Summer Seasonal Observations Reminders

Right now, in this moment, I think all of us could use something to focus on that is positive and encouraging. In our family, that means spending some time outside and being refreshed by the constancy of nature.

There’s no better way to take your appreciation for nature to the next level like starting or continuing a year-long study of a particular nature topic. Over the years we have completed many of the ideas listed below and learned many valuable lessons from carefully observing a tree, a plant, or the weather over the course of a complete year.

Year Long Nature Study Summer Reminders

It’s now time to start thinking about a summer season observation for your topics of choice. Make it a firm plan by scheduling a day to make your summer observations.

Summer Seasonal Observations

Pick one and get started by clicking the link to the archived entry that will give you lots of ideas for completing your own year-long nature study.


If you have a continuing year-long nature study project, don’t forget to put it on your calendar or you may forget to make your summer observations.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

Some of the links above will take you to ebooks that are in the Ultimate Naturalist Library. You’ll need to have a membership in order to get the full benefit of the nature study ideas (printable notebook pages, coloring pages, additional images and links).

Join us now for a complete year’s access to the Library. Use the discount code NATURESTUDYFUN to receive $10 off an Ultimate Library membership.

summer nature study ebooks button

You also may wish to check out the summer nature study ebooks available here on the Handbook of Nature Study. You can click the graphic above to see the topics included in each of the ebooks available.

2020-2021 Nature Study Plans with the Outdoor Hour Challenge

Outdoor Hour Challenge

September 2020 through August 2021

Plans and Instructions


I know how much the Outdoor Hour Challenge year plan is anticipated by the families that follow the series topics each week! I’m happy to announce that I have it all organized and ready to go for you a little bit earlier than usual. You’re going to be excited to hear that there are 3 new ebooks in the plan this time around!

2020 to 2021 plan graphic with ebook covers2

Here are the five ebooks that will be planned out from September 2020 to August 2021.

Handbook of Nature Study Autumn Nature Study 2015 Cover Image

Autumn – Final Ebook: swallows and swifts, catbirds, cockroaches, field horsetail, sapsucker, brook study, catfish, jewelweed, prickly lettuce, hedgehog fungi, calcite, limestone, marble, chickens, and turkeys.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Nature Study Continues ebook

Winter Nature Study Continues Ebook: cattle, deer, feldspar, Orion star study, crystals, flickers, scarlet saucer, bloodroot, hepatica, violets, bleeding hearts, Dutchman’s breeches, and squirrel corn.

Bird Set ebook cover image

Bird Set #1 Ebook: pelican, swan, snipe, egret, sandhill crane, American dipper, horned lark, magpie, and Clark’s nutcracker.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower 3 Covermaker

Wildflowers Ebook #3: fireweed, salsify, paintbrush, forget-me-nots, and silverweed.

Herb Nature Study ebook cover graphicHerbs Ebook: cilantro, basil, bee balm, oregano, dill, thyme, sage, and mint. This ebook will be added to the Ultimate and Journey level memberships in June 2020.

Outdoor Hour Challenge September 2020 – August 2021 for Members

Get the Year Plan in a PDF: Subscribe to the Ultimate Naturalist Library, Journey, or Discovery level membership: Your membership will give you access to a detailed schedule for the entire year. You will have a printable plan that shows dates and specific topics that will be considered every Friday. This makes your planning super easy!

Nature Planner Graphic Button 2020 2021

As there were last year, I’ve created monthly planning pages with lots of additional nature study ideas that you can use to enrich your nature study. These are similar to the planning pages I created for the newsletters in the past. If you’re a member at any level, you’ll receive all 12 months of planning pages in one pdf to download and print!

Nature Planner Page Sample 2020View a sample planning page above. These pages will be added to the Ultimate and Journey level memberships by the end of July 2020. Print the sample: September 2020 Handbook of Nature Study planner page.

Benefits by Level graphic  26 ebooks

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

Do You Want to Join Us? Here’s what you need to do!

  1. Purchase a membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study. Remember that if you want access to all the ebooks, you’ll need an Ultimate Naturalist or Journey Level Membership. If you purchase a membership now, you’ll have access to all of the new ebooks as they become available. A membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study starts the date of purchase and is valid for one year.
  2. Download the ebooks as they become available.
  3. Download the September 2020 through August 2021 plan.
  4. Subscribe to the Handbook of Nature Study blog for reminders each Friday.

Handbook of Nature Study Subscribe Now 2

 If you can’t purchase a membership at this time, you can still follow along by subscribing to the blog and each week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge will come right to your email inbox.

Click Below to Get Started!

2020 to 2021 plan graphic with ebook covers2Use the discount code NATURESTUDYFUN for $10 off your Ultimate Naturalist Library membership. Code expires 6/30/2020.




Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge-Turkey Vulture

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge

Turkey Vulture Nature Study

We know it’s spring in our area when the turkey vultures return and begin soaring and spiraling in the sky. They are often seen gliding along the tree tops as they look for their next meal. Although they’re not a very attractive looking bird, once you learn about their abilities and the reason for their ugliness, you can appreciate the important role they play in the habitat.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Turkey Vulture nature study

Use these ideas to get you started with your turkey vulture study:

¨ Turkey vultures are large birds often seen soaring overhead. This makes it important for you to know what a vulture looks like when it’s flying.  You can view a video on the AllAboutBirds website.

¨ Make sure to look at the range maps in a field guide or on All About Birds because they are found in a widespread area depending on the season.

See the High Desert ebook for more turkey vulture nature study ideas!


Please note that I will not be posting the complete challenge here on the blog. You’ll find the detailed challenge in the High Desert ebook that’s available both in the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level memberships. Sign into your account and download the ebook for the details, more links, and notebook pages.

High Desert Ebook cover graphic

If you don’t have a membership yet, you can click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 25 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!

Topics in this ebook include:

  • Bitterbrush
  • Sagebrush
  • Greater sage-grouse
  • Succulents
  • Mountain Lion
  • Coyote
  • Pocket Gopher
  • Bristlecone Pine
  • Elk
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Juniper
  • Snowberry
  • Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel
  • River Otter


Join Us Ultimate Naturalist January 2020

Use the discount code SPRINGTOGETHER for $10 off an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.