of when a sketch was made when I decide to go back to revisit my journal days, weeks, months or years later.  I loved Shayna Muller's "zoom" technique to show a close-up of an area.  I'll keep this in mind.
    • LINDA
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1)  As I noticed birds in my backyard, a new Zoom friend could explain and identify it for me, the sounds, colors, habitat, and where she sees the bird on her walks, right nearby where I live.  I have had questions before, but now I knew someone who could describe lots of details to peak my interest.  My mom had the 'birding' interest, I remember her small handbook with tabs she made for easy reference, and the book described the phonetic sound.  Now that I'm retired, I'm way too busy, but I have found I can sit still with this hobby, and relax, enjoy, contemplate, and  after taking a couple drawing classes, I have widened my interest and expanded my creative juices.  New to drawing at age 73, and loving it!! 2)  I like Liz's format, a complete scene, small, with text.  A large scene but with details.  A lot on one page. 3)  I am blown away by the types of journaling expressed.  The journalers and artists have such an enriched mental style, to allow their thoughts to flow, and write about them, keeping that moment alive, by journaling.    
      • Pat
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        I can relate to your entry.  I am new to drawing at age 70.  Who knew that we'd still be learning about ourselves at our age?!!!  I agree about liking Liz's format.  Perhaps you and I will head in that direction too...
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have always been interested in the natural world.  For years I have kept a written journal about what I have seen on walks and trips.  Due to work and family responsibilities, the input was very limited.  Now that I am retired I would like to expand that input and include drawings and hopefully eventually water colors.  I hope this will improve my observational skills. I was impressed by all the journals presented.    I especially liked the drawings of the spider consuming the bee and all that the drawer learned from observing it.  I also liked the hummingbird drawings and how the presenter was trying to show all the different body movements in her drawings.   I was impressed by how much talent all the presenters had.
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have an interest in birds and in art. This seems to be a great way to combine the two and get me back in the habit of drawing and painting--and observing. I like the idea of making this a regular practice without being a mandatory chore. Make it fun. I will probably experiment with various mediums. try to do quick sketches and some more detailed renderings.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I really like Shayne's box style and her developing the break-out of the box design; small drawings, lots of notes, magnifications.  Margaret's was admirable in her ability to improve her pencil drawings as she observed the hummingbird behavior over time.  And DJ's focus on form was intriguing.  I hope to incorporate these facets into my journal ... and eventually some color.   My aim is to add depth to my joy of observing nature every day in my own neighborhood and later, when able, in my travels.  Here we go.....!
    • Keva
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I'm not sure when or where I first came across John Muir Laws book, I believe I was doing some research on the Arts + Sciences and I sort of got stuck on it. But never really dived in until much recently, when I changed jobs and had more time to spend in nature. I was learning about all sorts of flora and fauna and wanted to learn more about the practice.     2. I really loved all the journals, I'm most drawn to the flexibility in how to set up your journal and how folks made it work for them instead of giving up the practice altogether. I sort of haphazardly draw things, and so I'm hoping to put some planning and routine observations into practice. IMG_8835
    • Leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I really wanted to develop my field journal to include drawings and more visual aspects to my descriptions of plants and wildlife.  I would like to be specific in my drawings, journaling specific behaviors, postures and the seasonal changes in plants as well as document the environmental and climate changes in my region.  I particularly like the first journal that had the images pop out into the descriptions and sometimes adding a zoomed in feature to the drawing for more intricate details.  I like the idea of a rough pencil sketch but love the finished quality and detail of watercolor.  Also, I would like to use my journal as more of a project based documentation, ie. the study of Monarch butterflies or the Spring arrival of certain native plants in my region, especially to document the changes occurring in our environment, habitats and diversity due to climate change and loss of habitat.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      I've been dabbling for a couple of years...just with pencil and then colored pencils. I think doing a monthly page or 2 is where I will start. Last spring, during the pandemic, I hiked every morning before heading back to my "desk at home" and found I saw so much! I wanted to get it down on paper, both in words and images.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1.  A nature journal will help improve both my observation and drawing skills by incorporating my love for nature in a physical recording.  I look forward to learning the techniques as I go through this course.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1 - I started watching the birds in my backyard and have moved on to taking field trips to watch birds.  2 - I'm intimidated by the idea of putting my ideas on paper, but want try.
    • Moniqh
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I enjoyed seeing the various styles, I feel my journal will progress to reveal my own style in time.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am a near complete neophyte when it comes to field sketching and maintaining a journal. My initial reaction is to feel a bit intimidated by the whole process. Given that tendency, I believe that delineating space for the drawing and utilizing bullet points for written observations, will most likely help me overcome my discomfort.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I enjoyed seeing the different interpretations of each person's journal. Seems like each of us will have to experiment a bit to learn what works best– it's nice to get affirmation that there is no one "right" way to approach it.
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      I completed the Florida Master Naturalist Classes, and though I enjoyed them tremendously, I remember so little of the vast information we covered. Documenting  with illustrations and facts will help me to remember not only new moments/experiences but the details of the marvelous creatures and plants I've seen. I've used online watercolor tutorials this past year, and hope to build skills in this class. I'm thrilled to marry my love for creation and painting.
    • Kevin
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have started a job position where I have very little contact with nature, very long hours inside, even though I live and work surrounded by world class nature and wilderness.  So am eager to learn to draw, paint and follow through maintaining a journal to savor the moments of nature I do have.
    • Raizy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      My summers in Maine fill me with so much joy and love for the plants and animals around me, and last summer I tried to paint and draw what I saw, but didn’t quite know how to capture the feeling of a particular spot or a particular species. I was drawn to this course because I want to be able to observe my surroundings more closely and appreciate the natural beauty to the fullest. The final journal was so beautiful to me, and I resonated with the artist’s initial ambition to paint/draw EVERY day — and think that a page a month is probably more realistic. :)
    • Carolyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Many years ago, I enjoyed taking some drawing and watercolor classes.  I’ve wanted to take another art class, had been considering a botanical drawing class.  The pandemic restrictions of the past year have allowed me to notice and enjoy the natural world around me more, including keeping a rudimentary journal of new discoveries in my backyard and walks around my neighborhood and nearby park.  For the first time, I noticed migratory birds, seeing several species I had never noticed before.  I hope that I can continue to enjoy more discoveries, and love the idea of keeping a more beautiful journal, incorporating drawings, watercolor, and reflections.
    • Jackie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      In my retirement I have become a potter, and I also enjoy felting.  I would like to become better at drawing and painting so that I can use my artwork on my pottery pieces and on 2-d felting pieces.  I have long enjoyed studying nature; it inspires my work.  I have gotten journals in the past, started them, then set them aside.  Also got watercolors several years back, but succumbed to the fear of the blank page.  I am looking forward to this new-to-me way of exploring the natural world, and to actually using some of the supplies that have accumulated in my home.
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I have wanted to keep a nature journal for some time because I derive great satisfaction from my natural surroundings; I’m a born chronicler and I love how sketching allows me to really experience a bird, a plant, an animal, etc. Yet, I’ve been intimidated by the empty page or a new journal. I don’t want to “ruin” them, as Cindy said, and my desire for perfection has kept me from jumping in. What I so appreciated about seeing the shared nature journals was realizing that it’s personal. It’s what the journal means to the one who keeps it, not what it means to anyone else. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Each journaler spoke of how their sketching captured the day, the observation, the experience for them in a rich way that a photo never could. It was so heartfelt.
    • Dee
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1) On a visit to Indiana Dunes National Park, we took a ranger led boat tour on Lake Michigan. The ranger asked us to sketch the shoreline and dunes. I felt very uncomfortable with the request that I draw, but found it to be a satisfying experience as I recorded my observations in a way that was more meaningful than taking a picture on my phone which would have lacked detail and personal interaction. 2) I’d love to by able to create a beautiful, water color journal, but since I have no experience with water color, I think more simple pencil sketches would be a better way to start. 3) I keep a brief, daily diary in a planner and would like to add art to some of the entries.
    • Cindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. This course came up as an ad. I have always loved to draw and paint, but never could put anything in any kind of order.  I just liked to hoard sketch books and was afraid to "ruin them". Now that I am retired I will get the chance to slow down and try going out into nature to sit and observe and use a journal to record what I have seen and enjoyed. 2. Anything that will help to keep things in some kind of order instead of my usual "all over the place" approach to everything.  I like the look of the incomplete boxes around drawings and separating information with boxes. I definitely will want to look information up about each animal/plant that I explore.
    • Amanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1.  To gain a deeper appreciation of the natural world both in my own backyard and in the wider world.  I've always admired John Audubon's work, but felt intimated to try sketching and journaling.  I'm glad to have found this course! 2. I would like to try to incorporate more scientific information about the plant / animal I am sketching, while still focusing on the art of making the journal. 3. Possibly including personal experiences about what you felt as you were sketching?
    • Eleanor
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      1- I like to draw and nature journaling is a good way to make time and get out in nature as well as draw. I think this class will introduce me to new things (I have never done nature journaling before), and I hope it will help me improve my drawing and watercolor skills. 2- I like the journals that have more pictures than words. I liked the ones with lots of different angles of the same subject, and I liked the spider one where it was drawing out a process and the different steps.
    • Terry
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Since I am so new to this whole process, I would like to experiment and try different methods.  I'd like to try sketch and watercolor but also colored pencils, and pens.  I believe I might start off with the boxes around an object just to get and idea of how much space I can use on the page for journalling and drawing.  I like the idea of zooming in on an object for details and also the use of ovals or circles  for drawing birds. I think it will take some time to develop my own kind of style.  The fun is in trying though.  Terry.
    • Mimi
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I've been a writer, photographer, and artist since my early retirement 7 years ago. I shifted towards nature writing during the pandemic to tie in with my photography. I now want to try nature journaling to sketch and water color on my walks.
    • Michelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I was trained by a fabulous zoologist who was a colleague and friend in the Grinnell style of notebook keeping. Very formal. Very data driven. It was a method that worked great for a vertebrate museum collection. Not so much for what I wanted to do with my field notes. I was often 'too far afield' in my note taking style. What it took me many years as a field biologist to realize was that I was a nature journaler and not a museum collector. While I absolutely understand the value of those formal field notes for academic research the artist/biologist in my needed to fly a different path. 2. I loved the use of boxes with the drawings and also the approach of a drawing a day or a month spoke to me. I might like to try a combination of those styles.  
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      The pandemic lead me to walk in different areas around my home, as where I usually walked became a lot more traveled by more people. So, I went to an area near a quarry close to my house.  There were many animals there, and birds, and I kept a written journal for the past year of what I saw and when, and some other observations.  It has been quite a year of loss, but I am drawn to document this year as a nature journal.  Those daily walks and observations kept me anchored in a good place, for at least part of every day through a difficult year. I do not think I have quite the skills for the task, but I think I will learn a lot by creating this journal.
    • Sara Alice
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I journaled on the sides of my bird lists for years and it grew to flowers, landscapes and notes. I like the idea of boxes to relieve the clutter. I think I saw a white tailed kite on a trip years ago and since I recently found one near my home I want to find that journal and see.  I would like to know about giving some depth/detail to my sketches. And I have NO idea what to do with water color. Looking forward to finding out. Hurray, that things don't have to be finished, and it's fine to not get it perfect, and it's ok to try try try. This will bring more delight to my expressions.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Whether I'm in my own garden or on vacation in a National Park, I spend more time than I should probably admit just watching and listening to what's going on around me. Like one of the nature journalists in the video, I find myself falling in love with certain plants, animals, fungi or lichens. Taking time to capture more -- in writing or in a sketch -- about the qualities of a particular barnacle, blossom or preening songbird that I've fallen in love with will help solidify that memory. Nature journaling will help me be more disciplined in recording what I see, when I see it and note what else is going on at that time. Though I love going through photos my husband and I have taken, it's not the same. I am inspired by all the nature journalists who shared their journaling methods in the video, and I'm eager to learn more and get started.
    • Alison
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I decided to take up nature journaling as a tool to improve my observation skills and develop a form of visual note-taking, to improve my memory of what I observed. I'm a birdwatcher and birding has become my gateway drug to a broader interest in and observation of nature. I haven't had an art class since kindergarten, so I appreciated the very modest sketches some of the nature journalists shared and what can be learned from them. And I was awed by the great artistic skills of others. Nature has always been my solace, so I expect that there may be emotional responses or thoughts that arise while observing and sketching and I will record those too in my journal.
    • Catherine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I enjoy being outside in nature (especially bird watching) and dabble with painting, but came to a greater appreciation of both throughout COVID. I am a teacher and  it has been such a stressful few months. Sitting in my backyard watching birds has literally been a sanctuary experience for me. I even began to turn my backyard into more of a habitat for birds and other critters. I love noticing the light at different times of the day and being aware of the cycle of things. It is truly calming. I feel like I sync with myself when I can notice other creatures going about their native and instinctual ways. Nature journaling feels like a natural way to extend my experience and look forward to working my way through this class.  The picture below is of a newly fledged eastern bluebird. We watched as all 4 fledged from the birdbox from a distance in our backyard last May. IMG_3885
      • Bernadette
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        I am also a teacher.  I have enjoyed birds and drawing my whole life, but COVID has brought me so much closer to nature.  I found myself studying the birds instead of just listening to their songs.  It has also become a sanctuary for me and a way to relax from the stresses of the situation.  I began sketching and painting birds, and when I heard about this course I knew it was going to help take me to the next level.
    • Rhonda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      We are turning our Irish farm into a private nature reserve. I want to be able to document the changes we’ve made through drawings and personal observations which I hope will complement the scientific studies we are doing. I already paint landscapes but so far I’m rather rubbish as drawing animals and doing detailed work that looks realistic. This course looks perfect for helping me develop new skills.
