Clare Walker Leslie
May 25, 2021
Blurb: 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.
I received Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie as an ebook ARC, which I failed to read by the archival deadline and it disappeared from my electronics. I am going to tell you that was not a bad thing. Keeping a Nature Journal is a book that needs to be read with a physical copy in your hands that you can leaf through, skip chapters and come back to them, and just enjoy the experience of savoring this book. That’s far, far too hard to do with an ebook, not to mention that the figures and pictures are never rendered quite as nicely.
At this point, you’ve probably realized that I bought the book. How could I not when I really wanted an opportunity to explore it and delight in it? Keeping a Nature Journal did not let me down.
This book is geared toward anyone who has at a minimum ten minutes where they can be outside and just observe, be mindful of the birds, insects, trees, clouds, whatever nature might exist in front of them. The author encourages the reader to keep a journal to take notes, to draw, to see the world around them. She even gives prompts. This creates an amazing journey.
In its pages, Keeping a Nature Journal helps the reader to see and gives short tutorials on how to draw what one sees. Even me, an artistically floundering writer has bought drawing pencils to try to draw what I see and create my own nature journal.
Also included are pages from the author’s own journal, as well as pictures drawn by her students, as inspiration for the reader’s own journey.
If you’ve thought about starting your own nature journal, Keeping a Nature Journal can definitely help you get there and delightfully get there, I might add.
I received an ARC and bought a copy and these are my honest opinions.
5 out of 5 butterflies