Autumn Nature Journal Examples

Autumn Nature Journal  (2)

There is something about autumn that makes me want to create a nature journal, capturing the last bits of warm weather left, the few colorful weeds still left blooming, the trees, the change of birds.

Autumn Nature Journal  (1)

Using the grid from this month’s newsletter, I did a simple page that will be filled by the end of the month. It is a simple record of some of the changes and interesting events observed this month.

Autumn Nature Journal  (3)

There was also some time during our visit to Yosemite to create a page for the thistles that were growing and blooming right behind our campsite. Nothing fancy but meaningful to me as I enjoyed an autumn afternoon sitting on a log and sketching a few thistles.

Have you created any journals this month yet? There is still time left to do one or two pages!

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Witch Hazel Tree Study

Witch Hazel Nature Study @handbookofnaturestudy

Inside Preparation Work:

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • Use your outdoor time this week to look at fall trees, looking in particular for the yellow strap-like flowers and nuts of the Witch Hazel. It might be fun to also include a Fall Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt using this printable from Hearts and Trees.
  • Take along your nature journals to sketch the Witch Hazel flower into your nature journal.
  • Advanced students: Make sure to look for the Witch Hazel nuts and find the seeds if possible. If possible, collect a few of the nuts to take home to discover just how far the seeds will fly once the nut opens up.

Follow-Up Activity:

Create a nature journal entry all about the Witch Hazel. Here are some things to include (or you can use the notebook page in the ebook:

  • Color and texture of the bark
  • Leaves, if any are present, noting the color.
  • Flower (see page 688 in the Handbook of Nature Study for a nice diagram of the flower)
  • Date of your observations and the location
  • Draw the Witch Hazel nut. Write how you think the seeds are thrown so far from the tree.

Advanced Study: Complete the notebooking page in the ebook using a field guide or the internet resources above.

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 10/29/14.

Yosemite National Park – Autumn Trip

Yosemite October 2014 (28)

Our recent trip to Yosemite National Park put us into the autumn mood. It is a quiet place in autumn with far fewer visitors and very little water in the waterfalls. In fact, Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall are both dry, dry, dry. The story of Yosemite in autumn is more about the trees and peaceful landscapes.

Mariposa Grove Yosemite

Hiking in the big Sequoia trees at the Mariposa Grove gives you a chance to experience these trees up close. You don’t have to hike too far to find magnificent specimens with their wide trunks reaching up into the sky.

Sequoia Tree at Mariposa Grove

There is no real way to capture the whole tree from the trail but these images help you visualize the towering trees a little better.

Mariposa Grove Yosemite

I hiked with two of my men on this day…the other two were off climbing Half Dome. I am going to share some of their experiences in another entry later in the week.

I found a copy of this book Yosemite Photographer’s Guide; Official Camera Walk Handbook and decided that it would be a fun long term project to take photos from every single location listed in this guide (like a need another project!). There are 32 locations mentioned in this book that we can look forward to experiencing through the lens of a camera (or iPhone in my case on this particular trip since I forgot the charger to my digital camera). NOTE: This is an older book that you can’t purchase new…there are a few used expensive copies on Amazon. I may switch over to a newer book like this one:The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite. I will let you know how I like this book when I get it in hand.

We started the project with a few locations that were suggested for the fall season.

Yosemite October 2014 (65)

This is location #17 – Cook’s Meadow. There is a short boardwalk from the road out to the river where you can view many of the park’s landmarks.

Yosemite October 2014 (60)
This is from the same location, looking across the meadow to Sentinel Rock.

Yosemite October 2014 (53)

We stopped at Location #13 – Cathedral Beach. At this time of the year, there is very little water in the river and you can walk a long way up along the side of the water. I stopped to enjoy a little bit of fall color in the late afternoon sunshine. We didn’t experience a lot of color during this visit but the oaks, maples, and dogwoods were scattered with color throughout the valley.

Yosemite October 2014 (49)

From the same location at Cathedral Beach, you can clearly see the Cathedral Rocks. This is a prominent rock formation along the south side of the valley.

Yosemite October 2014 (46)

Here are the Three Brothers taken from Location #14. What a great spot to stop and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of a Yosemite autumn day!

Yosemite October 2014 (4)

Hello Mr. Deer! This guy wasn’t happy with me taking a picture of him from a distance and as I was standing there just came nibbling closer and closer. I finally had to move because I really think he was going to just push me over to get to his destination. So tame and accustomed to humans….great for viewing up close!

Yosemite October 2014 (13) Yosemite October 2014 (17)

There weren’t many wildflowers at this time of year…mostly brown grasses and lots of weeds with seeds. These thistles were so pretty on closer examination…so much so that I created a nature journal page featuring them in my personal journal. These were up where we were camping at Crane Flat.

Yosemite October 2014 (13)

Some color!

Yosemite October 2014 (74)

One afternoon as we drove back up to our campsite, we noticed smoke in the valley. As we drove up the highway, we spotted a wildfire. It had just started and we could see from the pull out that it was just on the other side of the ridge. It was the Dog Rock fire and it continued to burn all through the night and next day…well, even longer than that but we came home before it was completely out. You can see the fire tanker flying over the blaze if you look closely in the photo.


Yosemite October 2014 (89)

It was such a great family trip and we enjoyed our last morning just wandering around, taking photos and sitting in the sunshine.

Yosemite October 2014 (79)

We ended up at the Ahwahnee Hotel for coffee and chatting. This is an amazing place for sitting and taking in the historical atmosphere of a Yosemite experience.

It is always sad to come home from this unique place on the earth but I look forward to visiting again soon.

Thanks Yosemite National Park for a great visit!