January Nature Study – New Printables, Plan, and Planning Page

February Nature Study Plans – Outdoor Hour Challenge

I’m starting to get anxious for wildflower season! In honor of that enthusiasm, I’ve created a new set of notebook pages for you to use to enhance your plant family studies. If you have the Botany in a Day book (link at the end of this entry) on your bookshelf, pull it down and get ready to use it alongside these notebook pages for your nature journal.

There are two wildflower nature studies planned for late February, so I invite you to use those flowers to get started with your plant family studies. (Bloodroot is in the poppy plant family and hepatica is in the buttercup family.)

02/05/2021 – Flicker Bird Study

02/12/2021 – Scarlet Saucer Fungi Study

02/19/2021 – Bloodroot Nature Study

02/26/2021 – Hepatica Nature Study

Plant Family NB page set image

New Printables in the Members Library

Plant Family Notebook Page Set: This nine-page set includes pages for recording notes and lists of the more common plant families. You’ll find pages for the mint, mustard, pea, lily, aster, mallow, rose, and parsley families. There is also a generic page for you to use with any of the other plant families you might study with your children.

Printables for Members Button

Click the graphic above to view the complete list of printables available as part of an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.


February 2021 nature planner page

Members also have access to the Nature Planner pages in their library. Print out this month’s page and use it to stimulate your weekly nature study time.


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If you’d like to have access to the member’s printables and the newsletter archive, I invite you to join with an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership. Your membership will be valid for one year and will include the benefits shown below.


This is my affiliate link to the Botany in a Day book that I highly recommend to go along with a study of wildflowers.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Nature Study Continues ebook

All of the Outdoor Hour Challenges this month are from the Winter Nature Study Continues ebook.








Outdoor Hour Challenge: Crystal Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Crystal Nature Study

“Different substances when dissolved in water will reform as crystals; each substance forms crystals of its own peculiar color and shape.”

Handbook of Nature Study, Lesson 211

This is a fantastic hands-on study that your children will love doing with you! By viewing the links at the end of the original challenge and gathering simple supplies, you can grow a variety of crystals to observe and compare.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Crystal Study @handbookofnaturestudy

View the original challenge here: Outdoor Hour Challenge – Crystals.

crystal notebook 1

crystal notebook 2

If you have access to the Winter Nature Study Continues ebook, there are two notebook pages to choose from for your nature journal.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Nature Study Continues ebook

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To purchase an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership, click on over to the Join Us page at any time.

You can use the discount code NATURE5 to receive $5 off your Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.


You can use a crystal growing kit to supplement your crystal nature study. My boys used one similar to the one linked below when they were in middle school and it was a huge hit as far as the interest in how crystals form and grow. Please note the link below is an Amazon affiliate link to a product I recommend.

The Handbook of Nature Study and the Outdoor Hour Challenge has been nominated for the Practical Homeschooling Reader Awards! If you’d like to cast your votes for the best homeschooling products you can click over here: Practical Homeschooling Reader’s Awards.

Nature Observer – January 2021

Nature Observer – January 2021

Here in Central Oregon, we’ve entered the season of pink sunrises and cold frosty mornings. There may be a new dusting of snow on the ground which will soon be marked with critter prints as they come out from cover to search around for their next meal. Living so near to a river, we see its story each day as we look out the window and venture out to walk along the riverbank.

coyote jan 2021 (5)

We’ve had plenty of foggy, misty mornings this month and sometimes it takes until noon for the fog to disappear, but we almost always have a bit of sunshine at some point each day. My husband and I try to take advantage of the sun’s warming rays to get outside for a quick walk. I was able to get an image of a coyote trying to sneak along the river one foggy morning last week. He was on the hunt and would occasionally stop and stand as still as a statue before he rushed along some more and then eventually out of sight. We often see the coyote prints in the snow and mud, so we know they’re out there roaming around but we rarely see them in the daytime.

river ice

This January we’ve experienced a great thaw. A warm rain caused the snow and ice to almost disappear from the landscape; the melting snow making great pools of water where the ground is frozen underneath. We actually can see green grass and the violets are blooming in a few spots around our yard.

mouse trails in the snow subnivean

I think the most interesting aspect of the great thaw has been the revealing of the habits of the mice that live around our property. At first, we could see their trails underneath the snow, like tunnels that lead from their warm little homes under the earth that then lead out to where they can scurry under the birdfeeders to gather fallen seeds.

mouse trails in the snow subnivean

Now that the snow is all gone, you can see the paths among the vegetation. I wrote about this survival method a few years ago when I discovered that critters live and thrive in the “subnivean zone” during the cold winter months. They do not hibernate like other animals which fascinated me. They create a world underneath the snow where the snow acts as an insulator from freezing winds and temperatures.

You can read more here: Subnivean Zone.

elk january 2021

The most exciting story this month is that of the elk returning to our neighborhood. They are early morning visitors, so most mornings I open my blinds the minute I’m up and around. We put up our critter cam again to get some video of them as they walk majestically by in the early hours of the day.

river ice january 2021

We’ve had a much milder January than is normal, so we’re bracing for the possibility of a wintery February. Time is moving along quickly and as always, we have plenty to occupy our thoughts as we venture out each day to notice the drama and excitement that happens right outside our door.

I invite you to join us this month for the Outdoor Hour Challenge as we work our way through the Winter Nature Study Continues ebook.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Nature Study Continues ebookJoin Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

Please use the discount code NATURE5 to receive $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist membership.