Beginning a Year Long Willow Study

Willows in our autumn landscape are a colorful accent, lining the river’s edge and adding a rich reddish orange as you look off into the distance. There are still a few leaves left on the willows and the limbs and branches are a yellow color.

Autumn willows along the river

As part of our autumn study, we picked a willow to use as our subject for a year-long willow study. We tied a piece of twine on a branch to help us remember which willow we are observing.

autumn willow with twine on limb

We have done this activity before with a birch tree. Having a piece of twine on a branch really helped us focus on watching for changes from season to season. I invite you to read this entry for the specific instructions for this kind of tree study: Twigs.

 birch tree twig study with twine

If you would like to start a yearlong study of willows, you’re welcome to click over to read the challenge from last week. It’s not too late to get outside looking for willows, learning about willows, and beginning a valuable nature study of willows.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Willow Nature Study

Please note there is an Autumn Willow notebooking page in the Ultimate and Journey level membership libraries. You can print it and use it for your nature journal.

Autumn Willow Tree notebook page


New Study: Autumn Willow Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Willow Nature Study

Welcome to the brand new nature study featuring the willow! I’m excited to look more closely at my own autumn willows as the season changes. This should be an easy study as you look at the color changes and the dropping of leaves in your willow.

Start Here: Willow Nature Study Handbook of Nature Study Lesson 179 (pages 651-655)

The link above takes you to a summer study of the willow using the Handbook of Nature Study. Pay particular attention to suggestions #8 and #9 in Lesson 179 for specific autumn willow study ideas.

year+long+tree+study+button.jpgIn Addition: Year Long Tree Study in the Handbook of Nature Study Lesson 172 (pages 623-624) My favorite suggestions are to watercolor the shape of a tree with its autumn foliage and to carefully compare leaves found on your tree for any variation.

Watercolor Landscape Nature Journal

Activity: Tie a string on a twig attached to your willow. Observe and record in your nature journal the twig’s changes for a few months. We’re going to be doing this on a willow behind our house along the river.

Autumn Willow Tree notebook page

Both Ultimate and Journey level members here on the Handbook of Nature Study have access to a new autumn willow notebooking page for recording your autumn observations. Look for it in your printable library.

OHC Plan 18 to 19 Join Us

This Outdoor Hour Challenge is part of the 2018-2019 Plan here on the Handbook of Nature Study. We’ll be using the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock to discover new things about the world around us. Join us each Friday for a different nature study topic. Make sure to subscribe to this blog to receive the weekly challenge right in your email box.

Benefits by Level Updated size 500

If you want to become a member here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you can click the Join Us button for more details. Benefits include those shown above including access to ebooks, notebooking pages, archived newsletters, and new ebooks and printables published during your membership.

Our Family Autumn Bird Study


October 2018 chalkboard bird list

Excited to have so many birds in October!

In our continuing effort to learn the bird migration patterns in our new habitat, our dining room chalkboard list of monthly birds is a valuable tool. It creates a simple record of birds that visit our feeders, our yard, and fly by our back windows. I copy the list into my nature journal at the end of the month so we’ll be able to see from year to year the birds that come and go throughout the seasons.

meadowlark nature journal page

There was a new bird this month! The western meadowlark became my autumn bird study. I was really glad it appeared before I had my hip surgery so I could go outside and try to take a photo. Even though I wasn’t successful at getting an image, I did get a good look at the meadowlark and its behavior. I used to research this beautiful bird along with my Peterson field guide. These two sources gave me enough information to create a good nature journal entry. I hope to someday hear this songbird singing…perhaps this spring.


Project Feederwatch Nature Journal

Nature journal page from 2017 Project Feederwatch

November 10, 2018 is the first day we can start counting birds that visit our feeders as part of the Project Feederwatch citizen science opportunity. Click over to read more about this important and simple activity for families: Project Feederwatch.

You can read our November 2017 entry here: Project Feederwatch November 2017.

 Project Feederwatch button

This is a perfect way to start or continue an autumn bird nature study with your family even if you don’t know the identity of all the birds that come to your yard. This project will help you learn as you go. Click the logo above for a video that explains how to participate.


How did your autumn bird study go this time around?

 Autumn Bird Study @handbookofnaturestudy


It’s not too late to do your own Autumn Bird Study!

 Outdoor Hour Challenge Bird Nature Study Index of Challenges @handbookofnaturestudy

Are you interested in seeing my picks for bird related books and field guides? Click over to my bird tab on the website.