Happy New Year! I’m kinda a metrics geek, but I’ve never summarized my nature journal practice. Since it’s the close of the year (and the start of the next) I thought it would be fun to give it a try.
Here’s my Nature Journal Year in Review for 2023. I did this because I was curious about some basic questions:
- how much did I nature journal last year?
- When and where did I journal most?
- What kind of content shows up on my pages?
- What patterns are there that I don’t even know to wonder about?
The goal is to have a baseline for my practice and to see what changes year over year. I don’t really care about the actual numbers; I do care about growth, trends, and patterns over time.
Doing the counts and calculating the metrics was super fun! And it revealed things I did not expect…like how many entries are in color vs. black & white, and what percentage of entries actually include what I think of as “bread and butter” content. Turns out that I’m not nearly as consistent with metadata as I thought, that attending/hosting events prompts me to journal more, and that my questioning practice could use some gillogling. Yay for evidence over assumptions! I also included nature reads and stewardship work to tie journaling to my broader goals of nature reciprocity and ecological care.
All quant and no qual makes for thin insights, so the “buds & blooms” honor the personal growth and special wonder-moments during the year. (There were lots of both and I had to pare down to only 6 in each category.) Writing a year-end haiku encouraged yet another distillation…shoutout to Elizabeth Kelley Gillogly who inspires me to write haiku.
It wasn’t a quick project, but it wasn’t a huge time commitment (maybe 3-4 hours.) Collecting data involved going through all nature journal work from the past year, counting locations, noting specifics of content, and doing summary calculations. The best part was re-visiting the wonder of each nature experience: recalling the phenomena and beauty, smiling at memories, seeing patterns emerge, and feeling deeply grateful for the people and beings whose paths I shared over the past 365 days.
Doing the summary was fulfilling, and I highly recommend it! If you choose to do so, please share your results with the Wild Wonder Foundation via this form:
• Wild Wonder Nature Journal Year-End Survey, 2023
ps: I’m working on a post with more details on the process I used, and what I learned. And maybe some downloadable templates! Will post when I have it together. Stay tuned! 😉