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Summer Days Filled With Goodness

Tahoe Emerald bay July 2015 (2)

It doesn’t get much better than this on a hot summer July day in my neck of the woods. It is times like this that I count my blessings.

We had a glorious day up at the lake….a short last minute idea to go for a hike and then have a picnic dinner. This lake was the bluest I have seen in a very long time….three shades of blue-turquoise, blue-gray, and deep blue.

Tahoe Emerald bay July 2015 (6)

We hiked a new trail for us and it was surprising that we had it all to ourselves. We had planned to hike from a popular trailhead but there were no parking spots left, which is what happens when you show up at around 2 PM. We decided to park on the highway, walk down the road leading to a closed campground, and then see what adventure would come our way. It was far better than expected!

Tahoe Emerald bay July 2015 (7)

The trail we found wandered around and out onto a peninsula overlooking Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay. The sun was hot but there was a breeze and in the shade it was comfortable. We sat out at the point for a long time just drinking in the views. There were several birds flying overhead and I could identify the call of the osprey and the song of the chickadee.

wildflowers aspens tahoe juy 2015 (12)

After that hike, we drove back down to Taylor Creek and hiked down to the water. This is my favorite little aspen grove and right now it is very green and filled with wildflowers. The cow parsnip is thick and smells fragrant…giving the hike a wonderful smell to remember. The insects were busy working in the flowers…mostly bees.

crayfish taylor creek tahoe july 2015 (3)

Play I Spy and you will see the crayfish that was scuttling along the creek bed. The water wasn’t very deep or moving very fast and we actually saw five different crayfish  on this trip. They are strange creatures!

squirrel tahoe july 2015

Here is another little wild friend that we stopped to watch along the trail. This squirrel (actually a chickaree) actually climbed up the tree with that cone in his mouth and then he sat eating the seeds up on the branch. Adorable!

Tahoe snow plant july 2015 (1)

We saw lots of snow plant on this hike.

pine drops tahoe july 2015 (2)

And here is a really tall specimen of pine drops!

pine drops tahoe july 2015 (1)

Here it is up close! So interesting!

wildflowers tahoe july 2015 (1)

Here come the wildflowers! I am trying to positively identify this purple flower.. Rydberg’s penstemon?

wildflowers aspens tahoe juy 2015 (6)

One of my favorite flowers! Western sky pretty!

Ranger buttons wildflower Tahoe July 2015 (1)

Then we found a whole patch of Ranger buttons.…the insects were loving this flower!

Evening Primrose lupine tahoe july 2015 (4)

Down on the beach it was covered in Hooker’s primrose and lupine….almost unreal how beautiful it was in the fading light. We walked and found a place to sit as the sun was setting…watching the shadows getting longer and longer.

Evening Primrose lupine tahoe july 2015 (8)

This shows the lupine better….maybe this one will need to get printed out and put up on my wall. I love this place, feels like home. Do you know what I mean? Do you have a place that just feels like it was meant for you?

wildflowers aspens tahoe juy 2015 (4)

One last wildflower, this time a pink one, Checkermallow

So ends our most excellent summer day at the lake up in the mountains….sigh. Can’t wait to do it all again sometime!


5 senses Nature Journal Tahoe

I managed to create a Five Senses Nature Journal page as part of my Once a Month Nature Journal Project. This is a super simple idea for a quick nature journal page that you and your children can do very easily this month!

5 senses nature journal @handbookofnaturestudy

Go create your own summer day filled with goodness….enjoy!

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Crayfish

Outdoor Hour Challenge Crayfish @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Crayfish Study

Inside Preparation Work:

  • Read pages 425-432 in the Handbook of Nature Study (Lesson #108). I think Anna Botsford Comstock really liked crayfish because this lesson is so very detailed! It makes me wish we had a crayfish to observe up close but for now we will enjoy her description.
  • Highlight interesting facts in the lesson to share with your children.
  • Youtube video: How to Catch a Crayfish/Crawdad
  • Advanced Study: Youtube video: Crayfish External Anatomy.

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • Plan a trip to a local creek to look for your own crayfish or other aquatic inhabitants. If you don’t have any crayfish to observe, make sure to create a nature journal page with any subjects your child finds of interest.
  • Take along a plastic tub or jar to collect some creek water. Use your magnifying lens to look for anything interesting in your water.

