A walk in the woods is soothing to the soul, but nature journaling can stir the senses and engage the mind in a way that makes you feel fully alive. It is amazing how many details we miss out on when walking outdoors. There are bugs, berries, foliage and rocks that are absolutely fascinating to observe if we are intentional about looking for them.
When you decide to keep a nature journal, your mind switches into “scavenger hunt” mode and becomes laser-beam focused on the details that often go unnoticed. Getting down on the ground and searching for journal-worthy specimens reveals a whole new world of natural wonders. There are busy bugs and delicate flowers, artistic rocks and leaves that would be willing subjects for an aspiring nature journalist.
THE BIG PICTURE
In addition to the details in nature, there are amazing scenes all around. It could be a sunset or sunrise framed in a cool mist, or it could be a pine forest that towers over a delicate meadow of wildflowers. Find a comfortable spot to sit down and draw or paint what you see. Don’t worry about making it perfect, just make it real. This is not a snapshot on your smartphone, this is about observing nature and soaking it in.
TAP INTO YOUR CREATIVITY
There is no “right” way to make a nature journal. Your nature experience is unique to you and your surroundings. What grabs and holds your attention? What raises your curiosity and gives you a sense of childlike wonder? Capture the details and the grandeur of nature in such a way that will help you remember what you experienced.
- Sketchbook or journal with heavy paper
- Colored Pencils
- Draw what you see with pencil, pen, colored pencils, etc.
- Press flowers and foliage between the pages (attach with tape or string)
- Write about your experience
- Combine words and pictures
- Date your journal entries
- Make a note of your location
Journaling about your experiences will connect you to nature in a very real way. Nature journaling with your kids will create great memories and meaningful keepsake journals to help preserve the memories.
Now… grab a journal, get off the computer, and go do something real!
To Real Life!
Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You
Author: Charles E. Roth