Outdoor Hour Challenge – Wonderful Winter Weeds

Winter weed nature journal

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Wonderful Winter Weeds

From the Archives and the Winter Wednesday ebook

We’re in the winter weed season here in Central Oregon. We walk pretty much every day to the river behind our house and the weeds are all in various stages of decline. Some are flat to the ground from the rain and snow but there are surprisingly quite a few “weeds” or grasses still upright. I even noticed some still have their seeds clinging on even in the wintry weather.

Take a walk in your neighborhood and use the link to the archive challenge above for lots of specific ideas for a winter weed study this week with your family. Enjoy a few minutes outside and then create a nature journal of your experiences.


If you’re interested in seeing how our family completed this challenge, here’s a blog entry from the archives: Winter Weeds-More Lovely Than I Imagined and Winter Weeds-Our Continuing Story.

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.


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’m 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.


February 2018 Planner and Printables

February 2018 Nature Planning Page-Print out your own copy here!

It’s already time for a new planning page! I am excited for another full month of winter nature study using the Outdoor Hour Challenges. There are some simple ideas in each challenge that you can try with your family or if you have access to the newsletter archives, there are additional resources and ideas to use for your February nature study time.

February 2018 Nature Planning   Page

Download your copy here:February 2018 Nature study Planner Page


Printables for Members Button
New printables are now posted in the Member’s library!

february printables notebook pages

Members have access to several brand new printable notebook pages.

1. Tick Nature Study (set of 2 pages): If you want to study a common insect during your winter insect nature study time, use the 2 notebook pages in this set to record your facts and sketches.

2. Mayfly Nature Study (set of 2 pages): Another interesting insect to study is the mayfly. Use these pages to add the information to your nature journal.

3. Mammal Notebook Pages Set #2 – (set of 3 animals):  Use these pages to make a study of the North American Porcupine, the river otter, and the bobcat. Each animal has a set of three pages to use for various ages.


Print a complete list of printables available to Members for easy reference: Printables for Members

Nature Observer January 2018

Nature Observer January 2018

Don’t you love it when you establish a habit? You know it’s part of your routine when you don’t even think about it anymore and it just happens. After last year’s goal to create a nature journal page a week, I find myself now looking forward to sitting down to focus on something for the journal. Not every page is a masterpiece but each one is a memory or a new thing I have learned.

This new habit will be nurtured this year by using the Nature Observer – Guided Journal.

Keeping a journal stretches me to notice the beauty and wonder

in the things found in my everyday life.

Isn’t that what we hope our children will find in their lives? I know I do even with my grown children. I never want them to get so busy that they forget to note the amazing natural world all around them.

Need inspiration for your nature journals? Here is a link to my Nature Journal page on the Handbook of Nature Study.


Pygmy nuthatch nature journal

I relish counting birds as part of Project Feederwatch each week and see how noting the species and number of birds that visit makes me hyper-aware of any changes or newcomers. This month we identified a new bird visitor, the pygmy nuthatch. What a little, round ball of feathers with lots of energy! I knew it had to be recorded in my nature journal as soon as we discovered it.

Oregon grape nature journal

This pretty holly-like bush is blushing with color in the January landscape. I notice it as we hike along the river trails in Sunriver and I’m hoping to add it to my backyard as part of the native plants garden we are planning. In the meantime, I will enjoy its pretty shaped and colored leaves in this winter season.

Nature Observer 2 page spread

I started on January 1, 2018 with the Nature Observer journal. It has a series of pages for each month that help me keep track of things in my natural world. The page above is a weekly spread where I can note things I observed or I may even at some point sketch on these pages.

Nature Observer patterns page

Along with a monthly calendar and weekly notes pages, there are unique page prompts for each month. For the month of January, one of the prompts was to note either in words or sketches some of the patterns noted in nature. Each day, I can note any patterns I have observed during my outdoor time. It is a simple suggestion that has definitely opened my eyes to looking for and then observing patterns in nature.

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge

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.

1 Outdoor Hour Challenge Oct 17 to Aug 18 Plans

We are continuing to work in the Winter Wednesday series until the end of February 2018. If you would like to follow along, make sure you have subscribed to my blog to receive the Outdoor Hour Challenges in your inbox each Friday.


Handbook of Nature Study Subscribe Now 2

If you have an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership, you’ll find the Winter Wednesday ebook in your library. The ebook contains all of the custom notebooking pages for each challenge.

Winter Wednesday ebook NOtebook pages

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