Nature Journaling can take many different forms, but its main purpose is to record observations of the natural world. It is not a new practice – scientists have often used it in fieldwork to record their findings and collect raw data. Thankfully there are no pressures to creating beautiful drawings or novel observations in Nature Journaling – they only need to be accurate and interesting to you! I Journal so that I can record and remember what I find beautiful and inspiring. Below I’ve outlined three reasons why I love Nature Journaling, and why you should try it as well!
1. “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than [they] seek,” John Muir
You learn and see so much more by taking the time to pause and observe the nature around you. Take note of how a woodpecker looks for food, or how a bee chooses a flower to pollinate. Watch and record how a squirrel chooses where to burry their nut, or know which trees turn what shade of colour in the fall. Once you pause and take the time to observe a spot in nature, these things become easier to notice.
2. Nature Journaling is meditative.
Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “We will be more successful in all our endeavours if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-entre ourselves. And we’ll also have a lore more joy in living.” While recording your chosen subject, there are no pressures to be perfect. This means you can enjoy the process and the observations you have made along the way. Taking the time to pause and closely observe a leaf, an acorn, a bee, or even a bird is meditative, and we learn to “let go of the habit of running all the time,”.
3. The possibilities are endless!
You can be creative with your Journal. I have taken mine traveling and used it to record the unique flora or fauna in an area, a beautiful scene, the architecture of a building, or even my food. It may turn into something more than a Nature Journal, but this creativity allows me to focus on what inspires me and what I find beautiful – in addition to the nature I see around me.
If you want to learn how to begin your own Nature Journal, we are holding a Nature Journaling workshop at our Caledon/King BioBlitz. To register, visit our Eventbrite, click “register,” and choose what workshops you’d like to attend. We can’t wait to see you there!
BIO: Veronika was our Stewardship and Outreach Technician at the Land Trust as part of the 2018 Canada Summer Jobs Program. She enjoys painting, improving her ID skills, and travelling wherever there are mountains, nature and art to explore.