Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Nature Journal Page

Shad is a big thing here in Connecticut in the spring. There's a fish and a bush and their appearance in the Connecticut River and along the banks of river, marshes, streams and in damp woodlands, respectively prompts festivals and plant sales!

Nature journaling is a type of sketchbook journaling. It, obviously has a focus on the natural world and it leans towards a more or less scientific observation, recording and identifying of your subject. I also like to fill up my pages with folklore and fun facts about the things I observe in nature. 

In this page spread I included the larger habitat, including a Shadbush growing wild, top left, a fairly accurate sketch of the Shad fish, (I used a field guide to help me get the particulars correct), and again a fairly accurate example of the flowers, buds and leaves form the shadbush.

Now, I'm not a scientist, a wildlife biologist, a botanist, a zoologist or even an official scientific illustrator. What I am is an artist with a passion for nature who considers herself an amateur (in the very best sense of the word) naturalist. My nature studies are for learning, documenting, and  remembering all that I see and experience in nature and as a guide to identifying larger cycles and patterns in nature, as well as the particular details of nature. Nature is a living, breathing moving, changing classroom, and these are my notes.

Here's a short list of the things I like to include on each page of a nature joural:

  1. Date and time I am observing
  2. location
  3. weather, including temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction
  4. time of sunrise and sunset
  5. moon phase
  6. the habitat ex. woods, marsh, field etc.
  7. the particular plant or animal
  8. details of fur, feathers, leaf, fruit, blossom or some other interesting part of the whole
  9. the name of my subject and it's binomial nomenclature in Latin
  10. notes of any distinguishing features or behaviors
Beyond that, like I said earlier, I like to note folklore, superstitions, natural remedies, bits of history that are connected to what I'm observing. For me that puts nature into the larger context of my world, or perhaps it puts me, and us into the larger context of nature! 

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