Follow-Up Activity:

  • Create a nature journal entry for crayfish, any other aquatic creatures you observed, or the creek water.
  • Use the notebook pages and/or the coloring pagein the ebook to create a memory of your outdoor time.
  • Advanced Study: Draw a crayfish for your nature journal and label its parts. Record any interesting facts you learned and want to remember.
  • Advanced Study: Do some research on arthropods and create a notebook page to record the definition, a list of arthropods, and your favorite facts about arthropods.

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library
Join us for this spring series of challenges every week here on the Handbook of Nature Study.

Spring Nature Study Continues Ebook

If you want to purchase the Spring Nature Study Continues 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 Spring Nature Study Continues – New Ebook announcement page for more details.

In two weeks, we start the summer series from the new ebook, Summer Nature Study Continues.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Summer Nature Study Continues ebook

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Spring Earthworm Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge:

Spring Earthworm Study

We are going to be outside this week looking for earthworms. The Handbook of Nature Study suggests going out at night with a flashlight to look for worms but we find them just digging around in our garden boxes. Ask your children if they know where there are any earthworms.

Spring Earthworm Study – Make sure to find all the suggestions for worm observations in this entry.

Earthworm Nature Journal Topper – Find a nature journal prompt in the May Newsletter that will help you record your earthworm observations.

Special Activity:

If you have a child who is super into worms and they would like to see a YouTube video of an earthworm dissection, here is a link: Earthworm Dissection.

Getting Started Suggestion:

If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #3.  Take some time this week to use the suggestions in this challenge to focus on making a drawing in your nature journal. It can feature your earthworm study or anything else your child finds during your outdoor time that interests them. 

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library


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Oregon Camping – Beaches, Tall Trees, and Tidepools

We all were aching to get on the road and start our week long camping trip in Oregon. Part of the joy of driving to Oregon are the views along the Northern California and Southern Oregon Coast. Amazing! The photo above is between Arcata and Crescent City along a stretch of the coast that at this time of year is ablaze with lupine…the fragrance is divine as you walk through the vegetation to the sandy beach.

When the boys get out onto to the sand for the first time it is pure joy! They stretch their legs after a long car ride and enjoy the Northern California wide open sandy beaches. We walked a long way, looking for beach treasures as we went. Then it was back into the car for the last leg of the trip over the California/Oregon border and up to Brookings and our beloved Harris Beach.

Yes! This is our campsite this year which overlooks the Pacific Ocean…looking westward and perfect for watching the sun go down each day. We were surprised at how light it was late into the evening…sunset was about 9 PM each day but it was light much longer than that.

Two of the days we were there we were able to take advantage of the negative tide and do some serious tidepooling.

Lots and lots of anemones to be seen…large and small!

Look carefully in this image and you can see the sea star’s “feet” that are clinging to the rocks at low tide. There were so many sea stars of many colors, sizes, and types. I love being able to see up close all the things we learned about from books.

I brought along a Stomp Rocket for the family to use on the beach. This was a fabulous idea and the boys (and mom and dad) each had turns stomping the rocket and watching it propel off down the beach.

We spent many, many hours walking the beaches and collecting colorful rocks…sometimes my pockets were all filled to capacity. I enjoyed sorting my rocks by colors on the picnic table at the campsite. I left them out each night and in the morning the dew would make them shiny and shimmery again.

These were my favorites…the red, green, and gray ones.

I also like this colorful kind which sort of looks like wood. I have a couple more rock related entries to share with you next month as part of my nature study goals and collecting various kinds of rocks. This was a great way to keep nature study at the forefront of our a good goal.

Mr. A was my fellow photographer at the tidepools. He was willing to really get out where he might slip and get wet to capture some great images of his own. He uses his cell phone camera and they turn our really great.

Here is a shot of my other photography buddy…Mr. D. He is more of an artist with his camera and takes his time to get just the right shot with the right setting. His images are amazing. This was also the very first time that our Kona dog has gone camping with us. She settled right in and had a great time. The wonderful thing about Oregon is that dogs are allowed on the trails as long as they are on a leash. She was able to take every hike with us…love Oregon!

