Important Note to Members

We have had a server crash and we have only been able to restore the website to July 2019. This means the newer ebooks are not posted up in the library.

I will be adding those back in by the end of the week and hopefully get back on track.

I apologize for any inconvenience!

Edit to add: If you are a member and no longer have access to your account, you can email me and we will set your membership back up. So sorry for the extra work!!!

Barb McCoy

Outdoor Hour Challenge 2019 – 2020 Plans

Outdoor Hour Challenge

September 2019 through August 2020

Plans and Instructions

I know how much the Outdoor Hour Challenge year plan is anticipated by the families that follow the series of topics each week! I’m happy to announce that I have it all organized and ready to go for you a little bit earlier than usual. You’ll be excited to hear that there are 5 new ebooks publishing over the next year, three of which will be included in this year’s Outdoor Hour Challenge plan!

2019 to 2020 plan graphic with ebook covers 2

Here are the four ebooks that will be planned out from September 2019 to August 2020.

OHC Autumn Nature Study Continues Cover Button

Autumn Nature Study Continues ebook from the archives: belted kingfisher, hawks, salvia, teasel, burdock, lizards, ash tree, hemlock tree, witch hazel tree, staghorn sumac tree, stinkhorn, bracket fungi, pig, constellations (Cassiopeia’s Chair, Cepheus, and the Dragon), mica, and winter berries.

Forest Ebook Cover for Plan Explanation

Forest Ebook: Contains 9 challenges: rabbitbrush, skunk cabbage, azalea, raven, California quail, tanager, bear, moose, and the porcupine. This ebook will be added to the Ultimate and Journey level memberships in August 2019.

High Desert cover for plan explanation

High Desert Ebook: Contains 14 challenges: bitterbrush, sage, sage grouse, succulents, mountain lion, coyote, pocket gopher, bristlecone pine, elk, turkey vulture, juniper tree, snowberry, golden mantled ground squirrel, and river otter. This ebook will be added to the Ultimate and Journey level memberships in February 2020.

Creepy Things ebook cover for plan explanation

Creepy Things Ebook: Contains 10 challenges: banana slug, tarantula, black widow, scorpion, leech, muskrat, sphinx moth, cicada, millipede, and poison oak. This ebook will be added to the Ultimate and Journey level memberships in November 2019.

Outdoor Hour Challenge September 2019 – August 2020 for Members

Get the Year Plan in a PDF: Subscribe to the Ultimate Naturalist Library or Journey level membership.  Your membership will give you access to a detailed schedule for the entire year. You’ll have a printable plan that shows dates and specific topics that will be considered every Friday. This makes your planning super easy!

Nature Study Planning Page Sample

New this year are monthly planning pages with lots of additional nature study ideas that you can use to enrich your nature study. These are similar to the planning pages I created for the newsletters in the past. If you’re a member at any level, you will receive all 12 months of planning pages in one pdf to download and print! View a sample planning page below.

These pages will be added to the Ultimate and Journey level memberships by the end of July 2019.

Nature Study Planning Page Sample

Benefits by Level graphic 2019 to 2020

Do You Want to Join Us? Here’s what you need to do!

  1. Purchase a membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study. Remember that if you want access to all the ebooks, you’ll need an Ultimate Naturalist or Journey Level Membership. If you purchase a membership now, you’ll have access to all of the new ebooks as they become available. A membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study starts the date of purchase and is valid for one year.
  2. Download the ebooks as they become available (see the publishing dates above).
  3. Download the September 2019 through August 2020 plan from your membership account.
  4. Download and print the monthly planning pages from your membership account when it becomes available at the end of July 2019.
  5. Subscribe to the Handbook of Nature Study blog for reminders each Friday.


Click Below to Get Started!

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist LIbrary graphic button

Note: There will be two more ebooks in addition to those mentioned above that will be published this year:

Bird Set cover for plan explanation

Herb nature study cover for plan explanation

Once again, the Handbook of Nature Study memberships were given a Practical Homeschool Reader Award as an outstanding elementary science plan for homeschooling families. What a privilege! The nature study plans offered as part of the Outdoor Hour Challenge continue to be a favorite resource for families around the globe. Thank you!!!

Practical Homeschooling Reader Award 2019


If you can’t purchase a membership at this time, you can still follow along by subscribing to the blog and each week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge will come right to your email inbox.

Handbook of Nature Study Subscribe Now 2

Nature Goals 2019 – 2nd Quarter Update


2nd Quarter Update


Nature Study Goals 2019 @handbookofnaturestudy

  1. Use the Outdoor Hour Challenge topics to stimulate my interest in my local habitat and help to build my skills as a naturalist. I have been faithfully following the Outdoor Hour Challenge but I have not been as good about posting my results here on the blog. I do lots of research and preparation work during the week leading up to each challenge and then sort of fall flat on writing about it. Perhaps a good addition to this goal would be to post at least on blog entry per month sharing what we learned in completing the weekly Outdoor Hour Challenges.
  2. Keep a detailed record of my nature observations. I’m still going strong with my observations in my daily journal, the five year journal, and my personal nature journal. I have learned a lot about our habitat by comparing this year’s details with last year’s records. It helps me see patterns and then anticipate when something will bloom or the arrival of a particular bird. In general, things are much later in the season this year, our temperatures are much cooler, and there has been far more rainfall.
  3. Hiking and Kayaking. Our hiking and kayaking have ramped up for the season. There have three kayak trips and numerous short hikes. We hiked a new trail from La Pine State Park to Fall River which is mostly through the evergreen forest but also a little along the Deschutes River. We also hiked a favorite trail at Smith Rock State Park (making a note to write a blog entry about this awesome state park).
  4. Read nature related books this year. I’m enjoying a new book featuring insects of the Pacific Northwest. I am also working my way through the book, Nature Walks by Claire Leslie Walker.

toad in the garden

As noted in my Nature Observer post for June 2019, I am spending a lot of time outdoors while the weather is warmer and things are growing and visiting in my yard. It seems like every effort I make to be outdoors is rewarded with an interesting discovery.

Note for 2020: Next year I am going to make it a goal to plant more seeds earlier indoors, perhaps in a green house, so that I can get a jump on the growing season here in Central Oregon. The seeds we did put in pots early are doing fantastic and we are beginning to see the fruits of our labor. This goal may dovetail into another goal to increase the bird and butterfly friendly areas of our yard.


Did you make nature goals this year? How are doing at achieving those goals?


These are Amazon affiliate links to books I own and love.