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Active Since: October 19, 2020
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  • Heather
    Participant
    katmaiDNA
    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.
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