Spring Nature Study Ideas and Reminders

 Seasonal Topics - Spring Reminders @handbookofnaturestudy

Here are some ideas from year-long nature study topics we’ve done in the past:

Spring Weather Observations - free printable notebook page

Spring Splendor Walk – spring nature walk scavenger hunt

Signs of Spring – Outdoor Hour Challenge – printable notebook page

Spring Bird Observations - free printable bird list

Seasonal Cattail Study – with free printable

Seasonal Milkweed Study – with free printable notebook page

Year-Long Pond Study – with a free printable notebook page

Year-Long Queen Anne’s Lace Study and a free printable notebook page

Burdock Study – start a year-long study

NOTE: You may wish to start a new year-long study this spring using some of the ideas above. Spring is a wonderful beginning, so take advantage of the opportunity and season.

Spring Ebooks Graphic button

The current library contains 25 ebooks covering hundreds of topics. There are 76 newsletters in the library and dozens of printables in addition to the ebooks!

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist January 2020

Right now, use the discount code SPRINGBREAK  for $10 off an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership. This offer will be valid until 3/31/2020. 


Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge -Coyote Nature Study

Have you ever heard a coyote howl in the distance? Have you seen them dart out across a road in your neighborhood? Did you ever wonder, was that a big dog or a coyote? Well, now is your chance to learn more about that amazing and elusive animal, the coyote.


Image credit: Jitze Couperus

While I was researching the coyote, I learned that many communities are dealing with more frequent sightings as the coyote’s habitat is shrinking and people are moving into their natural territory.

As always, where possible, I suggest an alternative or supplementary nature study topic for you to choose from for each Outdoor Hour Challenge. This week the alternative suggested nature study topic is: Outdoor Hour Challenge: Dogs.

Outdoor Hour Challenge coyote nature study

Here are a few ideas to get you started with a coyote nature study:

  • Choose your resource for learning about the coyote. This can be an online site like National Trappers Association or the National Park Service.  You can hear coyotes howling and yipping in this video: Coyote Howl. Our neighborhood has several coyotes and we hear them howling when they hear sirens in the distance. It can be so loud! Can you howl and yip like a coyote?

Please note that I won’t be posting the complete challenge here on the blog, but you will find the detailed challenge in the High Desert ebook that’s available both in the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level memberships. Sign into your account and download the ebook for the details, more links, and notebook pages.

High Desert Ebook cover graphic

If you don’t have a membership yet, you can click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 25 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!

Topics in this ebook include:

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


Join Us Ultimate Naturalist January 2020

Please use the discount code SPRINGBREAK to receive $10 off an Ultimate Naturalist Membership





Outdoor Mom – March 2020 Crossbills and Bluebirds!

Outdoor Mom – March 2020

Nature study and making daily nature observations is a fantastic way to take a break from the craziness of the COVID-19 situation. As long as you keep your social distancing, it’s recommended that we get outside and take a walk. I’m all in favor of that advice and hope that my outdoor experiences this month inspire you to get out and take that walk!

During our outdoor time this month we went
We’ve taken several walks to our river to look at the river’s level, the condition of the banks with their muddy edges and animal tracks, and to listen to the spring birds that have returned to our neighborhood and make their nests in the river willows.

red crossbill bird march 2020  (9)

So far, the red-winged blackbirds, the robins, and the red crossbills have been the most numerous to return. Yes, I said crossbills! This is very early for them to make a stop at our birdfeeders. So early, that when I reported their numbers on my Project Feederwatch report last week, they wanted to know if I had a photo. Of course I had a photo!


The most inspiring thing we experienced was…

The green grass is peeking through the remaining brown winter grasses. I can’t tell you how hopeful that made us that we’ll soon see the return of the longer spring days. Even now as I write this entry, and the greenness is covered up with five inches of fresh snow, my mind’s eye can see it under there just waiting for the warm sun’s rays to wake it up again.

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

We observed that one of the ground squirrel holes in our backyard shows signs of activity. It seems a bit early for their appearance but we are wondering if it’s like with ground hogs. Do the ground squirrels take a peek outside once in awhile to determine if it’s time to come out of hibernation? My guess is they went back to sleep!


In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting…

I was so anxious for some spring color that I went to Home Depot and purchased a few colorful indoor plants to enjoy until we can plant our seeds. I brought home a “spring cactus” which is really a rhipsalidopsis. Two African violets also found a home in my kitchen window. What a difference it makes having just a bit of happiness in the form of a pretty flower within view most of my day!

western bluebirds nesting box march  2020 (6)

I am dreaming about…

The bluebirds have been checking out the nesting boxes in our yard, going in and out, sitting near the entrances on sunny afternoons. It reminds me of the summer days of bluebird babies poking their heads out of the box to have their mothers bring them a meal. Such a comforting image that I look forward to seeing again soon.

I am reading…

While it’s strictly not a nature related book, I thought I would share a title that gave me a little winter escape to a place I would like to visit in real life, Avonlea and Prince Edward Island. The book is titled, Marilla of Green Gables, and is the prequel to Anne of Green Gables, telling the story of Marilla Cuthbert.



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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…
  • One last image…