Where is the Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter?

Change is good! I know many of you are disappointed with my decision to stop creating a monthly newsletter. Please read the rest of this entry to understand a bit more about my decision to make some changes here with the Outdoor Hour Challenge and memberships at the Handbook of Nature Study. (You can read my previous entry here: Plans for October 2017 to August 2018.)

New Beginnings

Here we are at the beginning of a new month and a new school year. My fellow nature-lovers have long enjoyed the monthly newsletters here at the Handbook of Nature Study but now the time has come to make a change. With 76 issues in the archives, I’ve helped to create quite a library of ideas and encouragement along with my amazing contributors.

Over the last year I became increasingly aware that the newsletter has had a good run but it was time to go in a different direction. So, instead of creating a newsletter each month to encourage nature study, I will be back to writing encouraging blog entries on a regular basis that subscribers will receive in their email inbox.

I Will Still Be Creating New Resources for Nature Study

In addition to those blog entries, there will be new things like printables and ebooks shared via the Member’s Library.  (Remember Ultimate and Journey level members get all the new printables and ebooks for the year of their subscription.)

How to Get More Out of the Newsletter Archives

All 76 of the past newsletters are included in every paid membership level here at the Handbook of Nature Study (Ultimate, Journey, and Discovery levels).

To help you see what is actually available with your membership, which includes the 76 newsletters, I am going to do two things: give everyone access to several complete newsletters as samples and create a printable list of the topics and contents of each issue.

Would you like a sample newsletter?

October 2014 – Fall Trees Newsletter

April 2015 – Nature Journal Fun Newsletter

Download the two newsletter and you will get a really good idea of what is included in each issue.


Newsletter Index download

Would you like to print a list of newsletter topics and contents?

Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter Index

The newsletter index will be helpful in making the decision to purchase a membership.  It will also be a quick guide for all members here on the Handbook of Nature Study to find resources to supplement your nature study.

Remember, every level of membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study includes the 76 archived newsletters!

It’s the beginning of a new chapter here on the Handbook of Nature Study and I hope you will stick around to see all of the amazing things I have planned this year.

If you haven’t subscribed to my blog yet, I encourage you to give it a try and see if it encourages you and your family to get outside and learn together, to explore together, and to get to know the amazing things right outside your door! Subscribe here: Email subscription to the Handbook of Nature Study blog.

Be encouraged! Be inspired! Get outdoors!

Ultimate Naturalist Library Benefits by Level Sept 2017

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Asters, Daisies, and Black Eyed Susans


Outdoor Hour Challenge

Asters, Daisies, and Black-Eyed Susans

From the Archives and the More Nature Study – Summer ebook


Here in Central Oregon we have many asters and daisies to observe.  This week’s challenge takes us into the Handbook of Nature Study lessons on daisies and asters.  Look for these flowers in your garden and yard.  If you can’t find any flowers to observe in person during your outdoor time, you can usually find these flowers in the floral department at your local grocery store.

Make this a fun and enjoyable study by following up with some watercolor paintings in your nature journal. I am always inspired to be creative when I take my paints outside and your children may just be the same way.


Make sure to watch the videos in the original challenge to inspire even the most flower study reluctant boys. They might want to look for the patterns and the Fibonacci sequence in the challenge flowers after learning more about this fascinating aspect of nature.

You can also follow up by pressing flowers for your nature journal or allowing time for your children to arrange a beautiful bouquet of flowers for your kitchen table.

Above all, get outside and enjoy your family time!


Vitamin N

My current nature themed read is Vitamin N by Richard Louv. I am gleaning so many new and original nature study ideas from his writings. I know many of you have read his other book, Last Child in the Woods, but Vitamin N takes his ideas one step further by providing specific and practical ideas for enjoying nature with your family. I highly recommend this book! Look for it at your public library.

Looking for the autumn plan for the Outdoor Hour Challenge? Here is a link!

1 Outdoor Hour Challenge Oct 17 to Aug 18 Plans




Summer Weather 2017 – Oregon Style

Summer Weather 2017

Observations from our new place in Central Oregon


I had every intention of keeping thorough weather records for the month of August. I printed out my weather chart and kept it right on the kitchen counter next to my nature notebook. My usual routine is to get up each morning and make a few notes in the notebook about any nature observation of interest. I note any animal activity, keep a list of the birds I see, and any general thoughts about the changing landscape. It makes me happy to look back over the notes and then many times I create a formal nature journal page based on those notes.

It became clear from the beginning of August that my weather chart was not a good fit for what I wanted to keep track of here in Oregon.  The column headings and spaces were too confining. I started to envision a new chart in my mind. I am working on creating it now and soon it will be found in the Member’s Library…probably the first week in September.


smoke in the oregon skies

In the meantime, August was not a big weather month and the skies were mostly filled with smoke from the wildfires burning locally and all the way from British Columbia! There were a few slightly less smoky days but we rarely saw Mt. Bachelor or Paulina Peak.

The last week of August was the week of the hottest daytime temperatures but there developed a pattern of cooling off in the evenings and the nights were actually quite chilly. If I fell asleep with my bedroom window open, I would wake up super cold!


Bike riding at Sunriver

There was no measurable rain this month but there were several afternoons with thunder in the distance.  We know that the lightning started several fires. Everything is so dry here in the summer!

I’m going to try to do better keeping records in the month of September. I am told by locals here that we go straight to winter once summer has faded early next month. Autumn is not my favorite season so I don’t think I’ll miss it much, although I’ve been thinking about “autumny” things like pumpkin spice lattes and wearing sweaters or flannel. With the aspens in our neighborhood, I’m thinking we may get some autumn color. Perhaps we will take a drive up over the Cascades to see some maples and visit the Willamette Valley during the next few months.

If your children learn to weather watch, they will begin to see your weather patterns, knowing what the signs of autumn are in your location. Such knowledge is valuable and a skill that many people are lacking in the modern world.

Become a weather watcher! You can find many weather related Outdoor Hour Challenges under the Misc/Seasonal  tab at the top of the website.