nature journal

We went home to NY this weekend, to visit family.  By the time I got things packed and ready for the trip, I was exhausted.  I remembered my camera before we left, I looked at it sitting there on the shelf, and decided not to take it with me this time.  Our weekend away was slightly calmer without my camera in tow.

There is one picture that I didn’t take, because I couldn’t take it, that haunts me.

So I had to draw it instead. 

I started a nature journal a few years ago.  It is greatly neglected, but I do try to update it now and then.

For instance, I have a page on feathers.  I pick them up as I walk in the woods and a few of them I pulled out of dead birds.  It is a creepy feeling to do so, but “Tasha Tudor would do it”, she is one of my inspirations, and so I go ahead and pull.  I got feathers from a female cardinal and a flicker that way.

My mom and I went for a walk on Sunday and found the dead Flicker.  It was beautiful.  God knew it fell and the two of us also mourned it.   We think it got hit by a car, we found it in the road and pulled off a couple of long feathers and a couple of downy feathers.  The long ones are brilliant yellow on one side, black on the other, and have a pointed top.  The downy ones have a black dot on them.  God could have given them plain ol’ feathers, but He didn’t.  He decorated the birds…..each feather is a work of His amazing creation.


Joanna sent me nature quotes and I glued them in.


One time a Pottery Barn catalogue was filled with nature quotes so I cut them out and sewed around the edges and glued them in, too.


I draw and sketch sometimes.


That’s what I decided to do about that one picture that I couldn’t take, as we drove along the back country roads to our family reunion on Saturday.  It was a bright red farm gate, open and pressed against a backdrop of thick, wild goldenrod.  The red and the yellow were a stunning combination.

Why did that farmer paint his gate bright red?  I’ve never seen one painted like that before.  He’ll never know the happy moment it gave me, and that I came back home and drew it in my nature journal.  It just goes to show how you can inspire others without ever dreaming that it was even possible.


24 thoughts on “nature journal

  1. Your creativity just amazes me … comes flowing out of you in so many different ways. I think it’s because you’re so in touch with THE Creator, from Whom all of our creativity flows. Your life is beautiful, my friend. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  2. Carl and I were just talking the other day (on a hike without my camera) about how sometimes we remember things better when we deliberately fix them in our minds instead of relying on the camera to record them for us. Some of my best memories are from days without the camera, because I found I was more purposeful about living and enjoying and remembering, instead of snapping away in the blithe assurance that the pictures would keep it real for me. Not that I’m against photographs! Just that it’s nice, and good (I think) to take a break from them once in a while. And won’t you remember that red gate with yellow goldenrod forever, just in the act of drawing it!

  3. How inspiring. Beautiful journal Shanda. I have some drawings from sitting places while waiting for my more nimble family members. A journal would be great to put some of the thoughts, quotes, finds in with them. I was trying to burn some memories in as we drove into the mountains in Colorado and I couldn’t always take photos…just enjoy the sights I was seeing with my loved ones…some sights from this weekend…beaver dams, log cabins, water cascades, glowing grasses, and red barns. Your cattail drawing is charming as well!

  4. You have put our nature journals to shame!  Yours is just beautiful. Have you ever heard of Jill Novak?  She is a good friend of my mom’s.  Jill is a wonderful writer and artist. Here is the link to her website ~ She is so encouraging!  I love listening to her talk, she makes you want to just sit outside and sketch and write all that God has created!  I suggest getting the book “Wings and Stings” and “The Pebbly Book Farm Journal”.  We are actually reading it out loud right now!  (Wings and Stings that is!) Both are wonderful, however, I’m not sure if you can get them in print, or just as an e-book.  Anyway, her children are also involved in their ministry….check them out if you haven’t, I think you will really enjoy all that she has. =)

  5. Pingback: home routine and nature sightings – Good to be Home

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