First Quarter Check In

Wow, hard to believe it is May already. It seems like I was just writing about my Nature Study goals for 2019. Well, I have completed a number of written entries in a number of locations (including my notebook on the kitchen counter, my actual nature journal, and even in my sketchbook), what looks like 17 or 18 sketches/drawings and taken a large number of photos, some with film and some with digital. (More images coming in a future post)… 

I have only finished the one book, see post Keeping a Nature Journal. However, I am reading 3 different books at once and I have changed 2 of my books for the year. I am removing Richard Louv — The Nature Principle and  Botany in a Day. Instead I am adding

A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There by Aldo Leopold

(Thank you Steven Rinella from MeatEater)  &

John Muir : Nature Writings: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth; My First Summer in the Sierra; The Mountains of California; Stickeen; Essays

I have not had a chance to get out and go on any hikes yet. But alas, the weather has just now finally broke enough that we can go outside and not be cold. In fact it has been in the upper 60’s and 70’s around here the last few days. If only it would dry up enough to get into the garden.

Leave me a comment and let me know how you are coming along with your Nature Goals for the Year so far.

Here are some of my journal entries:

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Keeping a Nature Journal A Book Review

Keeping a Nature Journal by Claire Walker Leslie and Charles E Roth is both inspiring and invigorating. As an artist of many years, this book gives me the courage to go out and keep doing what I do, only now with a better feel for Keeping a Nature Journal.

There are 4 Parts and 11 Chapters.

Part 1: Getting Started

  1. Discovering Nature Journaling
  2. Beginning Your Journal
  3. A Sampling of Journaling Styles

Part 2: Journaling Through the Seasons

  1. The Ongoing Journal
  2. The Autumn Journal
  3. The Winter Journal
  4. The Spring Journal
  5. The Summer Journal

Part 3: A Seasonal Celebration – A New Selection of Pages from Clare’s Journals

Part 4: Learning and Teaching Nature Journaling

  1. Getting Started with Drawing
  2. Teaching Journaling to Groups of All Ages
  3. Journaling with School Groups

I will be completely honest, I had begun to read this book many a year ago and even flipped through the pages and used some of the pages when I would teach Nature Journaling. That being said, to read it from front cover to back cover, opened my eyes to a myriad of thoughts and ideas I had never thought before. Their idea of Nature Journaling is not simply confined to “Nature” in the most common sense, but nature is tied to each of us, and each of us is tied to nature. Everything is part of nature.

On page 7, they distinguish a diary from a journal; “It is important to note here that whereas a diary or personal journal records your feelings toward yourself or others, a nature journal primarily records your responses to and reflections about the world of nature around you.”

Charles E. Roth states in the Preface, “I wish I had kept a journal that recorded my childhood discoveries of nature, and people’s reactions to them.” It was not until college that he began to take detailed field notes of his natural history observation. I, too, often recall my many discoveries growing up, not just nature, but in life in general. I have often sketched something here or there along the way, but if they are not in a “book” they have been lost among the many moves I have made over the years.

Last year, I began to sketch a few more things here and a few more things there. I take my sketchbook, aka, Nature Journal, with me, everywhere I go. There are many times, like at the airport or in the hotel, I wish now I had sketched or painted instead of using the camera. The camera just doesn’t really begin to capture what my eyes truly see.

This book does not start off with a lot of you should do this and you should do that, or you need this item and you need that item, it begins with an introduction to recording nature. “Nature journaling is the regular recording of observations, perceptions, and feelings about the natural world around you.  The recording can be done in a wide variety of ways, depending on the individual journalist’s interest, background, and training.” (p. 5). It goes on to talk about the medium and the format and their point is, you can record anything and everything in any form using any medium, drawing, writing lists of what you see, the weather, a poem, notes to look something up later. YOUR nature journal is ALL yours. There is no right and there is no wrong way to use it. The key is TO USE IT!

The benefits of nature journaling are far and wide and to list them all, would be tedious and cumbersome. The two most important benefits I take from nature journaling are the time to slow down and really see what I am seeing – is that a Northern Cardinal or is that a Tangier? Is that a Grackle or is that another type of black bird? Are those barn swallows or house swallows? Are my cherry trees really beginning to bloom already? By recording these observations in written and in sketch form, I now have a recording of who is visiting my property and when. I can then look back year after year to see if the populations are increasing or have I lost some of my bird friends? I can tell you after a few years if the cherry trees beginning to bud in February was a fluke or if it is a regular occurrence.

