started keeping a nature journal about the same time I
began training to be a docent at Bouverie Nature Preserve
in Glen Ellen, California. As I learned about the flora
and fauna of the Preserve, I began exploring the fields
and hills near my home in Sonoma. I was inspired by the
book Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, thinking, “I
could make my own field guide.” And so I set out
to learn about and record all of the plants and animals
I encountered in my explorations. I soon found that sitting
quietly beside a pond or on a hillside allowed me to see
and experience wonderful things:
slowing down and focusing closely on some small piece
of the natural world, I’ve gained an increased appreciation
for the endless wonders of this earth. Each creature,
every plant, reveals a stunning complexity and beauty.
Observing and painting the cycles of Nature offers me
a sense of order and calm I find nowhere else.
first journals were hardback bound sketchbooks. When the
journals I preferred were discontinued, I started to make
my own, gluing beautiful papers onto acid-free boards
for the covers, folding and sewing pages of carefully
selected paper into signatures. The journals are usually
about 8.5x6,” just fitting in my fanny pack, which
also holds my Winsor-Newton field box and a handlens.
Pencils and extra brushes tuck into the pockets of the
waterproof covers I’ve made to protect the journals.