Outdoor Hour Challenge – Dandelion Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge Spring Dandelion Study @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge
Dandelion Study - Archive Challenge

This week we are going to start a dandelion study. This should be something that almost everyone can complete without too much trouble since dandelions are found just about everywhere! I have seen them in the desert, in the woodlands, in parks, in lawns…keep your eyes out!

This is one of my favorite flower studies. Make sure to read the lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study before you go out on your dandelion hunt. There are lots of wonderful and simple ideas to study dandelions in this lesson and I encourage you to try a few to learn more about this interesting plant.

Additional Resources:

April 2014 Newsletter - You will find a dandelion related nature journal topper to use in your nature journal. All archived newsletters are available to all levels of membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study.

You can glimpse into one of our dandelion studies here: Dandelion Morning.


Spring Nature Study ebook @handbookofnaturestudy

This challenge is found in the Spring Nature Study ebook that members will have in their Ultimate Naturalist Library! Download a copy and use the custom notebooking page for your nature journal. More information on this ebook is found here: Spring Nature Study Ebook (including a sample).

Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy




Nature Book Project – The Practical Naturalist

 Nature Book Project Practical Naturalist Review @handbookofnaturestudy

Nature Book Project 2016

Somehow I missed writing a review for this book in April but I am making up for it this month! The Practical Naturalist published by DK and Audubon is a strikingly visual book. Its image rich content is appealing to all ages and the text is written in a way that concentrates lots of information in short easy to read snippets.

The subtitle really explains the foundation of this book: Explore the wonders of the natural world.

It tackles many of the fascinating aspects of the natural world around us, organized by habitat. This book is not like the Handbook of Nature Study which organizes its lessons by specific topics but rather it creates a close up picture of a sampling of the plants and animals that you may encounter in a particular habitat.

Habitats Covered:

  • Close to Home
  • Forest
  • Farm and Field
  • Scrubland and Heath
  • Grassland
  • Mountain and Hillside
  • Lake, River, and Stream
  • Coast
  • Tundra and Ice
  • Desert

Practical Naturalist page samples @handbookofnaturestudy

 Quick Thoughts on The Practical Naturalist

  • I tend to like to study things by habitat so I enjoyed the way the material was organized.
  • The images are large and colorful. There are even some “sideways” two page spreads which are a nice way to present the material.
  • The vocabulary is rich and creates a basic understanding of more complex biology-themed ideas.
  • I would consider this a living book because it intersperses text, images, and activities in such a way that the topics come alive for the reader. It would make a great foundation for a natural science or nature study course for children perhaps 10 years old and up. I could see how this book would have been a wonderful read aloud with my younger children as well.
  • One possible negative about the book is that it will require additional research to thoroughly cover each topic. This is not meant to be a nature encyclopedia.

I think this book is a great addition to a nature study reference library that you will use over the years as the opportunity arises. Nature loving kids would like to have a copy of their own to read and flip through at their leisure. Perhaps in the future I will use this book as a supplement to the Handbook of Nature Study plans!

This book is part of my Nature Book Project for 2016.

Nature Book Project 2016 @handbookofnaturestudy

Note some of the links below are Amazon.com affiliate links.

January- Discover Nature Close to Home

February-A Place for Birds and A Place for Butterflies

March- A Crow Doesn’t Need A Shadow

April- The Practical Naturalist

May- Break month.

June-Botany in a Day

July- Rockhounding Nevada

August- Break month.

September- The 10 Best of Everything National Parks

October- The Nature Handbook

November- Bringing Nature Home

December- Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling

Taking a Wildflower Photo Hunt!

Wildflower Color Hunt 2016 @handbookofnaturestudy

We took the most amazing hike last weekend! It actually started off as a fairly rainy day but about noon the clouds started to thin out and we decided to take a chance and head out on a hike.

American River Hike May 2016 2

It is one of our favorite local hikes and we haven’t been down to the river at this spot since last summer. We were rewarded with an amazing display of colorful flowers which just happened to go along with last week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge – Pick a Color.

Wildflower Color Hunt Purple @handbookofnaturestudy
How about all these purple flowers? Top left is Purple Chinese Houses. Top right is lupine. Bottom left is larkspur. Bottom right is heartleaf millkweed.

Wildflower Color Hunt White and Yellow @handbookofnaturestudy
Then there are the white and yellow flowers.

Red and Pink Wildflower Color Hunt @handbookofnaturestudy

Last but not least, the red and pink flowers. Top left is checkermallow. Top right is Twining Brodiaea. The bottom left pink flower is new to us! Purple monkeyflower! Bottom right is a variety of Indian Paintbrush.

What an awesome wildflower day!

In addition we saw:

  • Chinese Lanterns
  • Pretty Faces
  • Mustang Clover
  • Indian Pinks
  • Miniature lupine
  • Yarrow
  • Goldfields
  • Wild Cucumber
  • Buckbrush
  • Elegant Clarkia
  • Vetch


American River Hike May 2016

It ended up raining on us right when we got down to the river so we had to head back up right away. It was still a terrific hike and we were rewarded for our efforts with a showy display of color.
The printable Wildflower Color Hunt is available during the month of May 2016 in the free newsletter. If you don’t already subscribe to the Handbook of Nature Study, you can do so during the month of May and receive the newsletter download link in your subscription thank you email. All newsletters are available as part of every level of membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study. See the Join Us page for more information on how you can gain access to the Ultimate Naturalist Library of ebooks, newsletters, and exclusive printables.

Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter May 2016 button

Note these are affiliate links to products I love!
Wildflowers, Weeds, & Garden Flowers Notebooking PagesNature Study Notebooking Pages

Download a FREE sample of A-Z Animal Notebooking Pages from NotebookingPages.com.