We did it, for a minute

The last time we drew in our nature journals, it was autumn and the leaves were changing. It's late January now, and the trees are bare. As hard as it is to get into habits, it's equally as easy to fall out of them.

I've been wanting to read Winter Buds by Bette J. Davis with my kids for a few years. It's a miracle I remembered I had the book on my shelf, but my memory was prompted by a blog post at Handbook of Nature Study about studying twigs in winter. 

Before heading out the door today with our journals, we read the first couple of short chapters in Winter Buds to give us some ideas what to look for on winter twigs. 

It started to rain just as walked outside today, but the spot where we wanted to go was nearby so we ventured forth. Even so, we didn't last long at our journaling since it was tricky to draw with rain falling on our pages, but we stuck it out as long as we could with wet paper and cold fingers. We sketched what we saw and then completed the pages at home.

My page, first day of the bud study project.

Once I get out of the habit of working on our journals, the project grows in complexity in my mind and I convince myself we don't have time it. Or, just as likely, I forget about our journals. 

But the thing is, when I plunge back in, I remember that even a few moments is often all it takes to kick us back into the routine. I remember it's not complicated to notice nature around us, and when it comes to drawing, a quick sketch can be enough. 

I don't know why I have to learn the lesson over and over again, but making the time to work on our journals somehow extends the time we have for the rest of the day. Everyone is usually in a good mood after we work on our journals - whether the mood is from being outside, from being creative on our pages, or from being away from the gadgets that grab our gaze, I don't know.

We took the advice of tying a string on the twigs we each drew to help us find the same twigs again. That may have been the favorite part of our trek today - tying red thread on a twig with plans to visit another time. 


  1. I finally had to have Nature Journal on our schedule once a week. It doesn't always get done on that particular day but the fact that it is on our schedule has made for some great entries and study. A walk isn't always possible; stepping into the yard or the front door only takes a few minutes ; )

  2. I really need to get my kids outdoors for those challenges! That looked like a good one, and I love the book recommendation.

  3. I'll have to look for that book! We had to schedule nature study in or it's always the first to go lately. We challenge ourselves to get outside for at least 15 minutes and do something, even on the coldest days.

  4. I'm going to check your book out. I haven't heard of it. Nature journaling has been on a back burner for us too for a while. Thanks for the nudge. Thanks also for stopping by my blog. I always miss all of you guys when I'm not able to blog.

  5. I hear ya! We haven't done ANY nature journaling in MONTHS! At least not since fall. I should really get to the store and get some new journals and colored pencils. It's a new year! Time to get exploring!

  6. Just stopped by to see if you surprised your hubby with any gifts/special treatment this week, if so, how did things go? Hope you have had a great weekend.