    • Autumn
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      1. I recently moved to Alaska and.. the landscape is so beautiful and changes its impression with the weather. Also, lots of birds! 2. Framing the picture and having bullet points of details observed is an attractive approach
    • Elaine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I enjoy journaling daily, sketching and being outdoors. This will refine my observations and experience in all areas. I am taking this course to better connect with nature and to look closer at the world around me. I hope to gain knowledge and improve my sketching skills in order to use my garden this summer as subject matter and canvas. 2. Like Shayna, I will use boxes to frame and highlight my drawings and detailed notes. 3. I like texture. Adding bits of actual samples to touch would be fun, although it would make the journal rather bulky. I may or may not do this.
      • Chantal
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        I like your suggestion of adding samples in the journal to give it texture.  I remember doing this as a kid with leaves and cones.  I found the book recently and it is still quite good looking.  Of course, you would need to treat it for conservation. I too like Shayna’s journal which could be a very good reference book.  I am a Biologist by training and this would bring me back to my biology classes way back when.  I am newly retired and was looking to improve on my drawing skills.  I think this course will really jump-start the process.  It is fun to see what others are doing and learn from their experiences.
    • Analilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      As an artist, I have journaled on and off in the past.  As time went on I have stopped doing it and want to get back to doing it because I know it is a good habit to practice drawing and painting.   I love birds and have carved a few, and also have carved and painted their feathers.  For me it is important to get the colors right so that I can assimilate them on my carvings.  I love to create, and have fun doing it.
    • Carole
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I hope to improve my drawing skills and enjoy all that Nature has to offer around me. I enjoy using pencil, pen and watercolor together and think this will be a wonderful experience.
    • Carole
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I like the idea of starting with writing the date , time  and place where I am located for the journal experience. I feel a little conscious about my drawing ability but know that it is my journal and i do not have to share it unless I want to. I also realize that i can only improve my drawing by doing just that .....drawing. I am a true lover of Nature and an avid birder so I am looking forward to getting started with this project.
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I love birds & I'm also an ecology and environmental science teacher. I want to teach my kiddos about phenology and I thought nature journaling would be a wonderful way to include inquiry and creativity to discussions on seasonal shifts. 2. I want to get better at gesture sketches to quickly capture what I'm seeing for animal behavior. I tend to spend lots of time working from photo references for the bird art I do now so this will be a skill to build on.
    • Margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      I am looking forward to this course to combine my two main interests of nature and art.   I want to improve my drawing skills and develop watercolour, which I have never had much success with!   Learning to sketch from life should help my observation practice as you see much more when taking time drawing and really paying attention than if you just take a quick photo.  I think I will learn to appreciate the beauty of  nature much more as I progress.   I would also like to use the journal for identification instead of relying on photos
    • We're a homeschool family. I'm doing nature journaling with two of my boys. I hope for my artist son to get more comfortable drawing/painting outside and for my bird-loving son to enrich his study of birds. As for myself, I have worked mostly in oils. I am looking forward to developing my skills in watercolors. They will be so much less complicated and more portable for painting in nature.
    • Priscilla
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I want to build a daily drawing practice to improve my drawing skills and I love birds and spend a lot of time outside, so nature journaling seems like a good way to combine these. Since I'm fascinated with bird behavior, I find the narrative aspect of writing about what I observe compelling and it seems like a good way to go beyond just focusing on the thing I'm drawing to include aspects of the whole experience of what I'm observing.
    • I live on a lake and have recently started birding. What better way to learn birds than to sketch them.
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I retired a few years ago and set a goal for myself to learn how to sketch and paint. Before I could get "started" Covid-19 hit! We live in a condo community, and I love to be "with nature," so within our 20 ft X 30 ft patio, I have five feeders offering various goodies for the birds we have in the area.  I wanted to take my communing with nature a step beyond just watching to sketching and painting the variety of wildlife we see in our neighborhood.  I can't wait to go traveling within our city to see other species at other parks in the area when Covid-19 is more under control. I am a novice to sketching/drawing and painting and I want to learn as much as I can and practice as much as I can to improve my skills. I loved the unique nature of each of the journals...  I aspire to be more creative and free with my journal, but will include the stats to help me keep my work organized and make it easier to remember when I look back and think about a particular day.  I don't know if I can sketch every day, but that's how I want to start out! Sharon
    • Peg
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I am so looking forward to this class and adding sketches to my vacation journals. I too prefer being outside than cooped up indoors.  I am a beginner for sketching and never have worked with watercolors. My mom and aunt were very good/great artists. Somehow I didn’t get under their wing to practice and learn their mediums. I wish I had.  I quilt and garden enjoy nature hikes and vacationing.  I think this class will help with the art and improve observation and being in the moment skills. As far as journal styles I want to combine the art with notes on my thoughts and allow space for me to record facts that I learned from what ever I am sketching. I plan to include the date and location and like the idea to include the weather of the day. And if possible include both common and scientific name of the drawing. Adding watercolor I hope will bring my things to life. What are my goals?  Use the techniques learned for my vacation journals. And all my vacations include nature experiences.  I would love to say I would sketch something daily, but I don’t think that is realistic so for now I want to keep up with class lessons and sketch at least one thing with each visit to this site. Do the homework. Last year we were to go to AUS and NZ but COVID  hit and that dream ended. So I want to be ready to nature and travel journal should this trip ever come.
      • Peg
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        first sketch for lesson : Style your journal your way. A sketch to meet my goal. 045728D8-FE0A-46BE-AFA0-7EE023EECAF8
    • Regina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am a writer, photographer, watercolorist, bird enthusiast, gardener, and nature lover who is interested in nature journaling. This course seems to be a good place for me to start.
    • Gloria
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      After a year of covid 19 secluded life I am always looking for some new activity that can be done alone , especially outdoors.  I received the e-mail describing a course about drawing birds.  As I read along, this course drew my attention as it included more about nature and would be perfect in spring when new buds are blossoming all around.  Although, at 83, I no longer climb mountains, backpack trails and make long canoe trips, I look forward to nature journaling at my slower pace. I hope to improve my sketching and observation skills while outdoors.
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I ran across this course when I was looking up a bird and I thought it sounded like a great way to develop my sketching and drawing skills, as well as get into a journaling habit. I made this first yellow warbler drawing according to the instructions. I used what I had on hand, an HB pencil and some pastel pencils. I spent about 45 minutes on this. Based on the journals in the video, I hope to improve my drawing skills and achieve some realism in my work. I am interested to try watercolor, pen and ink, and pencil techniques to start out. I would like to make pleasing journal size watercolor mini-landscapes as Liz showed from her journal.0F015B34-088B-4359-8867-CD148EDE9B05
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 57
        I enjoyed this sketch of the yellow warbler with its yellow coloring and tinge of red on its chest.
    • Teresa
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I want to take my birding to a new level and journaling seemed to be the obvious progression. I enjoyed all of the journalers and appreciated each style. I will definitely record the date, time, location and weather and combine sketching and written descriptions/notes. Sketching will help me pay more attention to detail and I can also write write down observations to ensure I capture the moment.
    • Kay
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I love being out in nature hiking & experiencing all of the plants, animals & birds.  I have been increasingly  enjoying birding and recently took Liz's bird sketching class.  Now, I'm hooked!  I like the journals that combine the illustrations with verbiage - observations, feelings, questions.  I expect my style will evolve as I learn more and actually start working on my journal.
    • Maureen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I used to draw when I was a child.  Now I am  71 years old.  When walking with others I have always been one of the first who would notice a bird, plant or animal, proclaim out loud, look there's a hawk, a chickadee, trillium etc. I took the class Drawn to Birds, loved it and felt like I wanted to learn more. It seems my drawing skills are not gone and are better than I thought they would be.  It was nice to see the different journaling styles and how talented everyone is. I like the idea of drawing what I see even if I may not know what it is and looking for identifying information later.
    • Leelee
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I love the seasons and want to learn more about the different species of plants, animals, and fungi that thrive in each season. I also have always wanted to document the memories of vacation travel in a more meaningful way than just clicking a photo. 2. I loved the ones with water color that brought the photos to life. The last field journal showing one one species in detail per day then switching to monthly collages was cool. I also loved the landscapes captured in the Galapagos by Jewel. I'd like to try combining the ideas of these two journalers. 3. One thing I might like to add would be to attach physical items such as pressed leaves or a fallen bird feather found that day to give the journals a 3-D presentation with physical links to the memories of that day.
    • Amanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I used to draw and paint as a kid and haven't done much at all since high school. I'm looking for a way to get back into art and looking at things more thoughtfully and appreciatively. I'm hoping that having a journaling practice like this will bring more mindfulness to my day and a greater appreciation to the natural world around me.
    • Katie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I am an avid gardener, nature lover and native plant enthusiast. I believe nature journaling  as well as photography will encourage me to take time in nature to really observe and record my experiences. I believe nature is so restorative to body and soul.  I don't feel like I got much of the artistic genes like many in my family, and I am hoping to learn and practice through this class.  I feel like the more we understand nature around us, the more we humans will protect and sustain it.
    • Dee
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      For years I’ve enjoyed photographing birds and landscape.  Nature journaling will be a whole new experience for me.  I’m looking forward to drawing and painting in the field and improving my drawing skills.   I think nature journaling can  be a peaceful meditation that has its rewards as you record the details of the subject matter whether it is an animal, plant, or a vignette, etc.  I enjoyed seeing the different journaling styles presented by class participants.  At this point I’m just going to let my journaling style evolve on its own and I might want to include a tangible object now and then , ie. a piece of grass , a pressed leaf or flower or a feather.  I am looking forward to what’s ahead in this class.
    • Jenny
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am doing a Master Naturalist class in Minnesota and really wanted to develop a style for my weekly journaling. I have no formal art training and have long wanted to learn how to capture particularly birds and get tips on how to draw and paint them. I love the interspersing of sketches and words and the thought that what I observe links to my experience in the world - so have been adding quotes and poems to mine alongside the scientific facts of species and behaviors observed. Loved seeing all the different ways of expression demonstrated in the different journals and am conscious my journey will be an evolving process!!
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      1. I started nature journaling with my children to hopefully make them more aware and appreciative of the nature all around them. 2. I love the look of the watercolour, monthly summary pages but I think I am too regimented and probably tend more toward the daily summary, everything-in-boxes style.
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I am looking forward to connecting with nature more by expanding my art skills. Nature journaling looks like it will allow me to capture my experience in a way for others to see the way I see nature.
      2. The approach of drawing my observations each month is appealing. I also like the design element of text incorporated around the drawings.
      3. Not yet!
    • Marlene
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      • 1.  I am looking for a different way to interact with nature. I take photos now, but find that I don't revisit them near enough to appreciate what I was seeing. I also enjoy being creative in many different forms so nature Journaling could combine that for me. 
      • 2. I love to combination of photos and descriptions. It is appealing to see and have some more descriptive pieces.
      • 3. I am thinking of a summary of the month and day by day pages.
      • pog
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        I would like my nature drawing to be more organized.  
    • Hannah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I love to observe and study plant, animal, and mineral forms. I'm curious about what I see and also love to look for patterns over time and from season to season. Sketching what I observe seems a natural extension of something I enjoy. I like the idea of using a journal to capture and remember special moments, or to answer a question. It also makes sense to me that something you've observed closely enough to sketch is something you'll remember, something that becomes a part of you.
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have always loved bird watching, gardening, plant identification and art. I’ve loved the idea of a nature journal, have a ton of empty journals. Now, as I’m thinking of retirement, it’s time to start putting it all together.
    • Kristina
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I like the idea of writing and drawing to remember the experience. I think what will be hard is to find time to journal while I am in the moment and to resist the urge to go back and finish drawings or add a drawing later. I didn’t hear anyone mention that they did that. But I guess that’s the thing with journaling. There is no wrong way and plenty of different ways to journal!
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I've always enjoyed being outside, watching what was going on around me.  I initially picked up Clare Walker Leslie's book, The Curious Nature Guide, and was drawn in by her sketches.  Someone shared that she was a naturalist and nature journaler.  I had the opportunity to take a teachers' workshop with her at Clark University in Massachusetts, followed by a weekend retreat.  That, combined with my long interest, but little action on my part of developing my artistic skills led me down this journey.  For awhile I was very diligent in recording in my journal, but I got out of the habit, and I'm working to re-establish that practice.  I like Jewel's approach, of using her nature journal to capture her observations and then share them with others so they can experience what she saw and experienced.  I also like Holly's idea of shifting from a daily  documentation to a monthly page, where she's added to it through the month.  It allows for flexibility, but maintains the practice.  I haven't been one to add much writing, beyond the observations that I note, but I do find poems that I like, and often keep clippings of writing that speaks to me tucked into the journal.  I'd like to find a way to incorporate those into my practice. Nature Journal page with leaves
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I enjoy getting outside and taking pictures of nature and asking myself "what can you find?". I love to look closely, look at what's different, what's going on, who made that, etc. Once the ice melts I'm in my kayak most days, watching the loons, observing their behaviors, seeing what else is on or in the lake. I gave myself an art tool kit for Christmas so I can take it out on my kayak, or on walks and begin to get in the habit of nature journaling. I've only had a couple of entries so far, but hope to get inspired to do more.
      • Christine
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        Hi Jane,  I'd be interested in the art tool kit you referenced in your post.  I also do a lot of kayaking, and am forever seeing bald eagles, ducks, turtles, and fish I'd like to capture.  I haven't tried nature journaling while paddling, but I think that needs to change!   ~Christine
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I have always enjoyed art and nature. I have dabbled in nature journaling and have always dreamed of making it a regular practice. Time to make it a reality. 2. I particularly like the idea of the art moving outside the bounds of the frames / boxes and the close up views. I also really liked the hummingbird study. The pure observation was great and shows it is not always about a pretty picture.
    • Joyce
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I retired two years ago and my daughter sent me a sketch book and a Nature Journaling book.  I have always liked to draw birds and animals and like observing their behaviors.  I like drawing flowers as well and am fascinated by the growing stages of flowers and plants.  I live on 6 acres of woods in the Ozarks and we have deer, wild turkey, squirrels, and lots of birds, which we feed.  I like to watch the birds behaviors at the feeders and observe them on their nests and feeding their young.  I've always said that I would rather be outside than inside.  That is where I am happiest.  We keep most of our property natural so that the animals and birds have a little sanctuary to come to where they know they are safe.  This course will help me practice my skills and learn more about the outdoors. It will also help me to record what we see on our road trips to the National Parks and Bird Sanctuaries we visit.
