Every morning I spend time with a cup of coffee and my notebook. Sometimes I write about what I see outside my window. Sometimes I write about a fungus or insect I observed the day before. Sometimes I've got an idea for a story, and other times I'm left wordless.
It was on one such wordless day that I threw down my pencil in disgust (fortunately missing the coffee) and flipped through the pages of my notebook in search of inspiration. Anything. A list of words to get me going - heck! even one word would do.
I didn't find a list, but I did remember something: back in October some of my illustrator friends participated in an "art-ober" challenge to draw a sketch each day based on a list of prompts. Hmmmm, I thought, I could sure use something like that. A list of words biased toward my science interests.
So I began scribbling as many as I could think of: obvious ones, like tree and fungi. Words with texture and edges and layers and smells. Words that sprouted in gardens and pushed up through moldering leaves of a forest floor.
Here are a few of them. Ration 'em out one a week and you've got a year's worth of nature-writing prompts. Meanwhile, I've got a blank page in my notebook just waiting for more fun nature words to drop by.