Field Journal: Magnuson Park

Over the past few days I heard some rumblings on the internet that there were Bohemian Waxwings being seen in Seattle and particularly at Magnuson Park. Like our more common Cedar Waxwings, these birds spend their summer in the far north, but the Bohemian Waxwings don’t often winter in our area. They are unpredictable in their winter range and this year they have spread to the Puget Sound region. I’d wanted to visit Magnuson and Friday was perhaps the last sunny day for a while so I drove there after dropping my daughter off at school.

I arrived, parking in a location near the beach along Lake Washington and near Kite Hill, and walked towards the water to find dozens of American Wigeons in the water and on the grassy slope. After some looking I noticed one Eurasian Wigeon mixed in with the flock foraging in the lawn. On the beach a cluster of…

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365 Nature – Day 136

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.


I’ve been lazy with my nature journal that I started in the autumn and I’m going to make an effort to contribute more sketches to it. We have some camping trips and travel coming up this summer and I want to sketch on those trips but I’ve become very rusty since I took a watercolor sketching class back in September. I’d like to develop a…

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365 Nature – Day 19

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.


Nearly a month into 365 Nature and I hadn’t done a sketch in my nature journal yet. Today I decided to remedy that by sketching a Great Blue Heron I saw from Day 16 at Magnuson Park and documenting what else I saw that trip. I also got around to adding watercolor to a sketch I had done back in November of a…

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Learning to Watercolor

I have long wanted to keep a nature journal. Despite spending nearly six years with a drawing pen in my hand at school – with the exception of one class – I never had any proper art instruction. In my landscape design and landscape architecture schools, art was a crash course, something I had to do to communicate design, but not something we had any sort of training in. I was never happy with my skills as an artist and that prevented me from picking up a book and pen and jumping into keeping a nature journal.

When my daughter started preschool I had the opportunity to take a watercolor sketching class once a week for a month. Although it was aimed at botanical sketching, I knew I could carry what I learned to sketching the nature I encountered. Something about the class really clicked for me and I’ve felt a steady improvement in my artwork ever since…

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