Outdoor Mom – May 2017

Outdoor Mom May 2017 @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Mom – May 2017

Are you ready for my first Outdoor Mom journal entry from our new home in Oregon? This place is amazing! We had a period of time that we had to be “homeless” as we transitioned from living in our old home until we moved into the new one so we took advantage of those few days by going camping with two of our older children. The weather was perfect and we hiked a bit and had some awesome evening campfires. It was so very relaxing after a whirlwind of packing and transporting our household 450 miles.

Elk at sunrise @handbookofnaturestudy

Now that we’re settling into the new place, we realize how much wildlife we have living all around us. The most notable animals are the Rocky Mountain elk that graze in the land right behind ours. They make their way slowly by our fence line both at dawn and dusk. So far the largest group we observed was eight elk. Last night, one of the elk was brave enough to jump our fence and eat at the birdfeeder. What a treat to see these magnificent mammals close up!

Elk at La Pine @handbookofnaturestudy

We have enjoyed the early morning birdsong and many mornings there is a swirling mist rising up over the river. I wake up now and jump out of bed to look out the window to see what there is to see. I let my dog outside early this morning and a few minutes later I spied her sitting at the fence watching a group of four elk. She just sat and watched, sniffing the air. It made me laugh….I can only imagine what the Kona dog was thinking.

I have started a bird list, adding each bird as it makes its appearance. I have a pair of binoculars at the ready near the window just in case a new bird decides to visit the yard. It’s going to be a fun summer of bird watching and learning my waterfowl for this area of Oregon. I think I’m up to the challenge.

Smith Rock State Park hike and wildflowers @handbookofnaturestudy (1)

I have a really nice neighborhood for walking. It is a flat mile if I walk in a loop. As I walk, I’m making mental notes of any plant emerging that looks like it may be a wildflower. It is still very early spring here and many of the trees are just getting their leaves. I am hoping to learn my Oregon wildflowers one flower at a time, just like I did in California when I first started out with nature study with my children. I realized already that I need new field guides and a really good hiking guide book. I will be researching them on Amazon over the next month or two.

Smith Rock State Park hike and wildflowers @handbookofnaturestudy (2)

We took our first hike since moving at Smith Rock State Park. My daughter was with us which made everything more fun. I will share more about this awesome place in a future post.

Well hopefully you’ve had a great month of nature time as well. Share a comment or a link to your blog entry if you want me to pop over and take a look!


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 Journal Pages – April Examples

Note: I found this entry in my drafts! I have been so busy over the past six weeks as we sold our house in California, purchased a house in Oregon, moved all our belongings, and tried to keep from getting to stressed out. It isn’t surprising then that a few things slipped through the cracks.

Here is my April nature journal entry for your enjoyment.


Weekly Nature Journal Project

April 2017

This month my nature journal is full of flowers. My world has been filled with flowers so it only makes sense that this is what made its way into my heart and then onto my journal pages. The first part of the month we were in Oregon, then back to California, then back to Oregon again. This pattern will be happening for the next few months while we transition our life to our new home.

Spring in Oregon nature journal @handbookofnaturestudy

Central Oregon is just starting to move from winter into spring, so it was fun to create a second spring page noting my observations in contrast to my previous California spring page.  I featured the crocus we saw and used a bright springy background of yellow for my journaling.

Mustard entry @handbookofnaturestudy

The first wildflower we studied from the new Wildflower Set #1 is the subject of the next page in my journal. We saw mustard all up and down the state of California.

April dogwood entry @handbookofnaturestudy

This is the second page in my year-long study of the dogwood tree. I think this is my favorite page of the month! I so enjoyed making careful and up close observations of this pretty flower…or rather flowers and bracts. The creamy color and delicate pink tinge may just make this my favorite flowering tree.

Purple chinese houses nature journal @handbookofnaturestudy

I think this is my first two page spread of the year. I wanted to sketch this flower and include a photo so it made sense to make it two pages facing each other. I included a list of the other flowers we found on this particular hike. It’s always nice to have a record to compare from year to year.

As we get ready to make our move to Oregon, I’m getting very sentimental about my home and garden here in California. Each day I try to make more mental notes of the sights and sounds. It’s comforting to know that many of those memories are tucked safely away in my journals. I packed my older nature journals into a box yesterday and was grateful for the time I have spent digging deeper into learning about my neighborhood’s flora and fauna. I also packed my children’s nature journals alongside mine in the box. I inherited those journals from them as they left home. You can be sure they will be treasured keepsakes of the 30 years we have lived here on Hilltop Drive.

From a hilltop to a riverbank….maybe next month you will see my new habitat make an appearance in my nature journal!


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


Outdoor Hour Challenge – Poppy and Buttercup Wildflower Study

Poppies and Buttercups @handbookofnaturestudyOutdoor Hour Challenge

Poppy and Buttercup Wildflower Study

From the Archives and in the More Nature Study – Spring ebook

We are going to go on a search for poppies and buttercups this week! In my world, this is prime time for both of these wildflowers. In fact, I have some blooming right in my front yard!

Join me using the ideas from the archive post linked above or you can download the More Nature Study –Spring ebook if you are an Ultimate Naturalist Library member.

You may with to create a poppy nature journal entry using the idea I shared in this post from the past: Nature Journal Tutorial.

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