Keeping a nature journal is a great way to learn about the natural world. You can use your journal to record information or observations, sketch or draw plants and animals, and even write down your thoughts. There are no rules when it comes to keeping a nature journal. You can use any paper and pen you have on hand. The only thing that matters is that you enjoy the process!
Tips to Get You Going
The following suggestions will help you get started:
Get outside as often as possible. The more time you spend exploring the outdoors, the more likely you are to find things worth writing about in your journal!
Take notes whenever something unusual happens, such as an animal displaying unusual behavior or an unusually large number of certain species in one place. You don’t need to be an expert in order to make interesting observations — just pay attention!
Make time for nature every day by taking a walk through your neighborhood or local park with your binoculars or camera in hand (or at least easily accessible). You’ll be amazed at how much wildlife you see while traveling from place to place on foot!
Types of Nature Journals
There are many different ways to keep a nature journal:
A traditional notebook and pencil or pen, with drawings and observations written down. This is probably the most common way of keeping a nature journal, and it works well for many people. It’s easy enough to carry around with you and write down your thoughts at any time of day or night, so it’s perfect for anyone who has trouble remembering what they saw when they’re not looking at their notebook!
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A digital camera or phone camera on its own is fine for taking photos of plants and animals, but if you want something more substantial than just photos then consider getting a digital camera specifically designed for nature photography (these are often called macro lenses). If you have an SLR camera then you will probably already have something similar built-in!
The Benefits of Nature Journaling
Here are just a few of the benefits you can enjoy from nature journaling:
It helps you learn more about yourself. If you’ve ever wondered what your core values are or what makes you happy, then nature journaling is for you! As you focus on the things around you, you’ll begin to see patterns emerge. This can help you figure out what works well for you and what doesn’t, so that you can better understand yourself as an individual.
It helps with stress relief. When we’re stressed out and anxious, our minds often go blank when we try to think of something positive to do. But nature is filled with beauty everywhere — even during bad weather! The colors, sounds and smells of nature have been proven to have restorative effects on our minds and bodies. By writing down your thoughts while out in nature, it’s easier to find solutions to problems or simply unwind after a stressful day at work or school.
It helps us connect with nature. As we write about the plants, animals and other aspects of our surroundings, we learn more about them and become more familiar with them. We also begin to notice patterns in nature that we might not have noticed before if we weren’t paying attention so closely.
Nature journaling can help improve your mood by helping you feel more relaxed, peaceful and happy. If you’re feeling stressed out or anxious, writing about it can sometimes relieve those feelings by allowing them to come out into the open instead of hiding inside of you where they may cause problems for both yourself and others around you. So, get outside and get started. And, it may help to keep a record of how you’re feeling each day you do so!