Explore Sunset at the Laguna!

In December we will meet at the Laguna de Santa Rosa trail during the most exciting and most beautiful time of day! The crepuscular hours are when many raptors can be seen hunting and many mammals are out in the open. Every time I walk this trail near sunset I’m surprised by how many birds I see and by the incredibly lit landscapes. Last time, I saw a family of owls!

We will focus on techniques for drawing and painting quick landscapes and how to crop and choose a good composition. We will also work a lot on colors and light as the sun drops. While we are working on these, there will probably be cool bird sightings mixed in.

This trail is a very easy hike on flat and mostly paved paths. It is wheelchair accessible. We wont cover much distance and we will probably have long stationary moments. The weather is unpredictable and can get cool as the sun drops. Bring a packable potluck “Linner” item to share because we will eat on the trail. A foldable lightweight stool and binoculars will be very handy on this trip.

For this trip we will meet later than usual at 1:30pm until 5:00pm to allow us to be out in nature at a special time of day. Our potluck will therefore be more of a “Linner” than a lunch. Meet at the Laguna de Santa Rosa trail parking lot off of Hwy 12 just before the entrance to Sebastopol.

$20 recommended donation

Adventure and Learn at Abbott’s Lagoon!

In August, the North Coast Nature Journal Club will head to the incredible dunes of Abbott’s Lagoon in Point Reyes National Seashore! Badgers, otters, harriers, and bobcats are just a few of the species to be found in this epic landscape in Marin County. We will meet at the trail head parking lot and make our way to the dunes. There will be ample opportunity to study and sketch animal trails and to practice drawing landscapes and water. Last time I was there we saw a peregrine falcon, multiple harriers hunting, and great horned owl tracks!

I will invite some of my tracker friends and raptor geeks to join us!

Half of the hike will be on an easy flat gravel path and the rest will be on the uneven and soft sand of the dunes. We might split into two groups if some people want to do more challenging hiking into the sand dunes and others want to stay near the flat trail. The coastal weather is variable so wear layers and sun protection. We will have our potluck around 12:30 on the trail so bring a packable item to share.

$20 recommended donation

 

 

Scope Out Schollenberger Wetlands!

In June, the North Coast Nature Journal Club will scope out the marshes of Schollenberger park near Petaluma. This convenient park provides ample opportunities to sketch water birds and learn about California’s coastal wetlands, the most endangered of all our ecosystem types. There will also be expansive views of the long extinct volcano that is Sonoma mountain. We will focus on drawing and learning about the plants and birds that inhabit this area and we will also practice composing and executing small landscapes showcasing Sonoma mountain in the background.

Meet at the parking lot at 9:00. Earlier than our normal time! We are meeting earlier to beat the heat a little bit.

The address below might only get you to the intersection of Cader ln if you are following a GPS. From South Mcdowell blvd you will turn onto Cader lane/ Schollenberger park rd and continue to the parking lot. It could be a warm sunny day and we will be out in the open so plan accordingly. Sun hats, sunscreen, lots of water. The walk is very gentle, flat, and wheelchair accessible on a paved route. We will return to the parking lot before the potluck so you can keep bulkier food and beverage items in your car. Bring a light folding stool if you have one, we will do some more extended landscape and plant paintings at this location.

As usual be prepared to get super-curious in nature and connect with like minded people! Bring a potluck item to share for lunch around 12:30.

Suggested donation $20

“Easter Egg hunt” Hood Mountain!

Do you want to go on an “Easter egg hunt” with a bunch of curious and fun nature nerds? What better way to spend part of your Easter? Bring a friend or some family members for a healthy, outdoorsy, brain-stimulating way to spend the holiday. The North Coast Nature Journal Club will hike around Hood Mountain regional park, using our nature journals as a lens for engaging with the natural world. Instead of looking for plastic eggs filled with sugar we will look for precious natural nuggets of wonder that are just waiting to be found by a curious eye. Some dark chocolate might be involved as a cognitive enhancer. There will be great opportunities to compose and paint landscape sketches in the mixed oak woodlands and meadows. Depending on the group we might opt for a more adventurous hike to see some of the North Bay panoramas available from the ridges, where we can try our hand at painting “grand landscapitos” and study atmospheric perspective. There are also beautiful creeks to explore.

This outing will involve more strenuous hiking and areas with very uneven ground. Please wear layers, sun protection, and comfortable hiking shoes. Bring a potluck item that can be carried on the trail. Easter themed is fun if you want. As always bring your sketching and watercolor supplies. Light folding stools might be useful but focus on mobility and comfort.

