Getting Started with the Outdoor Hour Challenge – 10 Year Anniversary


Getting Started Outdoor Hour Challenge ebook

I’m celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the Outdoor Hour Challenge this month! It’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade of sharing nature study with all of you here on my blog and getting to know so many families from around the world. It started off as a small community of nature-loving families who encouraged me to put my ideas into an easy to use ebook and look at where this has taken us!

Why not celebrate this milestone with a new edition of the original Getting Started ebook!

I’ve just finished updating and improving the original Getting Started with the Outdoor Hour Challenge ebook! The tried and true first ten challenges are all there but with updated links and some fresh resources for you to use with your family.

Here’s what you’ll get with the second edition of the Getting Started with the Outdoor Hour Challenge ebook:

  • The 10 original Outdoor Hour Challenges with custom notebook pages to use in your follow-up time.
  • 6 additional notebook pages that can be used with nature study topics and activities.
  • Tips for nature study, tips for using the Handbook of Nature Study, and nature journal ideas.
  • My “3 Steps to Better Nature Study” resource and printable, including information for more advanced nature study students.
  • My nature table resource explaining what a nature table is and its benefits.
  • Plus, seasonal nature walk printable notebook pages that you can use year after year.
  • See a sample here: Getting Started with the Outdoor Hour Challenge 2nd Edition


OHC10 Discount code

I’m adding this new ebook to every level of membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study!

This means that if you would like the new ebook and have a membership you can go directly to your account and it’s there for you to download and use right now!

If you need to purchase a membership, I’m offering a $5 discount for EVERY level!

Use the code: OHC10

Getting Started Ebook New Edition button 2

Amazing Deal >>>>>>> This means if you just want the new ebook,

you can use the discount code for the Discovery level membership

and receive the ebook and all 76 issues of the newsletter too for only $15!


Newsletter Index download

 Thank you to everyone who has made the last ten years a fun adventure learning about so many things in nature using the Handbook of Nature Study. I really hope this new edition of the ebook will help your family get outside and discover your local habitat with renewed interest!

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Winter Insect Hunt


Outdoor Hour Challenge

Winter Insect Hunt

From the Archives and the Winter Wednesday ebook

The first time we completed this challenge we lived in California where there was no snow, ice, or frozen ground. Now, in our new Central Oregon habitat it will be interesting to see what we discover using the ideas in the challenge linked above for an insect study in the middle of winter.

Use the ideas from the challenge if possible, but always take your fifteen minutes outside to be refreshed and look for something to observe whether it’s the topic of the week or not! If all else fails, get your insect field guide out and enjoy paging through to find an insect to learn more about in anticipation of a future sighting.  You can find all of the insect nature study challenges on this page: Outdoor Hour Challenges – Insects.

If you’re interested in seeing how our family completed this challenge way back in time, here’s a blog entry from the archives: Our Winter Insect Study. 

If you have access to the Winter Wednesday ebook in the Ultimate Naturalist Library, there’s a custom notebook page available to use as a follow up to your nature study.

Winter Wednesday ebook NOtebook pages

Join us for the Winter Wednesday series of challenges here every FRIDAY. You can find them under the winter tab on the blog or if you have an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership, you can find the ebook there for downloading.

For the month of February, I am offering a $5 off coupon for every level of membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study. Take a look at all of the benefits of having a membership!

Discount Code: $5 off any membership on the Handbook of Nature Study by using the code FEB5 during the month of February 2018.

1 Outdoor Hour Challenge Oct 17 to Aug 18 PlansJoin us in our weekly nature study using the Outdoor Hour Challenge: October 2017 through August 2018 Plans.

Nature Photos – Seeing Patterns

Nature Photos – Seeing Patterns

Nature Observer patterns page

My assignment: Take time to note the patterns and textures found in nature during the winter.

This was a nature prompt from my new Nature Observer journal, the one I’m working in every day as part of my nature goals for 2018 (see more here). The prompt is for the whole month of January and much like the Outdoor Hour Challenges, it creates the focus for your time outdoors. I have woven it into my river walks and even when we are just out and about in the neighborhood.


Examples of Patterns and Textures from January 2018

ice pattern

Ice: Here in Central Oregon the ice comes in different varieties. A few times we have experienced hoar frost and freezing fog which create ice on everything in spikes and crystals.  Sometimes, even the air sparkles with ice if conditions are just right…magical.

tree bark

Bark: Bark patterns make it possible to identify a tree even without leaves. Our evergreens all have different bark colors, textures, and patterns of growth. My favorite bark “pattern” is the aspen and paper birch. The quintessential winter scene for me is the snowy landscape with white aspen trunks and leafless limbs.

tree cones snow winter

Cones: Can you identify which tree a cone comes from by looking at the pattern and texture? Yes! This is quite amazing when you think about how each tree has a unique cone size, color, and shape. You would never confuse a ponderosa pinecone with a lodge pole pinecone because they are completely different.

These are just a few of the patterns and textures that I’ve observed during my walks in January.


Activity Idea:

Look for patterns and textures in your yard and neighborhood. Take a photo or make a sketch for your nature journal page. Take time to reflect on the beauty of patterns in nature.

  • This page on National Geographic has some amazing images of patterns in nature: Patterns in Nature