Photo Recap – November 2014


Nature Photo of The Week
We had a great month getting outside and enjoying our autumn color. This year in our neighborhood we had blazing colors…more than any other year in our memory.

Please feel free to join us over on the Nature Photo of the Week Pinterest Board.

Here are my entries for the month of November…

1 Hawaii Nov 14  (42)

Fish: A classic fish found in ponds all over the place but these had some beautiful water lilies blooming in their water. I also love the reflection of the palm trees in the water’s surface.

1 Hawaii Nov 14  (84)

Feather: These are such amazing birds that we saw on our trip. Look at those feathers on their heads! They are some variety of African crane.

Here’s what I have left….

Crystals, cold, refreshing, energy, bubbly, sparkle, self-portrait, Just do it!

I am really going to need to get myself motivated to get these images done before the end of the year!



Yosemite Half Dome Hike

Half Dome 1

In October I wrote about our autumn trip to Yosemite National Park with my three sons. I gave you a bit of information about their hike but I wanted to share some of their amazing and gorgeous photos from that Half Dome hike that they accomplished on a sparkling blue sky day.

Some links you might find useful:

Yosemite National Park Half Dome Hike – official website information

Half Dome Permits for Day Hikers – information on getting a permit. We had to put their names in for a lottery and they were able to get permits that way.

Hiking Half Dome – YouTube video from the National Park Service. I found this super helpful! You may just wish to watch this to see what it would be like if you could hike this trail to the top.


Half Dome 2

My two youngest sons have been cooking up this hike for awhile. It took some planning because one of my sons lives in New York now and has limited time to visit us here in California. Hiking the trail in October before the cables are down, they found the trail was pretty much empty and there were only half a dozen people up there when they arrived at the summit.

Half Dome 3They started out before sunrise in the dark with flashlights, making their way along the trail from Curry Village to the base of Vernal Falls. Then as the sun rose, they summited the top of Nevada Falls. I have never done this hike because of my fear of heights. Obviously, my boys have not inherited my fear and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Nevada Falls

These boys hiked fast and were up to the top in a few hours. These two boys have inherited my love for the outdoors and spent lots of time telling me afterwards about the many highlights of the day.

Half Dome Top I am so proud of these two boys for reaching their goal of hiking together to the top of Half Dome. They are such good friends and are so supportive of each other even though they are very different people with very different talents. What a blessing to have perfect weather for this hike! I hope they make new goals to hike something else in the near future.

Gertrudes Nose NY

They are both now living in New York so maybe we will summit something in the Adirondacks next year when I visit. My daughter just recently hike to the top of Gertrude’s Nose in New York and I am up for trying that hike maybe next spring. No matter what, I am enjoying my children’s adventures and views of the world.


Outdoor Hour Challenge – Night Sky Cassiopeia

Night Sky Star cassiopeia and cepheus @handbookofnaturestudy

Inside Preparation Work:

  • Read the Handbook of Nature Study pages 821-822 (Lesson 225).  Try to share the story of these three constellations with your children either before you go out to view the night sky or if you have a really good memory, while you are looking for the constellations.
  • Here is a link to simple explanations and diagrams for the three constellations in this challenge: Well Known Stars and Constellations.
  • Autumn Constellations—scroll down to the “facing NE” chart and you will see what Cassiopeia and Cepheus will look like in your autumn sky.
  • Advanced Study: Print this chart out and see how many of the constellations you can see in the autumn sky: Autumn Star Chart.

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • Take your outdoor challenge time this week during the evening hours. The aim is to get outside and view the night sky, hoping to see the stars if weather permits.
  • Use the information, charts, and links both in the Handbook of Nature Study and in the links in the section above to find the Polestar, Cassiopeia’s Chair, Cepheus, and the Dragon. Even if you have trouble finding the exact constellations, this activity can be enjoyable for the whole family. Remember to dress warmly or you won’t last too long outdoors!

Follow-Up Activities:

  • The Handbook of Nature Study suggests in the lesson to draw Cassiopeia’s Chair (#1), Cepheus (#5), and the Dragon (#7). These can be done using the chart on page 821 of the Handbook of Nature Study if needed. There is a notebook page included in the ebook for you to use for your sketches if you would like. There is also a checklist on this notebook page you can use as part of the follow-up.
  • Advanced Study: Challenge yourself to learn the story of these three constellations as related in the Handbook of Nature Study.
  • Advanced Study: Sketch these stars from memory: Polestar, Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Cassiopeia’s Chair, Cepheus, and the Dragon. There is a notebook page in the ebook you might like to use as part of this activity.

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 October to the next edition of the Outdoor Hour Challenge Blog Carnival by sending the link directly to me by 11/29/14.