The key information to record in your nature journal when observing: (written or drawn)

  • Your name àunless it is written inside the cover of your journal
  • The date
  • The place
  • The time (does not have to be the exact time)
  • Weather
  • First impressions
  • Wind direction
  • Cloud patters and cloud cover

Begin Drawing:

  • Ground observations
  • Eye-level observations
  • Overhead observations
  • Whole-landscape observations

The wealth of information covered in this book is too much to include in this one blog. I may come back at a later time and cover some of the other parts of the book that I found very useful and helped me find my way. But at this time, I would recommend this book to ANY beginner or novice nature journaler. It will give you the confidence you need to go out there and put the pencil to paper, so to speak.

Journaling Through The Seasons

If you have read this far. Thank you. I do not receive any financial income from any person for discussing their work. I do not have any affiliations with any book store or any company. In all honesty, if you can go out and buy the book used or have your local Independent Book Seller bring it in for you, that is a much more feasible way to purchase the book.

So, for now, have a great day and I look forward to seeing ya’ll real soon. Feel free to leave a comment or a link to your posts.

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Here is the Scoop

I have a calendar and I have a plan. And I am 3 weeks behind my plan already. My goal is to post something every other week, at least, sometimes more in a week, sometimes less. So you may see this post today, and then see another later this week. This is my way to get my voice heard.

So what you will see here is a conglomeration of things:

  • Nature Study Updates
  • Nature Study Book Project Updates
  • Writings, musing, and photos about my garden, the farm, the challenges, and the successes
  • Writings about life in general and thoughts that run through my head
  • Writings about my personal businesses: Lucky 7 Studios and Adams Consulting
  • Comments, thoughts, etc… about other peoples writings/posts
  • Writings about my research and being published — which by the way I just submitted an article for a magazine right before I wrote this — will keep you updated!
  • Other things I am involved in — for example: Salem Second Saturday — Come pARTy! in Downtown Salem as we celebrate the ARTS! (August 10, 2019) and other things
  • My art, quilting, sketching, and miscellaneous musings.

Posted in 2019, Adams Consulting, Art, Garden, Lucky 7 Studios, Nature Journal, Quilting, research, sewing, Thoughts, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nature Book Project for 2019

As promised in the Post Nature Study Goals 2019, here is my list of books for 2019. In trying to keep my, sometimes lofty, goals more manageable, I have only chosen 5 for this year. Each title will take you to a link where you can purchase the book or find more information. I do not receive any compensation if you choose to follow the link. 

“For many of us, thinking about the future conjures up images of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road: a post-apocalyptic dystopia stripped of nature. Richard Louv, author of the landmark bestseller Last Child in the Woods, urges us to change our vision of the future, suggesting that if we reconceive environmentalism and sustainability, they will evolve into a larger movement that will touch every part of society. This New Nature Movement taps into the restorative powers of the natural world to boost mental acuity and creativity; promote health and wellness; build smarter and more sustainable businesses, communities, and economies; and ultimately strengthen human bonds. Supported by groundbreaking research, anecdotal evidence, and compelling personal stories, Louv offers renewed optimism while challenging us to rethink the way we live.”

  • The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling– John Muir Laws. This book is one I already own and was looking at it here and there over the last few years. It has been on my list of books for many a year. So this year, I will read it through. You can find out more about John Muir Law on his website. https://johnmuirlaws.comThere is so much inspiration.

“The ultimate guide to nature drawing and journaling! A potent combination of art, science, and boundless enthusiasm, the latest art instruction book from John Muir Laws (The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds) is a how-to guide for becoming a better artist and a more attentive naturalist. In straightforward text complemented by step-by-step illustrations, dozens of exercises lead the hand and mind through creating accurate reproductions of plants and animals as well as landscapes, skies, and more. Laws provides clear, practical advice for every step of the process for artists at every level, from the basics of choosing supplies to advanced techniques. While the book’s advice will improve the skills of already accomplished artists, the emphasis on seeing, learning, and feeling will make this book valuable—even revelatory—to anyone interested in the natural world, no matter how rudimentary their artistic abilities.”