    • deborah
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I had never thought of actually journaling to record what I've observed. I'm trying my hand at drawing birds and saw this course and thought it would be perfect to perfect my skills along with recording my observations and outings.
    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have enjoyed nature photography for years, but one major shortcoming of photography versus sketching is you don’t necessarily pay attention to detail. I loved drawing as a kid, but taking the time to draw as an adult seemed indulgent. Taking this course is to help me slow down and really pay attention to the detail in nature and help me better remember what bird I just saw (for example). And it is also to allow myself to take the time to sketch.  But mostly I am taking this course is because it will be fun for me. I definitely will be drawing and writing all over all pages.
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Being outdoors is Life to me. I grew up moving through the landscape on skis, hiking up local New England mountains and finding peace paddling quiet rivers and lakes. It wasn't until college, however, that I took my first ecology class and began to learn how to look more closely at details and patterns in plant growth. Ephemeral flowers became seasonal friends to visit. The shape and texture of tree bark, spring buds and leaves literally stopped me in my tracks. Flipping through my now-tattered Newcomb's guide and bird books I see notes I took decades ago. I have dabbled in nature journaling and sit spots. It is meditation. It calms me. Brings me focus. It is my Intention to pay more Attention to the present moment.  I have never made nature journaling a regular practice, but very much want to see more in the natural world and help my young daughter do the same. I never had much art as a child and always felt quite hampered by my lack of skills. I don't understand perspective or how to use watercolors effectively and I am quick to judge my efforts. I am grateful for what I already sense I will start to gain from this course!  I really enjoyed all of the styles of journaling presented thus far because the people making them had JOY in what they were doing. I am most attracted to including in my own journal notation of date, time & place and a mix of drawing and writing about the details of what I see. Watercolors make me gush. naturejrnlIMG-0609
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 57
        I can appreciate the details in this sketch with the labels, date and temperature.
    • joanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have recently retired and am interested in nature journaling as a hobby that I can do forever. It appeals to me because I love to learn about nature, especially bird and plant identification. I think observing nature in this way is the ultimate mindfulness activity.  I loved the journals that have a lot of writing, rather than mostly painting.  (probably because I have no confidence in my own artistic ability).
    • Luz
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      We recently moved to a new country and live in a small mountain village in the midst of a UN Biosphere Reserve. I've been wanting to take up nature journaling for over a year, but always felt overwhelmed by my lack of drawing skills. I felt most drawn to the journalers who combined images with words, and memories with observations and questions. Having a perfectionist streak, it's important to remind myself  1. to not compare my drawing and painting skills with others who may have been doing this for years, and 2. that it's ok if my journal gets messy.
      • Sarah
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        That sounds great, I'm glad to see you've figured out ways to enjoy nature journaling with the artistic abilities you have right now.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      048C83B2-AB47-4FC3-B195-0C5AC3B19E39I love nature...I volunteer at our neighborhood park, feed birds at my house, and in retirement have become more and more focused on the natural world. I even take care of my neighbor’s chickens! I have also started painting and am trying to find a way to incorporate all of those elements into some cohesive format. This seems like a natural progression.
    • Maureen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have always enjoyed the outdoors primarily through active sports with my family - hiking, skiing, fishing, canoeing, camping, biking etc. During the pandemic, I started to concentrate on a deeper observation of my surroundings, especially spring flowers, first identifying them and then pressing them and creating bookmarks on thin slices of wood to share with family and friends around the world. I had a very surface experience with bird watching, but became more involved after taking a number of classes with the Bird Academy and setting up a mini-sapsucker woods type bird feeding station this winter.  Nature journaling and sketching seems like a natural progression in developing a more observant, knowledgeable, creative and mindful  relationship with nature. I am attracted to it's calmness and excited, but a bit nervous, about drawing for the first time! I'm interested in a style that would include writing and sketching on each page incorporating pressed flowers when relevant.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I’m always trying to document my surroundings, usually with words and photos, and more recently as a beginner water colorist. Nature journaling feels like the right progression and I’m hoping to improve my sketching and water color skills. I live on Lake Michigan and it will be spring soon, so I’m looking forward to sketching all the grasses and wildflowers as they begin to bloom. I am drawn to a mix of words and images on a page, and I want to incorporate pressed flowers, feathers, and other found objects. I don’t like to be without a camera so I think I’ll be incorporating instant photos in my journal as well. Can’t wait to get started!
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      DJ's quick renderings of the doves were so revealing as to getting the big picture with simple geometry. When I begin, I want to take photos, but feel like it's cheating. I'm curious about other opinions on that. I like textures, like the bark of a century-old burr oak, and I'm not sure how to approach the sketch to do it justice.
      • Laura
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Hi John!  I like to include photos in my journal - I just print them out and tape them in.  I also sometimes use my photos to sketch from - it's not quite the same as sketching in the field, but it's still something you created yourself.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      I'm an avid photo-naturalist and hope to add nature journaling to my practice as an extension for deeply seeing and appreciating my natural history interests. I like the idea of using extension tubes, and a daily or monthly page format.
    • mag
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Taking the time to look closer at the world using the combination of my own art and words inspired me to take this class. I want to improve my drawing skills, too. Having a record of where I was and when, and what I saw that caught my eye is pretty cool. I like the journalers who use combined art and language. I like having many images on a spread, whether they're completed or not. Connecting with the world, learning more about it, improving as an artist, recording thoughts and feelings... just slowing down to do these things will affect me in ways I might not be looking for, too. I'm very excited to begin.
    • Last summer my main relaxation was tending a vegetable garden and walking trails.  I found myself interested in plants and bugs and birds like never before.  I took pictures of them and used an app to identify them.  I put it all together in a file and love looking back on it.  Sometimes just looking at a particular flower or lichen brings back a whole day of happy memories.  I've been dabbling in watercolors for several years.  The idea of combining these interests was too much to resist and I'm really looking forward to this class and how I'll use the skills this spring and summer.
    • Cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      This past year has been rough, as it has been for many I am sure. I've found myself depending on my time outside (just as I did when I was growing up) as a respite from the noise and uncertainty. Many moons ago, I was an avid journaler but somewhere in my late 30's I got caught up in job and family responsibilities and all of that went to the wayside. Emerging from this year, inspired by a reconnection to nature, I want to build back that rhythm of observation into my life. My husband and I love on the edge of a marsh. I'm an avid native and vegetable gardener as well as a bird watcher (the cranes have just returned!) and so...I think was drawn to the gentleman who had multiple sketches of birds views on each page, just capturing all angles in the same space, and the daily/monthly diary of the last journaler (amazingly beautiful). I like how that style captures the rhythm of time passing and changes happening in a space. I think I might also look to add language or phrases that are inspired by the observations that might be incorporated into meditations. I think this will also assist me in affirming the mindfulness I feel when I'm connecting to nature.
    • Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      As a child I loved drawing and coloring and have wanted to pursue this joy as an adult but haven’t had the courage or time to pursue until now.  I also love nature.  I started birdwatching this year and want to record what I see.  I want to sketch my subject but also want to add color.  I like including text about the subject and finding out information on the subject to add later.
    • Karla
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I really enjoy watching and photographing birds with my husband. I have also enjoyed drawing, but I don't think of myself as an artist. I thought it would be fun to combine these passions and to spend time trying to capture some of what I am seeing. Though I do not think it is the recommended approach, I might need to bring some items home or capture them with photographs so that I can do the journaling at home because I live in Scotland where it is often times too wet, windy or cold to sit outside long enough to finish an entry. I'm really looking forward to this. I included a page of objects I picked up on the beach or at the house I was staying at on the Isle of Lewis last spring. 20210228_144721
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 57
        I can appreciate these colorful sketches of a yellow daffodil, a crab claw and a scallop.
    • Adrianna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have committed myself to set out an bird more this year. It is a hobby I truly enjoy and one of the few times I allow myself to be content with the "quiet." One of the reasons I want to begin nature journaling is to be able to bring some of those joyful moments home, so I will have something physical I can go through later to remember my experience. I find photos to be too impersonal, and journaling is a better way to capture the subjective moment.
    • Gloria
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I was gifted this course by my husband for Christmas, and I would love to have it inspire me to begin documenting all the beauty around me here in our new home in Florida.  We live on the Nature Coast, and it's kind of a wild beauty, not perfectly manicured, and I love that about it and would love to be able to create a journal to capture it.  I'm just so in awe of the completely different types of landscapes, birds, plants and animals here; even the light is different.  We have also started doing some traveling and I would love to be able to keep a visual record of that too.
    • Hanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am so excited to begin! I've started drawing a bit to learn something new during the pandemic and have been drawn to nature subjects. I was also diagnosed with a type of autoimmune arthritis this year so on days when I want to spend time outside without physically exerting myself too much, this will be great! My grandma is also a great artist and I love to see the field drawings that she's done to remember something she's seen or to learn more about her subject.
    • Francesca
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      I have long been a journal-er and a birdwatcher.  During the pandemic I've also done some photographing of flowers and plants I find on my walks.  I have never thought  of myself as much of an artist, but I think learning to sketch a bit would help make walks and nature observance deeper and more memorable. I think from my photography experience that I will probably have at least one or two different things I'll want to capture from an outing.  I would like to work up to birds, but might spend some time with plants for awhile since they stay put better...
    • frances
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I like the idea that you can capture an essence of a visit in a journal so that you can go back and be reminded about the day. Little sketches and written material helps with that. Also, I like to use watercolor and this would be a way to exercise the procedure to a full fledged watercolor painting.
    • Melissa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have enjoyed being in nature and journaling for a long time, though separately, and am not consistent with journaling. Years ago, I started creating "5-minute sketches" in pencil on each memorable hike I took. I'm hoping what I learn in this class will help me to expand my observations, draw better, paint more, and be more mindful/present when I'm in nature.
    • Jeff
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Being so new to these skills, to add to the discussion seems awkward.  My takeaway is that my journal will likely begin as a hybrid.  Reflecting on Shayna's breakaways of cubes and magnification for added detail.  Jewels reference color chart is an awesome tool.  Then of course the wonderful Art along with notation employed by Liz certainly a goal to aim for. So here we go.
    • Dawn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Really love Holly's style with the watercolour! I dabble in watercolour already so this is a good style for me. I love how she has the dates painted in and the notes are great too. Her style has really inspired me to record even the smallest of items such as a pine cone or a mushroom. Very interesting aspects of the journal!
    • Victoria
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I have dabbled with journalling both travel and nature and seen some published ones that have inspired me to do more and more often. 20210201_2028152. I really liked Shayna Muller's journal as she has a way of orgnizing her drawings/notes etc. I liked the idea of sometimes using black and white and sometimes colour. Placing some things in boxes and enlarging part of a plant or animal appealed to me. I like her suggestion of drawing, thinking and writing and later maybe finding out more information. 3. I have usually made a title page of where I am followed by pages of art/words. Underlining certain words is another idea I use. 20210201_202837
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 57
        I appreciate these beautiful pages out of a journal along with its title page, a great idea.
    • Robert
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I have been attempting to learn nature sketching using a book by a very good nature artist.  But I feel like I would benefit from a structured course on the topic.  Right now, being that it is 17 degrees outside I don't imagine taking as journal outside, but can bring back nature objects, shells etc. and use photos to draw. Would like to make my sketches "come alive" - not just be two dimensional on a sheet of paper.
    • Van
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I'd been keeping a journal for years off and on, but it wasn't as artistic as I wanted it to be, so I am hoping following a course, working on drawing or watercoloring, and giving myself a schedule will help me keep on it and grow as a journalist.  Also, go make more opportunities for observation--making the time for it. I liked how some were so artsy, but I don't have those skills now.  I liked the idea of keeping a schedule, of adding observations, backgrounds, and also studying the subject after the fact to include scientific info in the journal. As I was typing this, a Cooper hawk flew onto my tree, so I immediately jumped up and drew it.  It's nice to connect like this.
    • Nina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am more of a nature photographer - but sometimes carrying my gear feels intrusive, cumbersome, and takes me out of the moment. I have been looking for a way to still capture what I see, but carrying less gear.  I like to look back at my photos to understand trends, patterns, etc, and I can use my journals the same way. For now I want to always keep the date, time location and weather at the top of the page - I like that idea for learning more about what I see.  Eventually, I might like to move to a more stylized journal, but I'm not there yet.
    • emilie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have kept all kinds of journals throughout my life and this winter I have made the promise to myself to spend at least an hour outside every day. As I have some challenges with walking, the journalling seemed a great idea to spend the time outside, observe and try to learn some new insights and skills.
    • ellie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I like the idea of using it as a reference to help me remember not only what I saw but facts to remember. I like to capture my enthusiasm when I was thrilled at what I saw.
    • Cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I love keeping a bird journal in writing because I enjoy perusing it and remembering the birds I've seen. I'd like to add sketches because I love drawing, and I'd love to create a keepsake for my son and grandson. My son has become a birder over the years because of me and has developed a passion for it. We hope his little son will develop this too. I strongly desire to develop my art, and I think nature journaling will help me be particularly mindful of details by trying to capture the essence of a living thing, plant or animal, on paper. I want to get good at sketching, doing quick sketches of active birds. My style is so meticulous right now, and I'd love to loosen it up. I've already learned a lot simply by being shown what materials to buy and by looking at examples of other people's journals. I'm a seventy-year-old grandma for the first time which has been very exhilarating! As I embark on my nature journaling, I feel equally excited and challenged.
    • Jessica
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      1) I love how beautiful nature journals are, and I'd love to get back to painting. I abandoned watercolors over the last year as it all felt a bit too much, and nature journaling seems like a great way to pick up the skill again, at the same time as I focus on being more present in nature. 2) I enjoyed how all the artists had such distinct memories attached to their nature journals. My favorite styles were the ones that combined drawing, color, and words on the same page. 3) I think I might incorporate more growing seedlings in my nature journal, particularly during these winter months in the midwest when it's too cold (for me at least!) to sit still outside.
