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.




Nature Journal Examples – August 2017

Weekly Nature Journal Project
August 2017

Every day this week I have felt more and more like summer is coming to an end. The days are shorter, the nights are chilly, and the landscape is turning a golden brown as the grasses dry up in the sun. We have had lots of smoky days from wildfires in our area which make the light different and the view not as pretty.

Summer 2017 recap nature journal

I created a page at the beginning of August to document a few of my summer observations and a few favorite things. I used watercolor pencils to create the background and then a ZIG pen to do my journaling. I like the way it turned out!

Eagle nature journal page

During our trip to California, we fit in a hike up on the Tahoe Rim Trail. We made it to Round Lake and sat by the water’s edge for a long time watching the clouds and birds. There was some drama as an osprey caught a fish and then an eagle tried to take it away! Then, the eagle flew right over our heads so we got a very close view of him…what a magnificent bird he was!

Mammals of Oregon nature journal

The newsletter this month featured some ideas for mammal study and I took that idea and created a mammal page for my nature journal. I featured some of our smaller mammals that I have seen this summer in our area. Can you believe we saw a badger?

Total eclipse 2017 nature journal page

Of course, I had to document the total eclipse that occurred here in Oregon. We were at 98% totality so it was a dramatic experience as we sat in our own backyard. Our town has been full of visitors and people passing through even since the eclipse so I added a little mention of that part of the impact on us locally.

Hopefully you have been adding to your journal this month. Don’t forget to keep your pages simple and create something that fits your style and experience. You will never regret taking the time to document your nature adventures.


Once a Month Nature Journal Project @handbookofnaturestudy

Some of the page ideas this month can be found on my Once a Month Nature Journal Project Pinterest Board. Pop over and get some inspiration!

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge

Don’t forget that I am sharing a nature journal page each week on my Instagram account if you want to see the pages as they unfold. Follow me here: Instagram – outdoorhourchallenge. And, if you want to create a page and share it on your Instagram for me to see, use the hashtag #OHCnaturejournal


Nature Study Notebooking Pages

Please note that I am an affiliate for I have used these pages with my own family over many years. They are truly a simple way to get those nature journal pages done!


Outdoor Hour Challenge – Mammal Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge Mammal Study Summer 2017 @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Mammal Study – Your Choice!

From the Archives

Use the link in this post or the mammal tab at the top of the Handbook of Nature Study website for the list of mammal study options to choose from for this week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge. We have been observing lots of mammals this summer and I’m anxious to do my own mammal study using the Handbook of Nature Study.

Many of the Outdoor Hour Challenges listed on the mammal study page include resource links, videos, and printables.

Do you have a pet dog, cat, mouse, or rat? Do you have a neighbor that has a dog or cat they will let you observe? How about a relative? How about visiting a pet store? Be creative.


Outdoor Hour Challenge Mammal Nature Study Index @handbookofnaturestudyIf you are a Charlotte Mason homeschooler, please make a note of the mammal nature study page here on the Handbook of Nature Study. The Ambleside Online nature study topic for the upcoming winter season is mammals and you may want to refer to this list when you plan your winter mammal study!

Ambleside Online Approved @handbookofnaturestudy