Noticing Nature

Instructor: Sue Slotterback

Begins: Monday, September – 10 weeks total.

Time: Mondays 10:30 am -12 pm. First class Sept 13th. 10 weeks total.

Location: Please see attached schedule

Join Sue Slotterback as she teaches how to observe the natural environments found throughout our area. Learn how to spot and name local wildlife, learn migratory patterns, and explore local ecosystems.

Week 1 – September 13

What to bring list: cereal or cracker box; pen; water bottle
Location: Estelle Manor Park

Introduction to Nature Journaling – In this first class we will be forming the backbone of the Noticing Nature series of programs. We’ll define what a nature journal is and build a list of materials and supplies. We’ll work on basic sketching and fun art techniques to get you up and going and practicing skills in how to observe and what to record. We’ll also learn a few types of writing that will bring us closer to the natural world around us. No art or writing experience necessary. Come and join the fun!

Week 2 – September 20

What to bring list: journal kit; beach or camp chair; water bottle
Location: North Brigantine

Nature’s Windows – As we go about our day to day, how many times do we really take notice of nature around us, from the panoramas just under foot, to the vistas along the horizon, as well as the scenes just over head? This week we’ll take in the sights and views of “windows on the world”.

Week 3 – September 27

What to bring list: journal kit; beach or camp chair; water bottle
Location: Camp Acagisca

Phenology – As the seasons change, have you found yourself saying, “I saw my first .” Or “this is the last of the .” Or “pretty soon __ will happen”. This is called phenology, noticing the changes in nature as the year cycles through the seasons. We’ll be making a section in our nature journals to record these phenomena, create a fun way to celebrate special events, and take a hike in search of signs of the season.

Week 4 – October 4

What to bring list: journal kit; beach or camp chair; water bottle
Location: Motts Creek WMA

Mechanics of Migration – There are many animals that migrate, and this is their season. It is an amazing phenomenon and there is more than one way for even birds to move from place to place in search of food and breeding areas. In this session we will discover the adaptations and strategies animals use to
weather through the year, focusing on the types of migration and what we can do to help.

Week 5 – October 11

What to bring list: journal kit; beach or camp chair
Location: Ventnor Library Gardens & Beach

Monarch Butterflies on The Move – Throughout the spring and summer, we’ve seen them in our gardens, now they are on their final 2,000-mile journey south. Find out what makes them go and how we know when they get there. Join us for a tagging demonstration and wishing them “Adios, Marisopsa Monarcha!”

Week 6 – October 18

Location: Lake Fred, Stockton University

Peak of Leaf Peeping – During this time of gorgeous color changes, we’ll be making a tree study in our nature journals: looking at leaves, measuring heights, discovering the roles of each trunk layer, the connections of trees in the ecosystem, and more!

Week 7 October 25

Location: Malibu Beach, Longport, NJ

The Changing Estuary – Water, tides, food, life, solar & lunar, in this session it’s all about cycles, ebbing and flowing as nature moves through the year.

Week 8 November 1

Location: Tuckahoe-Corbin City Wildlife Management Area

Language of the Land – Working with, in celebration of, and inspired by, the wild landscapes will take us more deeply into our own nature using language, art, photography, poetry, prose, and nature itself, as we listen to the “Language of the Land”.

Week 9 November 8

Location: Egg Harbor Township Nature Reserve

Staying Put as Winter Chills – Wildlife that calls New Jersey its winter home must have strategies to survive with scarce food and dropping temperatures as the daylight wanes and the night deepens. We’ll look for evidence and methods for adapting to weathering winter’s chill.

Week 10 November 15

Return of the Waterfowl – After spending a long summer farther north, ducks and other waterfowl are returning to our area seeking a “warm” place to get them through the harsh winter to come. Waterfowl are a special group of birds who have an interesting lifestyle and connection to the National Wildlife Refuges across the country.
Location: Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge


Map and directions will be handed out at each preceding session.
Contact information: Sue Slotterback
Phone or text: 609-827-7349
Email: 2ndnature.connections@gmail.com