Nature Journaling #141: From Day to Night

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!

A bright green Luna moth (Actias luna) opens its wings while resting on a tree.
A luna moth (Actias luna) shows off its bright green wings. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Midwest Region.

Today’s Prompt: From Day to Night

Ask an adult to help with today’s task. Hang a white or light-colored sheet over a window. When it gets dark, turn off as many lights as you can except for one near the window covered with the sheet. You should begin to see moths and other nighttime insects attracted to the light. Moths are relatives of butterflies, and most moths come out at night. (Some moth species are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day.)

See how many different moths your sheet/light experiment attracts. Are any of them alike? Do they group together? What happens if you try and separate the group, what do the moths do? Draw a picture of one of the moths.

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