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.
The following is a recording where I review my second day:
It was the first day of the Nature Journal Safari and contains many of my first landscape scale impressions from the hours of cross-country driving.
One correction from the audio regarding the hanging beehives. I think they are not actually managed hives but traps for enticing homeless swarms.
I was not expecting so many agaves.
While we were waiting for our permits to enter Tarangire national park I sketched the elephant skull then posed in front of it. Thanks to Dana Vallarino for the photo.
A page of sketches from that morning.
I took this photo when Impalas were so fresh and novel. By the time we left the Serengeti, Impalas and Gazelle by the hundreds were commonplace.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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
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!
Tracking 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.