Sunday, August 9, 2020

Nature Letters Journaling...Group?


I'm creating this new blog and journaling mission to encourage and challenge myself. Shall we make it a team?

This blog is going to be about exploring the natural world and journaling about it. I was inspired by John Muir Laws and Emilie Lygren's book, How to Teach Nature Journaling. It has 31 different activities listed with full breakdowns on how to teach/do them (plus variations), so there are lots of things to try.

The Goal: Walk once a week, alone or with others, do a journal entry each time, and blog about the experience. 

52 outings through all the seasons, starting Saturday, August 15 at 9:30 AM Waukesha time. The blog entries will be such that readers will be able to try things themselves at home or independently whenever they are able. 

The Needs: Every goal needs supplies.

Folks I know can join me face-to-face if they schedule ahead. Otherwise, I will record the necessary bits and post the directions for what I did for anyone to try at home. 

To study outdoors, one needs adequate clothing and footgear to walk and write in all weather. Walks will be 1-3 miles at local parks and other open spaces. We'll all need blank journals/notebooks (preferably hardcover to make outdoor writing easier) and a pencil or other tool that works in the elements and doesn't bleed through the paper. Something like this dot grid notebook would probably work. I'm going to start with a cork cover notebook a friend gave me that I only had used a few pages of.

If there's more than just me there, cloth masks will be needed, of course.

Who will this be a good fit for? Anyone interested in and able to be being outdoors for 60-90 minutes and putting pen/pencil to paper for some of that time. 

What is nature journaling?

Nature journaling can be about any topic one sees outside but should include words, numbers, and images. That's it! One can record things, observations, questions, feelings, or experiences. 

Why nature journaling?

Dissecting and describing experiences have always been very important to me. I dove into the world of teaching and that of living with type 1 diabetes in previous projects and wrote what I experienced, felt, and learned. I wondered what would happen if I stretched the communal artistic experience of my book about type 1 diabetes and invited others into my time outdoors? What if we all nature journal and share together? How could I and others grow through this process? Where could this exploration lead and what connections could result?

Building connections on the trail.

Because you're here reading this, we're together at the start of the trail: the trailhead. Where will the path take us? What will we see and learn about? How will we feel? How will those feelings change? Who will we find along the way? It's a mystery right now. And that's perfectly fine. In fact, it's exciting!

Let's head out now and start exploring. You, me, and the path itself...together. 

If you're interested, join me in whatever way you can: follow and read this blog which is where I will share journal entries and how-to's, or join me on the trail (email me at and put "Trail Letters" in the heading and give me your contact info.) I may start a Facebook group if there's enough interest.

A Writer's Life

I'm doing this all independently as a writer and non-professional nature lover. Over time, if you find benefits and are able to support my work financially I would greatly appreciate it, but there's never a financial expectation or obligation.

Enjoy the life that's out there!