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Connect Your Nature Journal

Watercolor Brush 19

At home, work or school, use your nature journal entries in personal or professional projects.


Your entries are source material for many forms of personal nature studies.

They can provide inspiration for fiction and non-fiction writing, stories and associations from your childhood, poetry, essays, poems, drawing, painting, textiles, sculptures, musical composition, or any creative expression. 

They can also contribute to:

  • Record of places

  • Habitat studies

  • Species accounts and studies, including the wildlife and cultivated life in and around your home

  • Longer-term studies of the day and night skies with diaries of changes in moon, sun, planets and stars

  • Weather diaries - track the temperature, rainfall, cloud cover, wind patterns

  • Life, location-specific, monthly lists of birds and other animals, fungi, plants

  • Your own field guide, or field guides for different places

Ways to connect
… Bush to books
  • Ask questions. Look up information and answers to questions. See the South African specific nature resources section here.

  • Identify things you saw and heard.

       Identification can open a door to learning more.

Learn how to use identification keys to open those doors.

  • Follow-up on things you want to learn more about through reading or talking to others.

  • Learn about nature from nature - If you find something different from your observations, make a note of the difference. If the flower you saw was pink, and the book says red, that doesn’t mean the book is “correct”.  Leave your observation as you recorded it. Avoid the temptation to "correct" it. Rather make a note of the difference with the information in the book. Write the book name and page for later reference.

… Pages to Personal, programmatic or professional projects

    Transfer information, inspiration, stories or pages into

  • Personal field guides based on your observations, records and research

  • Species studies, for example, Purple-crested Turaco

  • Species comparisons within a genus such as Erythrina

  • Lists: bird, mammals, insects, plants, global life and place-specific lists

  • Art projects

  • Creative, fictional and non-fiction writing

  • Musical compositions

  • Stories in print

… Contribute to Citizen Science Projects 
  • Start with iNaturalist

  • Join and contribute to one of the many South African projects on the iNaturalist platform.

  • Read more about citizen science here.

… Community

     Share your entries, experiences, and reflections with a community of nature journalers

     at home  

  • Nature journalers

  • Nature Journal South Africa (subscribe to our mailing list at the bottom of the page)

  • Find a nature journal buddy.

  • The Nature Journal Club on Facebook (started by John Muir Laws)

  • There are nature journal groups in many parts of the world. Find a club here.

  • Start a group in your area.

or abroad.

… Environmental Justice

  • Learn about local environmental justice efforts and groups in areas that you visit.

  • Find out how you can support these efforts.


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