Taking the first steps to nature journaling can be quite daunting when you're starting out.
You may have looked at beautiful journals and decided that you could never create something like that, but you can. It just takes time and the willingness to learn.
The most important thing is to start! Five minutes is all it takes; if you don’t draw (yet!) don’t let that stop you.
Find a small book, (a notebook will do).
Take any pen or pencil.
Go outside if you can.*
Take a few deep breaths and relax.
Slow down, and look at the details.
For those five minutes, don't do anything except pay attention to what’s happening in the natural world around you. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
what’s the weather like?
can you feel cold air, a breeze, or heat on your skin?
are there any trees or shrubs ?
look at the different leaf colours and shapes
are there any plants flowering?
can you see buds, or has the plant bloomed and left seedheads?
do you notice birds or insects around; what are they doing?
can you hear any noises?
how do you feel about what you’re seeing?
Write down the things you noticed in your book.
Express what you saw and felt, and what called to you.
Don’t worry if you don’t know the names of things yet.
Make some doodles, or draw little icons, to remind you what you saw.
Date the page so you can look back.
Congratulations! You’ve begun connecting with nature; and recording the wonder!
Try this for a week. Just 5 minutes a day. The more you observe and think, the easier it becomes to stay in the moment and focus on the details.
See how you feel at the end of the week. Are you ready to be stretched a little more, and start drawing? I'll be covering that in the next Nature Journal Practical post.