“Experience the splendor of nature with fresh eyes! Featuring an inspiring portfolio from Clare Walker Leslie’s nature journals, this guide offers easy-to-learn techniques for capturing the world around you in pictures and words. Encouraging you to make journaling a part of your daily routine, Keeping a Nature Journal is full of engaging exercises and stimulating prompts that will help you hone your powers of observation and appreciate new aspects of nature’s endlessly varied beauty.”

“Looking for a faster, easier, and engaging way to identify plants? Related plants have similar characteristics, and they often have similar uses. Rather than learning new plants one-at-a-time, it is possible to learn them by the hundreds, based on plant family patterns.

Each family of related plants has unique patterns for identification. Learn to recognize these patterns, and discover them again and again in the plants you encounter. It is possible to instantly recognize a plant never before seen, and in many cases, to know its edible or medicinal properties on the spot-even before you have identified it down to the species!

Botany in a Day is changing the way people learn about plants. A one-day tutorial introduces eight of the world’s most common plant families, applicable to more than 45,000 species of plants. Master these eight patterns and have the skills to recognize an astonishing number of plants on any continent. Add to your repertoire by keying out entirely unknown plants and learning additional family patterns.
Botany in a Day is principally written for North America, but used and adored by readers all over the world. It is used as a textbook in numerous universities, high schools, and herbal schools. This book is widely used in nature programs and promoted in national parks. Botany in a Day is your passport connection to nature and discovering the amazing world of plants!”

  • Walden– Henry David Thoreau. This is a book I had been reading and set aside. There is so much to learn about so many topics, not just nature, but also minimalism and the cost of living. The link is to the book I own and where I purchased. 

Henry David Thoreau was a sturdy individualist and a lover of nature. In March, 1845, he built himself a wooden hut on the edge of Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts, where he lived until September 1847. Walden is Thoreau’s autobiographical account of his Robinson Crusoe existence, bare of creature comforts but rich in contemplation of the wonders of nature and the ways of man. 

You do not want to miss the book reviews as I read through these in 2019, so be sure to follow along by subscribing to the blog. I promise I will NEVER rent, sell, lease, or give your contact information away. 

What books are in Your Nature Book Project for 2019? Leave me a comment and a link. 

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Nature Study Goals for 2019

I received an email from Barbara McCoy of the Outdoor Hour Challenge titled Nature Book Project 2019. This sent me down an Internet Rabbit Hole, not only on her website, but into many a place.

It appears as if the end of 2018 is around the corner and it is time to begin thinking of goals for 2019. I usually set a list of goals that covers front and back of a page (I still need to see what goals I may not have completed from this year). This year I feel I need to break it down into more manageable pieces. Nature Study is something I have enjoyed most of my life even though most of the “study” part has been hit or miss. During a rough patch last year, my mother suggested instead of just photographing nature, I ought to draw it. It needn’t to be perfect, you never have to show anyone. So, below I am listing my Nature Study Goals for 2019. Make sure to subscribe so you do not miss an update. You never know what will happen.

  1. Choose 5 – 10 Nature Study books: I have only chosen 5, so as not to become overly ambitious. I will post these in a separate post with a little more detail.
  2. Begin work on a long-term photo project –> I am choosing Farming through the Seasons in NE and East Central Ohio. This will be a multi-year project.
  3. Begin work on a long-term sketch project –>  My goal is to sketch my property corner to corner (3 acres). This is a multi-year project also. I think for 2019 I will work on the overall layout of the property. The final goal is to write a field guide to my property.
  4. Visit 1 new Ohio State Park that I have not visited. Reference: Ohio State Department of Natural Resources.
  5. Visit 1 new National Park. Reference: Passport To Your National Parks® program
  6.  Choose one or two hikes from the following guides and hike: Follow the Blue Blazes: A Guide to Hiking Ohio’s Buckeye Trail, Trail Guide to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, or Hiking Ohio, A Guide to the State’s Greatest Hikes.
  7. Complete a total of 52 Nature Journal Entries for the year.
  8. Choose 1 plant in my garden and sketch it from seed to plate (so to speak).
  9. Visit 2 places of Ohio History (there is nature everywhere and many to be found in historic locations) that are found in Ohio History Connection using the Passport to Ohio History.