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I love all of nature around me,  am an avid gardener, and want to start cataloging my gardens and the critters they attract.   Hopefully with sketches and journaling I will be able to maintain a record of how the landscape around me changes with the seasons/years.  This class will, I hope, get me started on the right track.
    • NDiane
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Have been gardening for a long time and decided I wanted to not only watch the garden grow, but to sketch (for now) what I was growing so I can recall during the long winter months.  If these sketches turn out good enough I might share them with my children.  Basic sketching so I can get the idea  of shapes and sizes etc. first.  No different idea yet, but I usually incorporate my own style eventually.  Very novice so will follow what is done until I feel more comfortable.
    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I believe I have little artistic ability. And I want to change this! As a novice birder and experienced outdoors person, I find joy in the exquisite designs of nature. I am trying to sketch and draw so I may more vibrantly recall all this beauty. Text and drawings! I thought you were "supposed" to draw just a certain way. I guess I put unnecessary walls around my inspiration. I think I'll scrapbook as well as journal, adding found items now & then, as well as my attempts to recreate them. Maybe this will be a measure of increasing skills.  
    • Ayn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Like many here, I received this course as a gift (from my husband). My interest in birding has increased since I've been working from home due to COVID. My feeders are a welcome diversion from the day-long computer screen. I have been fascinated by the variety of birds outside my window and hope that this course will improve my attention and ability to identify birds as well as my mindfulness in general.
    • Karly
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I have loved both art and nature since I was a kid. I've done some nature journaling but really want to take my sketches to the next level. I'm in particular excited to learn more about watercolor technique because I have always found that to be a difficult medium. With the pandemic, I work from home and have developed a lovely backyard nature observation practice and have jotted down what I see each day. I want to now pair that with some sketches! 2. Now that you’ve heard from several other journalers about their processes, and had a peek at their journals, which ideas or approaches do you want to try? I definitely want to incorporate some better watercolor techniques and experiment with different page layouts.
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      What inspired me to start nature journaling is...years ago, I took some very basic drawing and watercolor classes and tried to sketch things I found around me. I realized that if I remembered the guidelines given by the instructors, without obsessing over perfection, I could actually make pictures! I had always assumed I had no natural artistic talent or ability. But the basic drawing class convinced me that although only a few are great artists, and many others are good artists, even the novice can draw things that look like those actual things they are trying to capture. I remember paying incredibly close attention to some object, natural or man-made, and feeling the flow of energy and joy as I managed to sketch on my drawing pad. Suddenly I noticed things for the first time! I realized how beautiful and interesting the world is, especially the natural world. I realized that beauty and wonder are literally everywhere. I live surrounded by beautiful sights, and yet too often when I walk on a trail, I feel bogged down with my own crappy moods, failing to feel anything or care about the plants, sky, landforms and earth I tread on.  I continually fail to be moved by the sight of deer, bear, wild turkeys, chickadees, or salamanders. But I think I may have a cure for this problem. Taking my journaling supplies out to the woods or the riverbank or the mountain will give me a purpose for being there, and will inspire me to look at everything and think about nothing but what is before me.
    • Lucas
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I've always been interested in nature, and when I started birding seriously, I thought that nature journaling would be a great way to make my experience more memorable. I learned about nature journaling from an OFO online session. When I saw the art on Liz's instagram page, I was immediately hooked, and tried to find out more. That's how I learned about the course. I feel like I would like to do mainly sketching at the start and maybe a little bit of watercolour, and slowly do more and more colour. I feel like the drawings are more important than the text, and I want my field journal to have memories and be organized.
    • Gwen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have always loved being present in nature, and feeling the calm that it imparts to me, and wanted to find ways to share what I see and feel with others. Photography has only taken me so far in this endeavor, and my writing tends to be either too technical or too personal. After starting to participate in Feeder Watch, I noticed this course, and decided that it aligned perfectly with my goal of communicating what I see in nature to others, and with my return to drawing, a long-lost hobby from my teen years.  I have never tried to paint, so that will be a new experience. My journals will reflect my time in nature, perhaps with first drafts and notes from a walk or hike that are completed when I return home. (Perhaps when I develop some drawing and painting confidence I won't wait until the return home.) I like the idea of adding in  taxonomic information, and capturing date/time/place/weather. I am an avid birdwatcher, still learning a lot about species identification and behavior, but love the idea of including wildflowers, scenes, and other critters in my journal.
    • Jay
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am drawn (haha) to the informality of journaling.  It's very in the moment.  Nature is so varied there is always something new to see, perhaps in a different light or distance.  I'm hoping these lessons get me actively journaling as a habit without the need to go to a certain place in the house or at a certain time.   I like writing and creating art so combining should be fun!  I may add some quick poetry into my journal as well.
    • Melody
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I recently started nature journaling as a way to put down my experiences while birding and to learn more about the things I see. Since COVID started in the spring I took up painting and often birds were the subject. Nature journaling was a class offered on the site I was taking classes and I immediately felt drawn to combining my interest in art and nature. Looking at the variety of journals showed me how my journal should be a reflection of what interests me and what I am curious about and that it is really a personal remembrance of special moments and experiences unique to me and not necessarily for others. Entries can have a wide variety of topics or zero in on one subject. It really depends on the day and where my interest takes me. Since birding is usually what takes me out into nature I always include on my page a list of the birds I have seen that day. I will find this interesting in future trips to a certain spot to compare what I see on another day. I have not as yet sketched in the field, but tend to bring things home to sketch and look up pictures online of interesting birds I have seen that day. I hope to learn more about sketching birds and landscapes as I see them.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      This course was a Christmas gift from my son.  And as I noted from earlier submissions,  I am not the only one who received this as a gift…. it is a wonderful and challenging gift. During this era of Covid-19, it is a great way to use my time as we isolate here in New York.  Having looked at the various examples of journals, I can see that I am a mere beginner, but hope to be able to capture some of the things which I observe in nature.  I will begin with simple pencil sketches and hope to try using color (pencils or watercolor) as I gain courage.  I think I will start small, and concentrate on our backyard!  And perhaps, with time, venture a bit further afield.  I like the idea of simple sketches including closeups. One journal idea I may zero in on is concentrating on the changes in a very small section of my garden.  I received a book this Christmas of a man who had a project of photographing all the changes during one year in a one square meter section of the prairie near his home, so perhaps I will do the same with my journal and follow the idea of adding something daily, or weekly.....as the one journaler did so artistically!
    • jenica
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      My father gifted me this course as a Christmas present.  I studied art years ago before raising my family, and this course is my first step in the water after 13 years or so.  I’m looking forward to finding more quiet moments with nature and art, as a way to bring more peace to my life.  I really enjoyed the journals with bold water color styles, and also liked it when artists framed their work.  I like the idea of documenting paired with art, as a way to cement learning and attention to the subject matter at hand.
    • Chloe Hernandez
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1. I am a lover of all things nature, animals, plants, fungi, and landscapes. I have always taken photos of these things but I have always felt incomplete when I reflect on the photos. Photos cannot capture how I truly feel in the moment. I have always yearned to paint those photos in real-time but never had the time or a journal! I became inspired to nature journal by nature itself. I want to remember what's around me by drawing it instead of taking digital photos. 2. I want to approach nature journaling as a relaxing and educational outlet. I enjoyed Holly's monthly nature journal because of its simplicity. She drew the observations that were interesting to her. I also enjoyed Liz's landscape art from the Galapagos. I want to paint what I find interesting whether it be animals, plants, fungi, landscapes, identify them, and write down interesting tidbits. 3. n/a
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I gave myself this course for Christmas. My ability to draw is almost non-existent, and that is the reason I am taking this class. I think practicing sketching and drawing will help me improve my daily journaling. There are times when words just aren't enough.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      My husband gave me this course for Christmas, and I’m just diving in. I’ve grown to love my bird feeders and nature that surrounds us in our retirement destination.  My mother was an avid birdwatcher and I remember loving to sit on her back porch watching the comings and goings.  Over the past few years, and learning more about seed, I’ve been able to cultivate a variety of species.  Tapping into my art training (that has been lying dormant for way too many years) I’m looking forward to playing around with a journal.  I liked seeing how others went about getting started and setting up their journals.  Taking that first step is always a bit scary, but once in it is great fun!
    • L
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I got this course as a gift and am doing it with my mother. I think this is a very good way to grow closer to nature
      • Wesley
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Me too! I got this course for Christmas from my grandma and I just started it with my mom!
    • Midori
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I was gifted this course by my boyfriend for Christmas, and I'm excited to capture to capture and record the memories I make while hiking/walking. I kept a nature journal as a first grader and remember how much fun it was to be part scientist, part artist. I'm excited to evoke that feeling again and observe the world around me with a keener eye. 2. Which ideas or approaches do you want to try? I'm a perfectionist, so the first speaker's boxes and how "everything had its place" appeals to me. I typically get paralyzed by perfection which often stunts beginnings and continuation, so I'll let myself lean on more structure than not in the beginning. Truthfully, though, I'd love to take on a more organic and freeform approach where I let myself draw/sketch/paint whatever I have the time for, and to not get caught up in lack of specifics. 3. (n/a)
    • Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      My dad gave me this course as a gift, and I'm so excited to learn from others and share! I'm an environmental educator and artist who has been journaling on and off for awhile, and I want to gain some new perspectives that can also help me with teaching. I do a lot of studio art but want to become more comfortable with sketching in the field, and just enjoying being present in the moment. I became especially inspired to try more journaling over the summer, when I watched a bunch of John Muir Laws's amazing online workshops. I really like Jewel Alston's journaling approach, and I also want to try out a loose style that uses both sketches and some prose to capture memories. One journaling practice that I really enjoy is the use of a sound map. To do this, simply find a place to sit and listen for awhile, describing the sounds that you hear scattered around you in a map. You can sketch them in spectogram format, too if you'd like.
    • Jeanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I want the discipline of really noticing details & being consistent in my record keeping, As a teacher for years I had my students keep a year-long nature journal that we added to regularly thru trips outside, observing bird feeders from the classroom, bringing in a caught mackerel and even a live lobster.  Now I am retired and I have time to really work on my journaling. I have much to improve!
    • Leo
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Like many others here, I received this as a gift. I bird and keep records of the  species I see and wanted to combine my interest birds, sketching and being outside into one activity instead of dividing my time among them. It appeals to me as a means of recording my outings and travels. Also, like some, I need an incentive to pick up my sketchbook and paints; I’m hoping this will inspire me! I liked a number of the journal approaches and will likely incorporate things like quick sketch impressions, multiple notes and a few scattered “finished” sketches with color. I definitely will drop the inner critic that tells me to finish something with details I didn’t observe. I especially like the idea of sketching with water color to quickly give a sense of the tone of what you’re sketching! Lastly, I’m impressed with the sketches and paintings I saw submitted by some of the participants. They give me something to aspire to.
    • Courtney
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I wanted to begin nature journaling because I began bird watching with feeders in my backyard. I have also come across other peoples journals of natural journaling and love it. I am inspired by the imagines they capture and the detail they put into it, along with how much information they learn from just journaling about it. I want to try the journaling approach as the first journalist shared. I love how she has a personal field guide but it can also just be for recording experiences or observations.
    • Janine
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      I love hearing about how the people journaling had to look so closely and appreciate whatever they were drawing much more than just hearing/seeing a bird, etc. and naming it and moving on. I like Jewel Alston's journaling style. I like that the journal doesn't have to be perfect. There can be bloopers and multiple attemps to capture something they see. I tend to want everything to look pretty, which can make my drawings look more frozen, so I'm hoping that journaling will loosen up my drawings. I really want to learn to ID the sparrows of the Southwest, so I like the idea of creating a personal field guide.
    • Jenny
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Like many here, the extreme boredom and fear of the pandemic helped me notice the changing spring around me.  I wanted some way to document these changes and have a creative outlet to focus my anxious energy.  I started creating a field guide to bird in my backyard, but quickly realized I was woefully inadequate.  I have ZERO experience with art. I am also impressed with the traveling nature journals.  I was fortunate enough to go to the Galapagos in 2019, and my only regret is that I didn't have the course previously to help me create a memory book.
    • Ashley
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have been very interested in birding and have taken many beautiful photos.  I want to go to the next level and draw/paint/write about what I see and observe.  I don’t think of myself as an artist, but I look forward to seeing what happens.  I liked the variety of the nature journals presented and feel like I can create a journal that will represent me and my vision.
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I was inspired to begin nature journaling because I love the outdoors, hiking and watching birds.  Also have bird feeders and am familiar with most of the birds in our region.   I enjoyed the first journalist presented.  I like the idea of making a box to contain her picture even though it flowed outside the box in some spots.  Also her circle close ups to provide more detail.  I have not worked with watercolor before so I am anxious to learn how to add this to our sketches.
    • Pam
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Like the commenter below, I took the bird drawing class that Liz taught, and was then inspired to do more. I think of myself as being very unartistic, but have always wanted to learn how to draw, and I also love birds and being in nature. I don't know yet what style of journal I want to follow - for the moment, I want to focus on improving my drawing skills and taking a stab at using water colors. I'm also intrigued by how journalers are able to capture images so well when the subject matter doesn't stay still for long (e.g., warblers  - anytime I observe them, they are in constant motion).
    • Jacqueline
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      My interest began after the class on drawing birds that Liz taught.   I don't feel like I can draw, yet what I drew in that class surprised me.   I love birds and plants and being outside, so we'll see- it's an adventure.
    • Wanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1. I started taking classes on drawing birds by John Muir Laws when I retired a few months ago. I have never engaged in artistic expression of any kind, but have always enjoyed art connected with nature. I’m just beginning to stumble through finding my way to participate with art and nature. I asked for this class as a Christmas gift and my goal was to more methodically approach this new adventure and also to add watercolor skills. 2.  I liked the zooming in, the mixture of sketching and more detailed colored images. I also like mixing in information about date, location and what was observed, with not too many words. I also liked that people mentioned that you don’t have to finish works or include details you couldn’t see when circumstances don’t allow. 3.  Maybe mix in a haiku here and there; maybe add in ideas for future activities stimulated during the journaling process.
