Nature Journaling #115: From the Inside Out

Nature journals are a fun way to pass the time. To many Great Parks nature interpreters, they are a tool that fosters meaningful connections with the natural world.

Want to create a nature journal with your child? Grab some paper and a pencil, step out the front door and use the prompt below. We’ll publish a new prompt daily, so be sure to check back here for more!

Sectioned oak marble gall showing central "cell", inquiline chamber, and exit-hole with a possibly parasitised stunted gall specimen.
Sectioned oak marble gall showing the central “cell,” inquiline chamber and exit hole with a possibly parasitised stunted gall specimen.

Today’s Prompt: From the Inside Out

Take a closer look at an oak tree or a rose bush or maybe in a field of “weeds.” Look for galls, woody-like growths that look like little balls growing from a branch or stem. This is actually the plant’s reaction to an insect laying an egg inside the plant. The plant will grow this “room” around the egg. The gall will enable the plant to continue to grow, and at the same time, provide a room for the insect to develop from an egg through the larval stages.

Draw the different galls you find and make a note of where you found them. What would it be like to grow up inside of a gall?

A Few Tips for Success:

  • Work with your child’s attention span. If they aren’t enjoying an activity, allow them to choose a new one. If they are highly focused, give them plenty of time to continue the observations.
  • Allow creativity. Children often have interests that go beyond the questions we pose. Create a safe environment so they can create and explore on their terms.
  • Journal along with your child. You never know what you may discover and it’s a great way to spend some quality time together.
  • Try activities at different times of day. Observations may change with time and temperature.

Want to try your hand at different nature journaling topics? Click here for more prompts.

Amy Roell
Director of Education & Events