top of page

From Bush to Bookshelf: Kim's Picks

To be honest you do not NEED any books. I have them as references to help me draw more correctly, identify species and to inspire me.  

For How to Nature Journal

I bought this book to get me started on nature journaling when I first learned about it. This one book contains everything you need to know as a beginner. 


Clare Walker Leslie has a lovely website with examples of her work at here.

You can listen to interviews with her by aka

Jack (John Muir) Laws' here. He says of her, "She is one of my most important mentors and influences. She is a wise, and inspiring teacher with lessons for our journals and lives." And with Bethan Burton's Journaling With Nature podcast here.

For Adding Colour to My Pages

I bought this book to assist in boosting my confidence in watercolour experiments in my nature journal.

There are exercises in the book that range from easier skills acquisition to really wonderfully complicated exercises that steadily build on skills picked up from earlier exercises.

You can find Rosalie Haizlett on Instagram, YouTube  and her website if you want to follow her for inspiration.

The first exercise in the book.

Daisy in watercolour completed by Kim von Weidts.

For Inspiration

Described online as a “naturalist’s delight” this book was first published posthumously in 1977 to enormous publishing success. The book contains the observations of the author Edith Holden (1871-1920) in the English countryside containing watecolour paintings and text observations.


This book and Nature Notes of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady are both available as full text to borrow from the Internet Archive.


For Reference

There are various reference books on birds in South Africa that have different price points.

I chose the SASOL Birds of Southern Africa, as it is super easy to use with regards to finding types of birds and

the content is good for my drawing records. Full of photographic records, it is perfect for when I want to identify something and draw from reference photos. I used it to paint the Cape Batis in my entry from the Nature Journaling Cape Town outing to Newlands (see image left).

Two Oceans contains so many photographic entries to assist nature journaling the different species that you can find in tidal pools.

It really is the best book I could find to assist identification.

These field guides comes from the publisher Struik’s series of field guides. Other publishers also have useful reference books in their wildlife, environment and nature series.


The John Muir Laws The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing & Journaling book is on my wishlist.

It is a valuable tool for any nature journaler.

For why this book

should be on your wishlist,

of this outstanding book.

Book Talk

What books do you have on your bookshelf?

Which are your favourite kinds of books:

  • for learning skills like drawing or identification?

  • for inspiration?

  • for something else?

Not a collector of books? Your local library is a wonderful resource to find nature books to assist you.

What's on Our Website

There are many areas of the Nature Journaling South Africa website designed to provide information and additional resources references. We hope that this website will assist you in your nature journaling.

Explore, these sections for:

Also check out our website for South African-specific nature references.

76 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page