Outdoor Mom Journal – October 2017

Outdoor Mom – October 2017


We have spent quite a bit of time this month outdoors in our yard as we work on the landscaping. We discovered the most awesome garden nursery in our area and made quite a few trips over there to pick out bushes for our front yard.


We are trying to keep it simple while adding color to the view. It is also important to me to pick things that will provide shelter and food for the local birds and other animals. We settled on some chokeberry and twin berry bushes. I think they will be a perfect match for our habitat and yard terrain.


Our family managed to fit in a long weekend camping trip over to Silver Falls State Park. It was perfect weather for hiking and we managed to see all but one of the ten waterfalls in the park. The habitat in that area is so gorgeous and very different from where I live in the high desert. This Outdoor Mom loves being refreshed by the tall trees and the sound of water cascading over rocks! Plus, unlike our town, the air was smoke free!


Our backyard river walks are turning golden as the grasses start to go to seed and die back. My loyal dog companion is always ready for a romp down to the water. The muddy edges come alive with frogs jumping as we pass by. Our temperatures have been below freezing at night several nights so far but the days are pleasant and the sun is amazingly rejuvenating when we get out and walk in it.


September was a month of kayaking with my boys. It appears that the lazy river kayak is a favorite of my boys so we will on a whim drag the boats down to the water and take off on an adventure. The birds are the stars of the show on just about every trip which makes this bird nerd pretty happy. We often spot a hawk sitting on a tree or soaring overhead.


We had to take a quick trip to California to take care of some business so I was excited to fit in a morning wandering around some apple orchards. Apples were purchased for eating and applesauce making. Apple donuts were eaten, marking the true beginning of the autumn season in my mind.


So for now, this Outdoor Mama will be gazing at the mountains, watching for the aspens to change color, and making time for lots of walks. Our yards are cleaned up for the up-coming cold temperatures…snow shovels and rakes and blower at the ready. The firewood is stacked up for the woodstove. We are eager to see what the next month will bring as we are dreaming of our first long autumn here in Central Oregon.



Want to join in the Outdoor Mom post?

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…

October 2017 Nature Planning     Page


Did you print out your October Nature Study Planner?

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Signs of Autumn 2017

Outdoor Hour Challenge Signs of Autumn with printable @handbookofnaturestudy


Original Challenge: Signs of Autumn

Updated 2017: This challenge was originally written for the first day of autumn 2010 but it can easily be done on any day and in any year. I hope you enjoy learning more about your early autumn world using the ideas and printables in this challenge.
Some signs to look for:

  • Dry grass and weeds
  • Seeds
  • Wildflowers-thistles, goldenrod
  • Birds eating at feeders or flying overhead to migrate
  • Chilly morning temperatures or dew on the grass
  • Fruit ripe on trees
  • Insects or webs
  • Nuts, acorns, or berries
  • Clouds and wind


Signs of Autumn Notebook Page


You can use the Signs of Autumn notebook page  to record your observations or you can use your own nature journal. I put together a Squidoo Lens from last year’s autumn nature/art study where you might glean some more information and inspiration this season.

Year Long Nature Study Autumn Reminders @handbookofnaturestudy

Here are some ideas from year-long nature study topics we’ve done in the past:

Outdoor Mom’s Nature Goals – 3rd Quarter Update

2017 Nature Study Goals @handbookofnaturestudy

Nature Study Goals 2017 – 3rd Quarter Update

This quarter has flown by! I had a feeling this would happen since summers here are short and we made a point of getting outside to go hiking, biking, and kayaking as much as possible. We squeezed in a lot of adventures since June.

I feel much like a novice at knowing my new environment with even the most common of plants and birds being so new to me. It’s exciting to see my nature journal fill up with pages recording my adventures and discoveries. This has been the perfect year to focus on giving my nature journal lots of attention because it doesn’t matter where I go, there will be something to observe and then sketch onto a page.

I feel pretty good about my progress at keeping my nature study goals during the 3rd quarter of 2017. I am now in the home stretch and eager to keep the good stuff rolling.

As you turn the calendar on another month and another season, create some goals for your family or remind yourself of the goals you’ve already made for 2017. It’s not too late to fit in a lot of nature study time if you make it a priority….it will be winter soon enough.

Here are the goal details:

  • Create monthly entries for my Outdoor Mom experiences as I share our nature studies using the Outdoor Hour Challenge, our travel experiences, and any of my family’s nature adventures. This was accomplished. You can read my entries during each month here: July, August, and September.
  • Focus on my nature journal and create at least one page weekly. I think I missed one week in July if I remember correctly. I would call that success.
  • Post images of my nature journal pages on Instagram each week. If you follow me on Instagram, you will see a new nature journal page every Wednesday.
  • Read and review 6 nature journal related books. I read and thoroughly enjoyed the Vitamin N book by Robert Louv. I am now working on The Nature Fix by Florence Williams.

Original goals here: Nature Study Goals 2017.

If you want to see the previous quarter’s entries for 2017: First Quarter Update and Second Quarter Update.


Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge smallJoin me on Instagram for weekly images and nature journal examples.


Nature Study Goals 2017 Planning Page

It’s not too late to get started with your own nature study goals.

Do you want to create some goals for your family? Use the free printable planning page in this entry to get started: Nature Goals 2017.