Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge: Mint Herb Nature Study

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge

Mint Herb Nature Study

This week we’ll be studying mint as part of the herb nature study series. This plant is an easy plant to grow for beginners and younger students.

Here are a few observation ideas for you to get started:

  • Note the mint’s square stalk and the opposite pair of aromatic leaves. Feel the stem. Crush the leaves between your fingers for a more intense scent. Does it smell like toothpaste?
  • Note the color and height of the stem.
  • Look at the leaves and observe the shape and veins. What is the texture of the leaf?  Taste a few of the fresh leaves if possible.
  • Observe the flowers if they are present. What is their color and size? Do they have a fragrance? Did you see any insects on the plant or flowers? Bees, hover flies, and tachinid flies all are attracted to mint flowers.
  • Advanced Study:  Grow and then study two kinds of mint. This link has a list of a variety of mints you could choose from: Mint Plant Varieties.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Mint Nature Study

Remember that the rest of the challenge is available to Ultimate and Journey level members here on the Handbook of Nature Study.

You will need to sign into your Ultimate or Journey level membership to see the herb ebook download.

Herb Nature Study ebook cover graphic

Once you download your ebook, you’ll have complete access to the challenge. This includes additional links, resources, study ideas, and printables.

Outdoor Hour Challenge-Herb Ebook: Download the cilantro sample here.

 

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

Use the discount code GREATDAY to receive $10 off your Ultimate Naturalist Library membership. Valid until  9/10/21.

Outdoor Mom-August 2021 Prime Summertime Delights

Outdoor Mom

August 2021

Prime Summertime Delights

 

Please note you can purchase a membership right now for $35 using the code GREATDAY. Code expires on 9/10/2021.

Waking up to birdsong has become my favorite part of summer. It starts early! Mid-July it started around 4:30 AM and it has gradually become later and later, until those morning serenades have stopped. The departure of so many of the dawn singing birds has been replaced by a nip in the air and shorter days. How does that happen so fast?

tent summer 2021

You may wonder how I know that the birdsong starts so early. Well, we spent most summer nights sleeping in our backyard tent. The birds would be so loud that they would wake me up! I heard many a nighttime owl duet from the resident great horned owls. Then there were the frogs in the river meander behind our house that make a ruckus most nights. Finally, the last few weeks we’ve had the sound of yipping and howling coyotes. It’s hard to believe there’s so much going on outside, but it’s there if you happen to listen.

hairy woodpecker bird backyard july 2021 (3)Late Summer Changes

Most of the robins have flown on, the swallows are gone, the bluebirds are scarce, hardly a red-wing blackbird to be seen. The sounds now are of chickadees, finches, doves, and flickers. I’ve been reflecting on the coming and going of the birds as the seasons change. I looked back in my journal where I noted we saw our first robin and red-wing on March 1, 2021. I remember that day with great fondness, happy day indeed. The summer bird season went by entirely too fast.

summer coneflowers

As I write this entry, our garden is still in full bloom and I spend many days watering, weeding, and cutting flowers. I call it my garden therapy. I sometimes linger sitting on the garden bench just so I can watch the creatures who come to visit. There are hummingbirds in the flowers, bees buzzing around, and all kinds of birds who come to take a bath or drink from the bird baths. There are a few chipmunks who zip in and around the garden when they think no one is watching. If I’m lucky, there will be a butterfly, or a dragonfly come to check things out.

butterfly garden sign 2021

I make mental notes of what grew well in the garden and what I would like to do differently next year. I create new plans in my head for areas that need improvement and I also make a mental list of the things that failed.

Some days, our kids show up and entice us down to the river for a kayak. We drag the boats down to the riverbank and slip into the shallow water as we make our way downstream. The river is low this time of year and it’s not unusual to see a few fish or crawdads as we float over.

cow calf july 2021 (1)

The grasses are still quite green from the thunderstorms we’ve had this month. This means the cows and calves are still living out back where we enjoy their antics as they spend their long summer days grazing and sitting under our trees out back. They often are right along the river’s edge as we make our way down river. We noted a brand new calf with spindly legs and soft brown eyes, we named him Hot Cocoa.

family table 2021

Our new family table, built with my husband’s own hands. We have welcomed many family members to this table over the summer and we will continue the tradition next year.

Now I find myself trying to muster up enthusiasm for the autumn and all the changes that come with it. Most people welcome the autumn, but it makes me feel unsettled. Perhaps it’s because I don’t like change and the replacing of my warm, summer sunshine-filled days with the unpredictability that comes with autumn in Central Oregon. We could have a warm day, a cold day, a snow day, or all the above all in one day.

sunflowers 2021

The falling leaves and withering flowers make me sad. The putting away of the lawn furniture and the potted plants and taking down the flower baskets….so melancholy.

I have in the past found it helpful to make an Autumn Bucket List of things I look forward to doing to make the season a little more positive in my eyes. So, I will do that this year in anticipation of trying to put some joy in my autumn. Maybe that will take my mind off the winter season which is cold and long here in La Pine. I can always hope anyway.

sunflower garden 2021

This summer is drawing to a close and I have saved up some memories to pull out on long winter days. This mom is grateful to have had a garden to enjoy this year and a place to spend my days close to the plants and animals who share my space. I also appreciate the ability to share it all with you dear readers.

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge small

You can follow me on Instagram to see more of our outdoor life here in gorgeous Central Oregon.

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…

 

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Ultimate Naturalist Library Membership- Sale and Discount Code!

Ultimate Naturalist Library Membership

Sale and Discount Code!

We’ve had a great summer here in Central Oregon. There have been so many things learned about new birds and plants! I hope that you had a great summer of nature study too.

At the start of this last season here on the Handbook of Nature Study, I’m offering a large discount to new members. Please read the information below because I need you to be aware that the website and the member’s library will only be available until 12/31/21. At that time, I’m going to be going into full retirement and shutting the website off.

Note: If you did not read the post about the plan for the Handbook of Nature Study for the rest of the 2021 calendar year, here’s a link that you should read:

Plans for the Outdoor Hour Challenge: September 2021 through December 2021

Members to the Ultimate Naturalist Library will have access to all the ebooks, newsletters, and printables until 12/31/2021.

In anticipation of the shutting down of the website, I highly encourage members to download and save any materials you wish to use in the future.

Discount Code Greatday August september 2021

Please take advantage of the discount code to gain access to the complete library until 12/31/21.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

Discount code: GREATDAY

This code will give you $10 off an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.

This code will expire on 9/10/2021.

 

21-22 Benefits graphic