Nature is fleeting: Flowers fade. Leaves fall. Soon snow will cover everything. But keeping a nature journal is a great way to savor each season while it’s here.
You don’t have to be a master naturalist or artist to create a nature journal, and the gear is minimal. Just grab any old notebook (or buy a nice new one if you want to treat yourself), grab a pen or pencil (or colored pencils) and you’re ready. On your next hike, start filling the pages.
Your journal might include:
- Natural phenomena (blooming flowers, dabbling ducks, mushrooms, etc.)
- Species list (plants, animals, fungi, etc.)
- Date and time of observations (bloom times, leaf drop, etc.)
- Weather or unusual conditions
- Wildlife sightings
- Personal thoughts, feelings or ideas
- Drawings (some people sketch quick pictures in the field and then add detail at home)
- A record of where you walked (trail name, number of miles, landmarks, maybe even a map)
- Things to look up later
- Nature questions
- Printed photos you take on the trail
- Anything else you can think of!
Don’t worry if your journal is not a masterpiece right off the bat. The more sketches you make and observations you record, the better it will get. Most importantly, you’ll be more likely to notice and remember more from each nature adventure.