Outdoor Hour Challenge – Mouse Study Revisited

Outdoor Hour Challenge Mouse Study @handbookofnaturestudy


Outdoor Hour Challenge

Mouse Study

From the Archives and the More Nature Study – Summer ebook

I have been fascinated with rodents this summer. We have so many to observe here in Central Oregon, rodents of all shapes and sizes.

But, for this week’s challenge, let’s start small and take a look at the humble mouse. I have packed this challenge with loads of awesome links and resources. There are also a few free printables included for your family to use.

Join us this week for a small mammal study and see what you can learn about the house mouse.



Notebooking Pages LIFETIME Membership

I’m still hoping you take some time to check out the fantastic products at NotebookingPages.com. I used these notebooking pages, nature journal pages, and timelines pages with my own family for many years and highly recommend them to you and your family. Note that I am an affiliate for NotebookingPages.com and receive a small commission if you eventually make a purchase. In the meantime, take advantage of their FREE membership.

Outdoor Mom – July Part 1 My Backyard

Outdoor Mom July: Part 1 – My Own Backyard

There is so much to relate that I am splitting my entry into three parts!

July Outdoor Mom

Picture postcard perfect! That pretty much sums up July in Central Oregon…at least that has been my experience. Longtime residents here say that July and August are the short summer season so we have tried to soak in as much outdoor time as we can before it passes.

I can’t help but compare living here to my California home. It doesn’t get as hot in the afternoons and it’s MUCH cooler at night. My new house is perfectly situated to view the sunrise each morning because there is a large pasture sloping down to the river. This makes a perfect vantage point to watch the sunrise each morning up over the distant mountains and peaks.

Oregon Sunrise

Each new day I wake up to open the blinds to see the colors and clouds….the Grand Creator’s morning artwork. Many times I try to take a photo, but each time I am disappointed in the results. My iPhone camera just doesn’t capture the magnificence I see with my eye so most days I am content with enjoying it in the moment.

Oregon cows

The wildlife show starts early around here. I don’t even need to get out of bed because the view from my bedroom window allows me to see a great sweep of landscape behind our home.

The arrival of the black cattle to the pasture down by the river was on July 8th. I woke up one morning and there were, not exaggerating, two dozen cows who appeared overnight right behind my back fence. There are some pine trees and tall grass that they seem to enjoy both in the early morning and then later in the day. Seriously, they have 108 acres back there and many times they are right at my back door, looking at us with big, wide cow eyes. Their curiosity was at first with our big black Labrador dog and then the Woody wind twirly. They stand and watch the wheels go round. So very funny!

I have come to love the sound of a distant cow moo and the sight of adorable young calves that follow their mothers around the pasture. I will not think about the time they’ll be absent from my back pasture and what that will mean for them. For now, they are a welcome addition to my animal viewing.


Summer so far has brought a different set of birds to the feeders and surroundings. Many of the birds that were here in May and June have moved on and they have been replaced by some new birds. I’m still working on learning all their names but there is such joy in the discovery.

Hanging basket of flowers

My new friends here have realized I’m a bird nerd, sort of an oddity. What they see as common, I many times get super excited about seeing. I’m spending a lot of time filling feeders and birdbaths. The more plentiful the food and water, the more birds come to visit. I have a hanging pot of flowers outside my bedroom window and the hummingbirds come a visiting each morning.

Sometimes one and many times two hummingbirds are busy sipping nectar from the colorful flowers in the pot. We had a switch in hummingbird species early in July, from rufous hummingbirds to calliope hummingbirds. The gorgeous rufous colored birds are all gone, migrating further north I’m suspecting. This is something I want to research further because it fascinates me that they can fly so far over a wide migration route.

I’m keeping lots of notes and taking lots of photos to help me start to learn the patterns of flora and fauna here in Central Oregon. I purchased a new field guide that is more specific to this area to help me know what things to expect and to look for as I’m outdoors exploring. Summer is a time for being outside and I’m really taking that to heart.

