“Nature notebooks, which started with our P.U.S. (Parents Union Schools) have become like travel records and journals for students. They keep notes about all their finds: birds, flowers, fungus, mosses are described and sketched every season in the same way that Gilbert White did. A nature notebook can be kept by anyone anywhere. It can be used to record stars on their course in the heavens, or a fossil of an anemone on the beach at Whitby. These notebooks help to make science come alive and relate to the common man. Science should not be taught merely as a utilitarian means of preparing students for a career!”
Charlotte Mason, volume 6, page 223
I was reading through volume six of Charlotte Mason’s books this week and found this gem of a quote about nature journals. I am in total agreement with her about the nature journal becoming a travel journal for our children as well as for ourselves.
We have traveled with our journals for many years and it is enjoyable to look back at the entries from places far from home with fond memories.
Yellowstone National Park and a day at the river that we all remember with our journal entries. I can’t explain how taking the time to journal a day is so powerful. It seems to blaze it into your memory so that years later….many years later in this case, we can all remember exactly what we did on that hot summer afternoon. This entry is from my oldest son’s journal.
Closer to home, this journal entry was done on a family hike to Eagle Lake. I remember that even my husband journaled on this day and it was great to see his experiences. This is my pen and watercolor sketch of the event.
This one I shared this entry not too long ago but it is another great way to document a trip in a nature journal. My son and I journaled on the same page and it is one of my favorite entries in my current journal. I know I will always look back on this page and remember the afternoon that we spent at Curry Village sketching and having a snack. Thanks Mr. B.
One last one from a trip we took a few years ago to the redwoods. It was our first time visiting Redwoods National Park and we made time for several entries while we were there. This particular entry reminds me that these were the falls that the boys climbed up and found their very first banana slug. They made me climb up the waterfall to take a photo of it for them.
Take your journals with you when you travel. Take time to sketch!