    • Christopher
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      What inspired me to start nature journaling now - versus back when I was at Cornell's Lab of Ornithology during the summer of 2017 or 2018 - was a teacher workshop through New York Botanical Garden about amplifying underrepresented voices in the science classroom. One of the assignments was to go out into nature and do a simple drawing and quick recording - similar to what we've seen in the videos so far. It got me thinking about how I just started to draw again (after a many-year-hiatus) and how this would help me develop my skills that are super rusty now. After seeing the videos, I'm definitely interested in doing the Date-Time-Weather-Location box on the page, however, I also liked how some drawings were boxed after being done, or even the daily drawing challenge. A part of me is wondering should I just dive right into the deep end, or slowly swim in from the shallows so that I'm not overwhelming myself. I know the possibilities are endless!
    • Miriam
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I've always had an interest in the connection between nature and the arts. I believe that capturing nature through art can help a person find a connection to nature that they didn't have beforehand. I have been drawing animals since I was very young, and would love to have a career in which I can be around and study animals, but also have opportunities to draw them (scientific illustration, or some sort of integration of the arts into wildlife biology). I would love to challenge myself by journaling every day, as it would help improve my skills, and I would have a visual record of my adventures. I think that I may try and integrate some new materials in the journaling process as well.
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      This is a very thoughtful Christmas gift from someone who knows me well. I already mess about outside a lot, but I think journaling will help me focus on small details and it will help me ring fence time for myself. I am looking forward to developing new skills; walking in the footsteps of Darwin and developing my knowledge of the wild space on my doorstep. Gorgeous stationery and art materials already make me excited, can't wait to use this kit (and I will try no to be too precious!).
    • Evangelyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am looking forward to giving myself time to really see what is front of me.  I like watercolors and I think this will give me a purpose that seems more doable than artistic.  Mona Brooks freed me from my terror of drawing and I look forward to bringing my journal along on my walks.  I appreciate Jewel saying that mistakes will happen, it won't always be what you planned but it is a process and cements the memory.  I believe in establishing habits and I think this will be a habit I value.
    • worker33
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am working on a story about a specific place that has a wonderful natural setting. My interest in this class is to further develop my observation skills and augment the photographs and notes I'm taking as I conduct my research. This course offers some basic drawing techniques which I can most certainly use. I've had journals over the years and done some poorly rendered sketching so I hope to grow a bit during this period. After looking at the various journals I was most drawn to the recording of place/time/weather conditions to help recapture the moment, rather like a good haiku poem does. One of the thoughts i have is to incorporate natural found elements within the journal. Although objects may be suspect to decay overtime, I'm drawn to the tactile and believe it will be important to me to include!
    • mike
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I've been a birdwatcher since high school. I have worked as an educator and field ornithologist throughout my career. I've always enjoyed drawing but have not used it as a regular part of my field notes, a thing for which I'm a bit embarrassed to admit. I'm now 60 and recently retired and would like to develop my nature journaling to include illustrating my observations. I'm a licensed bander and often take photos of various unusual things I observe in the birds I capture (unusual plumage, deformities, etc.). I can imagine drawing some of these phenomena would be a valuable way to notice minutia that might be missed with a photograph. As far as choosing a style of journaling is concerned, I think I'm going to have to just start doing and see what works for me.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I love being out in nature and learning all I can about what I am seeing. I asked for this course as a Christmas present, because I would like to deepen my observations when out in the field and have a record of my discoveries/experiences. 2. It was helpful to see the evolution of their journals, as I am a bit intimidated about starting. It doesn't have to be perfect right away! I like how the first journaler used a combination of sketching and writing on her pages, and her style feels informal and spontaneous. I like the zoom-ins and how at times she treated the sketches as a field guide she could learn from & refer to in the future. 3. I don't have any new journaling ideas - but I am hoping I will develop my own style.
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am inspired to keep a journal to help me observe and remember more than I would by photos (a point made by Jewel, Shayne and Margaret). What I would like to try is making quick sketches of behaviour and gestures of birds and insects that I encounter (discussed by  D.J. and Margaret). Drawing moving objects has been daunting to me (as mentioned by William) .  In the past I have only done watercolor of static plants and landscape. So I will see how I progress with the difficult task of fast moving birds. I intend to use lots of rough paper to practice gestures of birds before committing the drawings to my journal. I would like my journal to be a lasting memory along with a  notes, date and place. I may try boxes to add style. I was impressed by Holly's beautiful presentation style and skill in her journal but think I might not reach that  level.
    • Lindsay
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      During Covid lock down, I have been appreciating the birds both in my neighborhood and a near by conserved area where I hike regularly. I had never really paid much attention to the bird feeders set up at the start of the trail. But discovering the feeder cams at Cornell, the need to connect with something larger than myself during covid and a desire to dust off my observational drawing skills impelled me to sign up for  20201210_072914this class. I want to include the weather and other observations, not just isolated bird drawings. I'll use the live cam to practice quick sketching. For my approach, I want to include a mix of loose and organized sketches.
      • Heather
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Thanks for the tip, Lindsay - I'll try using the live cam to practice quick sketching, which is what intimidates me the most about starting this course and nature journaling.
    • Jeff
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1.) This class got gifted to me, and I think that nature journaling might be a good outlet for me. 2.) I want to try a combination between the monthly journals and the journal with just sketches. I think I could realistically do a journal like that. 3.) I can't think of a different journaling style right now.
    • Dee
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I signed up for this class because I think nature journaling will help me to slow down and look more carefully at what I see.  I'm hoping that it will also improve my artistic skills. I appreciated the variety of the journals.  I like the idea of having some goals to make sure this inspiration to slow down and look and sketch doesn't fall by the wayside.  I'm thinking of a once per week goal of watching/noticing/sketching something.
    • Gina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1) I was inspired to begin journaling as a method of holding beautiful memories on my trips. Also to help me slow down and notice small details in nature. 2) I loved the idea of journaling every day; however, with my schedule, it is hard so when I saw another artist do a monthly drawing method I was sold on the idea. I also what to capture data or details that maybe my art skills cannot like the smells, the weather that day, a little geotag perhaps. 3) I think my style of journaling will evolve but I thought about interesting facts about what I am seeing like if I am drawing a fern perhaps googling something about the climate they thrive in or variations of ferns.
    • Madeline
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am a Field and Ecology Biology College Student and I love to draw and watercolor nature. I was inspired to combine the two things I love to do in to one. I already love taking field notes as a biology student, but I wanted to take it to the next step and include drawings and watercolor in to it. From the approaches and ideas, I liked idea of a monthly and daily journaling unique style to each.   I want to try journaling by making my goal to designate one page a month to fill and rest of the pages each day I try to see and document something.
    • Cristi
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I spend as much time as I can in nature and love observing nature, I write my sightings but have never considered a journal specific for nature. I love the idea as it could help me to remember, distinguish and appreciate the animal at that moment in time. It also may encourage me to be even more observant about an animal's behavior or characteristics. I will spend more time in nature and observing every day! 2. I like an organic flow to a journal with sketches or watercolor with comments, description and behavior of the animal. I also would like to incorporate my experience in observing and being present in this particular place in nature. 3. If possible I would put the occasional flower, stem or leaf in the journal if the space allows.
    • Judith
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      My careers have been steeped in words and numbers, and so I want to work on developing my visual skills. I want to "see" better. My journaling goal is to slow down and observe the details of the plant or animal in my focus. I'm also an art quilter, and I'd like to be able to incorporate drawing/painting into that art form.
    • Erica
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      My goals are to become more intimate and curious and tune my observational skills.   to still my brain, processing piece and just be present, and really see.  I also like the idea of afterward doing a bit of science or data about it.  May it grease the creative cogs!
      • Kathy
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        I admire and echo your thoughts.
    • Brandii
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      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.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I've been doing some field sketches since the pandemic began.  We have hiked at many of our state parks and spent time at the bay over the summer.  My journaling so far has been a combination of reflections, lines of verse that are like poetry to me looking back.  I have just done pencil sketches of landscapes, plants, flowers and a few birds but am interested in learning how to add watercolor, since I always make a note of the colors I observe.  Having a notebook made of better quality paper will probably help!.  I love that the one woman sketching the hummingbirds didn't worry about how many times she tried or how may pages she used up!  That is encouraging to me!  I will definitely be making note of where I am at the time of the entry.
    • Kuria
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have always wanted to start nature journaling and the last big push for me to really start was reading a book called "Explorers' Sketchbooks" by Huw Lewis-Jones and it was just simply stunning seeing all these sketchbooks over the years. I was thinking of journaling like they do in the book, much more writing along with the field sketches.
    • Tracy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have loved nature for my entire life and have come to love watching the birds at my home feeders for years. A friend mentioned the Cornell Feeder Watch program as she's a feeder watcher, too, and we decided to take part together so we could share in the experience. In doing so, I discovered this class and I was excited by the prospect of being able to draw some of the birds that I adore watching and learning more about. As a much younger person, I loved and had a knack for drawing and painting but didn't continue in any structured way into my adulthood. I saw this class as an opportunity to rekindle the joy I once had in doing so. I have a background in science and I like the idea of creating my own little reference book of the nature without and within my home with, of course, notations of time, place and conditions. I especially liked the format of drawings being surrounded by text, and the drawings being both detailed and broad, as in the finer details of a feather vs a silhouette accompanied with a full landscape view. I appreciate each journalist's perspective and after seeing all of them, I feel like I have permission to be experimental and imperfect and let my journaling evolve, or not, as it will.
    • Angie Paola
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      A: 1. The idea of being able to create your own description of the observations, as well as the most representative moments of the trip, make your own sketch inspired by those observed. A: 2. I really liked Shayna Muller's approach, the order in which she does them where she puts the illustration or drawing first and based on this she makes some descriptive notes attached to the drawing. A: 3. I also liked to attach my own photos to my diary, especially of new species "lifers".
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Enjoying nature and taking time to feel creative is very important during these difficult times.  Our daughter lives across the country, so she and I have enjoyed experiencing these excellent classes together.  We connect online and work together.  The program is amazing, and it has already made me see the world through different eyes.  Journaling will add joy to my life.
    • Sherrie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      My love for birds and art lead me to this class. I've started many journals through the years and as I reviewed them I noticed all the little drawings I had done. I enjoyed seeing the various art journals in this lesson and I feel it would be fulfilling  to release some of my creative energy that's been on the shelf for awhile. I'm looking forward to learning Field Journaling.
    • Florence
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      I got interested in journaling after taking online classes.  I love drawing and painting flowers in particular but also birds.  I saw classes offered  in my Cornell lab  email and this  one in particular.  Also want to improve my watercolor painting.  I have gotten some ideas on journaling from the videos and will see where this leads me.  Learning how to “see” is where I need help and this class is doing that for me.  Thank you Liz.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I have always taken photographs of nature that have interested me. I thought this would be a different way to observe and record those things that have attracted my attention. I like the concept of drawing an item, bird, flower or landscape and then incorporating a written description along with it. Also including the date, time location, weather conditions and maybe questions about the subject.
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      My friend, Lisa, told me about the course - she's my drawing and painting buddy - so I signed up. The idea of nature journaling appeals to me because if I want to draw or describe an aspect of nature, I need to slow down and really take time to notice all the details. Noticing the details of a bird, leaf, etc., will make the interaction experience more memorable. I want to be looking closely and appreciating nature. I feel like journaling will help me along this path. After looking at the various journals, I definitely will include the date, time of day, weather, and location for each drawing or notation.  I'd like to include color, using the portable watercolor set - watercolors are challenging, so nature journaling will allow me to improve my skills in this area. I liked the "zoom" technique one of the journalers used - to show greater detail of a larger sketch.  I realize even if I can't fully capture all the details, the sketches and notes will be a reminder of what I saw. I like the idea of what one journaler did with the boxes - kind of a way to make the space of the page less daunting. I may use that techique.
    • lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I can’t even imagine being able to do a nature journal but I LOVE birds and recently took another of Liz’s classes and she actually has me convinced that I can draw!!!  It was enormously helpful to see the different journaling styles as well as the approaches to capturing impressions.  I’m looking forward to learning how to SEE!
    • Clare
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? Curiosity is my primary inspiration to begin nature journaling.  Whether I'm hiking in the mountains, birding in the woods, or just staring out my kitchen window, I find myself wondering about the things I see and hear.  Sometimes I know what I'm observing, but most of the time I have to look it up.  I like that nature journaling will provide a way to not only record my thoughts, questions, ideas, but also act as a visual aid to what I am experiencing.  I find myself bird watching and become so enamored by the colors of their plumage or the light reflecting off the pond.  Nature journaling seems like a great way to capture these moments, much more deeper than if I took a photograph on my phone.  I've always wanted to take drawing and painting courses, so this will be a great way to explore a new skill.  I've been keeping journals since I was a kid, and as I grew up I drew less and wrote more.  I'd like to return back to drawing! 2. ...which ideas or approaches do you want to try? In Shayna's journal, I loved her use of boxes after she finished her drawing--I loved the look of the plants popping out of her boxes!  Utilizing a close-up in a separate box/circle is another thing I liked about Shayna's journal.  What a great way to capture detail.  I liked how William used one page for his illustration and the opposite page with his notes.  Having the spaces separated this way is neat.  I'll probably dabble in both having notes next to my sketches and on separate pages to see what I like best.  Lastly, I loved the look of Holly's journal. I don't think a drawing a day is feasible for me at this time, but I do like the look of having the floating date next to the drawing.  I will definitely be incorporating date/time/weather/location into my journal entries, and I may try to add them in artfully as Holly has done with her dates.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I would love to learn to sketch wildlife as well as the flowers and plants I encounter in my everyday life.  I am anticipating having to practice a lot before I get the hang of it.  (I'm one of those who is not certain about my ability to draw.)  I'm going to give it a go, and like the idea of a nature journal.  Thanks!
