Nature Journal and Sketch at Balboa Park!

On December 21st I will be leading a completely FREE field trip at the world famous Balboa Park in San Diego! We will start at the Lily Pond and Botanical Building and sketch and botanize our way past the giant fig tree to the Desert garden on the other side of Park Avenue.

The goal of this field trip will be to bring together some of the sketchers and nature journalers that are in San Diego and have fun together in a beautiful place! We will mostly be looking at plants but be prepared for our curiosity and luck to lead us to pretty birds or bugs. For the instructional portion of the class I will give tips on designing attractive page layouts, keys to drawing trees, and drawing little landscapes.

We will meet at 10am at the Lily Pond. Look for people standing around with sketchbooks. Hold your sketchbook so that others will recognize you. Bring a hat, sunscreen, field sketching supplies, binoculars, plenty of water and a potluck item to share. Potluck will be at 12:30 near the fig tree in front of the Natural History Museum.

Our basic route for the day.

The best place to park is probably near the natural history museum. From there you can walk to the Lily Pond. This trip is scooter and wheelchair friendly, we will not hike long distances. It will probably be a crowded time of year so there will be a lot of people. As usual be prepared for stimulating your curiosity, sharpening your artistic skills, and having fun with like-minded people!

Tracking and Journaling Elk!

In November, the North Coast Nature Journal Club will go back to Tomales Point for a second chance to see the elk during the tail end of their breeding season! We will have an opportunity to apply some of the tracking skills that we learned in  the last class to the habitat of these 200-500 pound ungulates.  Throughout the trip we will be surrounded by biodiverse coastal prairie, a vast view of the ocean, and scenic coves and cliffs. Can you believe this is available within a few hours drive from San Francisco? We have also seen coyotes lounging, bobcats patrolling,  harrier hawk fly-bys, and cruising peregrines, in addition to fascinating wildflowers and native bees. For the instruction aspect we will focus on how to apply a tracking perspective to add another layer of insight into your nature journaling. There will also be instruction on how to create compelling landscape sketches so be sure to bring your watercolors if you have them.Tule elk view of tomales bay

The weather is variable at this coastal location so wear layers and 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. Check this site the evening before the trip for weather updates. Our rainy day plan is to go to the Bear Valley Visitor center in Point Reyes where there are wonderful displays and covered areas to nature journal.

This trip is limited to 15 people. Email or message me directly to save your spot. Marley339 at gmail.com

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

CANCELLED DUE TO LIBRARY CLOSURE! Tracking for Journalers: The Secret Language of Nature (Lafayette)

Do you want to take your nature observations to the next level? Do you want to see more animals and understand more of what is going on around you? Join this illuminating class to learn how tracking and nature journaling combined can make you a much more perceptive naturalist. We will go over fundamental tracking knowledge, awareness exercises to make you more observant, and specific ways to enrich your journal pages with a tracking perspective. Marley will also share photos, stories, and journal pages from tracking adventures on three continents.

All ages and experience levels are welcome.

No registration necessary, $20 suggested donation.

Lafayette: Wednesday 10:30 -12:00
Lafayette Library and Learning Center
3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd.
Lafayette, CA 94549 United States

Tracking for Journalers: The Secret Language of Nature (Tiburon)

Do you want to take your nature observations to the next level? Do you want to see more animals and understand more of what is going on around you? Join this illuminating class to learn how tracking and nature journaling combined can make you a much more perceptive naturalist. We will go over fundamental tracking knowledge, awareness exercises to make you more observant, and specific ways to enrich your journal pages with a tracking perspective. Marley will also share photos, stories, and journal pages from tracking adventures on three continents.

All ages and experience levels are welcome.  No registration necessary, $20 suggested donation.

Tiburon: Tuesday, 10-11:30
Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary
376 Greenwood Beach Road
Tiburon, CA 94920 United States

 

Pitcher Plant Bonanza!

In June, the North Coast Nature Journal Club is privileged to enjoy the peak of the pitcher plants at California Carnivores in Sonoma County! This nursery contains the largest collection of carnivorous plants in the world and June will be a perfect time to see the amazing species of pitcher plants at their best! If you think you have already nature journaled once at this location and don’t need to go twice – think again.  We will focus on drawing and learning about carnivorous plants in general and Sarracenia pitcher plants in particular. We will also practice composition strategies and tips for nature journaling in information dense environments.

The weather will be relatively mild and probably comfortable inside the greenhouses. Hats will be useful if it is sunny. We will not be walking much but the floor is uneven and made of gravel, scooters or wheelchairs can be accommodated. 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 meet at 10 am in the parking lot. Look for people standing around with sketchbooks.  Bring a potluck item to share for lunch around 12:30. You can leave food in your car.

$20 suggested donation.

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

As usual be prepared to get super-curious in nature and connect with like minded people!

Here is a picture of Akshay nature journaling surrounded by pitchers last year!

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.

 

Marvel at Incredible Carnivorous Plants!

In the month of January, the North Coast Nature Journal club will stay out of the rain and warm inside the bio-diverse greenhouses at California Carnivores in Sebastopol! This local business contains arguably the biggest collection of carnivorous plants in the world. Not only are these plants fascinating to study and beautiful to draw but many of them are also endangered. They also have many orchids, bromeliads, etc.

Topics covered will include: how to quickly capture the essence of complex shapes in our drawings, how to draw things we are afraid of, and how to nature journal in visually overwhelming or information-dense settings.

The weather will be relatively mild, humid, and probably warmish inside the greenhouses. Hats will be useful if it is sunny. We will not be walking much but the floor is uneven and made of gravel. 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 meet at 10 am in the parking lot. Look for people standing around with sketchbooks.  Potluck lunch around 12:30.

Be prepared for mind-boggling plant forms and colors as well as a good dose of novelty-induced dopamine!

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

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.

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.