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Nature journaling: Sketching, writing down what you see helps make connection to the outdoors | Home/Garden – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-09-20 10:30:00 –

Since most of the beginnings of human time on Earth, people have recorded observations of nature. They painted on the walls of the cave and told stories on teepees and sheepskins.

And we are still doing it.

Matthew Herron, founder and director of education at the Coastal Plains Outdoor School, states that portraying what you see in nature with perceptions and emotions about the world around you is one of the best ways to connect with the outdoors. increase.

By placing a pen or pencil on paper without using a camera or phone, you can capture textures and colors with pictures and words for detailed observation.

By drawing and writing, you put yourself in the moment and stimulate most of your senses.

Heron said that you don’t have to be artistic to write a diary.

“You are making sketches, not pictures,” he said. “We discourage artists from adding too many frills and cute things, or adding things that aren’t there.

“You haven’t learned how to draw,” he added. “You are learning how to see.”

Both young people and adults can enjoy the observation records and it is a great way to explore the outdoors together.

“The main thing is to write things down using explanations,” Heron said.

It works with any notebook, not just pencils and pens. Heron later suggested adding color if you were so inclined after the field observation was sketched.

“You’ll find a journal that’s sized and shaped to fit in a portable or shirt or trouser pocket, or a comfortable fanny pack. Some people swear a big book because they can fill the pages freely.”

No matter what size journal you choose, Heron focused on what you were looking at and encouraged you not to worry about completing your painting.

“It should be the exact opposite of being perfect,” he said.

A good way to practice journaling is to do a drill, such as taking a minute to draw a particular bird. Acting quickly allows you to focus on the important elements of the bird rather than all the details.

“It’s a good training for journaling,” he said.

Here are Heron’s suggestions on what to write and draw in the journal during the Nature Walk:

  • Location: City, State, Park — Include a habitat description. Include a description of the first inhabitation, especially on ridges, forest edges, and interiors.
  • Weather: Temperature, Wind Direction, Wind Speed, Humidity, Barometric Pressure; Use Cloud Chart or Beaufort Scale.
  • Biological Phenology: What is in bloom and which birds are singing / nesting.
  • Create a focused collection: Carefully select lists such as “Blackwater Grasshoppers” and “French Town Seeds”.
  • Customize Maps: Use different scales to create purposeful maps such as “Big Trees in Hilltop Arboretum” and Girard Park.
  • Landscape Profile: Shows changes in elevation and moisture gradient.
  • Color Palette: Color your journal with natural pigments such as soil, flowers and berries.
  • Sound: Beware of the sounds of birds and insects.

Ultimately, Heron said she would choose a natural phenomenon that would stimulate your interests.

“Nature journals are great for yourself and it’s even more fun to share with you and friends who want to do it,” Heron said.

Financial resources



  • “Law Guide to Drawing and Journaling Nature” by John Muir Loews
  • “Maintaining the Natural Journal” by Claire Walker Leslie
  • “A Coyote Guide to Connecting with Nature” by John Young
  • “Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Nature Observation and Tracking” by Tom Brown Jr.
  • “Reading the American Landscape” by May Theilgaard Watts
  • Eric Sloan’s “The Weather Book”
  • “How to Teach Nature Journaling” by John Muir Loews and Emily Riglen

Check out John Muirlows and David Allen on YouTube for the video.

Nature journaling: Sketching, writing down what you see helps make connection to the outdoors | Home/Garden Source link Nature journaling: Sketching, writing down what you see helps make connection to the outdoors | Home/Garden

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