    • Pamela
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I love looking at the details that abound in nature, especially when I am able to focus in and see particular patterns that are present.  I often try to capture these via a digital photo however I find the inability to make a notation of what or why I was drawn to take the photo (not to mention the quality) leaves a gap in the significance of that moment.  I have a hobby of making and painting on pottery and would love to learn how to translate images in nature onto my pottery. I plan to experiment with a variety of ideas and techniques for nature journaling shared by other journalers.
    • monique
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      What appeals to me about journaling is the recording of something I see in nature. Capturing the image in a sketch. Maybe enhancing the story with text. I am hoping to learn how to add watercolor to my sketches. To be able to capture birds that are in motion would be a great accomplishment for me. A sketch a day appeals to me although I know I probably cannot realistically fit sketching in my schedule 7 days a week, but most days. Marjolein Bastin is the person that has been an inspiration for me since I was young. I am excited to start this course and begin my journey.
    • April
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      My inspiration for journaling I think began as a child - my Father painted and I have always adored the idea of painting but have not actually really explored it on my own.  Combine that interest with birding and the love of nature - journaling just pulls together something that I cherish and really want to explore and participate in.
    • Bonnie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. What inspired me was the act of recording my observations because, otherwise, I forget so much of what I see. I love closely observing anything in nature and then trying to draw or paint it. Just the act itself makes me look so much closer and notice what I would never otherwise see. 2. I loved seeing how the others used their journals. I think the first one was close to what I wish to create....although the last woman's journal was so lovely. Maybe someday I will be able to do what she does. I also liked how the first woman's journal (and a couple others) evolved as she moved forward. She started out putting everything in boxes, and then she had the drawings burst out of the boxes. I think I will probably be too uptight and perfectionistic in the beginning, but I hope I can quickly get beyond that and see the journal as a tool to ask questions and look for answers in growing my understanding of the natural world. I've always had a goal of understanding my little corner of the world with depth and detail, and I see this journal as a tool in moving toward that goal.
    • peter
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I took the Drawn to Birds Course last week and it inspired me to take up drawing and especially painting birds and making a journal.
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I took the Drawn to Birds workshop last weekend. I like the lady who had the daily drawing at first, not because I feel like I want to or could draw every day, but I liked her realistic depictions of birds, and that's what I aspire to do. I live on the Rhode Island shoreline, so we have a large variety of shorebirds and some migratory birds that pass through. I've always been good at sketching, but mostly because I'm an engineer. I sketch inanimate objects well. Now that I'm semi-retired, I'd like to expand to birds as well, and the Drawn to Birds workshop really helped with that. This looks like a good next step to depict some of our local birds, with some information and background scenery. Experimenting with watercolors will be completely new to me.
    • Blanca
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      Hello from rainy Belize. I took "Drawn to Birds: A Sketching Workshop with Liz Clayton Fuller" last week and really enjoyed it. I want to learn more about sketching and drawing. I have a pretty cool backyard - howlers, birds, Mayan temples of Lamanai, jungle, insects, etc - and I do write sightings in my daily journal, but I want to do a better job. I like Holly Faulkner's idea to start with. Nov 19 - Oropendolas calling from Cohune tree during a break in the rain! Thank you!
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      I love to travel, camp and hike and would like to record my observations and practice my sketching on a more regular basis.  As a retired Librarian, Master Gardener, past Girl Scout and Boy Scout Leader,  I love to research about the animals and plants in the places I visit.  Journaling will offer me the opportunity to explore, draw, paint and research a variety of topics.  I will be 70 next month and I hope to never stop being curious about the world around me. I hope to use the boxes to guide my drawings, paintings and observations.  I am ready to get started!
    • Diane
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I like the idea of having my own field guide - to look back on experiences and help recall details of the day that might of otherwise been forgotten.  It will also make it easier to share with others & deepen my own learning and understanding of my surroundings. 2. I like the idea of using "boxes" to help me get started in organizing my thoughts & observations.  To get my art on the page first, and include details around it.  I like the idea also of trying daily/weekly/monthly.  Lastly, I like the idea as well that not every page has to  be "perfect" - that even an incomplete sketch can still evoke memories.
    • Lindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I've often thought of including sketches in my travel journals over the years but rarely did it.  I saw this course and thought I might get some tips to motivate me.  Of course, I'm not travelling now and it's almost winter.  On top of that, I am at home recovering from surgery.  However , on the positive side, I have lots of time on my hands to try something new.  I'm hoping I can find things outside the window or in my backyard to get started.
    • MARY JANE
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1.  Inspired to begin nature journal by a deep desire to give it a try it.  I often stand and stare intently at natural objects or living critters in an effort to really "see" and connect with what I'm looking at.  I am 77 years old and have always felt inhibited when it comes to any type of art expression.  Probably some long ago criticism shut me down.  It's time for me to "get over it." 2.  Margaret's very free pencil sketches of the humming birds was inspiring.  Quick sketch, quick sketch, observe, and SEE!  Jewel's sharing of her struggle to "find her style" is encouraging.  Shayna's open boxes for her drawings appeals to me.  Various journals have incomplete drawings, DJ said, "You don't have to catch all the features."  I've dabbled in watercolor and would like to incorporate that into my journal. 3.  All of the the featured journalist drawings were wonderful!  I admire the freedom to simply do it.  This is what I wish for myself and anyone else diving into Nature Journaling.
    • helen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I love nature and when I walk or hike I often find something that I love and wish to remember....such as droplets of rain on a fallen leaf, or my backyard birdfeeder filled with birds waiting their turn or squabbling over available space. This course seems perfect for me.  I also enjoy drawing and painting although watercolor will be a new experience. What fun this will be?
    • 1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? My background is in biology. In my free time I have always been happiest outside in nature and have always had the casual hobby of sketching, mostly influenced by nature, particularly birds. I consider myself a birder and I've been taking several of the bird courses offered through Bird Academy and have really enjoyed fine tuning my knowledge of birds and bird identification skills. I came across this course on Nature Journaling and was immediately excited about leaning new ways to use my sketch book, particularly in documenting birds I see out in nature. I like the idea of capturing more detailed observations about the birds I see and trying to record drawings of their behaviors in real-time. I would like to improve my bird drawing skills and incorporating this with writing more notes about what I am observing seems like a great combination. 2. Which ideas or approaches do you want to try? I'm excited and scared to try adding water color to my drawings. It has been many years since I dabbled in water color and I think it will be a fun challenge to incorporate this technique into capture more details about the birds I see.
    • Ryann
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am writing from California, I was inspired to take this class to motivate me and my family to get outside (now that the smoke from wildfires have cleared).  I have always felt being in nature is like therapy for me and I need it more than ever.  I have always been on/off art projects nothing formal.  Nature journaling and sketching seems like a perfect blend of combining art with nature observation.  My 11 year old son is an amazing birder and takes great photos.  I plan to get us out birding weekly and use that time to journal.  I really like the journal that had a daily goal and a monthly goal for adding to the sketch book.  I plan to incorporate that into my sketching goals.
    • Isa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I took a course 6 years ago (I didn't realize so much time had passed until I pulled that notebook out to use for this course) that was an intensive field study along with learning the basics of using watercolor . I don't consider myself to be a skilled artist, I look for ways to be supported in my pursuit in a low stakes manner. I love being outside and often marvel at shapes and color, this course seemed like a welcome opportunity to commit time to improving skills with color and basic drawing skills. In this time of social distancing, I hope to see others progress and inspirations. I like the combined words and sketches, some with completed color, some not. Like others have mentioned, nature journaling is a welcomed counterpoint to my left brained career in medicine.
    • Tiffany
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      1.  I have always loved nature and being outside.  I grew up in the woods and on a bay, and as an only child there weren’t many kids to play with, so I spent a lot of time exploring by myself.  I kept track of what I saw here and there but nothing serious.  As an adult, I enjoy hiking and camping and I have tried to start a journal but have never kept it up.  Due to Covid, I have been reevaluating how I want to spend my time at home that is both creative and fulfilling and I have rediscovered nature journaling. 2.  I like the approaches that are about the learning first and the drawing second.  I think for me this will translate into the observations, questions, and connections as the majority of the page and the illustrations will support it.  I do like the use of watercolors as the medium, but that is intimidating for me at this moment so I am going to start with pencils/colored pencils.  I do look forward to learning watercolors in this series. 3.  For practice, I want to incorporate sketches from my most memorable photos from previous experiences in nature.  I have a few that have really strong memories associated with the photos, and I want to get the memories down on paper-and practice drawing the subject of the photo too.
    • Kirby
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I have loved nature ever since I was a little boy. My parents have always encouraged me to explore our natural world. We would go on hikes, climb mountains, go skiing, traveling, and I was lucky enough to have a grandmother that had a beach house in Stone Harbor, NJ. Exploring the beach, catching sand crabs, going fishing with my dad, and just being in the salt air every summer inspired me to go to college for Marine Biology. I currently have my bachelor’s degree in marine biology from Stockton University and work as a naturalist/marine biologist and first mate on a whale and dolphin watching boat. Both of my grandmothers have also enjoyed feeding the wild birds in their backyards and they passed this love of birdwatching on to me. My grandmother on my mom’s side of the family is currently 97 years old and continues to amaze me every day! She loves to paint, do crafts, play with our dog and still keeps feeding the birds. Her father was an artist and my great great uncle, Prosper Louis Senat was a famous French Painter with some of his artwork currently in a few museums. I feel like I have to have some type of artistic skills if it’s in the family right? Nature journaling to me, will be a way of connecting myself not only to nature but also to my ancestors in the same way that they expressed themselves through art ☺️ 2. I really liked the watercolor journaling. I definitely want to incorporate watercolors over top of pencil sketches like the girl in the final part of the video. I just really like the bold colors that pop out using watercolors. I would also like to try out some colored pencil sketches too as a personal challenge, since i’ve never done detailed sketching with colored pencils. 3. I’m also really into photography and my father has been a professional photographer for the last 35 years. I would like to maybe include a few pages in my journal that include some of my nature photography taken with my Canon 40d DSLR camera. I think it would be a neat way of learning how to sketch/paint using a still photograph, and then work my way up to sketching wild birds, whales, dolphins, sharks etc. that are moving ☺️🐧🦅F788C4EF-675C-4168-8C4D-3EB149B9A094🐋🦈🐳
    • Leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Hi Everybody, my name is Leslie. I live in Texas.  I have been on again/off again nature journaling for the past five years, but mostly off! When I revisit a page, I think, why don't I do this more?  It is amazing how the nature journal can take you right back to that moment.  As I read other people's stories, I'm struck by the retirees' comments about living busy lives and not having time to create.  I am impressed by their new commitments to journal and also moved to make time to create at all stages of my life. I'm taking this class for three reasons:  1) get back on the horse 2) improve my watercolor skills and use watercolor in journaling which I have never done and 3) journal the everyday, but also record my hikes and travels (when this whole pandemic is over...) IMG_4368
    • Alisha
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      Hello there!  I was inspired to begin nature journaling about four years ago.  Having just moved from Toronto, to Ottawa Ontario, I was exploring some new hobbies including photography, cross country skiing, and nature journalling!  I took an EdEx course called Illustrating Natural History, which was wonderful, however I'm even more excited about this course as it will include birds!  Like many of my fellow students here online, I've had a lifelong passion for birds, learning about them, watching them, and enjoy bird painting/arts in my spare time.  What excites me most about the journalling is that it really helps one develop an eye for details, and appreciate the natural world so much more deeply!  I also look forward to this process helping me document, and identify plants and birds on my nature walks. I want to ensure my journal has a real blend of science and art.  I want to include lots of descriptive writings, and I also want to have sketches that I can reflect on later that are accurate, and aesthetically pleasing.  I'd like to observe and record any behaviours, patterns, things I notice.  I was really impressed with the journal of the spider/bee and the memory the writer had of that moment in time. I started a new mixed journal at the beginning of the Pandemic, and in it I included some backyard birds.  I would sketch, and fill with colour pencil or watercolour, and then add some descriptions that I'd learned through some simple web searches.  It helped me learn basics of each bird.  I kept 1 bird per page, and my goal had been to draw all birds I saw.  Sadly, my journal was not meant for watercolour and so the pages wrinkled :(.   Birding June 13 009Birding June 13 008Birding June 13 007 Happy journalling! Alisha
    • Meagan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I’ve always admired other people’s journaling with drawing and watercolor but thought it was completely out of my reach. We’ll see. I see so many beautiful things outside around my house, at camp, at outdoor events, on walks...At the same time I feel more and more like a consumer in the age of “scanning”...walking with headphones on, scrolling through online media while sitting outside.  I want to become more focused again. I’m hesitant to pick a journaling style because I feel like I will be copying someone else a la Pinterest, so I will sees as I work along.
    • Rachel
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Even though I work as an ecologist, I end up spending most of my time on the computer and I feel disconnected from the naturalist I was in my younger years. I hope that nature journalling will help me reconnect with my study areas and taxa and also the surprising and beautiful natural world of the megacity I live in, during these hard times. The journals in the short video were incredible, I have no artistic experience whatsoever, so it seems incomprehensible to me that I would be able to produce anything similar, but I'm excited to learn. Some of the journalers' reflections really resonated with me, I like the way they used their journalling to observe and understand animal behavior, I thought the habit forming approach was very cool (daily/monthly journal) and I really enjoyed the idea of having a record of your experiences to share. I also think nature journalling seems like a really great way for older people to fight depression and reduce the risk of dementia, particularly during this pandemic, so I hope if I can get the hang of this, and when I'm able to travel overseas to safely visit my mum again, I can share this with her. The picture I've attached is to give you all a laugh and show just how baseline my baseline is: zero art experience, zero journalling experience, here are the last pictures I drew of plants and animals I'm currently working on for the whiteboard where my wife and I keep track of the papers we're writing. Let's see what happens!IMG_8074 2
    • Rose
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have recently become interested in birdwatching in this pandemic. We live in the country and have lots of room to roam and view all of the more inland birds of Monterey County. Sometimes I see a bird and want to capture it's features quickly so I don't forget what I have seen while on a walk. Sometimes I sit and watch for a length of time and thought about sketching. I have also thought about dabbling with water color. I already keep a birding journal and started some rough sketching. I found this course and it inspired me to look into this more and hope it becomes a habit which helps to ground me in nature and life. I like the journaling aspects along with visual representations, more random and practice for me as a novice. Some of the journals are overwhelming to view as a beginner. I was an art major in college but switched to psychology and education. I want to return to the artistic side and create in many different ways.
