Outdoor Mom – April 2017


Outdoor Mom April 2017

Outdoor Mom’s Journal

April 2017

The past month has been a month of wildflowers. Coming out of the wettest winter in our memory, we are so grateful for the green sprouting grass and the pops of springtime color.

Spring House Yard

It has been a time of yard work as well. We listed our house on the market so that meant a whole yard tidy and sprucing up. I weeded and weeded until my hands were sore and I still didn’t get them all.

Point Mugu HIke Wildflowers 1

Last week we flew to Southern California to meet up with my son who was out from New York to be in a friend’s wedding. What did we do with our time together? We hiked of course! I realized we could take advantage of the “super bloom” of wildflowers and using Instagram search, we found a place near where my son was staying to visit for a long afternoon hike in the hills.

Point Mugu HIke Wildflowers 2

Point Mugu was a perfect place to hike right along Hwy 1 on the coastline of California. You start at the day use parking lot and head up the hill on the fire road. Masses of wildflowers covered the hillside!

Point Mugu HIke Wildflowers 3

We could identify many of the flowers and the others I have images of to use with a field guide. I quizzed my son about flower names and he remembered quite a few which made my Outdoor Mom heart happy. Don’t be fooled…they are paying attention even when they don’t act like it.

I have been struggling with keeping up with my nature journal but I am determined to keep my page a week goal. Look for my nature journal entry later this month or follow me on Instagram for my Wednesday nature journal posts.

Oregon river

Many of you have heard by now that we sold our house in California and we will be moving next month to Central Oregon. I am so excited to start learning about my new habitat along the Little Deschutes River. I am going to try to keep up my posting routine here on the Handbook of Nature Study so hopefully you will not notice much difference here on the blog except for the topics I will be covering in my nature journal.




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 – Field Mustard and Wild Radish

Outdoor Hour Challenge Mustard and Radish @handbookofnaturestudy


Outdoor Hour Challenge

Field Mustard and Wild Radish

From the Wildflower Nature Study Set #1

Inside Preparation:

  • The two wildflowers in this challenge are usually considered weeds and grow along the roadside or in fields. They bloom in early spring and are easy to spot with their colorful blossoms. Look for the mustard and/or wild radish plants in the early spring and on through the summer months.
  • Field Mustard (Brassica rapa)- Read about this plant. See the range: USDA.
  • Wild Mustard (Sinapis arvensis )- Read about this plant.
  • Wild Radish: (Raphanus raphanistrum)- Read about this plant. See the range: USDA.

Outdoor Hour Time:

Look in fields and along roadsides.

  • The challenge this week is to get outside and look for wildflowers, especially those in the mustard family. If you made a list of plants to be on the lookout for in addition to the mustard or radish, keep those in mind as well.
  • Make careful observations (Ebook users look for a notebook page to print and use.)

Follow-Up Activity:

  • Create a notebook page for the field mustard and the wild radish plants. (Ebook users look for a notebook page to print and use.)
  • Start a mustard family notebook page. Keep a running list over time of the flowers you observe and/or study in this plant family.
  • Advanced study: Research how the wild radish was introduced and spread across a lot of the western U.S. landscape.
  • Advanced study: Printable for field mustard.
  • Advanced study: Research and list in your journal the many edibles found in the mustard family.
  • Eat something with mustard!


Note: This week’s challenge is also the sample for the ebook: Wildflower Nature Study Set #1 Sample

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Set 1 Ebook

How do you get the new Wildflower Nature Study ebook?

Members of the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey levels have access to the new ebook in their library. You need to click the “Members Area” button at the top of the website, sign into your account, and the ebook is there to download and save for your family to use when desired. If you don’t have a membership yet, I am offering a $5 off discount code that will be good towards your Ultimate Naturalist membership.

Discount Code: Wildflower5




Special Note:Mustard OHC Postponed

Rarely I have to postpone an Outdoor Hour Challenge, but this is one of those times.

My husband and I have been in Oregon all week looking for a new home. We found the best house in the most gorgeous setting ever. This of course took up much more time than I anticipated and coupled with the fact that I can only use my iPhone for posting, the Mustard and Wild Radish Outdoor Hour Challenge will be posted tomorrow.

I am looking forward to sharing our new habitat in Central Oregon in the years to come.

Thank you for your patience!

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library

For Ultimate and Journey level members, you can download the challenge anytime by logging into your membership. You can click the Join Us button at the top of the website to learn more about the benefits of purchasing a membership on the Handbook of Nature Study. Or, look for the mustard nature study challenge tomorrow on the blog.