Nature Observer – Nature November

It’s been another month of spending time inside recovering from my hip replacement surgery. There’s been a lot of time gazing out the window at the view and my birdfeeders. In addition, I’ve done quite a bit of reading about my favorite nature topics. There’s just so much to learn!

We spotted the first of our elk herd a week or so ago but haven’t seen them since. It’s always just at daybreak when they move behind our fence so we have to be up and watching or we miss them.

beaver tree 2018 in progress

Plus we have been watching and waiting for our beaver to make his appearance. It all started with my husband noticing a tree down by the river that had been gnawed almost the whole way through. We set up our critter cam to see if we could capture the beaver at work but we missed it! We didn’t have the camera in place on the night they finished off the tree.

beaver tree cut down 2018

In the meantime, we’ve been trying to get a video of the beaver taking the limbs off the tree but so far we’re unsuccessful. We won’t be giving up!

Here are my pages from the last month for your inspiration.

silverweed nature journal page

This wildflower is a common sight on our walks to the river and in our yard too. We have a bit in our rock garden and some even growing in our lawn.

june 2018 common silverweed

We tried to transplant a few of the silverweed plants to our new landscaping berm and next year we’ll see if they moved successfully.

critter cam journal page from nature observer

I converted an unused page in my Nature Observer journal to record our critter cam results.

Note the link above is my amazon.com affiliate link.

chickadee nature journal page

One of the most common birds in our birdfeeders is the chickadee. I realized we live in an area that has both the black-capped chickadee and the mountain chickadee. As I worked on my bird sketching skills, I created a page with a few facts and field notes for the two species.

chickadee at the feeder

I find that sketching subjects and writing a few pertinent facts down in my journal helps me to remember it better.

Project Feederwatch tally sheet

We started the new season of Project Feederwatch! I love this activity and look forward to each week’s counting days. If you aren’t familiar with the project, you count birds that come to your feeders for two days in a row basically once a week. You can watch the feeder for just a few minutes or as long as you have available. This super easy citizen science project helped me gain confidence in recognizing all the birds that come to our feeders by taking it one bird at a time. I highly recommend this for bird loving families with a birdfeeder in your yard!

In addition to my regular nature journal, I work daily in my Nature Observer journal. This is the perfect way to note all the simple every day thoughts and observations which over time give a fuller picture of your local habitat.

 

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge small

Don’t forget that I’m sharing a nature journal page each week on my Instagram account if you want to see the pages as they unfold. Follow me here: Instagram – outdoorhourchallenge. And, if you want to create a page and share it on your Instagram for me to see, use the hashtag #OHCnaturejournal.

 

 

OHC: Field Notebook in Your Nature Study

 

You can do this!

Nothing could be easier than creating a field notebook list for your nature journal!

This week’s challenge will help you make a list of nature study topics you observed during your outdoor time but aren’t quite ready to study in depth. As you work through this activity, you’re training your family to be more alert and giving them skills that actual naturalists use to learn more about their own habitats.

Field Notebook Landscape autumn series

Soon, the weather and conditions may keep you indoors and this list of topics will give you inspiration to keep nature study going indoors.

Nature Study When the Weather is Too Cold or Wet to be Outdoors – Pull Out Your Field Notebook List!

Skim down your field notebook list of topics, choose one to topic to study, and then get out your Handbook of Nature Study and/or a field guide. Do a little research on your chosen topic and then create a nature journal page showing what you learned.

OHC Autumn Field Notebook List @handbookofnaturestudy

Autumn Field Notebook Nature Study Handbook of Nature Study pages 1-8

Archive Outdoor Hour Challenge – Click the link above to see the original challenge. Make sure to read the introductory pages in the Handbook of Nature Study to freshen up your nature study attitude!

 

The Field Notebook List is a tool you can use in planning your future nature study lessons!

