Today I spent time with a friend in the forest, along the creek, and at the trickling falls. It is always nice to be with someone who notices the same way I do: with a still child-like sense of wonder and appreciation for the simple things in nature.

Toad 3-1While the photo above looks like an abstract, can you spy the critter hiding out down there under the water?

(You can click on the picture to make it bigger if you are the curious type!)

Pond skaters 2-1Pond skaters skating on the sky.

whirly gigs 1-1

Whirligigs are always entertaining to watch (if not a bit difficult to capture with camera).

bubbles 4-1Saponins make for the best bubbles and swirls along the churning creeks.

fall leaf 2-1

Yes, the signs are few but clearly here.

 We have seem a lot of changes around these parts lately (fall leaves being the least of them), but the wonder and noticing never cease.

Are you taking time to notice little things?

I hope so.

~ Dawn



My Bullet Journal

I have been using a system called the Bullet Journal for over two years now. Someone recently shared a picture of their bullet journal in a group on Facebook and a discussion led to more folks asking about the system and how my use of this system has evolved. I figured it would be easier to write a post than share in the comments; and anyone else interested can check out the system as well.

I first heard about this system when someone mentioned it on twitter (I wish I could remember who). I watched this video and decided to jump in. I love “to do” lists and the idea of keeping lots of lists in one place so it seemed like a great system for me.

Over the years it has evolved and I have tweaked it to meet the demands of life at the time.

Bullet Journal Index-2-1

At its core the bullet journal has pages with daily lists and an index in the front to keep track of everything. It might sound a bit strange to index a journal but it is amazing; I can’t believe how often I refer to my index, especially as the year goes on and I have more and more lists, notes, quotes, and other things added to the journal.

Instead of using the method in the video for the month and weeks I use a full spread for both a monthly calendar and each week. I don’t use the monthly calendar all that much but I like to have it for reference and some months I fill it in with notable things I want to remember, mostly moments or events I want to remember because something special happened. (Looks like February was rather unremarkable. Probably because my fingers were too frozen to write much!)

Bullet Journal month-1

For the weekly pages I give each day a box in the two page spread. It is laid out just like this Nature Jots page but filled with my daily to do lists. This can be easily changed to fit your needs. When I had multiple big projects on the go I broke these boxes into sections for each project, and my personal list.

Bullet Journal 1-1

Over these last few months I have added full page spreads each week for my daily gratitude entries and daily nature notes. While I love the idea of having special journals for these things I know myself well enough now, and have a stack of mostly empty journals to show for the idea that I can’t keep track of too many journals!

Bullet Journal Book list-1

I number the pages as I go and have running lists for everything from books I want to read, essential oils I want to order, and quotes I want to remember. I always have it with me so I can easily take notes if I happen to stumble into a talk at the library, or just need to brainstorm some ideas for a project.

Bullet Journal Quote-1

That is about it.

It becomes really simple once you start using it, and while I still use my phone calendar to schedule appointments, etc… my bullet journal really is my hub for organization.

Do you keep a bullet journal? What tweaks have you made to the system?

If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments.

~ Dawn



Let it go…

Cleveland Beach 1-1IMG_5199-1Crab 1-1Fionna finding-1Wavey Whelk-1Cleveland beach play 1-1Crab-1

Yesterday did not go as planned.

We had made plans to head into the city for a picnic in the Public Gardens and to take in a shark autopsy (necropsy) at the Museum of Natural History. Not everyone was thrilled about the plans from the start, but I persisted because one kiddo was slightly interesting in the shark part, and I have been really wanting to go to the gardens this spring.

By the time the house started stirring in the morning I could tell things might not work out as planned. There was resistance to going into the city. There was resistance to seeing a dead shark. There was simply a feeling of wanting to stick closer to home.

I thought about going alone. That would not have been the end of the world, but I also wanted to have a family day. By mid-morning I realized that the best thing to do was to let it go.

Let go of the idea in my head. Let go of the resistance. Let go of the plans.

While I don’t always believe changing plans because of resistance is the right thing to do, in this case it was just what we needed.

We all needed a simple day to relax, connect and simply be.

We puttered around the house; we caught up on chores; we went to the beach down the road; and we roasted dinner over the fire out back.

I would say it was a pretty great Plan B.

Just what we needed.

~ Dawn



Infectious Wonder

The other day I was taking the trash out and saw a peculiar thing on the driveway. I went over to investigate and found that ants were building the most intriguing funnels of dirt. I watch for bit then went in to get the kids.

Ant hill 1-1

They were both very deep in their own individual pursuits, but it was almost time to rouse them up to head outside anyway so I told them I had seen something super cool and could not wait to show them. They were excited and begged for me to tell them. Finally I said, “The ants in the driveway are building the coolest structures! You guys have to see!” Their response was less than enthusiastic. In fact, it kinda stalled the process of heading outside all together. “What? Ants? We have seen tons of ants! What’s the big deal?” I was not going to let my own excitement be hampered by their reaction. So I quietly got my things together and headed back outside. They followed (dragging feet) determined to pay no mind to my ants!


It would seem that my enthusiasm was a bit infectious because they eventually came over to join me as I sat on the driveway watching the ants carry sand, grain by grain, out of their nest. What started out with complacency ended with all kinds of inquiries about how they build (using their saliva as concrete?), what they would do if we supplied them with sugar (which we did and it was fascinating), and plans to build an ant farm in Minecraft!




So, my curiosity and wonder carried the day and led the way to investigation and inspiration. It was a good reminder to keep my own interest in nature alive, while giving the kids the time they need to come around to whatever it is I am so inthralled with, be it ants, cloud formations or the way raindrops are hitting the water.

Happy Exploring,



snow on spruce-1

Welcome to my new site. It has been a long time coming and I am super excited about it. There are quite a few little details to develop and bring to life here, but mostly the future holds posts about: nature, homeschooling, news about workshops I have been developing and books I am writing, and a few sprinkles of our family life and travels along the way.

As many of you know, I also co-author Mud Puddles to Meteors with my good friend, Annie. It is an absolutely wonderful spot and I love posting over there. That being said, I have missed having my own little personal landing pad  on the internet. I am ready, again, for a place to put the jumble of things I would like to share, but that don’t quite fit into the mission of Mud Puddles. Well, now I have it! My own little space again. Yay!

Thanks for popping in to check out my new internet home.