We will meet at the Pythian Rd entrance parking lot. Please do not accidentally go to the Los Alamos rd entrance. This is a Sonoma County Regional Park so there is a $7 parking fee. (I recommend becoming a member. Many of our meetings will take place at these parks so a membership could be a good commitment).

$20 recommended donation

The North Coast Nature Journal Club

I started the North Coast Nature Journal Club as a way to share my personal passion for observation and learning and as a way to connect with other people in nature. Sonoma and Marin counties in Northern California are full of diverse and rich ecosystems and there are many people interested in connecting with nature. On the third Sunday of every month we explore a different location, from sand dunes to mixed oak savanna. We use our sketchbooks as a substrate for our interaction with the natural world.  I’m passionate about facilitating learning in a group and we constantly bounce ideas off each other and otherwise benefit from nature journaling as a group.

We also share a potluck lunch on every outing!

What is Nature Journaling?

When do you meet next?!

 

Are there other nature journal clubs? Check out the nature journal club facebook page for more info about other groups and the Bay Area group that started it all.

Discover Salmon Creek!

For the magnificent month of March we will meet at South Salmon Creek, just North of Bodega Dunes campground on Hwy 1. This is a very fun location to observe coastal wetlands, waterbirds, and to explore animal tracks including red foxes. This will be the perfect trip to learn more about animal tracking, how to draw tracks, and how to frame and paint 5 minute landscape sketches.

We won’t hike long distances but the terrain is slightly challenging because it is mostly sand dunes. The weather is variable and can be windy. Be prepared for sand and wind. Bring sketching and watercolor supplies, binoculars, and a potluck lunch to share. We will return to the parking lot around 12:30 for the potluck so you don’t need to pack your food/beverages on this trip.

We will meet in the parking lot at 10am. Parking here is free.

Directions: Drive north on Hwy 1 from Bodega Bay, after the big sign and turnoff for Bodega Dunes Campground stay attentive on the left. Just before the bridge over the creek there is a small turnoff onto Bean ave. Turn left onto bean ave and follow this small street until it dead ends at a parking lot covered in sand.

Be prepared to see something you have never seen before and to add 3 new tricks to your mental toolbox!

$20 recommended donation

 

 

 

Explore Ragle Ranch, Sebastopol

Join the North Coast Nature Journaling meetup this month at the Ragle Ranch Park in Sebastopol! We will stay out of the mud but still have fun drawing oak trees, observing bird behavior, and whatever else we discover. Last time I was there I saw 2 species of centipedes, listened to a frog chorus, and found mistletoe fruit stuck to my shoe! Bring sketching and watercolor supplies, binoculars, and a potluck lunch to share. Layered clothing, and a foldable chair or stool might also be useful. Be prepared to enjoy nature and learn with like minded people. Hiking will be very mild on this trip. We will meet at 10am near the playground at the entrance to the park.
There is a $7 parking fee or you can park outside the entrance. Look for people standing around with sketchbooks. Potluck lunch around 12:30.

This event is part of the newly formed North Coast Nature Journal Club, led by Marley Peifer. Our meetup provides nature journaling opportunities for Marin, Sonoma, and Napa. We meet on the third Sunday of every month at a different outdoor location and provide a place to share your naturalist journey with others and improve your note-taking and artistic skills. $20 recommended donation

Explore Ragle Park: North Coast Nature Journal Club

This gem of a park is nestled close to the town of Sebastopol. Breeding white-tailed kites, brazen tree squirrels, and many other creatures make this their home. Technique demos will focus on how to compose and paint beautiful mini-landscapes and how to use bird language as a naturalist to see more animals.

Bring sketching supplies, binoculars, and a potluck lunch item to share on the trail. Be prepared to enjoy nature and learn with like minded people!

$20 recommended donation

A Match Made in Heaven!

IMG_2516Tracking and nature journaling; a match made in heaven!
Come explore coastal lagoons, meadows, and dunes for an awesome day of tracking and journaling in a great location. We will approach tracking in a holistic sense and learn to integrate it into our quiver of naturalist skills.

Abbot’s Lagoon in Point Reyes National Seashore is a world class location for tracking and bird watching where we are sure to find many goodies to fill our journals. Badgers, otters, bobcat, owls, ravens, falcons, and foxes are a few of the denizens whose tracks and sign we might see.

Meet at the parking lot at the trailhead on Pierce Point Rd, approximately 15 minutes from Point Reyes Station. Wear lots of layers and be prepared for variable weather, sun, and wind. Also be prepared to walk in sand dunes.

Sunday February 28th from 10-4pm

Meet at Abbot’s Lagoon Trailhead on Pierce Point Rd in Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County, CA.

 

more information: http://www.johnmuirlaws.com/event/nature-journal-tracking-workshop-and-field-trip