A Nature Journal is a very perfect start to improve your observation skills. Let me take you on a small journey – let´s start Nature Journaling together!!
Why a Nature Journal?
I am very curious about the things which are going on in my garden, at the field beside my house and in the forest area I walk with the dog every day.
Learning about plants, animals, insects and all the nature around is for every nature lover a passion. To keep things in mind and remember important discoveries there is one essential tool all Naturalist´s are all using: the Nature Journal.
It is a personal documentation of your journey into the world of Nature – it´s a observation tool which is a collection of all your knowledge, discoveries, thoughts and questions your find on the path of mother nature. You can be a scout of your region, find new things, and explore all the beautiful locations around you.
Important is, as a tool of observation your Nature Journal should always be with you outdoors.
What´s inside a Nature Journal? Make it your own style!
Important is that your Nature Journal is only for you and your work in nature. You should keep it simple and easy. You should keep your motivation. Here is the secret:
A Nature Journal is an outdoor tool for observation. It doesn’t need to be be pretty, artistic or perfect organized. It must fit for your way of your Naturalist work.
The essential parts of the Nature Journal are:
|WRITTEN DOCUMENTATION||STATISTICAL DOCUMENTATION||VISUAL DOCUMENTATION|
|Basic data: date, time, weather condition, temperature, location||Tables (time tables, course tables f.ex. moon, growing tables)||Drawings or paintings of your subject in detail and different angles|
|Observation details of your subject, description of things you mentioned||Measurements (Sizes, distances, hight, …)||Maps (of your hike, the area, the region)|
|Facts your already know, changes your recognized||Counts (how many, how often, …)||Painting or drawing of the location, landscape|
|Questions during your observation||Recording sheets of different events (f.ex. ebb & flow, planet moving, …)||Color Charts of your subject|
What type of Nature Journalist are you?
You are more writer than painter?
That is ok – because you can do it the writer´s way. If you feel painting and drawing is not yours, then write descriptions as documentation and let your text do the work.
By creating a clever system of symbols and short cuts you can have a very effective documentation of your nature treasures. And if you feel, you want try a little bit drawing – just try it and see how far your can go.
You are more a statistician than a writer?
If you are addicted into tables and statistics, your will have endless opportunities to express this in your Nature Journal.
If you find different ways to track, measure and record things and add a cool visual code, you will find a very nice possibilities to do this in nature.
You are more an artist than a scientific?
If you love to paint and to draw then go for it. If you feel, you have not enough Naturalist knowledge, you can relax. Important is, that you go out and follow your artistic instinct. You can think of buying a identification book later. After a little bit routine you learn more and more by going out to Nature.
You are a scientific and don´t know where to start?
In the beginning it is better to choose a special segment you can focus on – f.ex. plants, insects, mammals or rocks.
Or you choose a different area like mountain regions, sea & coast.
You live in the city?
No problem – I am sure you have a park in your area. Botanical Gardens, Zoos, Parks and Museums give perfect possibilities to start. If you look closer into your neighborhood there must be a lot of urban wildlife going on. Take attention to it!
You live at the country side?
Great, paradise is in front of you – start in your garden first and check what you find there.
As you see – it doesn’t´t matter what kind of Nature Journalist type you are – it is important, that you have fun and enjoy your Naturalist journey.
How to set up a Nature Journal?