The scarlet saucer is easy to recognize and you can make it a fungus hunt to capture your child’s interest. Use the information in the original challenge to learn more about the scarlet saucer or if you want to make it a broader study of fungus, members can download the March 2013 newsletter for a fungus grid study and some coloring pages.
If you have access to the Winter Nature Study Continues ebook, there are two notebook pages to choose from for your nature journal.
Alternate activity: Look for the Fungi Photo hunt printable in the Member’s Library.
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.
Going on a fungus hunt is one of my favorite things to do! As I was planning this entry, I was so enthusiastic about it that I dropped everything and convinced my husband to go wandering in the woods with me to look for mushrooms. It had snowed a bit a few days before and it was cold as we hiked along, but we were rewarded with finding several different kinds of fungus to look at and take photos of for my nature journal.
If your family is new to mushroom hunts, you might want to give a little instruction ahead of time about whether you should touch or pick the mushrooms you find. As a rule, I don’t pick mushrooms but get down on my knees to look at them closely. I take a few photos and let them stay where they are as part of the habitat.
You can use this Outdoor Hour Challenge as a means of learning the different shapes of mushrooms. See this post from the archives that focuses on mushroom cap shapes: Mushroom Nature Study with Cap Printable.
Also, there is a new Fungi Photo Hunt printable activity in the Member’s Library if you’re interested in using that idea during your outdoor time this week.
If you have access to the ebook, there are two notebook pages to choose from for your nature journal.
Newsletter Resources: Members also have access to the two newsletters in the archives that feature fungus/mushroom studies: March 2013 and November 2016.
Alternate study: Within the lesson is the suggestion to read Lesson #198 in the Handbook of Nature Study on mushrooms. I would suggest using the lesson ideas from Lesson #198 to observe any fungi you find for this challenge.
If you don’t have a membership yet, click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 26 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!
Now available in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships:
1. Fungi Photo Hunt: Download and print this activity for your family to use as part of a fungi hunt. The suggestions on the printable will help guide your family on a fascinating and fun nature study featuring fungi of all kinds. Our family recently took a fungi hike and we found five different kinds to take photos of and we are anxious to go again soon!
2. Autumn Changes Notebook Page: Autumn is a perfect time for your family to get outside and note the changes you see and then follow up with a nature journal page. Autumn provides plenty of colorful and interesting things to observe and sketch for this notebook page.
(See the end of this post for more information on how you can become a member.)
Print a complete list of printables available in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships by clicking the button above.
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.
Our family loves going on a good mushroom hunt! This week you can read in the Handbook of Nature Study about this fascinating nature study topic and then set off on your own hunt. Remember to create a sense of adventure as you set out to look for mushrooms, building anticipation for finding even just one mushroom to observe.
If you don’t have any mushrooms to study at this time, I invite you to view my Flickr gallery of fungi photos for some fun inspiration. The variety of shapes, colors, and sizes will amaze you! Here is the link: Barb’s Fungi Photos on Flickr.
Tip for Finding Mushrooms
My original mushroom challenge suggested that you let your friends and family know that you are looking for mushrooms and they can let you know if they come across any in their travels. Some of our best mushroom studies came from tips I got from my dad who found several interesting species of mushrooms on his property.
Archive Outdoor Hour Challenge – Click the link above to see the mushroom study suggestions in the original challenge.
“Fungi, as a whole, are a great boon to the world. Without them our forests would be choked out with dead wood. Decay is simply the process by which fungi and other organisms break down dead material, so that the major part of it returns to the air in gaseous form, and the remainder, now mostly humus, mingles with the soil.” Handbook of Nature Study, page 715
You can print and use the mushroom notebook page included in the free autumn notebook page download above.
Make sure to click the link below to read the entire Outdoor Hour Challenge with helpful links, nature study ideas, printable notebooking pages, and suggested follow-up activities.
Mushroom Cap Printable: Click over to read some additional information, find valuable links, and a free printable notebook page to use in your follow-up study of mushrooms.
Optional Art Activity: Watercolor Mushrooms
“Since mushrooms are especially good subjects for watercolor and pencil studies, it would add much to the interest of the work if each pupil, or the school as a whole, should make a portfolio of sketches of all the species found. With each drawing there should be made on a supplementary sheet a spore print of the species.” Handbook of Nature Study, page 718
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.
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.
Here are a few of my personal favorites for your mushroom study. Please note I am an Amazon.com affiliate and these are affiliate links to books I own and love.
A friend and I took a hike to the river on a chilly morning. My husband had given me the heads up that there were many fungi alongside the path and that I needed to get down there and see them for myself. He had texted me some images and they made me drop everything, call a friend, load up the dog, and hit the road.
We were amazed at how many mushrooms there were but also the variety of mushrooms that we could see.
As we hiked along, my friend, who is not an experienced nature girl, kept asking me questions about what we were observing. It was easy to make a list of three questions to research from this experience.
1. Why are there so many in the shady damp areas of the woods and not so many in the sunny areas?
2. What animals come and take bites out of the mushrooms? Do they get sick?
3. Is it okay to touch the mushrooms?
I had some general answers to her questions but since we had the challenge from the December 2016 newsletterto create a list of 3 questions to answer after a nature hike, I decided to take some time and really dig a little deeper into things I should probably know by now.
You can take your own 3 Questions Nature Walk and then follow up with the printable in the member’s library or just record your questions and answers on a blank page in your nature journal.
