This winter, Clark County Green Schools encourages you to try nature journaling! Nature journaling and winter are not mutually exclusive! Winter shows us how to slow down and tune into the details. When you get bundled up and have a hot drink paired with your nature journal, it creates the foundation for wonderful memories.
Nature journaling is not actually about journaling, it is a tool for us to use to reconnect with nature. Being mindful and observant of what you see and having a record of this allows you to have deeper insights into your observations.
Winter days have a lot to tell us! What sounds do you hear, and what do you see? Write about your winter observations. You can reference our previous blog post on how to start a nature journal guided by John Muir Laws.
Focusing on the snowy landscape and bare trees allows us to see beyond the usual and tune into a new season. It may seem barren at first but soon the landscape will come to life, and Mother Nature will reveal herself to you. All you have to do is have open eyes and a patient mind.
Did you know we have seasonal visitors to the PNW? Here are a few to try to spot on your outing:
Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus):
Snowy owls, known for their striking white plumage, are occasional winter visitors to the region. They may be found in open areas like fields and marshes.
Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus):
The snowshoe hare's fur changes color to white in winter to blend in with the snowy surroundings. They inhabit coniferous forests.
Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator):
Winter brings migratory birds to the PNW, and the pine grosbeak is one example. Look for these colorful birds in coniferous forests.
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola):
Bufflehead ducks are winter visitors to the PNW. They can be seen in coastal areas, estuaries, and freshwater ponds.
Try these writing prompts to get creative: to get started:
Describe your perfect winter day. What activities would you do, and what would the landscape look like?
Imagine a magical winter creature. What would it look like, and what special powers would it have?
What is your favorite cozy activity to do in winter? Describe the warmth and comfort it brings.
Snowy day story:
Create a short story about a snowy day adventure. Who are the characters, and what exciting things happen?
Winter scents and tastes:
Close your eyes and imagine the smells and tastes of winter. What scents and flavors come to mind?
Winter animal friends:
If you could be friends with a winter animal, which one would it be? Describe your imaginary winter animal friend.
If you had a magical winter wand, what three wishes related to winter would you make?
Winter sky wonders:
Look up at the winter sky. What do you see? Imagine stories or adventures happening among the stars.
Describe the colors of winter. What hues dominate the landscape, and how do they make you feel?
Gratitude for winter:
List three things you appreciate about winter. It could be a favorite activity, a warm beverage, or the beauty of snow-covered trees.
Write a winter poem using descriptive language to capture the season's essence.
For inspiration, read this short poem by famous naturalist poet Mary Oliver: "In winter all the singing is in the tops of the trees where the wind-bird with its white eyes shoves and pushes among the branches." – Mary Oliver
These lines capture Oliver's keen observation of nature and her ability to convey the beauty and significance of simple moments in the natural world. This poem celebrates the resilience of nature in harsh winter conditions. The focus on the singing in the treetops might evoke a sense of being attuned to the environment and finding joy in the sounds of nature. Overall, Oliver does a fantastic job in sparking the creative mind to get out an observe nature. You never know what mother nature might reveal to you.
We would love to hear how your winter journaling goes. You can email email@example.com to share how your time went and if you made any fun discoveries!
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