Place Prompts: Places to Observe in Your Nature Journal


Tinicum nature journal entry for 18 April 2017
My nature journal entry for 18 April 2017 at Tinicum

Place prompts are ideas of where to go to work in your nature journal. Choosing places to focus your nature journal on, will help you more easily see and connect with the natural world. These nature journal writing prompts show the many choices available to you.

You can observe right where you visit every day or on vacations. You don’t have to travel to national parks or nature preserves to observe and learn about the Earth.

You can also focus on several spots but with the same theme.

Suppose you observe, draw, or photograph the native plants outside where you work, regularly walk or go on vacation. One theme but many places.

What you end up creating is a field guide to your own special places.


The un-enhanced side of the wetland at Jenkintown Creek
The un-enhanced side of the wetland at Jenkintown Creek – Tacony/Tookany-Frankord Creek Partnership, Photo by Donna L. Long.

Place Prompts to Inspire You

Your backyard habitat – Observe the animals that visit, bloom time of plants, the stars in the sky overhead. What is a Naturalist’s Garden or Backyard Habitat?

Your garden – observe the plants and the ecology, plantings, and harvests. Watch the interaction of insects, birds and “weeds”. Note seasonal changes, bloom dates, frosts, and dew.


In Your Home – Okay, we have seen bugs and insects crawling around our houses like they pay a mortgage. Who are they and what are they doing? Do they help or hinder us? What is the mold growing on the basement wall?


One Square Foot (Meter) – observe one square foot of ground. Mark off with string, the areas you choose to study. Observe the plants and animals that live there. You can do one spot or several in your chosen area.


Sky – Try charting the movement of the sun, moon, and stars. Where does the sun rise on the solstices? Is the same spot in winter and summer? On the equinoxes? Are the same stars over your house every day of the year? Name the most common constellations. Which way is north? Nature Journal Prompt Looking Above


Travel – While traveling, keep your eyes open for nature happenings in new areas. Research an area before arriving and find common characteristics between home and the new area.


Mountains – What mountain range are they apart of? What are they made of? How do scientist think they are formed? Who lives and grows in the mountains?


Seashore – Study tidal pools, shorebirds, seashells, beach plants, life in the dunes, the beach after a storm, tides, things washed ashore and endangered species.


Water – Record the life and seasonal changes at wetlands, lakes, ponds, streams, backyard ponds and pools. How to Photograph Moving Water


site of Henry David Thoreau's cabin on Walden Pond - Marble, Annie Russell [Public domain]
site of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin on Walden Pond – Marble, Annie Russell [Public domain]

More Nature Journal Prompts

Nature Journal Writing Prompts

Nature Journal Themes

Nature Writing

Drawing Nature in Autumn


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