Sometimes, you don't have to go far to do some nature journaling. I only had to walk a few feet from outside the door to my apartment building for this journal page. It's a very good example of a typical page I will make when I have about 30 minutes or so.
I always have my sketching and drawing bag packed and ready to go by my door. This comes in very handy when you are out walking the dog and see something absolutely drop dead gorgeous. I knew it wouldn't last long as the rest of the flowers on the cherry tree had already dropped and the leaves had come out.
This was the last of the dying flowers. They were found under the tree beside the tree trunk. Somehow, they escaped the mulch mound that most landscapers put around cherry trees and the heavy pruning that also tends to happen.
I pull out my outdoor thermometer from bag first so it can get acclimated to the temperature. I then set out my materials and start to record the date, time, sounds, and weather conditions. Being able to start drawing within 2-3 minutes of finding something that is so achingly beautiful that you have to draw it is another important aspect to my practice. I've found that my inner critic often takes about 5 minutes to kick in and stop my from starting. Starting before the 5 minute critic window starts is how I can get going before my inner the critic silences me.
After I do that, I record the temperature and start with a pencil drawing. Watercolor washes go over the pencil drawing and I finish with some accents in ink when the values of the background and the object are too close. A few sentences to capture what I couldn't in the painting and I'm done.
Now if I could only find a way to tell it to the mad dog who just watched me sit in the sun while she is forced to lie down inside by the window glaring at me...