We spent two different days in the redwoods hiking in the quiet stillness. We pretty much had the place to ourselves and it was so very refreshing. I already miss it. I am checking off another new hike on my 2013 Nature Study Goals, two down and two to go!

Can you just imagine how far you can walk on this Oregon beach? It was a windy day but it wasn’t cold so we took advantage of the open space and just roamed for a very long time. (I collected a few rocks too.)

Hello Mr. Snail!

Oh wow! These ferns were amazing! I loved seeing the black stems and the graceful way the fronds grow.

Aren’t they just incredibly pretty? I knew that our California Maidenhair fern had a black stem so I though maybe they were related. I looked it up when we got home and sure enough! This is the Northern Maidenhair fern.

On our last day we visited Crissey Field State Park which has a wonderful visitors center. We spent some time viewing all the nature displays and gathered some pamphlets for future use. We had a picnic lunch and then adventured out to the beach which is so very beautiful. Driftwood, dune plants and flowers, and a nice sandy beach are just what we needed to end our trip on a high note.

We were so happy that our trip turned out with gorgeous sunny skies for the majority of the week. We were able to do a lot of hiking, a lot of exploring, and enjoyed each other’s company while visiting the Southern Oregon Coast.

Until next time….

Have you seen the new product over at If you own a Lifetime Membership over on Debra’s website, you can log into your account on and download your set right now. If you aren’t already a member over there, you can purchase the set separately or I would highly recommend a Lifetime Membership so you can access all of the 1000’s of notebooking pages she has to offer. ($4.95 for the set or get started with your membership with $10!)

Marine Invertebrates Notebooking Pages

Please note I am an affiliate for and have used the notebooking pages with my family for years!

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Oregon Coast – Tidepools of Wonder

Spending time on the Southern Oregon Coast has become one of our favorite family destinations. I gave the men the choice of where they wanted to go camping and they unanimously chose Brookings, Oregon. Harris Beach State Park to be exact…..same as last year. There is something nice about really knowing a place, returning to see favorite beaches and then having some new adventures as well.

Low Tide Harris Beach Oregon
This photo shows how low the tide was for us…you can clearly see the normal waterline.

We hit the low tides of the year again so there were plenty of opportunities to tidepool in the early mornings. Surprisingly, there was not one morning of fog the whole time we were camping there so it was easier to get up early to hike down to the beach and explore.

Following my own advice, I gathered our field guides which included our new field guide for seashore life. We had paged through this one quite thoroughly and became a little more familiar with what we might see in the tidepools and along the shore. Our efforts paid off and we spotted some new things as we tidepooled.

Sunflower Star Harris Beach
We saw several sunflower stars and they are amazing creatures. We even watched one crawling!Can you see the tracks in the sand where he has moved? Really awesome to see in real life.

Cramped Quarters Purple Sea stars and Anemones
Everyone tries to hold tight when the tide lowers so here you can see many sea creatures crammed into the crack in the rock. I love the purple Ochre sea star.

Harris Beach Purple Snails
Yes, these are living creatures too. They have little snails inside and you can see them moving when you stand still. There were hundreds of these all over the rocks.

Harris Beach Tidepools Limpets
These are some kind of limpet which is also a sea creature. It has a tongue or radula that it uses to each algae off the rocks.

Tar Spot Algae
This is one we would have missed if we hadn’t studied our field guide before going down to the beach. It is Tar Spot and is a kind of algae. Cool huh?

Green Anemones
Can you say anemone? Look at this colony on the shore rocks…..amazing.

Gumboot Chiton
Here is another new creature for us and it is really alive! It is a Gumboot chiton and it has a large muscular foot attached. Our field guide says it can live for 20 years!

Leather Chiton Harris Beach
Another chiton, this time a Leather chiton. These were new to use last year and we knew just where to look on the rocks to see them. They look like rocks but they too are a living creature.

I will save our Coast Trail hiking for another post and I also have Redwoods National Park hikes to share as well. Stay tuned!

Harris Beach Sunset

Just another perfect Oregon Coast sunset…..we watched the sunset every day on our trip. There is just something amazing about being still and quiet, waiting for the moment when the sun dips below the horizon. Peaceful.

