Monday, March 9, 2009

So What's a Nature Journal?

You know where you are--you're in an environment. An environment full of Energy and Plants and Soil and Rocks and Earth forming phenomena and Water!! But what does it look like? Did you actually SEE the world around you? Did you notice the compass as you entered the Environmental Learning Center (ELC) ? How about the birds in the tree that is painted on the wall above the Plant display? How many rabbits are in the nest that is at the base of the tree over the Soil and Rock display? When we look at our environment do we really see what is there? Sometimes. Sometimes not. Week two of the Porter Explorers is about SEEING. Seeing the world around you is a special skill. Not everyone develops this skill and those that do develop the ability to "see" things differently. Last week I came back to the ELC to "take a look at my bacteria." How many people would make a special trip back to the ELC to LOOK at a bunch of bacteria growing? I see things differently sometimes. In January I stopped everything I was working on in my office to SEE a visitor at the bird station outside my window. Check this little video I put together of my visitor.

(By the way, the first Explorer that mentions what the visitor was will get a special reward
when you visit the ELC this week.)

So we need to learn how to "see" the world around us this week. How can we do that? Well the simple answer is --we need to learn how to look!! That is what we will be learning at the Porter Explorers this week. To help this lesson we will start Nature Journals. There will be two types of Nature Journals--
  • The traditional drawn, illustrated, and narrated paper and pencil journal
  • The e-journal made on a Wikisite with digital entries

We will learn to look, to see, to illustrate, to digitally capture, and to interpret the world around us. To see the e-journal for the Porter Explorers go to this web site:

Have you ever kept a journal of what you have seen and experienced in the world around you?
Here are a few pictures of my nature journal. One is what I saw at a watering hole when I was in South Africa and the other is a picture of a small pond I built in my backyard.

Let me know in a comment. OR Tell me about some special thing You have seen in
the natural world around you in the comments below. RB

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