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.



  1. Can you explain how you work with your three journals; I am having trouble trying to keep up with one. I love all your wonderful information and am al a member of your website. Thanks for all you do!


    • Barb McCoy says:

      The 5-year journal only has a small square for each day where I write a few highlights and “firsts”. This takes about a minute a day. The daily journal is where I keep temperature highs and lows and a brief few sentences about things of interest I have seen or heard or places we hiked. I would say I take 5 minutes tops for that journal. The personal nature journal is used to record usually a page a week about something of interest. The time varies depending on how in-depth I go for the nature journal page but I would say 30-40 minutes a week.

      It is a commitment on my part to get the 3 journals done each week but it has kept me so very focused on the changes and wonders around me. I am also at a point in my life that I have a few minutes in the morning to devote to the daily and 5-year journal. I could have never done all 3 back when I was homeschooling my children. It was enough to create a page a week in my personal nature journal.

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