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I Notice. I Wonder? It Reminds Me of…

“Engage with the World. Wonder widely. Never stop learning. Be grateful, be kind. And become a steward of nature.”

John Muir Laws

You’re ready to get started! You have your nature journal, supplies, water bottle, and sunscreen packed in your sack, and you head out to the trail, or maybe just your backyard or local park. You have a blank page, now what? What gets me started is simply recording the date, time, location, and temperature. Look around. What do you see? What interests you? What tickles your curiosity?

John Muir Laws in his book “The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling” calls us to start with I notice, I wonder and it reminds me of questions, AND to be specific in what we notice by using words, pictures, and numbers. What questions does this bring up for me? I wonder who pollinated this flower? I wonder if it’s a bee or a butterfly? I wonder what kind of butterfly? I notice a spider near the flower. I wonder how many legs are on this spider? What does this remind me of? It reminds me of when as a child, there was a spider in my camping tent. This stimulates our brains and memories.

Here are a few suggestions for your pages:

  • Today’s date and weather

  • Doodle a drawing of what you see.

  • Name what you see. I see a yellow flower called Esperanza.

  • Count the number of petals on a flower.

  • Count the number of flowers on a plant and write down the numbers.

  • Color in your doodles.

  • Answer your “I wonder” questions and write them down.

  • Write a poem or other literary inspiration.

  • Write down how you’re feeling.

  • What sounds are you hearing?

  • Finish your journal at home by filling in the answers to the questions that came up for you.

  • Finish your drawings.

  • Color in your drawings

Your journal can be a work of art or a scientific recording of the natural world. Your journal is personal, and you decide how it will be organized. Here are some examples of pages from one of my journals:


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