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am taking this course because I have recently been geeking out about fossils. I assigned my students to draw the six main types of fossils and some of my students' work was amazing.  I tried drawing some fossils that I found but my drawings were mediocre at best. The next thing I knew, this course showed up in my email. Bizarre right? Wish me luck.
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Zebra_Finch800 I’ve been an amateur naturalist since I was a kid, loving to learn about the names and habits of all the plants and animals around me. When I was in college, I spent most weekends backpacking in the mountains and every week day I could steal hiking in the redwood forest. My kids remember one camping trip to Canada stopping at every volcano or new tree species along the way. About 5 years ago, I picked up colored pencil with the goal of being a portraitist of birds. It took me months to complete each drawing. I’ve never studied art, but I decided I wanted to learn to draw. In January, I got an iPad Pro with an Apple pencil, and it made me a lot bolder in my drawing experiments. I started a journal with sketches. When my mother was trapped aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship with the coronavirus (she’s fine), I switched to drawing quarantine comics. During the pandemic, I’ve been walking the boundaries of our property in the Santa Cruz Mountains, observing all of the changes at a new level of detail. I’ve watched juncos, spot-sided towhees, California towhees, Wilson’s warblers, Stellers jays, quail, crows, and a stealthy pair of sharp-shinned hawks raise their broods. The SCU Lightning complex fire boundary is a half mile from us. During our month of evacuation, all of the birds except the rufous hummingbirds and the chickadees left. Even the juncos, who have always been here in abundance, were gone. Over the past 6 weeks, the birds slowly came back. I’m 59 now. The Western forests that have been my deep love and my delight are under threat, along with every being who lives in them. I want to celebrate and record all of this life. The different journal styles gave me ideas and freed me from the idea that my nature journal needs to be any particular way. I can try different ideas and discover what works for me and what doesn’t. All of the examples of partial or unfinished drawings are a great reminder that my journal will be its own journey. The drawing is a zebra finch from my aviary.
      • Lindsay
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        Heather, I love your bird here. I too am thinking of getting an ipad pro and pencil. Your line quality is so wonderful...not at all overly finished as I would have expected a digital drawing to look. Thanks you for sharing your zebra finch! Looking forward to this class. Lindsay
    • Cecilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      IMG_6933 I've always loved to draw and write. In grade school I was in pretty high demand for my realistic pencil drawings of the Beatles, done with the help of my Magnijector, which allowed me to project their photos on my wall. After getting a degree in English lit (and birdwatching when I should have been in class), I went back to a trade school for graphic design so I could actually get a job. I was amazed at how awful my drawing was when I started, it was like I was back in 5th grade. But I was also amazed at how quickly I improved with practice and observation and good teachers. I've always had an opportunity to do art of one kind or another -- Shakespeare costume design, poster design, quilting, but my drawing is back to 5th grade again. I am fortunate enough to live in a town (Arden, Delaware) surrounded by woods, and I love my daily walks, taking photos with my iPhone, often just details, like the patterns in a mushroom (see the photo) IMG_6915or frogs disappearing into their background. I would most like to express the beauty of our Arden Woods. Many, many thanks to the journal makers in that great sampler video. They were all inspiring. I loved Shayna Muller's boxes and it was inspiring seeing Margaret Corbit's drawing evolve as she captured the hummingbirds' hover. I could almost feel the wind beneath their outstretched wings. The journal that spoke most to me was Holly Faulkner's. I love her organization by day or month and her obvious love of typography, along with her exquisite drawings, of course. But the graphic design — the combination of image and text — I found that approach inspiring. But enough writing, and on to drawing. Today I opened my sketchbook and headed for my favorite autumn mums, but stopped before I got there and sat down and drew a single leaf from the hardy begonia on my porch. I am looking forward to learning how to use watercolor, because that would be so much better for capturing the color and texture. Also, I should sharpen my pencils.
    • amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      I think the finished journals are really cool, and they represent a very special time spent with one's self. I have always loved birds and my mother always had feeders and we would feed the birds in the winter months. I am an ESL teacher and try to teach my students about our state of Pennsylvania and, about 2 years ago, I realized they were not familiar with any of our birds. I designed a unit on Backyard birds and assigned each student a bird that we commonly see here. We spent days drawing them and writing short information about them. I was amazed at how much the students helped each other with their birds - the wings go more like this, or a second grader suddenly realizing the relationship of the beak and the eye and how they were located on the head. Drawing the birds was also very comforting and relaxing and the students spoke to one another and developed real friendships even though they were aged from Kindergarten through fifth grade. Students started coming into class telling me what birds they had seen after school or on the weekend and sharing what they looked like. We would look them up on this website and talk about them. I was so inspired by my students, that when I saw a class a few months ago I waited too long and the class was closed. When this one popped up, I jumped on it. I am really excited to start  drawing and journaling!Backyard Birds
      • Cecilia
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Amy, I just read your post on exploring birds with your students. I tutored reading comprehension and also worked with my son, who had a learning disability. My main tool was the Lindamood-Bell program, Visualizing and Verbalizing, which you may be familia with. The thing is, I found that my students with comprehension problems had difficulty sorting information -- everything they learned in school kinda went into the Big Box of Right Answers, which was such a jumble they could never retrieve what they had learned and often gave very bizarre answers on tests because they would retrieve the right answer to SOMETHING. (Mammals have wings and lay eggs.) I found that any kind of sorting, any kind of close observation and the labeling of parts often just flipped a switch for these students, and they started recalling information, adding vocabulary. I had students sort a silverware drawer, sort buttons. But the best was birdwatching or identifying flowers and trees. When "bird" just means a big blur of flying things, a lot of other things are blurs as well. But when you start to see a cardinal, a robin, a house sparrow vs. a song sparrow, a pine siskin, the world comes into sharper focus. You see color, size, special feathers (outer tail coverts), beaks, behavior. You hear songs and calls that are distinct. Of course, discovering birds is a joy in itself. But the way it opens up learning is also quite magical. All the best to you and your students during this strange and difficult time. Cecilia from Arden, Delaware
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have always enjoyed drawing but have gotten away from it. I do need to learn to work with color. I love nature and taking walks. I think this course will give me structure and an incentive to get back to drawing. I liked how people use the journaling to observe and remember what they saw.
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      The very first video gave me a sense of surprise and relief because it showed an easy way to give structure to a page. It showed boxes with sketches inside. I though, ‘Oh I can do that!’ Immediately my bit of anxiety at starting this new venture lowered. I also saw with surprise that the sketches were also breaking out of the boxes to provide some energy and movement on the page. As a very beginner who has limited experience with visual arts this gave me both a sense of the familiar and controllable (boxes) and the inspiration to break out of them. Another student entry before mine also mentioned how her environmental value to fill the page was important. This is true for me as well. I can see that the sketches can be small and leave room to write about what I was experiencing in the moment and about what I was noticing about my subject.The same student entry also mentioned how sketching plants might be easier at first and I that is a very good idea to start with. I also like her idea of sketching her garden and particular trees through the seasons. This is something I can also easily do. Another video mentioned using the basic geometric forms (as in the doves) and this is something else I’d like to focus on as I think it will be a good way to more efficiently capture the basic contours of my subject.
      • Barbara
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        After reading posts from fellow students, I’m replying to myself as a way of remembering some of their good ideas. One said she wants to include pressed samples. Another student wrote that she wanted a way to capture her elation by drawing her emotion on the page. This reminds me of Holly Ward Bimba’s work that initially inspired me to even think I could start sketching. She gave me a calendar with sketches of items she had foraged in the Virginia woods. I love being able to include real items like this. I also like the idea in one of the videos whereby her sketches surround a month at a time. I think I’ll have to get a lot better at sketching to get there. As others have written, the pandemic and my sudden retirement hold a silver lining in that I now have time to slow down and  savor the minute details nature offers us so quietly.
    • Faith Celeste
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. What inspired me to begin nature journaling?  I'm getting close to (if not already am) retirement age, and I've always been attracted to art and gardening.  I took a course at a local art institute - painting the flower as art.  The class was excellent, but as a beginner, taking a "non-beginner" class I floundered a lot.  So about 5 years later,  today, as a matter of fact, I happened to be out in my garden and took a look at a tree I have - a flying dragon.  I decided I wanted to draw or paint the tree - because I love the leaves in fall, and I love the bark which appears like a snake.  I sat down at my computer after breakfast and this course was listed as on-sale in my inbox...... and now I realize, I would really like to journal my garden through the seasons. 2.  I like all of the journals - being an environmentalist I prefer the pages that are packed full of drawings and notations -- this seems to be the best use of paper and space -- I also like when people preserve their errors, there is a lot of interest in the errors, and certainly the errors show progress in a "first time accuracy" kind of way - as opposed to just the final perfect picture.  I VERY much liked the "close ups" that one journalist used.  I also really enjoy colour -- and I loved the pencil sketches that emphasized the shapes and gestures - like the doves with the pronounced foreheads.  So certainly lots and lots of ideas from the journals that I viewed. 3.  The though of journaling is about 3 hours old to me at the moment -- so no, I have not thought it through much - with the exception that I would like to revisit the same plant(s) - throughout the various season rather than a one snapshot look at a plant.  I would like to also journal animals, but am currently not sure if my memory or speed will allow me to capture my subject -- perhaps a cell phone picture to assist me in the beginning...... but then on second thought, I feel like I would loose part of the experience by relying on technology.... so like others, I'll take my imperfections.
    • Rafael
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I ended up really enjoying Holly Faulkner‘s journals and her painting techniques 7EA661AE-D9F0-4DBE-9767-A6487002EB93
    • Lynn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I'm newly retired, a long-time birder and have always been visually oriented, having spent nearly half of my career as an art director putting pictures and words together. Now that I have the time, I want to get back to putting my own words to pictures, combining poetry (haiku) of my nature observations with illustrations. During the pandemic, I've found my own backyard to be full of inspiration, whether it's the many birds at my feeder and nest boxes, our small but active frog pond or the butterflies and bees attracted to the pollinator gardens I planted in spring. My goal is to sharpen my observation and illustrating skills to quickly capture the essence of what is see around me.
    • Steven
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1.  I'm an engineer, so most of my time is dominated by the left half of the brain thinking.  There is much creativity that comes with engineering, but it is mostly analytical.  I also enjoy nature photography.  I enjoy learning the behaviors of the subjects I want to photograph so I can get better photos.  I think this uses some more of the right side of the brain, but I still think of these situations analytically.  I started reading "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", but it didn't hold my interest.  Seeing how you draw nature in your journal looks fascinating to me.  I am interested in slowing down, experiencing the stillness of the mind, allow myself to quiet down and observe, and take the time to draw.  But, I don't know how to draw!!  I hope you can show me the way :-) 2.  I like the idea of no strict format, draw something in whatever space is there, add the date, time, weather, etc. and making notes to describe observations, thoughts, and feelings.  I like how the use of boxes with the drawings flowing out of them adds dimension to the sketch.  I also made a mental note about drawing as a means to remember the topics I am studying.  Many years ago I had signed up for the Home Study Course in Bird Biology, which I thought would help me be a better bird photographer, knowing more about bird behaviors and habitats and such.  I hadn't finished that one and have migrated over to the new course, Ornithology:  Comprehensive Bird Biology, and I'm thinking that drawing out what I am learning would be so helpful in remembering what I want to learn.  "Learning how to Learn" style. 3.  Capturing moments through photography is wonderful and fun, but doesn't require so much slowing down and writing down observations, thoughts, and feelings.  I'm sure I won't be leaving my photography gear at home, so I'll most likely capture a few photos, then attempt to sit down and take the time to draw and write.  Just thinking about doing this brings a feeling of relaxation throughout my body!  WoW!
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Learning to draw different types of birds and getting colours and behaviours to help in identification and also build memories. Become more mindful of my surroundings
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      • 90646D66-7BD9-4E02-9A0E-76DEAB7E2A5EI’d like to improve on my field comments with color. Also more structure to my pages
    • suzie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Hi all My inspirations? My very part time business is collage card making. Improving observation and drawing, painting skills will be a plus.
      • My small city yard is a native garden habitat in which I see and am learning all I can to support pollinators and the environment I am a casual but enthusiastic birder. I don’t like to write in journals but I would be coaxed to draw, paint and jot if I paid money for a course !EE0182B1-5ABD-44A6-B24C-61BBC98463B4
      • Cecilia
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        I am blown away by your dragonfly, the patterns, the textures, the polkadots of your collage! I just started the course, and have only seen the videos of other people and their journaling. Haven’t started any journaling of my own. That will have to wait until tomorrow. But your dragonfly has really flown out of the box and inspired me. I hope you post more.  ~Cecilia
      • Daniele
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Thanks for the way you’ve done this!!  Searching for my own way and this is helpful.
      • Daniele
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Thanks for your work. Am searching for what my journal will be like and this is helpful.
