Calendar of Firsts 2017

The New Year arrived before I was ready, but we had a beautiful, restful day, with the sliver of a crescent moon visible in the day-time sky, along with bright, beautiful Venus!


The feeders in the garden have been busy; Blue tits, Great tits, Ruben the Robin, Sparrows, Blackbirds, and a friendly pigeon who does his best to feed there.

We have had some wonderful, freezing weather with bright blue skies, whilst today is extremely foggy. Rose is out at the stables, I hope she doesn’t lose her way i the fog when she rides out!


As you can see, I have begun my new Calendar of Firsts. I have yet to washi-tape the page edges though! Have you begun your journal yet?

Wishing you all a smashing, nature-filled year!

Happy exploring


Calendar of Firsts Flip Through


It seems ever such a long time ago since I began my Calendar of Firsts back in January. But the year has rolled on, and each week I have added my observations about the natural world around me.

This morning I sketched my last entry: Week 52: Hoarfrost on Holly, and a Moorhen.

I have created a flip-through video so you can see all the nature happenings that I have recorded this year, and I do hope that you will consider keeping your own Calendar of Firsts (whether illustrated or not) in 2017

Wishing you a happy and peaceful new year!



Calendar of Firsts ~ Week 51


Week 51 The penultimate week of my Calendar of Firsts.

That same story as the last few weeks, weatherise. Lots of rain and some frosty mornings. Breathtaking sunsets and sunrises. The Monday morning sky was half deep, but bright blue, half a glorious lilac-purple tone. The waning gibbous moon sat like a plump, cut diamond on a velvet cushion. We have a few sprigs of Mistletoe hanging in the hall way, so before I hung it up, I painted it and Rose cut open a berry to investigate the sticky insides.

And this is Christmas week! Such joy!

What’s happening in the natural world where you live?
Happy exploring!

Calendar of Firsts ~ Week 50


Week 50! I am definitely on a countdown to the end of the year, and consequently, the end of my Calendar of Firsts.

Lots and lots of rain here again this week. And gorgeous sunsets and sunrises. I chose to paint the plump, ripe Ivy berries in the garden, and also the full ‘Moon before Yule’. It was quite a windy morning and the clouds were scudding along at quite a rate. We have also had some lovely Collar Doves visit the feeders this week, which was a joy.

What’s happening in the natural world where you live?
Happy exploring!

Holly Nature Study


This morning we were reading The Christmas Book by Enid Blyton, a beautiful, living book,  that details the customs and traditions of Christmas, tells the story of the birth of Christ, and tucks in a wee bit of nature study too.

We read the chapter about Holly, and picked some from our garden to study.


Rose cut up some of the berries to see what was inside, and we sketched the holly in our journals whilst listening to Bing Crosby singing ‘The Holly and the Ivy’


Rose wrote a short dictation from the story we had read.


I copied out part of the story that had most interested me.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Happy exploring

Calendar of Firsts ~ Week 49


Week 49! I cannot quite believe I have only three pages left to complete in my Calendar of Firsts.

Unfortunately I have not been able to carve out time to make another video, and as we head toward Christmas, I see that becoming even less likely. I am hoping to create a video showing a flip though my journal after Christmas.

Lots of rain here this week. (Forgive me, I am English and our main preoccupation is weather.) Mornings are either warm and damp, or cold and dry, the latter being much more preferable! The feeders have been very busy, and we have had wee flocks of Starlings. I found this bird such a challenge to paint, and whilst I am not entirely happy with my sketch, I did get to observe this bird such a lot whilst working in my journal. Which is largely the point of nature journaling, is it not.

I have also noticed lots of moss over the last few weeks, so I added a quick sketch of the rather unimaginatively named ‘Ordinary moss’.

What’s happening in the natural world where you live?
Happy exploring!

Calendar of Firsts ~ Week 48


This week’s sketching took a festive turn as I decided to sketch our Christmas tree.
Norman Firs are probably the most popular Real Christmas Tree in the UK. It has gorgeous deep green foliage, with the underside a striking blue, and is very much the traditional ‘Christmas tree’ shape we have come to expect.  Christmas tree day is such a special day in my home, I wanted to capture a little of that in my nature journal.

The weather here has been either heavy rain, or crisp, frozen, sunshiny days, with glorious sunrises & sunsets. The birds have been filling up at the feeders in my garden; Sparrows, Blue tits, Great Tits, Coal tits, Starlings, Blackbirds, and our wee Robin. I have an huge Holly tree in the garden and the Blackbirds are going a grand job of eating all its berries.

What’s happening in the natural world where you live?
Happy exploring!