Beechmont Nature Journal 14th September 2019

A cartoon about last weekend’s unprecedented fire at Binna Burra. It’s wobbly because that’s how I feel right now. But all around our house the birds are singing and I heard a koala bellow just before I posted this. So life goes on, and I’m hopeful for the future.

Beechmont Nature Journal 20th July 2019

Winter days in Beechmont have been cool, clear, still and sunny. Apart from a week of much needed rain, and the occasional windy day. I have been preoccupied with many other projects, but managed to squeeze a bit of nature journaling in too.

Here’s a page I created during the June meeting of the Woonoongoora Nature Journal Group. Seven people journaled in the lovely rainforest of Lamington National Park that day.

The next meeting (July) it was only me and Bronwyn, but we still had a great morning. It’s hard not to, when nature journaling in such a fab place, and sharing the experience with someone else who enjoys it too.

I have been making the most of the cooler weather by renovating the vegie garden. The chooks have been very interested in the digging, and so have some of the little native birds.

And now for the exciting announcement… which I feel some trepidation about too…

We’re going to be on the tele! A crew from Gardening Australia came and filmed us a few months ago, and the segment will go to air on Friday the 9th August at 7.30pm and will be repeated the following Sunday at 1.30pm. It can also be streamed from the ABC website or watched on iView after the first broadcast.

The trepidation is because I’m not at all used to being filmed, even though I am very comfortable with public speaking. But it’s great that nature journaling (and Ray’s paleobotany) will feature on Australia’s most popular lifestyle show. And it’s an honour to be part of such a wonderful show.

So until next time, I hope you have a chance to go outdoors and get a dose of nature. You know it’s good for you!

Beechmont Nature Journal, April 30th 2019

Autumn in Beechmont brings clear, calm days. Rose robins squawk softly from the trees, while yellow robins inspect the pea and bean seedlings emerging in the vegie patch. Soft rain and bright sunshine brings out the greens. The dogs are frisky now the hottest weather has gone. The forest is wet and the leeches are eager. Some of these things make it to the journal pages, others may have to wait til next time…

The sun came out for the Beechmont Market, and the dogs had a wonderful time.

I spent some pleasant mornings at Binna Burra trying to learn rainforest plants.

Free, messy, joyful, nature journaling!

I really love this little ‘Cappuccino Book’, probably because it works so well with ink and coloured pencils.

Autumn (or spring if you’re in the north) is a great time to get out into nature. Treat yourself!

Until next time – happy nature-loving. 🙂

Beechmont Nature Journal, March 17th 2019

Well this week has been a weird rollercoaster ride. But I still managed to squeeze in some nature journaling, up at the lovely Binna Burra. A mystery plant, a bird list, and a view into the forest.

All completed while being filmed for TV! Yes, you read that correctly. On Thursday, the lovely Ray and I were visited by a very hardworking film crew from the ABC TV’s Gardening Australia program. Ray talked plant fossils and I raved about nature journaling and wildlife illustration. I have no idea how the segment will turn out (but we seemed to be in safe hands), or when it will air, but I will let you know when I do, dear blog reader. 🙂

The next day, this placard and I went to Brisbane for the School Strike for Climate. I wanted to support the kids, but I think they supported me more. These kids break my heart, but they also give me immense hope.

Coloured markers on recycled coreflute – what fun!

Before the strike I recharged at The Library Cafe. A young woman wanted to know the story behind my sign. On my way across town, people smiled and gave me the thumbs up. Throughout the whole day I only got three negative responses, all from older men (one told me I was old enough to have more sense. Ha – the irony!). I’d like to think that public attitudes to climate change are shifting, for the better.

View from my table at the Library Cafe, State Library of Queensland

Then the buoyant mood was darkened by the terrible news from New Zealand. The next day was one of rain and reflection. Pictures of the bright and defiant kid’s faces mingled discordantly with those of grief and consolation. But the rain pattered down, and the mist cured the mountains. Yellow robins flew stealthily about the garden, glowing softly through the grey.

Today was the Beechmont Market.

View of the BBQ, and a couple of new doggy friends, at the Beechmont market today

It seemed that people wanted to escape the gloom, with plenty of laughter, conversation, patting of dogs, eating, browsing and a fair bit of purchasing too.

Lastly, I’d like to share with you a sneak preview of another Pollinator Link illustration that I also completed last week.

Willy wagtail with bungwall fern, nardoo and wavy marshwort

Bright and beautiful things are all around us, if you know where to look. And together we can defeat the darkness.

Until next time, happy nature-loving!

Beechmont Nature Journal, March 10th 2019

After the rains, come the fungi. In the rainforest, tiny mushroom caps peep from the leaf-litter in shades of red, white, grey and brown. Others stand tall by the track, watching the booted feet tramp by. Crouch down and look closely to sketch a tiny mushroom, and you never know what else you might discover…

Back home, I watched the parrots clamber down the white beech branches and hop onto the swinging seed tray. We put seed out maybe once every two weeks, but it doesn’t take long for the local birds to find it. They seem to fly by several times a day, just to check…

This week I also discovered the beauty of cabbages 🙂

These were background studies for more Pollinator Link illustrations, all about creating wildlife-friendly gardens in greater Brisbane. I can’t show you the whole image, but I think you’ll understand how much fun I’m having creating these pictures!

Until next time, happy nature-loving!

Beechmont Nature Journal, March 3rd 2019

Woo hoo! Here we go with issue two of the Beechmont Nature Journal, featuring baby (or moulting?) birds, bell birds popping up in a surprising place, and a giant of the forest. Everyone is happy here because we have RAIN at last. And I have a new sketchbook to play with :).

It’s called The Cappuccino book, but since I’m strictly a tea girl, I call it The Tea book. The colour of the paper is sort of milky coffee or tea. I started off drawing in the garden…

Then went for a walk in Lamington National Park yesterday…

Earlier in the week I drew some plant studies…

These were for some illustrations commissioned by the wonderful Pollinator Link project, which encourages people to create wildlife-friendly gardens in the Brisbane area. Here is a sneak peek at part of an illustration. Not strictly part of the nature journal, but it might make you smile:

Until next time, happy nature-loving!

Welcome to the Beechmont Nature Journal

Welcome to the Beechmont Nature Journal. Here you’ll find real news, collected from around where I live (the northern end of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area). The content is ever-changing, and I’m learning as I go. You never know what will turn up next in this amazing place. Come along for the ride!

Do you have a question about this place? Something you’d like me to investigate? Leave a message below or in the Contact form.

Latest issue: February 24th 2019

Along the Illinbah Track, Lamington National Park

Previous issues

February 10th 2019

At the trail head, and along the Rainforest Circuit Track, Binna Burra, Lamington National Park

Along the Rainforest Circuit Track, Binna Burra, Lamington National Park

Late January – early February 2019

In the garden, Beechmont

In and around the garden, Beechmont

In the garden, Beechmont

In the garden, Beechmont

January 26th 2019

In the garden, Beechmont

January 25th 2019

In the garden, Beechmont

Letter from Beechmont, 23 February 2019

Here’s some recent nature journal entries from the garden. Enjoy!

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garden jan 2019003small

butterflies jan 2019001small

butterflies jan 2019002small

birds jan 2019003small

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Upcoming free nature journaling events:

Woonoongoora Nature Journal Group Sat 9th March 2019

Nature Journaling workshop – Using colour, Mudgeerabah Sat 16th March 2019

For more details see the Events page.