Observation is a very personal act. You are not just having experiences but also gaining knowledge. This knowledge itself is broader than simply vision. Think of also of sound, smell, taste, and touch (with touch not confined just to the fingers). Over time even shifts in the landscape occur, e.g., changing weather, shifting seasons, even changing climate. Look at the raw data or the behavior, first -- get that down because you might not have a second chance.
Go outside and observe for 10 minutes. Make a list of 10 things or events you see/hear/smell/taste/feel.
Think about all the times a particular image in a watershed has appeared in your life. This may be a favorite place in nature or some magnificent experience. Now you will be composing from memory rather than writing in the field.
Take 10 minutes to write that scene.
Writing is not about emoting but mission. It has to be grounded in the concrete.
In this story-telling phase, be specific, use concrete detail, use analogy, and/or use natural history to conjure place. You are bearing witness to a world unknown by others.
Description -- What's it like? How would I recognize it?
Interpretation -- What is the relationship of this object to others in space and time? What happens when natural history and personal history meet?
Speculation or Reflection -- What does this have to teach us? What truth does it give me? Why does it attract or repel me? Reach for the links between science and imagination.
Ten things I love about ______________ (the river, the watershed, etc.)
What did I see the first time I saw _____________________.
Write two to three pages on one of the follow:
A place in the watershed I really love is ________.
In my wildest dreams I would be able to ______for the watershed.
What possesses/obsesses you about watersheds?