Art of Observation
“Drawing and observing are mutually reinforcing activities,” Clare Walker Leslie and Charles Roth write in Keeping a Nature Journal. They suggest starting with simple paper or a notebook you like (Moleskines and Clairefontaines are great). Experiment with a selection of felt-tip and rolling ball pens, or try old-fashioned and mechanical pencils. When you’re ready for color, start with Berol Prismacolor pencils or Derwent watercolor pencils.
Nature journaling doesn’t need to be a solitary act. My family keeps a shared notebook at my mother’s cottage. My mom makes poetic descriptions of light on the water, I make detailed lists of bird species, and my mother’s partner leaves cryptic notes about which of her secret spots has yielded the best berries. Visitors are asked to share a moment from their stay. Over time, with our many voices, we are telling the story of our shared place.
Read the rest of Jake Miller’s feature on how to nurture your connection with nature here.