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Nature Journaling in the Garden...

The Sandhill Cranes have passed overhead on their northern migration and hummingbirds have returned to the feeders. As the final patches of snow melt, allowing the soil to warm, gardening season is upon us here in Alaska. The perennials are up with their leaves stretching towards the lengthening sunlight. Seedling trays are full of vegetables and annuals waiting for the safety of frostless nights.

As my own internal clock and energies change with the approach of the Summer season so does my nature journaling practice. My attention becomes focused on plant growth and wild life in my very immediate surroundings.

Where are the grape hyacinths? They seemed to be a bit later than usual poking through to greet the season. Was that an Anna’s hummingbird at the feeder? I’ll have to watch more closely. The dogs have brought home signs that the bears are awake. Will there be cubs this year? That mystery flower has returned in the same spot as last year? I do wonder at what it is and how it came to be there?

My garden nature journal has provided me the tool to pay ever-closer attention to how my garden grows. Last Summer I journaled observations of our cucumbers each month along with the daily weather. Detailed accounts including illustrations, numerical data, written observations, and questions often filled time each evening to help me recount the changes through the days. By keeping a small FIELD NOTES notebook on-hand I am able to quickly make notes & write wonderings which will be more deeply recorded at the end of a day.

2021 weather data was recorded in a standard calendar format which I have changed this year into a monthly phenology wheel. The cyclical nature of the phenology wheel has a much more organic & artistic feel to me. I’ve created a template for this phenology wheel which I’m happy to share. My gardening journal is 8”x11” and the template fits onto a two-page spread. Email me at the Seward Nature Journaling address for a copy of the template if you’d like to give it a try.

Hoping this finds each of you enjoying the lengthening daylight and warming temperatures. Happy journaling (& gardening)!

Peace, Kirstie

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