Special Access to Nature Journal at the Laguna!

In November, I have the opportunity to lead a crew of nature journalers on some normally inaccessible trails in the Laguna de Santa Rosa! I am really excited to be teaming up with Lapndpaths and the Laguna Foundation again for this trip. Come along for this fun learning adventure.

There will even be snacks and beverages before we head out 🙂

Thanks to Landpaths this class is free if you pre-register here

Spaces are filling up fast so take advantage of this opportunity.

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!

I’m Working Hard and Loving It

I include a lot of my thoughts, feelings, and routines on a roadtrip to teach at the Monterey Bay Birding Festival. I talk about my growing conviction that this kind of work is part of my mission in life. I am working to build this mission into my own career and my own way of contributing to the world. This video is dedicated to Robert Laws and John Muir Laws my mentor. And even though I did not know Robert Laws personally If it weren’t for him and the lineage through Jack, I would not be half way as far along the path that I am on.

Wanting to BE good at something gets in the way of BECOMING good at something

Here is a short examination of a pitfall when learning any new skill. With a few easy exercises in your journal and a couple of useful resources you will be better prepared to deal with this common trap.

Our culture mostly values having skills while it mostly ignores the process of learning skills. The slow, repetitive, and often painful learning process of the beginner  is not as sexy as the virtuostic performance of the master.

To become great at anything you most learn to love the slow, repetitive, practice. You must learn to reframe the nervousness, the discomfort, and the uncertainty as excitement, challenge, and opportunity.

A Peak at My Latest Journal

Come with me as I peruse the pages of my last journal, sharing drawings and peppering the video with rants about the benefits of journaling. One journal usually spans three to five months of my life.

Spoken Reflections From Tanzania: First Day Hunting With the Hadza

During my trip to Tanzania, I used my nature journal and my pocket notebook for drawing and writing and I used my phone for photos, short videos, and audio recordings. With this diverse toolbox I tried to document my observations, feeling, and impressions.

Tanzania 2017I tried to keep very careful notes about their hunting techniques, how many arrows they shot, how they debate the tracks on the ground, and how they make decisions about where to follow the animals. I mostly used my small Moleskine pocket notebook for scribbling notes and drawings on the fly because the Hadza move so fast that there was little time for me to take out my nature journal. I soon learned that it was even more efficient to record audionotes on my phone on these hunts.

Tanzania 2017

Several birds and squirrels were taken in this hunt and also some lesser Galagos, and an intense encounter with Baboons. These notes include some of my descriptions of the beauty of the landscape and some of my questions. There is also more about my process in this audio-recording from Tanzania. You can hear the East African birds in the background as I review my trail notebook from the first day with the Hadza.

Tanzania 2017

Here is a short video I took on the first hunting trip where I tagged along. They walk fast, talk, joke, and smoke.




DSCN5588By traveling and studying traditional food production systems around the world I am sometimes in situations that present ethical questions. These Galagos were the cutest animal that I saw the Hadza kill for food and I am sure that many of my compatriots would question the killing of such animals for food. My main goal on these trips is not to judge from the standards of my industrial culture but to be an observer and to try to understand the perspective of these people who hunt and gather every day for their survival. For more on the ethics of eating see my post about Eating Biodiversity.


Spoken Reflections From Tanzania: Ngorongoro to Karatu

Tanzania 2017During my trip to Tanzania, I used my nature journal and my pocket notebook for drawing and writing and I used my phone for photos, short videos, and audio recordings. With this diverse toolbox I tried to document my observations, feeling, and impressions.

In this particular recording I give some of my observations about agriculture, tourism, and my personal reactions to the land of contrast.

Most of these observations I make in messy notes in a tiny notebook in the moving bus or car, a practice I have kept up on my last three tropical expeditions. Even though I get car sick I find that there is so much to see during these trips and I have so many ideas that it would be a waste not to record them. The notes are almost illegible because they are made while in motion. I also use this book when I am on fast paced walks or hikes that do not allow for me to pull out my big nature journal sketchbook. On this trip I began the pattern of rereading these notes and elaborating on them verbally with an audio recording. I plan on repeating this system in the future.