Outdoor Mom – May 2018

Outdoor Mom
May 2018

swallow nesting box

Our outdoor time made us wonder…..

We’ve been watching birds in our yard since we moved here a year ago. We’ve now seen the complete cycle of birds in each season. I’m thrilled every time a new kind of bird shows up at a feeder or within sight of our windows. Now, the nesting boxes are being occupied by a couple of bird families. The tree swallows are the most fascinating to watch as they bring the materials into the box for their nest. How do they fly with those long grasses in their mouth? How do they manage to get them through the little hole and into the box? Truly a miracle of life!

yarrow garden

In our garden, we are building…..

Construction has begun on our new yard landscape. We picked the pavers for the walkways and patio so now all we need to do is make a plan for getting them laid. My husband is working part time at a landscaping and floral nursery down the road from us and this is how we’ll finance the bigger purchases of rock, sand, and the majority of the trees and shrubs. It’s been awesome to have an expert help us at least get started with this huge project. Now that we’re underway, I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

planting my rock garden

I’ve had to do quite a bit of research about native plants in anticipating the filling of our garden beds. I don’t want to spend a lot of money purchasing things that will not survive our harsh, long winters. Or as I’ve discovered from experience, plants that the deer will eat in one night. Instead, it makes sense to take the time to find out the best way to spend our money and energy and still end up with a yard that is beautiful and will stand the test of time.

Central oregon sky

I am dreaming about…..

The promise of another summer season here in Oregon is just about to be realized. I can feel the days getting longer and the landscape is filling up with green things and flowering things and life in general. The river is calling us to come and float on its cool clear water. The sun is warm on my face and shoulders when I’m out in the garden. I can’t wait to be in the middle of July when all my family is going to be around me for a big anniversary picnic!

start of butterfly garden

One last image…..

This is just the start of something pretty outside my bedroom window for the birds, bees, and butterflies. It just makes me happy to think of the seasons to come where I will be able to look out my window and see a little nature looking back at me.

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge

Follow me here: Instagram – outdoorhourchallenge.  If you would like me to take a look at one of your images on Instagram, use the hashtag #outdoorhourchallenge.

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…
  • I am reading…
  • I am dreaming about…
  • One last image…

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Summer Evening Primrose Flower Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge Evening Primrose @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Evening Primrose Nature Study or Another Night Blooming Flower

From the Archives and from the Summer Nature Study ebook


This week’s challenge is one that we originally had a hard time completing. But, because we prepared ahead of time and were patient, when the opportunity arose to see evening primrose during a hike, we could identify it and enjoy seeing it in person. It really is a very pretty flower!

Evening Primrose


Do some research and see if you have evening primrose in your area. If not, use the information in the archived challenge to learn about another night blooming flower like moonflower or Four-O-Clocks.

I wrote an entry about planting seeds in my garden to have some of my very own night blooming flowers: Night Blooming Flowers.

Four Oclocks



Outdoor Hour Challenge Summer Using Your Senses

Join us for this exciting series of nature study topics as we work through the Summer Nature Study – Using Your Senses ebook.

This ebook is found in the Ultimate level membership for you to download and use with your family. If you would like to gain access to this ebook, you can purchase a membership now and have instant access.

Ultimate Naturalist Library September 2017 @handbookofnaturestudy



June Planner and Printables

June 2018 Nature Planning Page

June 2018 Nature Planning Page – Print Your Copy Here!

What an exciting month of nature study we all have ahead of us! This is the perfect time to be outdoors and to share these experiences with our children. The ideas are mostly suggested for evening nature study times but you can easily adapt them to fit your schedule.

When I lived in California, it was hot during the middle part of the day. In fact, many days were just too hot to even attempt to get the kids outdoors. But, we found the perfect time was in the evening after dinner, when it was still light out but cooling off. Many insects and animals feel the same way and will only be found out at sundown.

I invite you to use this month’s planning sheet to remind you to give these nature study ideas a try.

Please note there are additional nature study ideas listed on the planning page for you to use if you have access to the newsletter library. (Right now use the discount code OHC10 for $5 off any membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study.)

June 2018 Nature Planning Page

Download your copy here: June 2018 Planning Page

Printables for Members Button

In addition, I’ve created a few new printables for members to use this month as well.

Shore Birds page 15 senses sunset walkTide Pool Habitat Notebook Page

  1. Shore Birds Notebook Pages: This set of notebook pages features 7 birds for you to learn about and look for during your summer travels.
  2. Tide Pool Habitat Notebook Page: Are you visiting a tide pool this month? Use this page to record your observations
  3. 5 Senses at Sunset Notebook Page: This is such a great page for everyone to use after your evening nature outings. There are places for writing, drawing, and for recording your observations using your senses.

Print a complete list of printables available in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships by clicking the button above.

Ultimate Naturalist Library September 2017 @handbookofnaturestudy

To become a member, click on the Join Us link at the top of the website.