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Nature Journaling

Another way to explore and appreciate nature is through the practice of nature journaling. Nature journaling is the act of observing nature and recording what you see in pictures and words. People have been creating journals to record their observations since the ancient Greeks! 


When you nature journal, you can create sketches of what you see and write about what you notice, what you wonder, and what the thing you've recorded reminds you of. You can sketch a bird and make notes about its behavior or draw a plant and wonder who pollinates it or feeds on it, for example. There are many ways to create a nature journal depending on your style and interests and there's no right or wrong way to do it. The point is to get out into nature and get immersed in it!


To learn more about nature journaling, you can read this article by MVAS President Cheryl Fallstead, who interviewed one of the proponents of the nature journaling movement, John Muir Laws. Another great place to get information is from his website,, or from the website of the foundation he created, the Wild Wonder Foundation. Jack (as he is called) also has created numerous YouTube videos to help people get started and dig deeper into the practice. Here's a link to his "getting started" video for nature journaling beginners.

The MVAS Nature Journaling Group plans to meet monthly at a variety of locations to support each other in the practice. Watch the calendar for updates or ask to be added to the MVAS Nature Journaling Group email list. It helps with planning if you RSVP to if you plan to join us.


The MVAS Nature Journal Club will meet at the NMSU Arthropod Collection on Friday, May 10. Due to limited space, there will be two groups of six who can access the collection. One group will journal from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and the second group will visit from 10:30 a.m. until noon. Reservations are required for this event. Please email to reserve a spot or get on the waiting list. To learn more about drawing insects, you can watch this video by John Muir Laws.


Then on Saturday, June 22, at 8:30 a.m. the club will meet at the NMSU Demonstration Garden, located on University Boulevard (NM State Road 101) just west of S. Main Street. There are more than 300 plant species there, plus the birds, butterflies, and other pollinators that visit the garden. Space is not limited, but we'd appreciate an email to RSVP! Bring your nature journaling supplies and a portable chair or stool. Here's a link to a video by John Muir Laws on drawing plants that may be helpful.

Our July meeting will be held at the Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science, where we'll have access to their diverse collection of Chihuahuan Desert animals. Our session will be on Saturday, July 13, from 2 to 4 p.m. Museum admission is free and there is a parking lot on the Water Street side.


You can also follow the MVAS Nature Journal Club by searching that name on Facebook.


There is no charge to participate and you don't have to be an MVAS member (although we encourage you to join us!).


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