What is Nature Journaling

Journal page with drawing with watercolor kit and water brush
Nature Journaling uses pictures, words and numbers to describe what we see in nature.

What is Nature Journaling?

Nature journaling is recording our observations, thoughts, and questions about nature using a combination of words, pictures and numbers.

The focus is less about making pretty drawings and more about reflecting our direct observations in nature.

To begin, all we need is a

  • journal (or paper)
  • a pencil
  • sense of curiosity, and willingness to give it a try.

We start by observing nature closely, and asking questions about what we see. By using all our senses, we awaken to seeing things that were unseen before, hearing things we never heard before, and making connections about the plants and animals around us.

When we journal, we are focused on this one thing, and it has a meditative effect, and calms the nervous system.

Keeping a nature journal, allows us to wee the world with fresh eyes, stimulate curiosity and a sense of wonder. All this:

deepens our awareness of nature,

expands our knowledge of the natural world, and

improve our memory of the details.


Benefits of Nature Jounaling

Giving attention to nature has a multitude of positive effects.

  • reduces stress
  • relaxing, and meditative
  • increasing sense of well-being,
  • stimulate healing, and
  • get out of ‘fight-or-flight’ mode into ‘rest-and-recovery’.
  • Being outdoors gets us to move our bodies, breathe fresh oxygen, sunshine for Vitamin D production.

Drawing is a skill and NOT a talent.

That means it’s possible for anyone to improve drawing skills! Our brains continue to growth throughout our lives.

So shift to the attitude that you can learn to draw. Then, repetition with effort will strengthen our skills! It takes some guidance and practice or as John Muir Laws calls “pencil miles”.

The more you set your pencil to paper and draw the faster the results.

Journaling with others is way more fun, gets you motivated, and you can expand your learning. You can do this from home because we meet virtually!


Join us for live virtual Nature Journaling Sundays

The Monterey Bay Nature Journal Club welcomes you to join us! Every Sunday morning, 9:30am Pacific Standard Time, US online.

Look here for the the Schedule and Zoom link.


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