Outdoor Mom’s Journal – January 2016

Outdoor Mom’s Journal – January 2016

I’m either really late with this month’s entry or really early for next month’s entry…oh well. This month has flown by in a good way filled with lots of rainy days but a few opportunities for some outdoor time as well. Read below about our brush with a tornado!!!


Snow Day Jan

We took a rather spur of the moment trip to Nevada to refresh our minds and it was picture postcard perfect as we drove up and over the Sierra Nevada. The roads were clear but the mountains were beautifully covered in a layer of snow. We were cold the whole weekend long with temperatures dipping down to 9 degrees…really cold for this California girl. We bundled up and took some walks, shopped in this incredibly large outdoor store (Scheel’s), and ate lots of delicious food. It was a perfect combination of indoor and outdoor fun.

Jan 16 window phto

This is my January photo from my office window and it pretty much sums up our month…rainy! I have been keeping track of our rainfall totals and so far we have racked up 26 inches of rain since the first of October! We have also had a dusting of snow, two hail storms, and believe it or not…a tornado!

Yes, back on December 24, 2015 we had an alert on our phone to take cover because there was a tornado in our area. What??!! This was a first and we decided to take shelter in our basement but the tornado ended up going in a different direction and only came within about 5 miles of our house. I have to say that it was exciting and sort of scary at the same time. In our world, we don’t usually worry about a tornado!

Cronan Ranch Jan 2016

There were some sunny afternoons this month that allowed a few long walks with the husband and our faithful Labrador. This was a muddy hike to the river but we very much enjoyed the warm sunshine and seeing some green for the first time in a very long time. This past few years have not allowed our usual grass crops to green up very much and I am so looking forward to see our beloved California foothills covered in green grass and colorful wildflowers. I’m ready now!

Conifers Nature Journal Page

I had a chance to work on my nature journal and decided to add a list of conifers after completing the Outdoor Hour Challenge on Pines and Cones.

I’m adding a little something different this month as part of my Outdoor Mom’s Journal, a book review. The first book I have read as part of my Nature Book Project is Discover Nature Close to Home by Elizabeth P. Lawlor. This is a fantastic book with a long list of topics that you may find very near your home: maples, pines, seeds, squirrels, starlings, goldenrod, galls, lichens, vines, chipmunks, spiders, centipedes, fungi, ants, and earthworms. This is such a practical guide to nature study that focuses on things close to home. I love the variety of topics, the straightforward information, and specific activity ideas.

Discover Nature Close to Home

Take a look at the book on Amazon and consider the kindle version and a used copy of the paperback book at a reasonable price (my affiliate link):Discover Nature Close to Home: Things to Know and Things to Do

Outdoor Moms Journal @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Mom’s Journal

Whether your family spends a few minutes a week outside or hours at a time, share what is going on in your world. I hope you have enjoyed your October nature adventures.

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…

Yosemite Winter January 2014 Lodge  (8)

Throwback to Yosemite National Park January 2014…..the winter trip when it was cold but not much snow. I have seen photos of Yosemite in the last week and they have a ton more snow this year.

I will be posting my Outdoor Mom’s Journal entry once a month. Look for it during the first week of the month each month.


  1. Robin Harris says:

    Here in Wisconsin, it is 7 degrees this morning. Warm compared to the last few days! We have been making plans for our garden. Ordered seeds and will be starting some of them indoors in a couple of weeks. They won’t be able to go into the garden until the end of May, or beginning of June.

    • Barb McCoy says:

      Garden planning is so much fun…the anticipation of that summer’s garden is always a treat. Sending warm wishes to you!

  2. We just did a two-week long pine study, thanks to your January Newsletter inspiration! I took lots of pictures and included some nature journal entries as well. Have a look if you like! We are over at beracavalley (dot) blogspot (dot) com

    • Barb McCoy says:

      I just popped over to look at your study…excellent! I love your images and your journals too. I am so glad the newsletter got you started with your study. Thanks for the comment!

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