On this page, you will find suggestions for books and blogs to read, tutorial videos to watch, webcams to observe wildlife, citizen science projects to join, and free reference photo collections to inspire your drawing practice.
Resources on Nature Journaling
There are only a few books on nature journaling. There are books on nature studies and nature drawing. Here are our top picks. These books are expensive. Consider asking your local library to order them. Then you and others can benefit from these special resources.
"The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling" by John Muir Laws ISBN: 978-1597143158
"Make a Date with Nature: An introduction to nature journaling" by Paula Peeters.
An excellent, brief introduction. Available for free from her website. Scroll down her home page to
request the ebook.
"Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You"
by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth, 2nd edition 2003, ISBN: 1-58017-493-0
"Artist's Journal Workshop: Creating Your Life in Words and Pictures Paperback”
by Cathy Johnson, June 2011
“Field Notes on Science & Nature” editor Michael R. Canfield ISBN: 978-0-674-05757-9.
If you are interested in science, this is a brilliant book. It is not a how-to, but rather a collection of
essays on field notes by professionals in different fields.
The internet has excellent resources on how to nature journal. Some of their content overlaps, but one that stands apart is John Muir Laws.
We recommend that you start with his website. To date, he has 240 blog posts and videos. Many of the videos are 90 minutes long. They are videotaped at the workshops he conducts for the Bay Area Nature Journaling Club each month. New videos are released most months. For past blog posts and videos check his Blog Archives. For new blog posts check Recent Blogs.
Introduction to Nature Journaling The video workshop is a great orientation to nature journaling. It covers what it is, how to start and keep nature journaling, and how to set up you nature journaling kit. Also, check out the blog archives for the most extensive and generous learning pot on the web.
Curiosity video workshop “Curiosity is not a trait you are born with. It is a skill that you can develop and refine with practice. It is more essential than any drawing trick or tool and can make a nature journal burst to life.”
Paying Attention blog post reflecting on David Sibley’s discovery about juncos. “What is significant to me about this is that rather than being jaded by familiarity, he is still, and perhaps more than ever, open to discovery.
The Dyslexic Naturalist with blog post John Muir Laws is a major inspiration for this website and Nature Journaling South Africa. He is dyslexic. He writes about it here. He is a role model for all those with reading difficulties and learning challenges.
Other Helpful Resources from Experienced Nature Journalers
Fiona Gillogly at the Foster Museum a video of talk of teen naturalist Fiona in conversation with John Muir Laws.
If you have limited bandwidth or low-speed internet, start with Paula Peeters' excellent and short "Make a Date with Nature: An introduction to nature journaling". It is available for free from her blog Paperbark Writer “Australian nature meets science and art.”
Environmental Education and Nature Journaling
Field Journaling With Students session, BEETLES Project (Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning & Expertise Sharing)
Opening the World Through Nature Journaling: Integrating art, science, and language arts second edition, written by John Muir Laws, Emily Breunig, Emilie Lygren and Celeste Lopez. A curriculum to help children and adults connect with nature. Available as an electronic document from California Native Plant Society.
A sample of other blog posts that have useful tips and perspectives
Nature Journaling for Kids: 10 Ideas to Try When They Don’t Love It blog post on This Simple Balance 9 June 2018
Beginner’s Guide to Nature Journaling: 12 Tips For a Better Nature Journal by Brian Merton on his blog Nature Mentoring. In the blog post he shares wonderful tips to use storytelling to paint pictures with words.
How to Make a Nature Journal posted on WikiHow
Webcams for Live Viewing of Wildlife and Wildness from Home
Webcams are cameras used with computers for video streaming from the internet. You need high-speed internet to view live webcams. Webcam viewing uses large amounts of bandwidth like streaming any video. Webcams are used in nature settings so that sites can be viewed at any time without having to have a person present. This also allows you to view wildlife behaving naturally. This type of viewing is used in research as well as for enjoyment. It is a great option for nature journaling from home.
This list contains webcams that we have found. Most of the webcams listed below are in South Africa, with some in Botswana and up the east coast in Kenya.
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Tembe Elephant Park Tembe National Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal bordering Mozambique. It is also the ancestral home of the Tembe people, who co-own and manage Tembe Elephant Park Lodge. The webcam is live-streamed on the Tembe Elephant Park's webcam and also on Africam
Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
Addo Elephant National Park – still and continuous streaming by South African National Parks
Gauteng Province, South Africa
Black Eagle webcam, Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden. The mountainous area where they nest each year is under threat of urban development. Visit the website to sign the petition to protect the area.
Allen Bird Cam, Tshwane/Pretoria variety of garden birds and small nocturnal animals visiting a bird feeder in a South African suburban garden
You can download this
Southern African-Specific Nature Resources
Check out our page on this topic here. Currently, you will find resources on astronomy, birding, and nature and wildlife generally.
Citizen Science Projects
Research on Reasons to Nature Journal
Free Reference Photo Collections