I’m going to split this really long entry into three parts so you’re not overwhelmed with reading it all in one sitting.

Look for Part 2 – Wildlife Viewings

Look for Part 3 – Travels

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 Challenges – Plans for October 2017 to August 2018

1 Outdoor Hour Challenge Oct 17 to Aug 18 Plans

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Plans for October 2017 to August 2018


The academic school year is drawing ever closer and with it will be some changes here on the Handbook of Nature Study. Since my move to Oregon last spring, I have barely kept my head above water as far as writing new challenges, keeping up with blog posts, and creating a monthly newsletter.  It is not a good feeling.

I want to bring some joy and passion back to my work here so I’ve made some hard decisions.

Things to Note

  • I will no longer be creating a monthly newsletter. This will free up my time to write more about what I am learning and experiencing here in my new Central Oregon home. I realize that most of what I’m doing in my monthly newsletter can easily be shared in blog posts so the content will still be there for readers but not in the form of a newsletter.
  • There will continue to be 2-3 new printables per month for members. Those printables are usually either a notebook pages or activity that can be found in the Ultimate and Journey level membership libraries.
  • I have one new ebook in the works for spring 2018 and possibly another one for summer 2018.


1 Outdoor Hour Challenge Oct 17 to Aug 18 Plans

Nature Study Plans for October 2017 to August 2018 – Ebooks to Be Used from the Ultimate Naturalist Library

Note: I am going to list the ebooks that will be the basis for the next year’s nature study here on the Handbook of Nature Study. It is advantageous but not necessary to have access to the ebooks. The ebooks contain custom printables (notebook pages and coloring pages) that will enhance your nature study but you can just as easily complete a page in your own blank nature journal.

Autumn 2010 Outdoor Hour Challenge

October 2017 to December 2017 – We are going to use the Autumn Nature Study ebook plans from 2010. Many of you have not worked through this ebook in the past and I am anxious to complete these challenges again in my new habitat. You can find all of the challenges listed on this page: Autumn Nature Study. Scroll down and you will see the specific topics for the Friday challenges during this period of time.

This series of Outdoor Hour Challenges was written to help your family learn more about each topic by using comparisons. I explain how to make comparisons and then use a Venn Diagram to help see the topic more in detail. (Venn Diagram instructions and printable included in the ebook.)

Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Wednesday

January 2018 to February 2018 – I’m super excited to use the ideas in the Winter Wednesday series here in my new Central Oregon home. These cold weather and winter related challenges are going to help all of us get to know more about our winter world.

Learning About Birds Outdoor Hour Challenges

March 2018 to April 2018Outdoor Hour Challenge Learning About Birds from 2016. Let’s use the bird challenges this spring to learn more about the birds in our yards and neighborhoods.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Summer Using Your Senses

May 2018 to June 2018 –  Summer Nature Study – Using Your Senses from 2010. We are going to be using eight of the challenges from this ebook. It is going to be a lot of fun to revisit so many of these older challenges once again.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Getting Started Ebook @handbookofnaturestudy

July and August 2018 – Outdoor Hour Challenges – Getting Started ebook! This is the ebook that started the whole thing around here. I would love for newbies and veterans to join us working through the first ten nature study challenges before the next school year starts.

So there you have the plan for the year to come! I became very excited as I made these plans and I hope you will consider joining us for all or part of the nature study journey this time around. As always, make these plans work for your family by adding or subtracting things to customize your experience.

If you have any questions, you can comment here on the blog or send me a direct email: [email protected]

Just as a sidenote: I miss the community we had built here using the blog carnival and Mr. Linky system from times past. I yearn to hear from families once in awhile to know how your nature study is going. It fuels me! So, if you have a moment over the next few months, shoot me an email or leave a comment. I love to hear your stories from your nature study time.

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge small

You can follow me on Instagram (Outdoorhourchallenge) to see my day to day nature study photos. I follow many of the OHC families so share your Instagram name and I will pop over and check your images out too!


Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudyUse the discount code NATURE5 to receive $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist Membership!