Sometimes you run into something in nature that has you puzzled. You can still add your discovery to your nature journal and include your questions about it. Actually, adding a few “I wonder” statements to any nature journal page is a good practice. Then you will be more likely to discover the answers later.
Recently, we came across these unusual empty chrysalises on one of our walks. (At least that’s what they looked like.) Actually, I came across them. My daughter was climbing a tree.
I had no idea what they were, except I figured some sort of insect came out of them since they were both empty. That night I added them to my nature journal page along with some questions I had.
I used to think I wasn’t good at drawing because I couldn’t draw realistically, but I’ve come to realize that there are other styles of drawing that are appealing as well. Even now, I wouldn’t consider myself good at drawing people, but I think my daughter turned out rather cute.
I think my year of nature drawing has paid off and taught me how to really see when I draw and that translated to being able to do a decent job when working from a picture. So if you or your child are at the beginning stages, I encourage you to keep practicing. Focus on drawing what you see and being consistent and it will pay off in the future.
Also, there is nothing wrong with experimenting with different types of nature journaling. Eventually, you’ll find what you like and what fits your personality. If you wait until you can make the perfect journal page, you’ll never start. An “imperfect” page is just as valuable as a “perfect” one. I enjoy switching styles. For example, I love doing beautiful pages full of drawings from nature, but I also know the more personal glimpses into our day will be treasured in the future.
Now, back to the pupae we found. After a bit of research, I discovered we had found some gypsy moth pupae. I know that isn’t very glamorous. It’s actually the opposite, since gypsy moths are serious pests. Since the moths usually emerge in June, these are probably from caterpillars that lived last summer, pupated, and laid eggs. Now that I think about it, I think there was something that looked like an egg mass near the pupae. This would make sense since the female moths cannot fly and wait for the males to come to them.
On your next nature walk, find something that has you puzzled and add it to your nature journal page. In the words of Charlotte Mason, “Every walk should offer some knotty problem for the children [or the parent] to think about ─ “Why does that leaf float on the water, and this pebble sink? And so on.”
Happy Nature Journaling! And, yes, I did climb the tree. Aren’t you glad we have kids to keep us young?
Are you looking for more nature activities and nature journaling ideas? Check out my monthly nature calendars.