Friday, September 23, 2011

Journaling Around Nature

We aren't huge with nature journals here, but we should be. We love the outdoors, we take slot of walks and quiet time in the wooded lands on and around our homestead here, and the 'nature' keeps coming inside with us...grasshoppers, dragonflies, weird spiders, lizards and definitely a well-rounded assortment of frogs and toads! We draw pictures, sure. We look up interesting notes and the like online, in field guides, and in our go-to resource, The Handbook of Nature Study.

What we don't do, though, is really put our hearts into our nature pages and notebooks. They are rather dry. Just sketches and little note bits to remember something by. Maybe a pressed flower or leaf as well. But no real depth, no heart.

Barb over at The Handbook of Nature Study blog has some great resources and guides. Her ideas have sparked many children, and their parent/teachers, to give heart to their notebooks. She inspires you to be simple in some aspects, but to remember that heart and soul created nature, and heart and soul need to share in it as well. And deep artistic talent isn't even required! Drawing may come naturally to many folks, though I am not one of them, but it doesn't matter. Desire far outweighs talent. And, as with the more traditional journal of thoughts and ideas, it's your notebook...does it matter your maple tree is a bit lopsided? Or your red-breasted robin is looking more like an Angry Bird than a realistic view? Or your clouds are stretched and pulled cotton balls, pasted in, rather than drawn, wispy strings from a 2b pencil?

Trust me, it doesn't matter. Give up on the Van Gogh and Rembrandt ideals...they started somewhere, too, you know. Enjoy nature journalling, enjoy the drawing, enjoy the time spent just soaking up nature's offerings and in time those Van Gogh and Rembrandt moments will come. Practice makes perfect...or at least a very passable copy.

Barb's blog is just too full of wonderful ideas and guides to get your nature journals off and running. And autumn...what better season to start taking in nature's bounty? Yes, I'm a definite autumn and winter person :-) Here are Barb's pages for getting started:
Nature Study Helps
Getting Started
Autumn Challenges
...and I definitely recommend the Outdoor Hour Challenge ebooks she puts together. They look to be the perfect addition to your creative juices.

No, I do not nor have I ever been, compensated by Barb in any way. I merely like to share the good things I find along the way so that someone else can be inspired and encouraged. I promise Barb and The Handbook of Nature Study blog will do just that...inspire and encourage!
-blessings from Hands and Hearts Homestead!

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