Nature Journaling

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Wenatchee Naturalist Sample Journal Entry

Nature Journaling

The Wenatchee Naturalist course teaches Nature Journaling as a way to record observations and learn plants, animals and ecosystems. The following are some nature journaling resources:

What the Robin Knows  by Jon Young (2013)  A lifelong birder, tracker, and naturalist, Jon Young is guided in his work and teaching by three basic premises: 1. -The robin, junco, and other songbirds know everything important about their environment, be it backyard or forest. 2.-By tuning in to their vocalizations and behavior, we can acquire much of this wisdom for our own pleasure and benefit. 3-The birds’ companion calls and warning alarms are just as important as their songs.  Sign up for Jon’s free  10 week e-course titled, “Bird Language Basics

Keeping a Nature Journal:  Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth (2003).  Reconnect with nature through sketching and writing with these simple methods for capturing the living beauty of each season. Clare Walker Leslie and co-author Charles E. Roth offer easy techniques, exercises, and prompts for all ages.

How to Keep a Naturalist’s Notebook by Susan Leigh Tomlinson (2009).  For nature-lovers, birders, and students of wildlife and biology, keeping a field notebook is essential to accurately recording outdoor observations. This unique guide offers instruction on how to do it–what to look for, what information should be recorded and how to organize it, basic drawing skills using line and color, and incorporating maps and charts, as well as advice on equipment to take in the field and using conventional field guides.

The Laws Guide to Nature  by John Muir Laws (2016)  This is the how-to guide for becoming a better artist and a more attentive naturalist.

Opening the World through Journaling: Integrating art, science, and language arts, 2nd Edition (2016) is written for California Native Plant Society  by John Muir Laws, Emilie Lygren, Emily Breunig, and Celeste Lopez. It teaches children to become keen observers of the natural world by drawing and writing about the plants and animals in situ. In a set of nested games and activities, students gain confidence in drawing and writing to as a way to gather information. Using a set of key prompts, children and adults also discover a language to create poetry from their observations. Purchase softbound or  download free at:

Heather A. Wallis Murphy recommends:

A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place by Hannah Hinchman (1997)  From her home territory in Wyoming’s Northern Rockies, artist-naturalist Hannah Hinchman leads us through fields and canyons, exploring the details of “a world of events” we usually overlook, and helping us to reclaim our senses through the creative disciplines of writing and drawing.

A Victorian Naturalist:  Beatrix Potter’s Drawings from the Armitt Collection by Eileen Jay and Mary Nobel (1992)  One of the most unusual collections of Beatrix Potter’s art is held by a small trust in the English Lake District, the Armitt Library in Ambleside, Cumbria. The collection comprises studies of fossils, archaeological finds, mosses, lichens, microscope drawings and many exceptionally fine fungus paintings. This book contains reproductions of these superb watercolors, along with a commentary by various experts on Beatrix Potter’s scientific work.

The Art of Field Sketching by Leslie Clare Walker (1995)

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition by Betty Edwards (2012) This is the world’s most widely used drawing instruction book. Whether you are drawing as a professional artist, as an artist in training, or as a hobby, this book will give you greater confidence in your ability and deepen your artistic perception, as well as foster a new appreciation of the world around you.