I was so excited when I discovered nature journaling a few years ago. It brought together my love of observing nature and taking notes about seasonal changes, weather patterns, plant identification and cycles, and animal behaviours, with my love of painting and sketching with watercolour and pen. It is a wonderfully meditative and present way of deepening our connection with nature, and learning more about our local area. If you were interested in the idea of creating a local wheel of the year, as discussed in my book Australian Druidry, you will probably find the e-book I have released about nature journaling to be very helpful with putting your observations into a visual journal that will help you to tell the story of your year.
Nature journaling for me helps me to slow down, take time to be in nature, or to study as aspect of my local area that I'd like to get to know better. It helps me to keep records of changes, and create beautiful memories of those points through the year where I notice changes occur.
I have also really loved how nature journaling is a practice of self-care. When we see it as an intimate process of expressing ourselves - similarly to a text journal where we record our thoughts and feelings - it becomes a practice in being kind to ourselves, letting go of the inner critic, allowing ourselves to be imperfect, and knowing that it's turning up for the work that makes the difference, not "being good".
In early 2023 I started teaching classes on nature journaling at the Good Earth Bookshop in Wentworth Falls. You can find out about these in person classes here, and can book a spot to join me through their website. This has only deepened my passion for sharing the practice. I've loved seeing my students engage with the topics and learn to thrive through their artmaking and connection with the land. But I have many friends and followers who would love to join me, yet live too far away, so for you, my lovelies, I have created an e-book for you to get started and learn in your own time. You can read more about it here.
What I love the most about nature journaling is that it's something everyone can enjoy. No matter where you live, or what your artistic abilities are, no matter your beliefs or non-beliefs, we can all enjoy the process of taking time out to observe the world around us and record our observations through art and reflection. Our subjects could be humble weeds in a pavement, or vast expanses of forest and mountains. It could be tropical rockpools at the beach, or fossils found in the dessert. Every place offers us opportunities for observation, connection and wonder. What will your nature journal look like?