Outdoor Mom’s Journal – January 2017

Outdoor Moms Journal January 2017 @handbookofnaturestudy


I’m going to follow the prompts this month! I hope you enjoy glimpsing into my Outdoor Mom’s Journal and you are welcome to play along if you feel inclined.

american river rain day hike

  • During our outdoor time this month we went….

We have made time for only one formal hike because of the weather. It has been all over the place as far as rain, snow, ice, and wind. What a ride! My husband takes a daily hike and he invited me to accompany him early one morning last week during the middle of our wettest week in a very long time. We actually had over 17 inches of rain in less than a week. He loaned me some rain gear and it kept me dry as we hiked down a familiar trail to the river. It is usually a loop trail but on this day about a third of the trail was under almost flood stage water. The power of water always impresses me and this day was no different. The photo above shows my husband on the trail’s end. I captured the event in my nature journal.

Rainy Day Hike American River and Lichen

  • The most inspiring thing we experienced was…

We had one snow even where we received about an inch and a half overnight. The snow stuck around all morning and it happened to be a Project Feederwatch day so I was periodically looking out at our feeders.

Sharp shinned Hawk

About 9 AM I noticed a small hawk resting on the block wall to the side of our feeder area. He had his back to us so I tried to use the binoculars to spy his features. I didn’t want to spook him so I stayed fairly still as I observed. I was able to snap a few images that helped me identify him as a sharp-shinned hawk. It was an awesome sight and very rare to see a hawk in our yard.

Nature Journal Pages Winter January

  • I added nature journal pages about….

In living up to my goal to create a nature journal page each week, I have been working diligently on my journal.

>>>Winter Backyard Study (from the January 2017 newsletter), Nature Goals 2017 – made an official record of my goals, focused mainly on my journal, Sharp-shinned Hawk sighting, Rain Day at the American River<<<<

  • I am dreaming about…

An up-coming trip where I will put my feet in warm sand.

Downy woodpecker

  • A photo I would like to share…

We have had a downy woodpecker visit our suet feeder just about every day this week. He is a welcome visitor!

Outdoor Mom’s Journal

Whether your family spends a few minutes a week outside or hours at a time, share what is going on in your world.

How Do You Join?

Answer all or just one of the prompts in a blog entry on your own blog or right here on my blog in a comment. If you answer on your blog, make sure to leave me a link in a comment so that I can pop over and read your responses.

  • During our outdoor time this week we went….
  • The most inspiring thing we experienced was…
  • Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)…
  • In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting….
  • I added nature journal pages about….
  • I am reading…
  • I am dreaming about…
  • A photo I would like to share…


Outdoor Hour Challenge Plans for Sept 16 to March 17 @handbookofnaturestudy

You can use the free monthly newsletter along with the Handbook of Nature Study book for your nature study. Adding a membership gives you access to the Ultimate Naturalist Library’s ebooks and printablse which provides members with even more in-depth studies each month.

Read more about it!

Birds of North America Notebooking PagesBirds of the World Notebooking PagesBirds - Basic Study Pages

These are affiliate links to products I have used and love.





Outdoor Hour Challenge – Winter Wonder Revisited

Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Wonder @handbookofnaturestudyOutdoor Hour Challenge

Winter Wonder Revisited – Archive and in More Nature Study Winter ebook

This week we will ease back into our winter nature study using a simple nature walk idea from the archives. Click over to read the full challenge, including a bit of reading in the Handbook of Nature Study. If you are new to the OHC, this is going to be a great place to start because even if you don’t have snowy weather you can still complete this challenge that will help you see your local winter weather and wonders with your children.

Winter Wonder Outdoor Hour Challenge journal page

Winter Wonder Notebook Pages in the More Nature Study – Winter Ebook

Keep it simple and just take a Winter Wonder walk this week. If you are a more seasoned nature study type family or you have older students, make sure to read the “advanced study” ideas in the challenge.



Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter 2016 More Nature Study

If you are interested in purchasing an Ultimate Naturalist Membership at this time, you will gain access to the custom notebooking pages that go along with each of the challenges in the ebook.

Ultimate Naturalist Library June 2016 @handbookofnaturestudy

Note: You do not need to purchase the ebook to participate but they are handy to have for planning and for the regular and advanced notebook pages included in each one. Click the graphic at above to go over to check out the Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.

Spring Plans!

We will be working through a new series of wildflower challenges starting in April using a new ebook that will publish sometime in March. The new wildflower ebook will also be added to the Ultimate Naturalist Library so if you purchase a membership now, you will have the new ebook as soon as it is available. I will posting details about the new ebook soon.

Outdoor Mom’s Nature Goals 2017

2017 Nature Study Goals @handbookofnaturestudy

Nature Study Goals 2017 – Let me inspire you to create your own goals!

I am at a point in my life that I am simplifying and decluttering my home, my thinking, and my lifestyle. I’m embracing these changes as I see the space both physically and mentally it provides for new opportunities and experiences. I have thought long and hard about how this relates to what I do here on my blog and with the Outdoor Hour Challenge.

Things here on the blog will go on pretty much as before except for perhaps fewer posts in months where we are traveling. I will still be creating a monthly newsletter as a companion to the weekly Outdoor Hour Challenges. There will still be printables and activities added to the Member’s Library.

Big News Here at the Outdoor Hour Challenge

The biggest development here, and the real reason I want to simplify my blog work, is a new wildflower ebook in the works. I will expound on that very soon here on the blog but you can anticipate the first set of wildflower challenges (all new) to start posting in April.

But for me personally, 2017 is going to be a year that I focus on my personal nature journal. Most of my goals will be centered on creating a more meaningful and thorough record of my nature study experiences. (Especially after reading and being inspired by The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling.)

You are welcome to join me as I pull from ideas that are in my archives, from internet sources like Pinterest, and from the books I have on my nature reference shelf.  I will of course be sharing some of my work here on the blog but you may consider following me on Instagram since that is my social media outlet of choice and lends itself to the visual nature of a nature journal.

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge small

Nature Study Goals 2017 – Focus on My Nature Journal

  • Create monthly entries for my Outdoor Mom experiences as I share our nature study using the Outdoor Hour Challenge, our travel experiences, and any of my family’s nature adventures.
  • Focus on my nature journal and create at least one page weekly. This is a BIG commitment on my part but I think it is a goal I can reach with continued focus and inspiration. I have created a chart for the front of my nature journal that has page ideas for me to use so that I get a variety of pages over the year’s time.
  • Post images of my nature journal pages on Instagram each week.
  • Read and review 6 nature journal related books. I will need inspiration to keep me going. I haven’t had a chance to gather 6 books together yet but I will be sure to share them both on Instagram and here on my blog ASAP.

I always love to read your goals so leave me a comment with your goals or a link to your blog if you post an entry there.

Be Inspired! Be Encouraged! Get Outdoors!

Nature Study Goals From Previous Years:





Are you interested in creating your own nature goals? Here is a free printable for you to use as you brainstorm the goal and the steps to meeting that goal.

Nature Study Goals 2017 Planning Page

 Nature Study Goals 2017 Planning Page