I have always been a nature nut, a confirmed tree-hugger and unrepentant sunset-chaser, a kid with a pocket full of pebbles and acorns, and a grown woman with the same.
It is no wonder my blog has always been chocca with images and musings on nature, and that my business is called Wild Acre and my designs inspired by the natural world around me. It is absolutely who I am, and how my heart beats.
This year, I have sectioned up my sketchbooks into months, like little chapters, and will be filling them up with notes and drawings of the things I find on my wanders down by the river or in the woods, partly to help me look that much closer and see the months more clearly from a botanical viewpoint, but mainly just for the joy of it and for bringing a bit more mindfulness into my year. So once a month I will blog here from my nature notes, sharing things I have found and why I love them or simply what they are. On instagram, I will be collating these images together using the hashtag #naturenotes_january and simply adding the new month as we go along (naturenotes_february and so on). Please do join in over there adding the hashtag to any images you have of seasonal interest, sharing little details of nature that have caught your eye with photos, drawings or words. Hopefully a lovely treasure trove of seasonal loveliness and knowledge will build up over the months. If you like this sort of thing there are tons of other IG accounts and hashtags that explore similar nature-inspired themes - see the exquisite drawings of laragastiger, vanillalemoncake 's nature inspired creativity, rockandfern 's inspiring collections, harryandfrank 's gorgeous photographs, modernbotanic 's thoughtful, nature inspired prints, hannahnunnlamps for beautiful botanic inspired designs, _emmabradshaw 's inspirational #thenaturetable and silverpebble2 's knowlegeable and creative account.
I am adding a little extra geekery to my nature notes by joining in with The Woodland Trust's nature calendar survey, where your observations and notes can join thousands of others to create scientifically useful data for researching the effects of climatic changes. What is not to like?
The weather until very recently has been so weirdly warm that nature feels a bit out of kilter in my garden and local countryside - hellebores have been out for weeks, and the snowdrop drifts are bulking up and flowering already. Delphinium shoots are a foot high and daffs and tulips are popping their green shoots above the soil, all a bit strange!
On my wanderings, it is the gorgeous little alder cones that have caught my eye, last year's female catkins apparantly, but just so intriguing and curious-looking hanging in their thousands from the branches of the magnificent alders along our local riverbanks. Did you know alder wood is very resistant to rot and often grows close to water - historically used for ship building and clog making? I had no idea, and as a devotee of clogs since childhood am even more smitten! I couldn't resist a few sketches and am imagining them hanging in silver or gold on lovely long pendants? Mmmmm! I have also fallen hard for this lovely wild plant I found growing in abundance along a footpath (also sketched below) - anyone any ideas of what it is, I would love to know, it is so pretty?
So, that is my nature notes entry for January, a very simple start I know, but I hope you enjoy the series and join in with some of your own discoveries over on instagram or below in the comments. Have a cosy winter weekend. xx