Rainy Day? Eleven Nature Journal Ideas

It has been a really rainy/snowy winter, but that should not keep us from nature journaling. I spent a rainy day making this video with Eleven nature journaling ideas you can practice when the weather outside is frightful.

If you like this video please thumbs up and subscribe to my channel. If you have any other good rainy day ideas let me know in the comments.

 

One Journal To Rule Them All?

“One Journal to rule them all, One Journal to write them,
One Journal to connect them all, and on these pages bind them,”

–Gandalf the Great

In this video I describe how I see the options available to journalers when deciding how many journals to have. There is a spectrum from having many specialized journals to having just one “omni-journal” with everything.

Taste The Rainbow (While it Lasts)

You are lucky. Life has existed for 3.5 billion years on this planet and you happen to live during the period that has arguably the greatest variety of living organisms ever. And since we have yet to discover even one form of life or fossil life anywhere besides earth this place and this moment could be the most biodiverse period in the 13.8 billion year history of the universe. You are one lucky entity. So how can you enjoy your luck while it lasts? Here are three ways…

Variety is the Spice of Life: Aesthetics and Inspiration:

Every day you take for granted the beauty and meaning of the biodiversity around you. I’m talking about in your backyard, not just in exotic rain forests. And it is impossible to quantify the benefits that you receive as a human from the diverse and novel forms and functions of the organisms around you. For example, artists, scientists, and designers have taken inspiration or directly copied natural forms since the origins of culture. Can you imagine how boring and destitute life would be if you lived on a planet with three kinds of plants, three kinds of animals, and a handful of microorganisms? It is ridiculous to even visualize it. Even 100 of each would probably be pretty bad. (The above photo is of an orchid flower from a botanical garden in Ecuador. According to the signage Ecuador contains more diversity of orchid species than any other country.)

Luckily, you do not live in such a ridiculously un-diverse nightmare world so you might as well enjoy the aesthetics and inspiration that surround you. One way to do so is to nature journal, you could also become a birder, an orchid lover, or an amateur lichenologist. (in the photo you can see some examples of wasp biodiversity from the pages of my nature journal. I appreciate wasps as an amateur and greatly enjoy their various shapes and colors.)

Taste the Rainbow: Edible Biodiversity:

When you were a baby you experienced and appreciated the world by putting things in your mouth. You can still do that as an adult but with a tad more discretion. Eating a variety of foods is one of the greatest pleasures of being human as well as important for good health. Availability of a diversity of food is something we cannot take for granted. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN the diversity of agricultural crops is estimated to have diminished by about  %75 percent in the last 100 years. In addition, around three fourths of the world’s food comes from twelve plants and five species of animals (that is starting to sound like our ridiculously boring nightmare world!) As an eater of food you can seek out and support edible biodiversity by showing interest in and supporting the preservation of different types of plant, animal, and fungal food. Not only is it the right thing to do but it is also tasty and nutritious and sometimes adventurous. Speaking of adventurous, check out this funny and controversial article I wrote about   eating biodiversity.

Hedging Your Bets: Survival and Resilience:

Why put all your eggs in one basket when there are so many diverse and beautiful different types of baskets? Not only is it unimaginably boring to live on a planet with a handful of species, or to only eat five types of plants, it is also ridiculously precarious to depend entirely on a safety net made of five strands. You might as well enjoy the diversity available to you now while also hedging your bets a little bit. Depending on diversity is always a good strategy during unpredictable times or rapid change. And you live in the most unpredictable and rapidly changing period in human history. For an academic article exemplifying the diversification strategy in a traditional culture check out my essay called Diversity and Adaptation. (In the photo above I am  opening an example of a food crop that is delicious and nutritious but virtually unknown outside of South America. It is a relative of breadfruit. This is the type of agrobiodiversity that is being lost every year.)

I’m sure there are more than three main ways to enjoy the uniquely biodiverse period that we are living in. What ways do you enjoy? How do you taste the rainbow? On the flip side what aspects of biodiversity have you noticed yourself or your community taking for granted? In the next article I will talk about the decline in biodiversity and the incredible opportunity and role we can play during what looks like it will be the Sixth Great Extinction.

This rant about biodiversity would not be complete without a diversity of other sources for you to check out:

Biodiversity in Geological Time

What is Happening to Agrobiodiversity?

The 6th Great Extinction

E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation

Growing Biodiversity at OAEC

 

 

What I did This Winter

Happy new year everyone! I’m excited for all the cool plans I have for providing fun and valuable content and art this year. But to start with I’m gonna share this video to give you an idea of what I was up to during my winter break.

A Year Begins and Ends: So Does Your Life–That’s A Good Thing

The end of the year is a good time to reflect on the finitude of your life. Mortality is a good thing and in this video I show an exercise that can help you use the awareness of own mortality to improve yourself.

More Than Just Drawing Plants

It is easy to think that nature journaling is just about drawing plants and animals when it is actually so much more. In this video I describe some of the key characteristics that make nature journaling so revolutionary and accessible.

Nature Journal Inside! No Excuses

I had to cancel the nature journaling field trip for today but here is a video that I made to motivate you to nature journal at home! Consider it your homework 🙂 I guarantee it will help you maintain your sanity if you are stuck inside from the smoke:

Please send me an email if you have any other good nature journaling ideas for indoors on rainy or smoky days!