Nature Book Project 2019

Nature Book Project 2019 @handbookofnaturestudy

I was thinking about completing another year of intense nature themed reading in 2019. But, in light of making my Nature Goals for 2019 (soon to be posted); I could see that I would easily be overwhelmed with a big list of books on top of everything else I’m hoping to accomplish.

So, I cut the number of books to four and I’m going to be a little more flexible about which particular books I’ll be reading. I have only one specific book chosen so far but I’ll be doing a little more research into the other three selections as the year unfolds.

Please note this entry includes Amazon affiliate links to books I plan on purchasing and reading in 2019.

  1. Nature Principle by Richard Louv. I’ve been meaning to take a look at this one for awhile now but haven’t made time for it yet.
  2. New Field Guide – I’ve had my eye on a particular field guide that features the birds of Oregon.
  3. Travel – We have in mind a trip to Maine in the fall with our daughter. I hope to visit Acadia National Park, so maybe a book on that particular area as a way to plan our adventure.
  4. Misc. topics to be determined – nature poetry, drawing skills, book on training dogs, classic Muir?

As usual, I’ll be reading and sharing all of the books here on the blog as the year progresses.

If you have any suggestions for nature related books for me to consider reading this year, you can leave me a comment or shoot me an email.

Previous Years Nature Book Project Entries

The last time I did a Nature Book Project was in 2016 and here’s the link if you want to see that list of books: Nature Book Project 2016.

I did a Nature Book Project in 2015 as well and if you’d like to see those books listed out, here’s that entry: Nature Book Project 2015.

As part of this project, I created a printable nature book project planner page so you can choose your own custom list of nature books. Print it out and use the suggested categories to inspire some book ideas. Please note that the book links below are affiliate links.

Nature Book Project Planner Page @handbookofnaturestudy

Free Downloadable Printable – Nature Book Project Planner Page @handbookofnaturestudy

Final Nature Goal Update for 2018

2018 Nature Study Goals @handbookofnaturestudy

4th Quarter Updates – Including Our Amazing North American Beaver

The winter season is upon us as well as the end of another calendar year. I won’t lie. I am so ready for the change. Since the middle of October, I have been sitting and gazing out the window for the most part. After a bilateral hip replacement, for weeks I couldn’t even get in my car because my legs hardly bent.

walking to the river in the snow

Thankfully, the view out my window is never boring and it’s constantly changing, providing endless delight with its animals, birds, clouds, and landscape view of the mountains. But, I watch my husband as he hikes to the river each day with our dog and I’m so ready to be out there with them! I’m learning patience.

Now, as I’m writing this update, I’m a little more mobile and starting to use a cane. The trouble is the weather has descended upon us and many days the snow and icy pavement make it a challenge to walk even with help.

Being confined indoors and doing a lot of sitting was conducive to making plans and thinking of future nature study projects. I made lists of new printable notebook pages for 2019 and planned out six new ebooks full of exciting nature study topics. I’m also reading lots of nature related books and field guides. My own nature journal has received a lot of attention as I keep notes of animals we capture on our critter cam and I catch up on things I’ve wanted to learn about from previous adventures. In the end, I’m making good use of my down time as I recover from this major surgery.

Dreaming of the new trails I will explore with new hips and no pain.


Now for the results of my 4th quarter goals-

Nature Observer guided journal 2018 collage

Finish up the year in my Nature Observer Guided Journal.

Successfully stuck with this journal all year! I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed this project. This pre-planned journal provided just the motivation I needed to keep a regular, almost daily, record of our nature experiences. It has inspired me to continue this routine and even improve on it with some ideas I thought of as I worked through the suggested activities.

This is the nature journal I used for the 2018 year and LOVED it! Please know this is an Amazon affiliate link to a book I purchased and used and love and highly recommend.

Project Feederwatch 2018 tally in Nature ObserverParticipate in Project Feederwatch.

Accomplished this!  Counting birds is just a given in our weekly routine. 10 species so far, 50 total birds counted.
barb at the river for the first time dec 2018
Walk as much as possible, allowing for healing from my hip surgery.

Accomplished! I’m back at my daily walking, even if it’s just down the driveway to look at the trees and birds. I’ve made it out the back gate a couple times, but the frozen snow and ground are a little bit difficult for me still. It will be a joy to walk freely and I’m starting to see the end of this challenging recovery.

Read at least two nature related books from my personal library.

Accomplished! I’ve been reading so much! I pulled lots more books off my own book shelves and ordered up loads of books from my local public library. I rarely get the chance to just sit and read so what a pleasure it has been to stick my nose in a book.

beavers at the river nov 2018
The most exciting nature find of the year happened during this last quarter of 2018. We finally captured a video of the beaver we’ve been chasing since last year. We used my critter cam and put it down by the river where we noticed they were gnawing on a tree. Then, after it was down on the ground, we were able to position the camera between the river and the tree. At last! We not only saw one beaver but two working together to take the limbs off the tree and then drag them down into the water. What an awesome experience!

It’s been a wonderful year of nature study for me personally. As always, I’m looking forward to setting and working on new goals in 2019.

Nature Study Goals 2019 Planning Page

Would you like to join me? I’ve created a planning sheet for you to use as you create your nature study goals. Please feel free to print and share as much as you like. If you post your goals somewhere on the internet, send me the link and I will pop over and read your thoughts!

Nature Study Goals 2019 Planning Page

Thanks for your support of all I do here on the Handbook of Nature Study!

Winter Sky and Stars – Learn Those Constellations

There is something timeless about studying the night sky. I know when our family would gaze up at the stars and the familiar constellations, we would feel connected to all those throughout human history that had looked up at essentially the same things: stars, planets, moon. It can be an awesome experience.

“After the polar constellations are learned, we are then ready for further study in the still earlier evenings of winter, when the clear atmosphere makes the stars seem more alive, more sparkling, and more beautiful than at any other period of the year.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 823

In my opinion, the winter night sky tends to be more dazzling. Bundling up and getting outside in the evening takes effort but the rewards are huge. Use the information in the Handbook of Nature Study linked below in the winter sky study for a helping hand at getting started with the basics of a winter sky study.

Read the Outdoor Hour Challenge:

Winter Sky Study-Handbook of Nature Study Lesson 226-229  (pages 823-829)

Make a short list of constellations to look for during your winter sky study. Here are a couple of suggestions:

Our family decided to make sure we can find these four constellations in the winter sky:

  • Big Dipper (North Star as well)
  • Ursa Major
  • Cassiopeia
  • Orion (using Orion’s belt)

Makes sketches of each of the constellations in your nature journal to aid your memory.

If you are a member here on the website, make sure to download the July 2016 newsletter for additional ideas for your study.

Winter Nature Study ebooks graphic and promo

Please note this challenge is found in the Winter Series ebook found in the Ultimate Naturalist Library membership. Log into your membership and scroll down to the ebook download link. Included in the ebook, there is a custom notebook page for this challenge.

OHC Plan 18 to 19 Join Us

You can find the complete plan for this school year in all levels of membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study. Also, if you have an Ultimate or Journey level membership, there is a file in your library that has all of this year’s notebook pages in one file.

nb bundle 1