Nature Study Goals 2014- Update

Nature Study Goals 2014 @handbookofnaturestudy

September 15, 2014 Updates

#1- Visit two new national parks in 2014. Complete.

We have had the opportunity to visit four new national parks this year! Petrified Forest National Park, Hot Springs National Park, Mammoth Cave National Park, and Great Basin National Park.

#2- Identify and journal three new birds.  Two out of three done!

I have completed the Bewick’s Wren and Clark’s Nutcracker.

#3-  Identify and journal three new rocks. Once again, I am failing at this goal. I need to refresh my memory and make a plan. (See below for my new plan to accomplish my goals.)

#4- Three new hikes. Complete!

We accomplished this goal with these three hikes: Mount Arab in the Adirondacks of New York, Round Lake on the Tahoe Rim Trail, and the Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park.

#5 Visit a new-to-me nature center. Complete.

We thoroughly enjoyed the nature center at Great Basin National Park.

#6- Post a nature photo of the week for the entire year. Up to date!

#7- Camping in all four seasons.

So our spring trip didn’t happen because of my road trip to the East Coast with my daughter…BUT we have gone on three camping trips this summer! (We have a camping trip planned for the end of September and then another in December…plus a trip for spring 2015 to the Grand Canyon!)

My New Plan For Accomplishing my Goals

I have added a Nature Study Goals box to the Nature Study Planning Page in the newsletter for October (take a peek at the original page in this entry). This may remind me and all of you too of your nature study goals each month. Let me know how it helps you or if you have any other ideas for the planning page.


Outdoor Hour Challenge – Teasel Weed Study


Teasel Nature Study @handbookofnaturestudy

Make sure to have your outdoor time this week even if you don’t have any teasel to study. We don’t have any in our local area so we will be looking back on photos from past trips and also looking for local weeds and wildflowers to view.

Inside Preparation Work:

  • Read pages 539-542 in the Handbook of Nature Study (Lesson 147). There is a lot to learn about this plant so read the narrative carefully for facts about the stem, leaves, and flowers that you can share when you observe your teasel.
  • Here is an interesting YouTube video on teasel: It is a little long and includes quite a bit about the medicinal properties of teasel so preview and share as much as you find helpful. This is another more academic video on YouTube:
  • You can follow this link to see what kind of teasel you have in your state: USDA Teasel.
  • Ebook Users: Make sure to view the images in the ebook together with your child so you can will know what to look for.

Beware! The teasel plant has extremely sharp spines both on the flower head and on the stem. Take along a pair of heavy work gloves if you intend to touch the plant, cut it for your nature table, or bring it home to examine more closely.

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • Use your outdoor time this week to go on a teasel hunt.
  • If you find a teasel that is blooming, examine the pattern of blossoms. This is what makes this plant so interesting. The blossoms will begin at the middle!
  • Look for water in the little cups made at the base of the teasel leaves.
  • Allow time for an outdoor sketch of the teasel.
  • You may wish to record the location of your teasel plants so you can return to observe them during the winter to note the changes.
  • NOTE: If you don’t have teasel to observe, pick a different weed or wildflower to view during your outdoor time.

Follow-Up Activity:

  • Create a nature journal entry after discussing all of the teasel’s unique features. Ebook Users: You can use the notebook pages in the ebook for your entry. Younger children can use the coloring page.
  • Advanced Activity: Start a seasonal study of the teasel plant by starting a nature journal entry with a sketch and detailed description of your autumn teasel. Make a note to return to your teasel plant sometime in the winter to make a comparison and add to your nature journal entry.
  • Advanced Study: Take a look into this topic: Teasel’s Uses in Times Past. Or this one: Teasel. You might also like to read and view the images on this site: Teasel. For information on medicinal uses, you can view this page: Teasel Root. Add any information you find interesting to your nature journal page. If you are using the notebook page in the ebook, you can continue making notes on the back if you run out of room.

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library

Join us for this series of challenges every week here on the Handbook of Nature Study. If you want to purchase the Autumn Nature Study Continues ebook so you can follow along with all the notebooking pages, coloring pages, and subject images, you can join the Ultimate or Journey Membership Levels. See the Join Us page for complete information. Also, you can view the Autumn Nature Study Continues content list on the announcement page.

OHC Autumn Nature Study Continues Cover Button

You can also submit any Outdoor Hour Challenge blog entry from September to the next edition of the Outdoor Hour Challenge Blog Carnival by sending the link directly to me by 9/29/14.

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

Mystery Photo Contest Winner

Congratulations to the winner of the Mystery Photo Contest from this edition of the Handbook of Nature Study newsletter.

Winner- Amanda C, age 13.
I will be contacting you by email to get you the $10 Amazon gift card.

Thank you to all of you who participated in the Mystery Photo Contest. We will do this again in a future edition!