Increase the depth of your junkets into nature by taking along a simple journal. Use what works best for you whether you use your phone to take photos and notes or are a traditionalist and use a notebook (pocket sized craft paper Moleskines are great) and pencil or even if you use watercolors (I use postcard sized watercolor pads, watercolor pencils, and a few tiny little brushes I found that are supposed to be for painting doll faces.)
Keep your journal in your car or your pack so it is always available to take with you. Use pencil or an ink pen, in case your journal gets wet so the ink doesn’t smear. I use a mechanical pencil to take field notes and always keep a tube of leads in my field bag.
Journaling will help you take a deep breath, relax, and really see what is happening around you. Take along a heavy-gauge trash bag to sit on so your butt doesn’t get wet and take a seat IN the woods. Note the sounds you hear. The birds in the branches above your head. The shrew making his way through the leaf debris. The irate chipmunk chirping at you for sitting in his living room.
Write down whatever pops into your head. Just write. Or just draw or paint. Leave the editor back on the trail. Just slow down and savor the moment in nature. The feeling of a slight breeze. The chitter-chatter of chick-a-dees. The lively stillness you can only find in the woods.