Cynthia Reynolds Journaling



Nature Journaling in a Nutshell

What is Nature Journaling?

Have you ever been stopped in your tracks by suddenly coming upon a flower where you didn’t expect it, found yourself become a perch for a butterfly, held your breath while a dragonfly hovered right before your eyes? Did you wish that you could capture that moment forever?  Nature Journaling is not only a way to record a personal encounter with nature, but will ensure that profound experiences like these will happen to you.

How you do you do it?

Get out there. Take in the world around you.  Where are you?  What’s the date? What time of day is it? What is the weather like? What do you smell? Write these notes down.  Listen to the sounds around you. Do you want to find out what is making the sound? Does something pull you in?  Does something catch your eye? Allow yourself to look closely at what you see. Draw it. If it moves, sketch it fast.  Don’t worry about what it looks like – you’ll get better the more you do it.  Write about it. Jot down descriptions of what you just drew - jot down observations about its environment.  Look at it again, more closely. Go back and add those new discoveries to your drawing.  How does this all this make you feel?  Add that thought to your description list – you might find that you just wrote poetry.  You might even be moved to formalize your experience in a haiku or other formal poem.  Congratulations – you’ve just started your Nature Journal.

What age do you need to be to journal?

Old enough to hold a pencil!  Small children can journal without words – drawings speak volumes.

Where can I do it?

Anywhere!  You can find something natural that attracts you in your back yard, a school yard, a beach, a playground, a nature preserve, the fish tank in your house, your indoor plant collection, even between sidewalk cracks in the inner city!

What do I need?

The only things you really need for Nature Journaling are a sharp pencil, eraser, paper in a blank book or on a clipboard and a respect for nature.  

Once you find yourself journaling regularly, you may want to create a kit and store it in a convenient place where you can grab it as you head off for a park, vacation, hike, etc.:

- 2 pencils with eraser caps
- Pen (optional)
- Spiral bound artist’s sketch book – any size that is comfortable to hold while standing
- Pencil sharpener
- Colored Pencils (optional)
- Magnifying lens (optional)
- Waterproof backpack or bag to hold your gear (optional)

Recommended reading: "Keeping a Nature Journal", Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth, Storey Books


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This site was last updated 03/24/07