Nature De-Stress…

Have you ever had the feeling that time slowed down, your breathing became relaxed, and you felt a renewed connection to the world around you? I had this experience recently when I went nature journaling and painting at Helen Putnam Park with Amy Winzer recently. Even though I have been stressing about taxes and a million other things getting out into nature with a friend and paying deep attention to a tree while playing with watercolor had an instant effect. If you want a taste of relaxation during tax season come on my next nature journaling trip to the Grove of Old Trees on March 8th be sure to rsvp if you want to come, space is limited.

marley peiffer, marley pfiefer, marley pfeiffer,
photo by @amycycles

Check out more from this collaboration and more of the cool work that Amy is up to at her website.

Elk Adventure!

In September, the North Coast Nature Journal Club will pass through the mists of time and go back to the Pleistocene! We will stand spellbound with our journals watching 500 pound tule elk thrashing coyote brush with their giant antlers and listening to the otherworldly bugling of more elk in the distance. We will be surrounded by biodiverse coastal prairie, a vast view of the ocean, and scenic coves and cliffs. All of this only a few hours drive from San Francisco. The elk will be on their most dramatic rutting behavior this time of year and we will get an opportunity to document it in our journals. We have also seen coyotes lounging, bobcats patrolling,  harrier hawk fly-bys, and cruising peregrines. For the instruction aspect we will focus on learning how to draw ungulates, how to draw antlers, and how to creatively depict action sequences in our journals. There will also be plenty of opportunity for painting landscape sketches.

The weather is variable at this coastal location so be prepared for everything. The hiking will be moderately strenuous due to the distances we will try to cover but the terrain will not be too technical. Wear comfortable hiking shoes, bring a folding stool, binoculars, and a potluck item to share on the trail. This location is not scooter friendly.

We will meet at 10 am at the Tomales Point trailhead parking lot at the very end of pierce point road near the old white barns. Look for people standing around with sketchbooks. This excursion will go longer than our usual meetup to take advantage of this special opportunity. 10am-4pm, potluck lunch at 12:30.

Be prepared for Nature Journaling goosebumps and a good dose of charismatic mammalian megafauna!

$20 suggested donation. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Enjoy and Journal at Heart’s Desire Beach!

In August, the North Coast Nature Journal Club is in for a treat! We are going to escape the heat but still get outside at Heart’s Desire Beach in Tomales Bay State Park! This gorgeous and sheltered beach is nestled between a biodiverse forest and the scenic Tomales Bay. In addition to endless botanical subjects to investigate we will have expansive vistas waiting to be painted.

We will focus on techniques for cultivating curiosity and organizing information on the page. We will also have ample opportunities to practice landscapitos in an incredible setting.

The temperature will be relatively mild but we will be in and out of the sun and despite the protected location wind will probably pick up as the day progresses. Hats will be useful and comfortable layered clothing is essential.  Wear comfortable shoes, bring a folding stool if you have one, a potluck item to share, utensils for yourself and water to drink. There is a bathroom on site. We will go for a short walk on fairly even dirt trails and some sand and end up at some picnic tables. Scooters can be accommodated but wheelchairs will probably not be able to work.

For more information about the location:

We will meet at 9 am in the parking lot. (earlier than our usual start time) Look for people standing around with sketchbooks.  Bring a potluck item to share for lunch around 12:30. Bring food that you can carry with you on the trail.

$8 parking fee at this location

$20 suggested donation.

This class is limited to 12 people. Please email me to reserve your spot.

Nature Journal Field Trip to Sacramento Valley

On June fourth I will be participating in the Bay Area Nature Journal Club field trip with Jack Laws! I’m always excited to go Nature Journaling with Jack. Last time I went with him we saw four peregrine falcons including a dramatic hunt and kill.

For this month the trip will be to the Sacramento Valley Rice Country for some exciting bird action!

The rice farmers of the Sacramento Valley have worked closely with bird conservation groups to maximize the wildlife potential of the fields. In springtime and early summer rice fields are thriving bird nurseries. The Nature Journal Club will be the guests of the California Rice Commission for a rare behind the scenes tour of Sacramento Valley rice farms. We will search for nesting birds and learn about bird friendly agricultural techniques.

The program is open to all ages and ability levels. No registration necessary. $20 suggested donation.