Outdoor Hour Challenge #21 Notebook Challenge

Outdoor Hour Challenge #21
Keeping a Nature Journal

“As soon as a child is old enough, he should keep his own nature notebook for his enjoyment. Every day’s walk will give something interesting to add–three squirrels playing in a tree, a blue jay flying across a field, a caterpillar crawling up a bush, a snail eating a cabbage leaf, a spider suddenly dropping from a thread to the ground, where he found ivy and how it was growing and what plants were growing with it, and how ivy manages to climb.”
Charlotte Mason in Modern English, volume 1 page 54

Outdoor Time: 
Use your 10-15 minutes of outdoor time to casually observe whatever comes your way. Many families are finding that if they are diligent about keeping their eyes alert to things around them, interesting subjects come up while going about their everyday life. Try to view your whole week as outdoor time and if you are out running errands, keep alert to anything you can observe as you walk along. Children can over time start to see more and more details and as their skills and senses are trained, your outdoor time will become more of a way of life.

After you have your outdoor time, provide an opportunity for working on a nature journal entry. My son was around three years of age when he started making “entries” into his journal. He would draw and I would label for him. You can help your child think of something to draw after discussing the day’s activities. Here is a link to the Outdoor Hour Flickr group with examples of nature journals done by participants.


Outdoor Hour Challenge #20 Our Summer Tree Study

We have had hot smoky weather for the past two weeks with all the fires burning in our area. It is very unusual for the wildfires to start so early but my husband says that the fuel in the forests is so dry that it doesn’t take much to get it going. We had several dry lightning storms and two weeks ago we had extremely high winds. All these factors together make for extreme fire danger.

We have been enjoying our outdoor time both in the garden and out on hikes in our local area. First of all though, here is my son’s summer tree study.His tree doesn’t look that much different from our last study. There are lots of green leaves which my son thinks are darker than they were in the spring but it is hard to tell.

Here is a close up of the leaves.This time he measured around the trunk and found it to be 28 inches in circumference.

This is what he noticed had changed the most about the tree. It had these sprouts coming up from the bottom of the trunk. We usually snap these off as they sprout but my son wants to leave them just to see how they grow.

We are anxious to compare our summer tree with our autumn tree!


Purple Day in the Garden: Blackberries and Hydrangeas

Today was watering the corners day in the garden. But I was greatly rewarded by a whole bush full of blackberries……some ripe enough to pick and eat.

So here is just a sampling of the fruits of my berry picking. Mmmmm….don’t tell anyone. I probably ate just about as many as made it into the bowl. :)

The blackberries in our yard are the stubbornest plants around. My husband has tried over the last 21 years to eradicate them from the edges of the yard but they will come back year after year. I have come to a working relationship with the blackberries. I let them grow a little and be watered and they provide me with an organic, delicious, sweet treat on hot summer days. Tonight I will be making a blackberry cobbler for my hubby….maybe he will come to peace with the pokey, thorny, hearty blackberry like I have. We can always hope.

The hydrangeas are such a wonderful purple color this year. This is my third bouquet and there are plenty more to come.

Here is the vase for the kitchen table.

How can you help but smile with that greeting you in the morning?

The little joys of summer.