Monday was the third meeting of our new nature journaling group. After sharing about our favorite workshops from the Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference which had just ended (at least the live-streaming part), we headed down the path to the ponds. Hawks Prairie reclaimed water ponds are not far down the road from the dump and just off the freeway, a handy location for this few acres of land, where wastewater from homes and businesses in a three city area is cleaned of pollutants and released back to the environment for irrigation and other vital purposes other than drinking.
For us it quickly became a sensory wonderland as we gobbled up observations and shared them with each other before settling down to our nature journal sketches. We noticed for instance that the temperature on this very warm morning dropped noticeably as we got closer to the ponds, and we drank in the cool damp air hungrily.
The ponds were covered with pale yellow-green cover of duck weed so dense that it looked like you could walk out on it. Soon the ducks showed up, and after a few quacks, lay down with their heads flat on the water surface, vacuuming up their namesake weed.
The nature seemed to court us and in different ways. Some were drawn in by the foliage patterns of the striking tall trees, others by the variety of reeds around the pond edges and the berries and flowers and flying insects. And the textures of the oak galls so delighted a couple friends that they laid out them out to sketch with intense concentration to detail -which generated pressing questions of what? and how? and associations with a host of other memories and on and on.
And in this way we all woke up a bit. Got away from our screens for a bit (except perhaps for using the Leaf Snap app and that would be me). Woke up from the indoor lives we live, or even the way we go outdoors mostly to exercise, not stopping to notice the spider on the bloom, the dragonflies sewing up the air in sudden dips and swoops, the shiny bright red berries that were not there yesterday.
Just to let you know, the Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference is still available for a while in video recordings at a ridiculously low price here.