Outdoor Mom – January 2020

Outdoor Mom – January 2020

Somehow this post never made it to the blog in January. This doesn’t surprise me since my life has been so over the top busy and it just slipped through the cracks.

I hope you enjoy reading about my January adventures.

During our outdoor time this month we went
We didn’t need to travel too far this month to have some outdoor time. By going through our backyard and then down to the river, we have the perfect place to take long walks in the snow. My favorite time to go out is when the sun is shining, making the snow all sparkly and glistening with snow crystals.

snow landscape january 2020

I also love to follow any tracks we find in the snow and imagine who made them.

Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)…

I think about all of the life going on down under the snow and ice. We only see the tops of a few plants sticking out but I know from last year’s study of the subnivean zone (space between ground and bottom of the snow) that there is a whole habitat underneath where smaller creatures live. I imagine the Belding’s ground squirrels all snug in their burrows and the mice and pocket gophers keeping warm underground as well.

We also know the otters and beavers are active under the ice and along the river banks. Once we saw an otter jump out from a hole in the ice with a fish in his mouth. He ran along the ice a little way and then popped back under the water and ice. Such excitement!

The most inspiring thing we experienced was…

The elk are back traveling back and forth along the river in small herds. We need to get up very early to see them because it’s usually just as the sun is rising that we observe them on the move. There are young elk with the herd, sticking close to the adults as elk

I added nature journal pages about…

I’m back at my Nature Observer journal this year where I record the temperatures, daily thoughts, and any outstanding observations. Determined to keep up on my daily records, I try to work on it first thing in the morning. It’s interesting to me that I will quickly forget things we’ve noticed if I don’t get them down on paper each day.

I finally finished my journal page from Acadia National Park.

I finally finished my journal page from Acadia National Park.

I’m also back to posting more regularly on Instagram. Join us over there if you want to be a part of that community.

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge small

Want to join in the Outdoor Mom post?

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 month 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…
  • One last image…









High Desert Habitat Resources and Ebook

High Desert Ebook cover graphic

Ultimate and Journey Level members can click this graphic to go directly to the library to download a copy of this new ebook. Make sure you are logged in and if you’re having trouble with your password, please leave me a comment or send me a direct email to receive my assistance. Email: [email protected]

New Ebook is Now Available to Members!

The High Desert ebook is now ready for you to download and use with your family. This ebook has been a labor of love on my part because it is filled with some of my favorite topics and things I have in my own habitat. I have been anxious to share these subjects with you my blog readers for a long time!

I have included many links and resources for nature journal pages for your family to use in your nature study.

We will be working our way through this ebook in a few months so get ready to follow along. Please note that even though this ebook is titled “high desert”, many of the the topics can be found in other habitats. In most cases, I have suggested an alternative nature study idea to supplement or substitute for the ebook topic. I encourage you to give it a try!

2019 to 2020 plan graphic with ebook covers 2

There are 14 brand new Outdoor Hour Challenges for you to complete as part of your nature study lessons with your children. These Challenges are not based on information in the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock. You’ll be using internet links and field guides to glean information about each topic. See the bottom of this post for book and resource ideas you may wish to have as a supplement to this High Desert ebook.

  • This 63 page digital ebook has 14 challenges and supplemental activities
  • There are multiple custom notebooking pages for each of the topics. You can choose from simple notebook pages or more advanced notebooking pages.
  • There are 12 coloring pages.
  • Sample: High Desert Ebook Sample

Here are the specific topics included in this ebook:

  • Bitterbrush
  • Sagebrush
  • Greater Sage-grouse
  • Succulents
  • Mountain Lion
  • Coyote
  • Pocket Gopher
  • Bristlecone Pine
  • Elk
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Juniper
  • Snowberry
  • Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel
  • River Otter


How do you get the new High Desert 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.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist January 2020

If you don’t have a membership yet, I’m offering a $5 off discount code that will be good towards your Ultimate Naturalist membership.

Discount Code: OHC10


Here are my favorite resources that I use all of the time in my own study of the High Desert habitat.

The Nature of Bend

Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest

Sagebrush Country-A Wildflower Sactuary
There is also a printable guide to plants of the High Desert found at this link:

Xeriscaping in the High Desert.

I have this printed out and I use it to plan my garden. It may be helpful as a supplement to your learning about this unique high desert landscape.

Please note the links above are Amazon affiliate links to books I own and love.



Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge -California Quail Nature Study

California quail are usually seen scurrying along the forest floor in and around brush and shrubs. They quick step along in a group and you can often hear them before you see them. They make such a peculiar sound: Quail pit-pit-pit sound video.

I invite you to learn more about one of my favorite birds!

Outdoor Hour Challenge California Quail nature study

  • Choose a resource to use for the California quail.  A terrific website for bird information is All About Birds: California Quail. Check your field guide for birds for range maps and images.

Please note that I will not be posting the complete challenge here on the blog but you’ll find the detailed challenge in the Forest Fun ebook that is available both in the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level memberships. Sign into your account and download the ebook for the details, more links, a coloring page, and notebook pages.

Forest Fun ebook cover graphic

We’re working through the Forest Fun ebook, which is a brand new series of nature studies featuring things you might find in the forest. It’s not too late to join us by purchasing an Ultimate Naturalist or Journey level membership.

Topics in this ebook include:


Skunk Cabbage


Common Raven

California Quail

Western Tanager

Black Bear



Join Us Ultimate Naturalist decenber 2019

If you don’t have a membership yet, you can click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 24 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!