Please Note: If you are looking for the Outdoor Hour Challenge Blog Carnival, I didn’t receive many entries so I will be sharing those links over the next month on my Facebook account. Sigh. I am guessing that blog carnivals in general have become a little outdated with the advent of social media. I love seeing what families are doing in their outdoor time so please feel free to share your links with me at any time either in a comment on the blog or in an email to me directly.
I also am a big fan of Instagram. You can follow me there- my Instagram name is outdoorhourchallenge. Use a #outdoorhourchallenge hashtag for me to pop over and view your images.
Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter
November 2016 – Forest and Fungi
Please read the following explanation outlining how to get this month’s newsletter.
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Once you subscribe, you will receive a thank you email from me with the download link for the current month’s newsletter.
This month’s newsletter link will be available only during the month of November so be sure to download it before 11/30/16.
Contents of this edition of the newsletter include:
This is a month for getting out in the forest! This edition of the newsletter will be full of ideas and inspiration for a forest walk and looking for fungi.
There is also a Monthly Planning Page for moms to organize November’s nature study. The simple ideas and suggestions will give you plenty to choose from as you go through your month.
Guest contributors for November are Shirley Ann Vels from Under An English Sky and Adriana Zoder from HomeschoolWays.com.
There are several printables for you to use including a mushroom shape notebook page and a maple tree study.
As usual, there are some of my favorite links and some inspiring images.
Resources for your Nature Library: I have started to build a nature library store on Amazon that will feature by category my favorite nature study books and resources. Take a look and see if there is anything you would like to put on your wish list for your family’s nature study library: Handbook of Nature Study Nature Library Suggestions on Amazon.com. Note this is my affiliate store to items I personally recommend and have read or seen in person.
Please note that Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level members have access to members only printables each month in addition to the newsletter printables. You will need to log into your account and then go to the “Other Releases” section.
Please click over and read the step by step instructionsfor using the Handbook of Nature Study and the Outdoor Hour Challenge in your nature study plans starting in September. Let me know if you have any questions.
As a parent, it is our responsibility and privilege to introduce the natural world to our children.
Looking back through my photos from the past few months, I collected a few of the fungus images from our hikes that I wanted to share with you. I love a good fungus and find them truly fascinating. If only I had more time and energy to study them more in depth! The images above and below are from our trip to the East Coast…found along the trail in New Jersey.
Isn’t the color on this fungus pretty? From our study of fungus last autumn, I recognize this one as a scarlet cup of some sort. For now I will just enjoy the image…and make a note on my New Jersey nature journal page reminding me that we saw this beauty.
Here is a fungus found a little closer to home, in my backyard. It is growing on the trunk of our plum tree where we cut a limb off last year.
This one is also growing in my backyard on the stump of an old pine tree. I love the layered look of it!
Here is something we saw on a recent local hike. I am not sure if it is a fungi or a lichen…..going to need to do some research.
Use the link above to view the challenge from the archives. This is an easy and fun study for everyone and includes a free printable notebook page to record your observations.
If you own the Discover Nature Close to Home book, you will find a section talking about fungi on pages 173-187. Once you go over this information with your family, you may wish to complete the Mushroom Shapes Notebook page found in this entry: Mushroom Study.
Read page 725 (Lesson #201) in the Handbook of Nature Study. This is one of the shorter lessons in the Handbook but it will get you started with your fungi study.
Within the lesson is the suggestion to read Lesson #198 on mushrooms. I would suggest using the lesson ideas from Lesson #198 to observe any fungi you find for this challenge.
Youtube: For the most part this video is about the hedgehog fungi: Hedgehog Fungi.
Advanced study: Use this page to glean more information about the hedgehog fungi.
Outdoor Hour Time:
Go on a fungi hunt! This challenge can help you slow down to look for any fungi in your area at this time of year. In my research, I found that the timing for looking for hedgehog fungi will vary by region. On the East Coast, you can look for this fungi from July through November. On the West Coast, prime time is in January.
If you find a hedgehog fungi, look for the fringe!
Follow up your nature study with a nature journal page. Use the notebook page included in the ebook, a printable Parts of a Mushroom page, or create your own page in your blank journal.
Advanced study: Draw the hedgehog fungi and label its parts. Include a complete and detailed description of this fungi for future reference.
If you want to purchase the Autumn Nature Study 2015 ebook so you can follow along with all the notebooking pages, coloring pages, and subject images, you can join the Ultimate or Journey Membership Levels. See the Join Us page for complete information. Also, you can view the Autumn Nature Study 2015announcement page for more details.
Read pages 725-726 of the Handbook of Nature Study (Lesson #202). This is a short reading but it will get you started with your study.
Watch this short video that lets you see this fungi up close: Scarlet Cup.
Outdoor Hour Time:
Take some time outdoors to look for fungi in your neighborhood. The scarlet cup fungi is one of the earliest fungi to look for in the woods. Look for it on decaying branches in damp areas, sometimes buried beneath the leaves on the forest floor.
Use the lesson’s suggested observations when you find your specimen. Depending on where you live, you may find this fungus during the months of January-April.
Create a nature journal entry that includes a colorful sketch, a caption, and words to describe this interesting fungi.
Advanced Study:Scarlet Cup Fungus. After reading this page, create a nature journal entry using the notebook page included in this ebook. If you run out of room on the front of the page, continue on the back.