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Following inspiration: Nasturtiums

Following inspiration: Nasturtiums

On this particular day, I wandered around looking for something to capture my attention. The nasturtium flowers were in full bloom and I have been wanting to study them. Here is a series of photos showing the process of how I nature journaled this page.…

Nature Journaling Small Mammals (Video)

Nature Journaling Small Mammals (Video)

 

The PG Museum Series

Nature Journaling is far more than knowing how to sketch. It’s about reconnecting to nature, observing what lies around us, and deepening our relationship to the natural world through curiosity and wonder.

Spark in Nature’s Melinda Nakagawa and Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History (PGMNH) partners to bring this series o you.

Let’s go on a journey to opening our eyes to nature around us, while building our own nature journal with museum specimens!

Support the Museum and Spark in Nature

This event series is free and open to all.

However, at this time, your donations make a huge difference to the Museum and to Melinda. Your gift ensures that we can continue to bring these and more free events to the community. Thank you!

The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History : Donate to PGMuseum 

Melinda at Spark in Nature:  Donate to Spark in Nature

We have partnered in our shared mission to inspire discovery, wonder, and stewardship of our natural world.

What to bring?

All levels of experience are welcome.

Bring a journal/paper, a pencil, and your curiosity!

Optional: your favorite color media, colored pencils or watercolor.

For more free Sunday Nature Journaling: See Calendar here 

Drowning in the details? Intention is the lifeline that can get you out.

Drowning in the details? Intention is the lifeline that can get you out.

Sometimes during a nature journaling session, I find myself getting caught up in drawing minute details: every feather, hundreds of pollen specks, or pinecone scales . This can be painfully time-consuming! Sometimes I might want to show this level of detail because its a point…

Micro safari: live plankton sketching with Pacific Plankton (Video)

Micro safari: live plankton sketching with Pacific Plankton (Video)

The Monterey Bay Journal Club had a special guest: Janai Southworth, host of PacificPlankton who shared microscope views of live plankton from the waters of San Francisco Bay. Plankton are tiny organisms that drift in the ocean. They come in a rich diversity of shapes,…

More Words: Adding Poetry to your Nature Journal (Video)

More Words: Adding Poetry to your Nature Journal (Video)

By incorporating words with pictures, the nature journal become more that a record of an experience, but tells a story of what happened during time in nature.

This Sunday we’ll look at using descriptive words, simile, and simple poetry in our nature journal pages.


Simple Poem: Who am I?

We made a list of as many analogies about our nature subject as we could come up with. Then we plugged those analogies into a poem template, to create a nature poem.

Adapted from activity “Ten Analogies” from Opening the world through Nature Journaling, by John Muir Laws. Available for download at johmuirlaws.com

Example Poem:

Barnacle
Volcano,
Chalky, tree stump
Secretly you are a bowl for fairies
An ant thinks you like a swimming pool
When I saw you in a dream,
I thought you were the submerged volcanic crater of Molokini
But everyone knows you are really
An entire planet home for miniature invertebrates

Recording of Session


Member pages

PG Museum series: #1 Native Plants (Video)

PG Museum series: #1 Native Plants (Video)

Nature Journal at the Museum Series Nature Journaling is far more than knowing how to sketch. It’s about reconnecting to nature, observing what lies around us, and deepening our relationship to the natural world through curiosity and wonder. Spark in Nature’s Melinda Nakagawa and Pacific…

Mystery uncovered

Mystery uncovered

Behind the murder (the murder of crows, that is) I’ve been trying to solve this mystery for the past few months. In the mornings during my sit spot, I sit in my yard and listen for birds and observe what’s going on around me. Several…

Lighting Storm

Lighting Storm

Early Sunday morning we awoke to flashing lights. An amazing lighting storm was blazing over the distant mountains. We watched from about 1:15- 2:45 am.

I’ve never seen a lightning storm so this was a treat for me. It was a hot evening (65 degrees F.). It was 1:15 AM when my husband woke us up to see the sky.

We stood outside watching this fascinating show. Lighting shooting from the sky down to the ground in bright squiggly lines. At times we only saw a glow as the lightning was obscured by clouds.

In the night sky above us, we can clearly see the planet Jupiter, (also the Roman god of sky and thunder).

I notice… and wonder…

As I stood taking in this incredible sight I knew I needed to get my nature journal. I want to record as much as I could so I can remember this experience. In the darkness, I scribbled notes and shapes of the lightning. It stimulated so many questions!

How does lightning work? Why is there no thunder? Is there rain? There are so many strikes- why so many? Oh, I see its expanding! OOh- it’s striking from cloud to cloud! This one looks like it’s over the ocean- what happens when it hits the water? Does it electrocute the animals? How long will this go on?

Created this page in the morning with highlights of the evening. I recorded the data in graphs –visual format to show numbers in an easier-to-understand format.

Adding numbers to my journal

There were so many strikes I decided to record the frequency- how many hits per time interval. I set a 30 second timer on my phone and counted each lighting strike.

The funny thing is that Sunday mornings Nature Journal Club session topic was NUMBERS!! So it was fun to use numbers in as many ways as I could.

I also noticed that the extent of the lightning expanded over time. It spread out horizontally and vertically– it appeared to be moving toward us!

I am reminded of a quote referring to how to deepen your sense of wonder:

“What if I had never seen this before?

What if I knew I would never see it again?”

Rachel Carson
First page- notes taken in the dark during the lightning watch.

Observe something new today. Dive in wholeheartedly. Notice what you see. Write down all questions that pop into your head without filtering them. Allow yourself to wonder without the need to find the answers right away. Fully enjoy this moment with nature.

Galaxies in petunias

Galaxies in petunias

This year my petunias are overflowing with blossoms! They remind me of the starry night sky. A deep blue-purple with spattered white markings that fade around the margins- like galaxies! It makes me so happy look at them. This morning it was my inspiration for…

Scallion watch and surprise

Scallion watch and surprise

The inspiration We used our kitchen scraps and took a carrot top, and planted it, wondering if it would grow another carrot. Pretty quickly it grew a cluster of green leaves from the top, which eventually produced flowers! Now we have a cluster of carrot…