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Nature Journaling: Finding Nature at Home during the Summer
Thursday, June 11, 2020 @ 8:00 am - Friday, July 31, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
Monthly Nature Journaling: Summer Solstice 2020
Journaling Guide: Joy Bridy
Registration for this event is not required, but we encourage you to enter your contact information using the form below, so we can be in touch with future field journaling opportunities.
With the approach of Midsummer, or Summer Solstice, the sun is staying up in our Northern Hemisphere skies longer and longer each day. With these longer day hours, I often have to remind myself to take breaks, pace myself, as the short days of winter when I wanted to wring every last drop of daylight out of a day are well behind us, at least for these quick summer months. One of the ways that I take breaks is by allowing myself to be stopped by wonder. Why hurry when it’s hot and humid, and there is so much happening in the natural world to enjoy?
Whether it’s the emerging praying mantis, clustering in bundles along the pine needles (eating each other), or the spectacular details of a pink and yellow Rosy Maple Moth clinging to a white clover stem as shade turns to evening. Sometimes, I track the new growth on a plant or tree for a few days, inspired by their ability to change so quickly. Other times, I may watch for the moon, guessing the phase that it is most likely in, what time it will rise or set, and seeing how accurate I can get.
One of my new favorite habits, though, is to create funny little maps of my favorite places. This week, I decided to draw an accurate map of my home place by tracing a printed out Google map, locating the edges and the buildings, then creating a ‘tree map’ that is not really accurate, but more in the spirit of marking the trees that I know. Each time I attempt to list the trees here, either species or specific trees, I am amazed at how many trees are here, many of which I have planted, but also how many trees I do not really know yet. There are many oaks that I know are, well, oaks, but not their official or scientific names. Other trees have a pet name, like ‘Ye Olde Oak’, and ‘Johnny Walnut’, and oft-told stories to go along with them…they are family members.
To commemorate the tree map, I folded it using a Turkish Map Fold, and created a cover with some cut-and-glue supplies that I enjoy, and signed and dated it…a piece of mini-art, nature journal style.
If you’d like to explore this idea, think about where you have been spending your time, whether it is at your home, a preserve, your town or neighborhood….you can make a map of anything, even your house or office or desk. There are no rules. I listed out all of the tree species that I could think of that happen to be here, surrounding the drawing. Follow whatever inspiration is calling to you. Turkish Map Fold Instructions can be found at this link.
The Turkish Map Fold is a simple fold. With the directions generously shared from Green Chair Press Blog, you’ll be able to follow right along, especially if you make your paper square. (There is a link for rectangular, too.) The cover can be anything you’d like…I used a short essay by Sparrow torn out of a magazine years ago and some green striped paper made by an artist friend to mimic the lines of a lawn mower on grass. (Not exactly what goes on at my wild home, but it’s humorous to match the writing.) I use UHU Glue Sticks to put everything together, but any glue will work.
While we’re trying a small Nature Journal Group gathering in June at Cool Spring Preserve, if there is still interest, we will continue both the in-person gatherings and the online journal prompts. If you’re able to join us, I look forward to seeing you at Cool Spring, and hopefully we can slowly and carefully find ways to spend some time in the same vicinity, spread out across the preserves that we so love.
I look forward to seeing you there, or seeing what you do with the Turkish Map Fold…or both!
We would LOVE to have you share your Journaling!
There are various options for you to share your creativity:
- Facebook: If you use Facebook, please feel free to post on your Facebook page and use the hashtags #potomacaudubon #naturejournal. If you don’t use Facebook but would still like to share, please email your journaling enry to Krista Hawley at AdultPrograms@PotomacAudubon.org with ‘Nature Journaling’ in the subject line and Krista will pick one day a week where she will upload and post the pictures on the PVAS and PVMN Facebook pages (you can email them to Krista by either scanning and emailing, or just take a picture and email that to her).
- Instagram: If you use Instagram, please feel free to post on your personal Instagram page and use the hashtags: #potomacaudubon #naturejournal. If you don’t have an Instagram account, but would still like to share, follow the same procedure as emailing to Krista and we will post them to PVAS’s Instagram accountwhen we post to PVAS’s Facebook page.
If anyone is interested, I also follow The Nature Journal Club on Facebook and highly recommend it. I look forward to seeing what you come up with this month! ~Joy