Leave me a comment with your 2019 Nature Study Goals for 2019. I am looking forward to reaching our goals together.

Be sure to subscribe to my blog to keep up on all the great happenings and to follow along with my Nature Journal Goals for 2019. I promise your email address will be safe with me. I will not rent, sell, lease, or give it away.

I am not compensated for any link you may click from this article. Every one has been checked as the date of publishing this entry. 28Dec2018_JAA.

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The Meaning of Christmas

Update 26 December 2018…

Dear Readers and followers, 

I am slightly saddened by the lack of interest or even free thinking people out there. Anyway, it is the day after Christmas 2018. I have, however, regained my faith in humanity. Even with the over-commercialization of the holiday, I saw many a person doing good for others and expecting not a thing in return. 

In my house, the only one to receive a gift was, you guessed it, the dog.

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I may not have had “gifts” in the form that I could open, under my tree, but I received them all through the holiday season. We went and spent Saturday with my grandmother and that side of my family. Grandma (turned 86 this past 18th) insists on cooking to make everyone happy and then some, would not sit down for more than 2 minutes, even when she handed out the gifts to the great-grands. But we spent time with her, my brother (he is awesome and knows me so well), my dad and the cousins that were there.

Then we stopped over to see a friend who didn’t even expect us to stop. (We were just 10 minutes down the road). Instead of gifts, I put a basked together (I should have taken a photo – darn) with homemade cookies, fudge, jam, banana bread, and zucchini bread, and delivered. I played throw the ball (forever down the hall) with his parents dog (they are in a nursing home now) Zoey, she is a doll. 

But my holiday gifts do not end there….. 

Christmas Eve, although it started with a visit to my Dr. (yes she was in the office) was pretty rocking awesome for this small town country girl. After the Dr., we went and spent a few hours at my mom and step dads. And I got to play with their dog, Daisy May. Wow, is she a handful, but she will tell you she loves you, so cute. (The photo here is her looking to see if anyone is looking before she jumps on the chair to steal the homemade treats (cookies) I brought for her. )

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I did receive the most beautiful jewelry box that has a music box in it from my mom. It brought tears to my eyes (even now as I write this). Once again, we put a goody basket together for them also (but they has homemade applesauce in theirs). It was nice to sit and visit without any expectations or the chaos that usually ensues on Christmas Day. 

Ah yes, the best part of the holiday, the best gift of all, came at Andy’s Parents. His son and wife brought the grand-baby over. It is amazing how happy a person can be just to get to observe from the outside the love that is there for the grand-children. He is the cutest thing. (Yes, cuter then the dogs I got to enjoy and visit with). I would put a picture of him up, but…. I have not asked permission. But the visit with everyone there was nice. It was another calm and quiet (as it can be with a 1 year old crawling all over) restful visit. 

Christmas Day, we sat and watched TV pretty much all day long after I made french toast and scrambled eggs.

Whew…. so as you can see, gifts do not have to come in shiny paper with sparkles and bows. They come in the tiny things, the small details. 

Hope your holidays were blessed,

Jennifer


Original Post:

Dear Readers and followers,

Today, I am reaching out to each and every one of you. Help me understand the meaning of Christmas or the Holiday Season. Today is Winter Solstice, some consider it a Pagan Holiday. I see the holiday season more as an over commercialization most days. The days of yore, times past, are long gone. The times of huge family and friend gatherings are over as people spend more money and spend time only with those that can do something for them (i.e. the biggest gift, the most expensive gift, etc.).

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and seeing your replies and restoring my faith in humanity. I will follow up with this post next week. Keep an eye out. 

In the meantime, Merry Christmas to you and yours. 

~Jennifer A Adams

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Nana under the Christmas Tree being “innocent”

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Coming soon….

Here is where we are with the coming soon….

In the next few months I will be posting a series of posts that have been rolling around my head for the last few months.

  1. 2017 in Review (this may take the form of Month to Month or event by event) — let us change this to 2018 with some takes on 2017.
  2. Lessons Learned from Gardening (2017 completed, 2018 coming soon….)
  3. Lessons Learned from Writing a Masters Thesis — with tips on how to get it done (This will be in the future)
  4. Analog vs Digital. The Pros. The Cons.
  5. Future Blog/Website Goals/Plans
  6. Dear Potential Employers…. and the pitfalls of searching for employment)

 

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