Keeping a Nature Journal
by Cynthia Gehrie
Many naturalists keep journals where they record their experiences in natural areas
through writing and drawing or pasting in
photos. To start a journal, you might do the following things.
Write the date of your visit.
Note the weather, including clouds, moisture, wind and temperature.
List the places you visit in the natural area. To help you do this, you can draw a map of the
area and mark the main locations where you stop and observe.
When you stop to observe, look for kinds of plants, insects, birds and other wildlife. How many
do you see of each? How does it feel to be in this spot? What is the most attractive to you?
You might want to draw or photograph some of these.
What sounds do you hear? Do you smell anything unusual, fragrant or annoying?
You might want to do the same activity in another kind of setting like a shopping mall or
your schoolground or your backyard . Compare your answers. Which
place do you like the best?
You might want to visit the Virtual Tour to
get ideas about how to draw and write about
plants and animals and how to use a map.