Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shall We Go A-Journaling?

I can't believe it's snowing again! Last Friday was a warm and sunny day = hot, in fact, in Reno. I had some great but brief moments on the drive over and during various errand stops to view and photograph nature's wonders. A highlight was my encounter with a family of Killdeer near the parking lot in front of Patagonia. While my wife shopped, I carefully pursued the baby Killdeer. Just aggressively enough to elicit the famed broken-wing act of the parents. I posted some of those photos earlier. I got a few good photos this morning, also, despite intermittent rain and snow showers. However, this afternoon the weather is getting more serious. The snow is sticking and it's getting colder. The forecast is for more of the same. A good excuse to slow down, put away the camera, and break out the journal, pens and pencils, and watercolors.
I have a class in Nature Journaling coming up soon, so this is a good time to practice.
Between photography adventures these past few weeks, I've had a lot of fun researching materials for nature journaling, comparing prices and availability of various sketchbooks and drawing and painting media, and also comparing field guides. I've also been gathering highlights from my last few years of nature journaling so I can share stories with my class. I'm also looking forward to hearing their stories of experiences close to nature.
The above three photos are from this year's journal, and I plan to add a few each week, if not every day. Click on each photo for a close-up and the ability to read the text. I'm not Audubon, and I'm not a professional at "botanicals," but I have lots of fun exploring. The main focus of the class will be to learn more about what there is to see/hear/smell/touch/taste in the wilderness and various ways of capturing these experiences in a nature journal. Ultimately, you should personalize your journal. I'll introduce the class to some of my favorite contemporary nature journalists on-line as well as the work of classical naturalists like Audubon, Darwin, Thoreau, and William Bartram. Then, we'll go have fun!


  1. Am enjoying your blog and your journal pages. A while back you wanted to know the name of a flower that you thought might be a dusky horkelia. The horkelia part was correct, but it's a BALLHEADED HORKELIA (Horkelia congesta). You will find many of the dusky horkelia in the meadows around Snake Lake in June to July.

    Also saw a whole meadow filled with henbit just to the left of Main Ranch Road when you turn off Chandler Road. The color is amazing.

  2. I did a little more research, and I believe it's Three-toothed Horkelia, Horkelia tridentata - note the leaves - but thanks for the input. I don't think H. congesta lives around here.