Sunday, September 6, 2020

Retelling a Journey: Nature Journaling Week 4

For the second week in a row, I’m journaling after-the-fact. The weather was fine but the walk’s purpose was not to journal: it was to be in the moment with a friend.

For the second week in a row, I was again in Retzer Nature Center. Don’t be afraid to return to a site. In fact, there’s an excellent activity where one does that on purpose: have “your spot” that you visit regularly and develop a story and record of that specific place.

aster species

bumblebee on swamp thistle

bee on goldenrod

The weather was phenomenal and the insect life was busily getting things done while the season still allows.

Today, I sat down to retell our journey. First, I did my metadata. Next, I made a list on the right side of what I remembered seeing and hearing. Then, I put the title in and after that, the idea to sketch a map of our walk popped into my head. I had fun with that, detailing in words some of the habitats we walked through. With the map, I was then able to pull a couple of places out to the left side of the page and zoom in on details of 2 species we looked at closely. It took me about 45 minutes to complete my journaling.

This page doesn’t go into detail about how we smiled and laughed so much that my cheeks were hurting by the end, but the smiling stick figures might indicate that. We really enjoyed the day and right now it feels like I’m getting twice the pleasure by really focusing on remembering everything we saw and talked about.

I used a black ink pen this week. It’s important to watch paper thickness for bleed-through when using pen. For that reason, I skipped a page in my book before and after this week. I like the contrast and control of the pen I chose.

How could this be stretched out for greater learning opportunities? Each person could do a page and share afterwards for discussion and analysis. Research on the species and/or habitats could be done and added. Asking questions about how much longer the insects will have to work, or how long of a walk we took, or the elevation changes we experienced...There’s never an end to the things we can build upon!

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