Hope you have many a summer sunset to watch.

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Miscellaneous Nature Study Using The Outdoor Hour Challenges

NOTE: If the challenge is included an ebook, it is noted directly after the challenge. If you have an Ultimate Membership, you will be able to pull up the ebook and print any notebook pages, coloring pages, or other printables for your nature study.
Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library


Outdoor Hour Challenge Mushrooms Lichen Moss Fern Index @handbookofnaturestudy

The links above are Amazon affiliate links to resources I own and love.

Mushroom, Lichen, Moss, Fern Challenges
Bracket Fungi -Autumn Nature Study Continues
Ferns – More Nature Study Spring
Field Horsetail – Autumn 2015
Hedgehog Fungi – Autumn 2015
Moss and Lichen
Moss Observation Notebook Page
Molds, Puffballs, Morels
Mushrooms -Autumn ebook
Extraordinary in the Ordinary – Mushrooms
Mushroom Cap Shapes Notebook Page
Scarlet Cup -Winter Nature Study Continues
Stinkhorn Nature Study -Autumn Nature Study Continues
Parts of  a Mushroom Notebook Page

Newsletters With a Mushroom, Lichen, Moss, or Fern Theme (If you have a membership, you have access to all archived newsletters.)

  • March 2013 – Mushroom, Lichen, and Moss study grid printable. Mushroom coloring page. Types of lichen.
  • March 2016 – Lichen and moss nature study ideas. Lichen Study notebook page. Lichen vocabulary.
  • November 2016 – Mushroom Cap notebook page. Nature study ideas for fungi.


Outdoor Hour Challenge Weather Index @handbookofnaturestudy

Weather Challenges
Autumn Weather – Autumn ebook
Autumn Weather Challenge #1
Autumn – Signs of Autumn
Cloud Observations 
Fall Seasonal Weather Challenge -with free printable notebook page
Fall Color Walk – More Nature Study Autumn
Seasonal Weather with Four Seasons Notebook Pages
Snow– Winter Wednesday
Spring Splendor Walk – More Nature Study Spring
Spring Weather – Spring ebook
Summer Weather – More Nature Study Summer
Weather Record Chart – printable notebook page
Weather Study with Weather Sounds Printable Notebook Page
Weather Walk – Four Seasons free printable notebook page
Winter Weather  -Winter ebook
Winter Wonder Weather– More Nature Study Winter

Seasonal Challenges
December World-free printable notebook page
November World– Autumn ebook
The Winter World

Newsletters With a Weather Theme (If you have a membership, you have access to all archived newsletters.)

  • December 2011 – Know Your Own Backyard in December notebook page. December World study grid.
  • January 2012 – January World study grid.
  • February 2012 – Know Your Own Backyard in February notebook page.
  • March 2012 – Know Your Own Backyard in Early Spring notebook page. Early Spring study grid.
  • April 2013 – April study grid.
  • May 2013 – May study grid.
  • July 2012 – Beat the Heat study grid. Know Your Own Backyard When Its Hot notebook page.
  • December 2012 – Weather study ideas. Weather nature table ideas. My Weather notebook page.
  • September 2013 – Fall Fun grid study. Fall Time Field Trip notebook page.
  • November 2013 – Weather Observation study grid.
  • January 2014 – Winter Fun study grid.
  • February 2014 – February Fun study grid.
  • March 2014 – Lion or Lamb notebook page.
  • June 2014 – Summer Fun grid study printable.
  • February 2015 – Winter nature study ideas.
  • March 2015 – Calendar of Firsts for nature observations. Printable nature calendar.
  • December 2015 – Weather chart printable. My Seasonal Weather notebook page. Weather Study big grid printable.
  • October 2016 – Weather nature study and nature journal ideas.
  • December 2016 – Silent Autumn Nature Walk notebook page.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Reptiles Amphibians invertebrates fish index @handbookofnaturestudy