    • Anne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am a natural resource land manager yet never have time to observe, record and investigate nature in the detail that I would like to. I also have mental images of nature that I would like to capture in an artistic manner. And I would like to be able to draw better and capture the essence of the subject relatively quickly.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have spent my entire life in the outdoors, hiking, camping, climbing, sailing, kayaking, bird watching, and many other outdoor activities. I began keeping a journal in college as part of a course I was taking on Environmental Outdoor Education. I’d read naturalist writer’s books and looked at examples of field journals. I just began sketching, never having taken a course on drawing or nature journaling. The ideas that appealed to me from the other journalers included keeping track of the date, time, location, and weather of where they were journaling. I liked the idea of zooming in on a part of a sketch to really get the close-up details. I also liked seeing the simple sketches, getting the general shapes of the birds, and sketching the same subject a number of times. I can see how this would help to build the skills and confidence to create more detailed sketches. DouglasSquirrel
    • laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 34
      Hello! How inspiring it was to see various styles of nature journals. 1. What inspired me to start journalling (double "ll" is the British/Canadian spelling): I just started journalling while taking another Bird Academy course for teachers that focuses on citizen science. Taking courses during the pandemic is a perfect opportunity to a) get outdoors, b) enjoy solitude, c) explore new interests and d) develop new skills. I don't have an artistic background, but I have a long history of careful nature observation. Journalling  will help me chronicle and reflect on my observations and "encounters" and help to deepen my understanding of what it is that I am observing. 2. Which journalling approaches I would like to try: I like filling a page with words and sketches. I want to let go of the need to "finish" a painting/sketch. I appreciated the quick sketching of the hummingbirds, for example. I also want to embrace the idea that things need to be completed before moving on. The journal-creators' comments on the memories associated with the journals resonated with me. Likewise, the purpose of a given entry can be different than the entries before and after it. Sometimes I may focus on posture, other times plumage. Sometimes shape and other times movement. Considering the journal as a work in progress and an evolving style is helpful to reduce anxieties associated with perfectionism/incompetence. I really liked the idea of multiple entries on one page. This allows a feeling of a completed segment of either greater detail and/or reduced time. 3. What different journalling ideas do I have not mentioned in the video: 1) I've always been interested in taxonomy but never studied it. When species of flora/fauna or classifications of rocks/minerals are identified, I like to write down the common name(s) along with the latin name. The latin name is fascinating and often gives history, description and other information in its translation. This practice is something I will most likely continue to do. 2) I like jotting down a comment of something that is happening parallel in my life (son's new job, global affairs, special event) to give the moment context within my own life and how, even with other things going on, I found time to sit, reflect, observe and ground myself in nature.
      • amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 20
        I like that, Laurie - relating something personal that is happening in your life when you drew the picture. Amy
    • Nicole
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I've always wanted to draw and spend tons of time observing the plants and birds on my patio and figured this would be an ideal class to learn more! I still don't know exactly which style will work best because they're all beautiful! I think I'll try a less structured approach rather than use boxes at first. Thanks all for sharing your stories.
    • Dale
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
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    • Nicole
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am inspired to begin nature journaling because I like to record things about my life and I like to spend a lot of time in outdoor spaces. I am a photographer and writer. As a child, I drew a lot. Drawing and writing were my earliest passions. Weeks after my mother died when I was in high school, I had a negative interaction with an art teacher, and I quit drawing after I was finished with her class. The desire to draw never left me, though. Although it has been more than 20 years since I gave up on it, I want to re-learn how to draw and enjoy the experience again. I look forward to this course helping me get back on track with that. I think my approach will be more about combining notes about what I observed and felt alongside my drawings. I do plan to give my drawings priority and fill in with words around them. I want to capture my experience of nature more than the technical details.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I started nature journalling because I bought a book called Keeping A Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles Roth; I bought some colored pencils and started sketching; I was on an island and had a lot of time and I found it so calming and meditative and it gave me pleasure so I started doing it every day I was there. In particular, I liked Liz's journal because it had a lot of landscape in it and I spend a lot of time looking at landscape and the light on it; she also was concerned with texture and she used the word "beautiful" to describe a sunrise and sometimes I want to record the beauty I see. I don't have any journalling ideas from the ones shown; I find that it is now, as Autumn. approaches, a little too cold somedays to capture the sunrises over Lake Michigan as they happen. So I suspect I will use some photos and work from them later in the day.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      My world narrowed somewhat during the pandemic. My walks in the park and my backyard observations of wildlife and plants helped me navigate these months. Each observation and sometimes a drawing or painting of my interest were like little vacations from the news swirling around me. I took the Identifying Bird Songs course and practiced on my walks. It was so rewarding to actually be able to identify a call or a song. I decided that as the fall approached I wanted to have some focus on learning. I found this course and The Biology of Birds course to help me through the winter months. I have a love for botanical painting which is a slow process. I want to be able to draw and paint birds from nature and sketches. I have done some paintings from photographs, but I really am looking forward to drawing and painting from nature. Now I just have to figure out how to keep the raccoons out of my bird feeder. The visitors to the feeder in the winter are a constant entertainment during the winter. I think it will provide me with many subjects to draw when the weather keeps me in.
      • laurie
        Participant
        Chirps: 34
        Hello Karen. Yes, this pandemic has certainly impacted our daily lives and our social interactions. I noted this in my comment above. Instead of focusing on the obvious negative aspects of a global pandemic, we can choose to use the opportunity to reconnect with nature (and ourselves?) in a new way through nature journalling. I've also always loved botanical illustrations. I may never be able to emulate the artists who work at that calibre, but I don't need to. That's their fabulous role in this life. I am happy to fuddle-duddle my way through my new journal just to gift myself with some "down time" that is solely for me.
    • Johanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I began keeping a garden journal 18 years ago, when I moved to a house with a beautiful, established garden.  There was so much to see, to keep track of and to do!  There were animals and birds too and I loved chronicling it all.  Now I live in a city and I want to try a new kind of nature journal.  I hope this program will help me develop some new observational skills and learn how to illustrate some of what I see.  The journals gave me some great ideas...jump right in and start with the drawing, look for the geometric shapes, think about the palette of colors, capture an interesting moment or behavior, think about how this scene or animal or plant makes me feel, ask questions, go back and find out more about what I have seen.
    • Janelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1.  I find inspiration in nature, but I don't always remember those inspirations specifically.  I want to be able to record my experiences in nature in a more effective way.   Also, I'm a 7th grade life science teacher, and I want my students to be intrigued and inspired by the world around them.  We made our own nature journals last year in our life science and life science/STEM classes, but I feel the need to broaden my ideas.  My students sometimes feel intimidated by the art part.  I want to get better at explaining that to them so they can feel proud of their own accomplishments.  Science and art are both about observation.  It's an advantage to have an understanding of both.
    • Andrew
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I kept a field journal the summer of 2009 when I was in school for landscape architecture. The memories of that summer (journeying along the Trail of Tears and then to Costa Rica) are more textured than more recent travels. My colleague Teri Nye, an avid nature journalist, has also inspired me with her work. I've fallen out of the habit, and would like to get back into it. Thanks to my mother for enrolling me in this course :-) 2. Now that you’ve heard from several other journalers about their processes, and had a peek at their journals, which ideas or approaches do you want to try? I liked the way the first journaler framed her drawings, but then allowed them to break out of the box. I think that animates the page in a way that I would like to try. 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? I'm going to try and keep a phenology journal of observations here in Atlanta. I do lots of work outdoors, and it will be good to record my observations of natural events in a notebook that is organized chronologically by week - so, one spread per week. This is something I can return to year after year. The images are from my 2009 field journal.IMG_20200926_185540IMG_20200926_185941IMG_20200926_185928
    • Diann
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Hello fellow nature lovers! 1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling?  A friend shared the link for this course with me a week ago.  She is an amazing artist and I have always admired her journals.  I love to journal when I am traveling and filled pages with my words and recollection of each day of each trip I have been on.  I am taking this course to gain the confidence in drawing what I see/experience and to add beautiful images to my journal pages.  I am a naturalist and have a business guiding  folks at Mount Rainier National Park and have had the desire to write a book of my experiences.  Adding drawings to my journal will help add more emotion and clarity I believe.  I take lots of pictures and am excited to feel and see the difference in my connection to each trip through the act of drawing. 2. Now that you’ve heard from several other journalers about their processes, and had a peek at their journals, which ideas or approaches do you want to try?  I appreciate each of the techniques shared and had never thought of using a certain style.  I really enjoyed Shayna's style with the boxes and like the idea of going out of them as an expression of space and life expanding.  I like how the journals used different colors and had the swaths of each color used.  Perhaps this is part of the technique we will be learning. ?? I am completely new to anything like this and am soooo excited to gain the skills to add more dimension to my journeys and go beyond stick figures at age 59:)! Thank you for making this available!
    • Camellia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Wow! I am so excited to learn to draw the amazing scenes, or details and bits I see in Nature.  I am captivated by even the smallest fungi and in awe.  I want to be a part of it and find myself taking photos, but it's not enough to 'feel' what's happening. This is what inspires me to journal. I want to share what I see, and somehow until that manifests itself into some thing to share besides my exuberance - I will learn to draw. Every person and their journal was great.  I enjoyed all of the styles and could certainly place myself in the scenes, that each observer talked about. It seems like the action of drawing it (the scene), puts the emotion into the moments captured. No-one criticized their own work, but used all the lines as reference points to discuss what they saw. That was my favorite aspect of all the journaling.  If I were to pick a style I like, or would even like to emulate (I dare say), but not copy, is the first 'journaler' that used boxes.  Maybe the boxes made a reference for the language or verbal observations for her to connect - but if that was a book, I would be attracted to the feeling it gave me, and want to buy it to reinvent that feeling each time I opened the book.  I want to learn to do that for myself and how I feel when I'm in Nature!
      • Barbara
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        “It seems like the action of drawing it (the scene), puts the emotion into the moments captured.” I love how you phrased this. It truly captures one of the reasons I’ve signed up for this course.
    • Chari
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I love to be outdoors and am an avid photographer (just for fun).  We recently moved to Arizona and I'm loving all the different cacti and birds.  We've discovered the Hassayampa River Preserve and have been there several times.  I usually just take photos but thought it would be neat to learn to nature journal, especially in that area.  Initially, I plan to keep my journal simple and try to get over the intimidation of a blank page and my tendency to perfectionism.  I enjoyed seeing all the journals and different approaches.  I'm not sure which style I will try so may just experiment initially.  I hoping to improve my observation skills which I think will also help my photography.
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      I am an artist who loves nature and birds.   I get excited all over again whenever I see someone's nature journal, or travel sketchbook and want to be more intentional about my observations and recordings.  When our kids were little we took the time to stop and watch every ant, spider and bee and I want to feel that wonder again.  I'm trying to slow down while I find my balance between loose watercolor, and detailed line.   I'd like to add more words into my pages, and I love the way the boxes look, so I'm going to try that to unify my ideas.  Here is a page from last year - what I really like about it is that my dog walked on the book and left a pawprint.  It really looks like a smudge, but the note makes me smile and remember sitting there outside, drawing with my daughter, while our dog bounced around.   Pen and watercolor.IMG_2884
      • Margaret
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        I like to do nature journaling exactly like you have done above. It's simple and very effective. Beautiful. I like what you say about wanting to find a balance between loose water-colour and detailed line. Me too!
    • Marta
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Hello to all nature journalists! I'm new to nature journalism; I took a watercolor short course a couple of years ago and then started to draw in nature, but in non organized way. And without writing, taking notes, ... So, (1) I'd like to learn new techniques, and try them also in drawing birds (2) explore new ways of using the page (for now I prefer not to fill it in with lots of details; I like the idea of drawing in one side, and writing in the opposite page... although I admire Liz and those journalers in the video that draw amazingly and use so much of the space!) and (3) I sometimes use a separate sheet of paper to test the color (because I have doubts if it's what I'm looking for).
    • J Daniel
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      When I go out in nature I often take my camera.  While the camera allows me to capture the moment w/out much delay, it doesn't give me the wealth of detail that journaling forces me to notice.  I feel I get much more of what I see by journaling than by simply looking at something or by simply taking its picture.  I was most attracted by Shayna Muller's method; I believe I'll try to follow her example.
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I was inspired to start nature journaling by thinking about how I could unite my desire to explore drawing more with my habit of being outside.  I love how nature journaling can travel with you to different locations, and it is a hobby that can transition across seasons - it really is a little time capsule!   It piqued my interest that nearly all of the journals shown here had small "bite size" entries.  The entry was bite size in how it filled the page, in the time it may have taken to complete, or even in the skill that was being explored.  That was really eye-opening for me.  I am hesitant to dive entirely into my journal because I want it to "look nice."  But really I am doing a disservice to myself and my exploration - I can keep my entries brief and my self-reflection forgiving!   One additional journaling idea I have is to play with the orientation of the page.  Instead of always working with the same horizontal orientation, for example, you can work vertically or upside down!  Break the page into 3's or 4's.  Don't limit yourself to a standard orientation, because then you'll be taking what you see and trying to force it into that space or habit.
    • mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      hello! 1.I am an art major, but I work as a field biologist. A profession I randomly fell into. I love the outdoors and the natural world and I love art. I do not let my artistic side out as much as I think about and should. I am hoping this will motivate me to look that much deeper into my surroundings and capture the moment.  I also want to become better with watercolor-a medium I struggle with.  I paint mostly abstract with oil. 2. I like the idea of putting something on paper everyday. I have tried that, but life gets in the way. So maybe being more realistic with a few times a week. Really focusing on that time. 3. Adding feathers or pressed leaves or flowers. 04884C19-1407-4E6B-ABFD-C19767991B67
    • Beverly
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      I have several reasons for taking this class on nature journaling.  After my daughter gave me The Naturalist's Notebook for tracking changes, I started my own journal.  Like the last journalist I wanted to enter something every day but it was to difficult so I ended up not doing it at all.  I then started to paint birds with acrylics and have finished several nice paintings but what I really want to be able to do is sketch nature and then put it into my paintings. My second reason is to help me create a bird identification book for children.  I am presently working on Warbling Warblers.  Studying warblers was a Covid-19 goal because I could do it from my own yard.  I am hoping that I can learn to observe and listen more carefully and be able to draw the birds for my book. I am so excited about taking this class because it combines many of my interests in one class.  I love birding, nature, drawing, painting , and journaling.
    • Cindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 14