I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Nature Journals

 Hi everyone! Foggy here, a day for catching up...

I took some time earlier to update my current journal and to photograph some pages  from previous years.

Autumn, to me, is the prime time for watching nature, for collecting red leaves and shiny brown acorns, for watching the evening skies for "V"s of ducks and geese.

When I was a very little girl we lived in a rather rural area, with diverse, beautiful trees and fields, creeks and ancient apple orchards. Wildflowers, mosses, and what we believed were Indian trails through the woods.

In this era of playdates and sports and structured child time, it's hard to picture how simple and quiet our lives were then. My mom, a young woman in her twenties, invented for me the after-school Nature Walk---a way to get us out of the house, my nose out of a book. We'd hike and observe and I learned a lot. It gave me a lifelong interest in natural surroundings.

My mother said the orchards were planted by Johnny Appleseed! And that fairies (Tinkerbell!?) dwelled in the mossy gnarled roots. One snowy moonlit night she bundled us up and took me out to look for animals tracks in the snow: Look! Mouse tracks! I was enchanted.

I was given my first nature guide, a Golden Guide bird book, for I think my 5th birthday. It still sits with the rest of my collection, now heavily attuned to beach and seashore, on its special shelf. A birthday wish inside, in my mom's handwriting.....

I didn't begin doing my journals til I was a young mom myself, bored with just siting on the beach with my toddlers, I wanted them to see and enjoy what creatures and plants were here with us.

I began my watercolor books at that time.

I also sometimes collect and press flowers and plants---an entry can be as simple as a pressed pansy. This deep purple baby was planted Fall of 2012; it survived a hurricane, an icy winter, and went on to reseed itself at the base of one of my palm trees. I brought it inside for the winter, and pressed just one flower, to note its hardiness.

The current book is supposed to be seaweeds.

I collected them last summer (2012) and hoped they'd be well dried by now. Ooops. I discovered that seaweeds, mostly saltwater, must be pressed on their permanent page. The paper towels I'd used had fused to the wet plants, rendering them useless.
[leaves are easier!]

Maybe I should go rescue that Yellow Pages I just put out in the recycle bin? Hmmmm.

click on photos to enlarge/ or for slideshow.




gone to the beach