The links above are Amazon affiliate links to resources I own and love.
Reptiles, Amphibians, Invertebrates, Fish
Banana SlugCreepy Things ebook
Black Widow Creepy Things ebook
Catfish –  Autumn 2015
Common Shiner – Summer Nature Study Continues
Crayfish  –Spring Nature Study Continues
Earthworms– Spring ebook
Fish Nature Study and  Definition Copywork Page
Frogs – Summer ebook
Frog Field Guide Notebook Page
Goldfish Nature Study-free printable notebook page
Johnny Darter – Summer Nature Study Continues
LeechCreepy Things ebook
Lizard, Gecko, Anole Study –Autumn Nature Study Continues
Millipede Creepy Things ebook
Newts -Spring Nature Study Continues
Snakes-Spring ebook
Snails -More Nature Study Spring
Sphinx Moth – Creepy Things ebook
Spring Peepers -Spring Nature Study Continues
Sunfish – Summer Nature Study Continues
TarantulaCreepy Things ebook
Trout and Salmon –Autumn ebook
Turtles and Pondweed-More Nature Study Summer

You may also want to read my review of this awesome resource: National Audubon Society First Field Guide to Reptiles.

Additional Links You May Find Helpful:

Newsletters With a Reptile, Amphibian, Invertebrate, or Fish Theme (If you have a membership, you have access to all archived newsletters.)

  • April 2013 – Reptiles and Amphibians study grid.
  • July 2013 – Fish grid study. Fish Study – Trout notebook page.
  • October 2015 – Reptile Study notebook page.
  • August 2016 – Invertebrate nature journal and nature study ideas. Snail Study notebook page.
  • May 2017 – Fish study grid. Fish nature study and nature journal ideas.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Rock Index @handbookofnaturestudy

The link above is an Amazon affiliate link to a resource I own and love.

Rock Related Challenges
Calcite – Autumn 2015
Crystal Study– Winter Nature Study Continues
Feldspar Study– Winter Nature Study Continues
Granite Study and Other Igneous Rocks – More Nature Study Book Summer
Limestone – Autumn 2015
Magnets and Compass – More Nature Study Winter
Marble – Autumn 2015
Mica Rock Study  – Autumn Nature Study Continues
Quartz Study -More Nature Study Winter
Rock Observation Challenge – free printable chart
Rock Study Using a Magnifying Lens – free printable notebook page
Rock Collection Ideas – free printable activity
Rock Study and printable game activity
Salt Study – Winter ebook
Sand and Soil -More Nature Study Summer

Newsletters With a Rock Theme (If you have a membership, you have access to all archived newsletters.)

  • January 2013 – Rock study grid. Rock collection ideas.
  • February 2016 – Rock nature journal and study ideas.
  • March 2017 – Rock nature study and nature journal ideas.


Outdoor Hour Challenge Sky and Stars Index @handbookofnaturestudy

Sky and Stars
Moon and Moon Names– More Nature Study Winter
Moon and Craters Nature Study-free printable notebook page
My Backyard At Night Notebook Page  (free printable)
Night Sky Study- Cassiopeia – Autumn Nature Study Continues
Orion Study – Winter Nature Study Continues
Winter Sky and Stars  – Winter ebook
Winter Sky– Winter Wednesday
Year-Long Big Dipper Study -free printable notebook page

Newsletters With a Sky or Star Theme (If you have a membership, you have access to all archived newsletters.)

  • August 2013 – Night sky study ideas. Night Sky study grid.
  • July 2016 – Sky and stars nature journal and nature study ideas. Big Dipper study notebook page.


The link above is an Amazon affiliate link to a resource I own and love.
Pond, Beach, and CreekStudy
Cattail Seasonal Nature Study  -free printable notebook page
Pond Seasonal Study -free printable notebook page

Newsletters With a Pond, Beach, or Creek Theme (If you have a membership, you have access to all archived newsletters.)

  • August 2011 – Pond and marsh study ideas. Summer Pond Study notebook page. Pond study grid.
  • June 2012 – Beach and tidepool nature study ideas. Beach grid study printable. My Seashore Study notebook page.
  • July 2013 – Year long pond study ideas.
  • February 2016 – Creek nature study in four seasons. Creek Study notebook page.

