Keeping a Nature Journal

ISBN 9781635862287

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Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You

By Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth.  Foreword by Edward O. Wilson.

Originally published in 2000 with endorsements from E.O. Wilson and Jane Goodall, Clare Walker Leslie’s Keeping a Nature Journal was at the forefront of the nature observation and journaling movement.  Leslie’s approach has long been acclaimed for its accessible style of teaching people to see, witness, and appreciate the wonders of nature, and her classic guide is still used by individuals, groups, and educators ranging from elementary school teachers to college-level instructors.  The third edition features more of Leslie’s step-by-step drawing techniques, a new selection of pages from her own journals (which she’s kept for 40 years), and an expanded range of prompts for observing particular aspects of the natural world in any location.  With an emphasis on learning to see and observe, Leslie shows how drawing nature doesn’t require special skills, artistic ability, or even nature knowledge, and it is a tool everyone can use to record observations and experience the benefits of a stronger connection to the natural world.

Experience the splendor of nature with fresh eyes!  Featuring an inspiring 32 page colour-portfolio from Clare Walker Leslie’s nature journals, this guide offers easy-to-learn techniques for capturing the world around you in pictures and words.  Encouraging you to make journaling a part of your daily routine, Keeping a Nature Journal is full of engaging exercises and stimulating prompts that will help you hone your powers of observation and appreciate new aspects of nature’s endlessly varied beauty.

Softcover.  3rd edition. 224 pages. 2021. Storey Publishing.

8 x 10 inches.



“A wonderful book for young people, this book has also inspired this old gardener to go out and get one of those nice new sketchbooks … ” ― The New York Times

“Leslie’s approachable methods for recording the natural world have inspired many people.” ― New Orleans Times-Picayune

“ … a step-by-step guide to getting started in a fascinating hobby of recording on paper what you see in nature.” ― Cleveland Plain Dealer

“[C]oaches even beginners who think they cannot write or sketch but simply have a love of nature.” ― San Jose Mercury News

“… an excellent teaching tool on how to go about seeing the world in a new way.” ― Indianapolis Star

“This book was very motivating for me personally and I am ready to begin a nature journal. It could be used as a classroom supplement or a tool for personal professional development for all ages … a good resource for informal science organizations such as museums and camps.” ―NSTA Recommends (National Science Teachers’ Association),

“Here’s a good gift book for gardeners, but also for non-gardeners who nevertheless enjoy communing with the great outdoors.” ― Nashville Tennessean

“Learn to observe nature closely, sketch with confidence, keep accurate records, narrate the changing seasons, and more. Highly recommended for those interested in art journals or nature studies.” – Somerset Studio magazine


From the Inside Flap

Like a string of beads - or pearls these little - or grand - episodes help us link to the larger strand. This stringing of images, thoughts, connections, helps us to have more understanding, reason, compassion, gratefulness. - Clare Walker Leslie, journal entry, September 3, 1997

You can experience a spirited yet tranquil exploration of the living world by creating your own nature journal. In any season, any weather, and any place, nature journaling compels us to slow down, observe, reflect, and once again embrace our connection to the living mosaic that is our environment.

Using the methods Clare Walker Leslie and Chuck Roth have developed over years of journaling teaching, "Keeping a Nature Journal" guides you in creating ongoing journals for all seasons and purposes. You'll also learn techniques from other amateur and professional nature journalists.

Simple methods for capturing what you see in sketches and words will inspire you to make journaling a part of your daily life and will help you create journals to enjoy for years to come.


From the Back Cover

Experience the natural world with fresh eyes!

Using the simple techniques in this book, anyone can learn how to start and keep an ongoing nature journal. Along the way you'll develop skills in observing, sketching, appreciating, and writing about life's beauty and mysteries.

"This creative process is a the heart of natural history observation, and it helps to make the best of experiences also the most lasting in memory for anyone wishing to enjoy it." - From the foreword by Edward O. Wilson

"Drawing, writing and nature study can all seem a bit daunting to the uninitiated, but Keeping a Nature Journal with its friendly, rambling format and unpretentious drawings, makes keeping this kind of living record seem as natural and anxiety - free as taking a snapshot or writing a postcard to a friend. A great guide to discovering nature for yourself and creating your own work of art along to way." - Christopher W. Leahy, Director Center for Biological Conservation, Massachusetts Audubon Society

"This book offers people of all ages and interests a simple, direct method for getting outdoors to observe and enjoy the natural world around them." - Mark Wexler, Editor, National Wildlife


About the Authors

Clare Walker Leslie, author of The Curious Nature Guide, is a nationally known wildlife artist, author, and educator. She has been connecting people of all ages to nature using drawing, writing, and observation of the outdoors for more than 30 years. Her other books include the bestsellers Keeping a Nature Journal and The Nature Connection, as well as Nature Journal and Drawn to Nature. She lives with her husband and family in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Granville, Vermont.

Charles E. Roth is a teacher of science and the environment. He was Director of Education for the Massachusetts Audubon Society for many years and is active in numerous local, regional, and national environmental organizations. Besides authoring 20 books, Charles has received many awards including the Environmental Merit Award of the EPA. He resides in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.