Creating Nature Journals may seem like a bit of trouble, but it is well worth the effort. Every part of nature awareness is like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Journaling is an important piece that will help you to see the whole picture.
Lets talk a little about what nature journals are. They are a written record of something in nature that you are interested in. It can be a plant, an animal, the weather, or anything else. A good journal will have a written description and a sketch.
Writing things down will help you remember many details. As you record what you see or what you find in a field guide, your brain will latch on to it. When you make a sketch, the same thing happens. An added bonus is that you will have a written record of your study that you can always refer to.
We have a good example of how to make a sketch. Take a look at what Running Deer and Barbara have to say about it in the Nature Activity Sketch A Plant. On the bottom of that page, click "BACK TO JOURNAL" to return here.
NATURE ACTIVITY SKETCH A PLANT
Did you notice how important it was to draw the details of the plant? It is the same with writing words in your journal. Write about the details of your plant, animal, rock or whatever you are interested in.
Try this: Do your writing and sketch from memory. Look at your nature object first, then look away and do your journal. Don't worry if you don't get it all. This is great practice to help you remember the details. And don't worry if you are not a good artist. Most of us are not. But we can all show colors and shapes in one way or another. You can go back again later and look at your nature object. Then work on your journal some more.
Do all of your journals this way. Plants, trees, animals, stars, moon, rocks, anything you like. And lets not forget the birds! Yes, the birds. How much time do they give you to make a journal? Not much, right? They tend to fly away quickly, especially if you move. What is a journalist to do?
Try this: When you see a bird, focus on it and don't move. Note its size, shape, color, beak size and shape, tail length and so on. Burn the image into your mind. After the bird flies away, make your sketch. You can fill in more detail when you see the same type of bird again. You can also check it out in a field guide.
One more tip: Include things about your nature object that you can't actually see just by looking at it. For example, is a plant good for food or medicine? Does an animal have certain enemies? Does a tree offer us food or medicine or other things? Does a bird live year round in your area? To do this you will need a good field guide. Many are available in the library or in bookstores. Think of your field guide as your own personal mentor that has many good things to share with you.
Good luck on journeling!
Click here to view some awesome nature journals!
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