Awe & Wonder – Nature Journalling in Ruffy with Vanessa Melandrin

My favourite part of the session was an activity designed to really notice things in nature. We sat in the yard at the old Ruffy school and observed. We listened to the noises around us, felt the breeze and then selected an object to write notes on. To write detail about the colour, texture, pattern and so on. I selected an oak leaf. I picked a brown leaf from the ground to write about first – a simple leaf that wouldn’t take long to describe, and another more complex fallen oak leaf with more colour and visual intrigue to write about second.
I began describing the shade of brown of the underside of the leaf. I noticed that the veins were more a cream colour and that the lower part of the stem was a very dark brown but not all of the stem was the one shade. I described the varying degrees that the veins protruded and the way the leaf curled inward. I described the shape of the leaf with its almost-pointed-tips. This was all before I had even turned the leaf over! This brought a whole new layer of description with its leather-like appearance. Soon I had filled a page and a half and the time allocated for the activity was up. I didn’t even get a chance to move on to my “more complex” colourful leaf.
What a fantastic way to sit back and REALLY take it all in – not just to “look”, but to really “see”.

Rebecca Threfall

Another three participants who were already meeting on a regular basis to paint and draw easily adopted the nature journaling ethos.

Here a page in one of their diaries describes the process for the day.