Additional Suggestion:

Read in the Handbook of Nature Study pages 13-15 (The Field Notebook). In this section Anna Botsford Comstock helps us with a detailed description of her idea of a field notebook or nature journal. She also states that if done properly “they represent what cannot be bought or sold, personal experience in the happy world of out-of-doors”. Make note of any suggestions you want to implement with your children.

Autumn 2009 cover graphic

You can print and use the field notebook page included in the free autumn notebook page download above.

 

Make sure to click the link below to read the entire Outdoor Hour Challenge with helpful links, nature study ideas, printable notebooking pages, and suggested follow-up activities.

Autumn Field Notebook Nature Study Handbook of Nature Study pages 1-8

 

OHC Plan 18 to 19 Join Us

This Outdoor Hour Challenge is part of the 2018-2019 Plan here on the Handbook of Nature Study. We’ll be using the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock to discover new things about the world around us. Join us each Friday for a different nature study topic. Make sure to subscribe to this blog to receive the weekly challenge right in your email box.

Benefits by Level Updated size 500

If you want to become a member here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you can click the Join Us button for more details. Benefits include those shown above including access to ebooks, notebooking pages, archived newsletters, and new ebooks and printables published during your membership.

 

 

Autumn Mushroom Nature Study

Our family loves going on a good mushroom hunt! This week you can read in the Handbook of Nature Study about this fascinating nature study topic and then set off on your own hunt. Remember to create a sense of adventure as you set out to look for mushrooms, building anticipation for finding even just one mushroom to observe.

autumn mushroom

If you don’t have any mushrooms to study at this time, I invite you to view my Flickr gallery of fungi photos for some fun inspiration. The variety of shapes, colors, and sizes will amaze you! Here is the link: Barb’s Fungi Photos on Flickr.

Tip for Finding Mushrooms

My original mushroom challenge suggested that you let your friends and family know that you are looking for mushrooms and they can let you know if they come across any in their travels. Some of our best mushroom studies came from tips I got from my dad who found several interesting species of mushrooms on his property.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Mushroom Nature Study

Autumn Mushroom Nature Study – Handbook of Nature Study Lesson 198, pages 714-719

Archive Outdoor Hour Challenge – Click the link above to see the mushroom study suggestions in the original challenge.

“Fungi, as a whole, are a great boon to the world. Without them our forests would be choked out with dead wood. Decay is simply the process by which fungi and other organisms break down dead material, so that the major part of it returns to the air in gaseous form, and the remainder, now mostly humus, mingles with the soil.” Handbook of Nature Study, page 715

 

Autumn 2009 cover graphic

You can print and use the mushroom notebook page included in the free autumn notebook page download above.

 

Make sure to click the link below to read the entire Outdoor Hour Challenge with helpful links, nature study ideas, printable notebooking pages, and suggested follow-up activities.

Autumn Mushroom Nature Study – Handbook of Nature Study Lesson 198, pages 714-719

Mushroom+Cap+Sketch+Notebook+Page.jpg

Mushroom Cap Printable: Click over to read some additional information, find valuable links, and a free printable notebook page to use in your follow-up study of mushrooms.

 

Optional Art Activity: Watercolor Mushrooms

“Since mushrooms are especially good subjects for watercolor and pencil studies, it would add much to the interest of the work if each pupil, or the school as a whole, should make a portfolio of sketches of all the species found. With each drawing there should be made on a supplementary sheet a spore print of the species.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 718

OHC Plan 18 to 19 Join Us

This Outdoor Hour Challenge is part of the 2018-2019 Plan here on the Handbook of Nature Study. We’ll be using the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock to discover new things about the world around us. Join us each Friday for a different nature study topic. Make sure to subscribe to this blog to receive the weekly challenge right in your email box.

Benefits by Level Updated size 500

If you want to become a member here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you can click the Join Us button for more details. Benefits include those shown above including access to ebooks, notebooking pages, archived newsletters, and new ebooks and printables published during your membership.

Here are a few of my personal favorites for your mushroom study. Please note I am an Amazon.com affiliate and these are affiliate links to books I own and love.