How to: create a nature journal!

How to: create a nature journal!

Exploring nature seems hard when we’re supposed to be isolated – but nature doesn’t exist only in a park or faraway place, it’s all around us. And creating a nature journal is a great way to show that.

What you need:

  • Notebook or other material to write on.
  • Pencils! Crayons! Markers! Watercolours!
  • Binoculars, magnifying glass or other exploratory aids.
  • Glue stick (optional)
  • Imagination and curiosity (necessary)

Remember to wash your hands and equipment before and after you leave the house while we’re undergoing self isolation and social distancing; if you’re quarantined please do not leave the house. Also avoid anywhere more than one or two people may be such as parks and popular trails.

How to do it:

  • Write down who you seen and when: birds, furry local wildlife, amphibians and reptiles are all out and about as spring arrives. Without touching or bugging the animals, try to list all those you see.
  • Take a closer look: use your magnifying glass to look at fresh and old leaves, tree bark, spring buds on plants and more. You may even get lucky and see a caterpillar inching along (what kind of butterfly do you think they’ll turn into?)!
  • Use all your senses: look at the window or go outside and think about what you can smell, what you can hear, how the sun or shade feels and write it all down.
  • If you come across any leaves on the ground that look nice, pick them up (but remember to use hand sanitizer if you’re touching things outside) to bring home. Don’t puck fresh growth!
  • Put it all together! Use your artistic and creative skills to draw, paint, colour or otherwise illustrate the critters you saw outside. If you looked at things under a magnifying glass you can use pens and fine tip markers to get into detail, but focus mostly on form and colour. If you picked up leaves you can find neat ways to add them to your journal by checking out these tips.

Remember to add the date and weather to your sightings and journal pages so you can look back and see how things change as spring turns to summer!

Most of all SHARE your nature journal! Show your friends and family how much fun it can be to be curious and explore nature from wherever you are. For example, in a ten-minute viewing period a supporter saw from a basement window in a Hamilton, Ontario home: two squirrels, three birds, a feral cat and blustery leaves. Send us a picture of your pages or tag us in social media and we’ll happily share.


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