Miscellaneous Challenges
Brook – – Autumn 2015
Small Square Study – Winter ebook
Small Square Study – free printable notebook page
Winter Berries –Autumn Nature Study Continues
Winter Colors – Winter Wednesday

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Earthworms in the Garden: Spring Series Challenge

Our Outdoor Hour Challenge Earthworm Study was very informal and done as we did our gardening this past weekend. Our garden boxes were tilled in preparation of our seedlings and in the process we uncovered lots of glorious earthworms. What amazing creatures!

Earthworm (2)

I am always worried that we will hurt them if we dig them up but they soon snuggle back down into the soil, more quickly than you think they should.
Earthworm (1)

We did a formal study of earthworms earlier in the year when we studied them in our science dissection unit. Here is a diagram of the innards of an earthworm.

Earthworm dissection

Mr. B also did a very good sketch of an earthworm for his nature journal.

Earthworm sketch

Rest assured that we will be continuing our study of earthworms as we tend our garden this summer.

You can find the Outdoor Hour Challenge for Earthworms with links, study ideas, and more here on my blog:
OHC Spring #9 Earthworms.


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Oregon Coast Trail-What Are You Waiting For?

Western Azalea

We spent four days hiking several sections of the Oregon Coast Trail……a trail that extends from the California border to the Washington border along the Pacific Ocean.
Thunder Rock Indian Sands Campsite Day 5 (12)
This trail has some fabulous and surprising views and the sections we hiked were mostly within the Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor. If you ever have the chance to even hike a mile or so along this trail, grab it and enjoy the tall trees, the green ferns, and the views of the rugged and awesome Oregon Coast.

Harris Beach 1
We camped at Harris Beach and four out of the five evenings were just like this….clear, sunny and filled with beautiful waves. We walked on the beach every night after dinner and then we would go back to the campsite and build a big campfire and roast marshmallows.

Thunder Rock Indian Sands Campsite Day 5 (48)
The first section we hiked started at Indian Sands and just like its name suggests, it has some huge sand dunes. The trail is a little sketchy at some points and you have to really hunt for signs but it is worth the effort. The dunes were perfect for running down or rolling down if you preferred.

Just around the corner from the dunes, the trail turns into a narrow path through wildflowers and Sitka spruce. Yes, that is the trail right along the cliff’s edge. It was a spectacular section of the trail and the wildflowers are so thick you have a hard time seeing them all. Wild strawberry, Indian paintbrush, wild iris, clover, daisies….I can’t even remember all the different flowers. We came back a second time to rehike this section because it was awesome.

Foxglove 1
The foxglove was dazzling and the forests were dotted with purple blossoms here and there. I love purple.

Another section of the trail leads down to China Beach. The trail was not well worn and was very narrow in sections but the wildflowers were spectacular. I loved this place and spent lots of time looking at all the different wildflowers. While I was busy doing that, the boys were busy doing something else.

Cape Blanco 1
Another day we drove farther north and caught up with the trail at Cape Blanco. It was a little cooler and definitely more windy here and if you look closely in the background of the photo above, you will see the lighthouse. This was a fantastic place with a huge campground. We would like to come back to Cape Blanco some day and camp for a few days to explore more. This time though we hiked the bluffs and then headed down to the beach to see if we could find some tidepools.

Cape Blanco Wildflowers
Monkey flower, clover, and lupine all make a lovely mix of colors.

Cape Blanco Tidepools
We did find a few tidepools and these snails in the splash zone. We watched them climb around for a few minutes and then we had the most fabulous time watching the birds at the beach. We saw mostly crows and turkey vultures but a few swallows, gulls, and songbirds as well.

Thunder Rock Indian Sands Campsite Day 5 (13)
The next morning found us hiking along the section of the Oregon Coast Trail at Thunder Rock. The trees were so thick along the path that it was quite dark and eerie. We had the trail to ourselves and when we broke out of the trees, we saw the view above. A spectacular cove with an arch rock and pretty clear water.

Indian Sands snail on trail
This invertebrate was crossing the path and he was the most beautiful snail that I have ever seen, if that is even possible for a snail to be beautiful.

Thunder Rock Indian Sands
The turn around spot on this section of the trail was a place called Secret Beach. The water was here and the beach, although small, was very nice.

I encourage families to consider a trip to the Oregon Coast and try some of the Oregon Coast Trail….you will not soon forget the beauty and the wonder of this unique place.