Second Quarter Check In

Good Afternoon and Happy Friday,

I am quite grateful it is Friday. It seems to have been a long week. But at the same time, it seems like it was just March yesterday. So lets review my goals:

Read books: the only book I may have finished reading (ok, skimming through) is the Farm and Dairy Newspaper once in a while.

Long Term Photo Project — Farming through the seasons. I see the farmers out and see the animals walking here or there and there is so much to see, but alas, I have not had much chance to stop and take photos. I do however, have a handful that I might put up here from the last year or two. But to be honest, most of the farmers here were under water for weeks on end and some did not even plant a crop and those that did, planted late.

Long Term Sketch project — sketch my property corner to corner. I guess if you look at the big picture, I may not be sketching the “trees” but I have been sketching around my property. (Photos to come)

Visit 1 new state park, visit one new National Park, Ohio History Project (visit 2 places), and Take 2 hikes from field guides — well we are like the farmers around here — make hey when the sun shines. We were under water for two weeks right after planting season (we had like 4 inches of rain or more in just as many days) and it took a week or so after that for us to be able to get in the garden and it has been one thing after another — rain, heat, bugs, disease — it is amazing anything is still alive.

52 Nature Journal Entries — written or sketched: I have 40 and it is just August 9th. I do believe I will complete this one, as not only do I have almost 5 months yet but I also did not count all the nature journal entries in my little book.

One plant in garden from seed to plate — I almost have this one. I have it sketched in the garden, still need to do the seed, and then the plate. –> unless we count the apple trees then all I need is two more there too… darn… 🙂

So there we have it, all my sketches in the sketchbook from the second quarter. Did any of you choose to have some nature goals for 2019? If so, how are you doing?

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.

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.