Sunday, April 20, 2014

Becoming a Naturalist

     Spring has finally come to Long Island, New York, and we're very grateful!  It may have been a snowy winter, but I kept busy taking online art classes.  Sadly this was the end of Misty Mawn's 12 week Full Circle Class.  Wow, did she teach!   I had such a great time, looking forward to at least three videos a week of wonderfully detailed and patiently taught painting, journaling, photography, clay classes and more!
      This wall hanging is my favorite thing.

But then again, the box of inspiration is another

Next time, I have to remember not to write anything until it's finished.   The box is bottom side up.  And I haven't even done all the lessons yet!   They're still available for many months.

     I'm so happy that I have already scheduled journaling classes with a few libraries.   I'll be doing nature, themed art journals and Steampunk!
     For Wertheim Wildlife refuge,  I gave a nature journaling classes for children on Saturday.  I thought with Earth Day coming up,  recycled cereal boxes would be a good idea.  Happily I was right, eight preteen girls worked together to cut, punch holes, and decorate a journal before we went outside for a walk.   I explained that this class wasn't about creating beautiful artwork or journals, but about learning to observe, and really seeing nature.  From my volunteering with Audubon's For The Birds! Program,  I was able to tell them about identifying birds by their field marks and using field books.

     I thought this was the best class I'd had at the refuge,  everyone was enthusiastic making their journals.  The best part for me may have been when I pointed out the osprey on the other side of the river, and one of the students quickly turned and asked how did I know from so far away?

    Last year, while taking Quality Parks Master Naturalist Class, I learned about Dennis Puleston's work to save the osprey.  Since then,  I'm always thrilled to see the growing numbers flying over the waters.    So I excitedly told the student some of what I knew about osprey,  I felt for the first time that I was really becoming a naturalist.