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Naturalist Notebook 2019

Winter scene through a window

Right Outside Your Window

January is often the coldest and snowiest month of the year here in the Midwest. And sometimes it really is too cold to go out in the elements. Yes, I know last month I encouraged you to get outside but that was December and this is January and it’s a whole new kind of cold. So how do you keep your...
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Dark: A Poem by Cindy Owsley, Master Naturalist

Dark By Cindy Owsley   not really cold not really warm  ….. really dark   first October swim I can’t see but memory guides me   floating plants tickle feet squish in mud a fish flips   Owl hoo-ahs Katydids katydid Coyotes yip   cabin lights a return a dry towel invigorates me...
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woman and man making snow angels

Embracing Winter

Winter is my least favorite season. In fact, I would go as far as to say I really rather dislike it. The cold, bitter winds and snow are just not my thing. So you might think this month I would just say, “Stay inside. Don’t nature journal.” You would be mistaken. You see, while I dislike almost...
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woman by lake

Exceptional Daily Moment

What are a few of the exceptional moments in your life? If you are like most people, you might recount the birth of a child, a promotion or wedding. But what about a moment from yesterday? Probably not on your list, right? The unfortunate reality is that we miss exceptional moments every day. We...
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Woman Nature Journaling

Find Your “Sit Spot”

How many of you, growing up, sat under a tree? Hid under a bush? When I was a young girl, with three, count them three younger sisters who annoyed me constantly, I would escape into the woods surrounding my home. Once there I would lean back against my favorite tree and simply sit and watch. Well...
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Rocking by Cindy Owsley

RockingBy Cindy Owsley Sitting in my rocking chairin front of an expanse of glassthat looks out into the woods. A thermal cup with hazelnut coffeemuch too weak, white and sweetfor a true connoisseur. My calico companion sits on the sillwith an enthusiasm equal tobut much...
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Starting a Nature Journal

First, a quick definition of a nature journal. Similar to a personal diary, a nature journal is a place to record our observations and to reflect upon them, but unlike a diary, a nature journal is used specifically to record our observations of, and thoughts on, nature. But a funny thing may happen...
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My Footprint on Earth by Rose Moore

Since becoming a Master Naturalist, hardly a day goes by when I don't think of how my life affects the environment around me. These thoughts were recently brought to my attention when I stumbled upon a picture of the home I lived in when I was a child growing up in rural DuPage County. My family...
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Nature Journaling Prompts for August

The heat and humidity are now in full force but you want to continue using your journal (you did start one last month, didn't you?). August is a great time to get out and practice your observation skills. Just maybe not in the heat of the day. I am sure that many of us think that observing just...
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A Path Well Traveled

For many years now, it has been a regular routine of mine to walk the many trails on our property on a daily basis. It doesn't matter what the time of year. In the depths of winter and height of summer, these trails reveal nature's wonders to me at all times. We established walking trails about 12...
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Peace by Cindy Owsley

Peace By Cindy Owsley The need to be alone nearly equaled the need for a close friend's hug and so it seems that inertia prevailed.   I packed multiple armloads of hackberry all split and dried into the cold cabin and started a fire in the woodstove.  ...
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