Sketching is a habit I've had since I was little. Whenever I had nothing to do, I'd try to draw something from nature, just to see if I could do it, but more importantly, to learn more about whatever object I was drawing. We know what a maple helicopter seed (Samara) looks like, although vaguely, when it's still green and hanging from the tree limbs, and we know the flurry of motion it moves in as it falls to the ground, spinning and whirling like a helicopter. But we don't know what it really looks like until we give it our full attention, look at it for a long time, and SEE it. See all of it's little veins, how thin the blade wings are, see where the little fruit/seed is hidden in the thicker side of it.
I've been doing little sketches of the maple seeds and the squirrels that are fattening up for Winter by eating them. These couple of sketches I did on a beautiful autumn afternoon in my backyard. The squirrels would walk a few steps, pick up some seeds, sit back on their haunches for a nibble, followed by a big couple of hops to the next choice looking pile. I used a moleskine watercolor pad and an ink pen, then went back inside the house when the sun went down (so early now!), and followed up with a couple of quick splashes of diluted watercolor from the Koi pocket field sketch box that I bought this year. I do have a waterpen that came with it, but I haven't learned quite how to control the amount of water that can come out of it, so I tend to add the color wash with a regular brush. It was quite a nice way to spend an afternoon.