Following my decision to "hole up" in the holler around March 2nd, I signed up for the online nature journaling and field sketching course at Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Bird Academy. I have taken other courses there to expand knowledge and sharpen skills for my phenology observation activities on Nature's Notebook -- identifying bird songs and understanding bird behavior, for example.
I didn't anticipate how my work on this course might influence content here on HollerPhenology until I finished the first assignment which was -- prior to any instruction in how to sketch -- to draw a yellow warbler, then think about what advantages drawings have over photos and vice versa. These questions dropped me into the center of future intentions for posts on HollerPhenology.
I have relied, primarily, on my own photos to add visual illustrations of what's happening with life cycles of wild things where I live. Before I put them into a post, however, I often use my photos to validate what I thought I saw. Since images are time-stamped, they serve to back up memory chronology as well. Photos of one individual or colony over several years can document changes in the "neighborhood" of a certain plant that I might not remember.
Sketching the yellow warbler took me into a different (and unexpected) space, a deeper and possibly more intimate one with the species I observe. I want to explore this experience further. Every once in awhile, I want to toss a sketch instead of a photo into my posts, or maybe both, side by side.
Another thing I want to do with HollerPhenology will involve shorter posts published (I hope!) more often. The need to limit excursions beyond the holler in these days of the coronvirus may help inspire me to anchor this new habit.