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Outdoor Mom – May 2019

This post is LONG overdue. I’ve had such a crazy last few months that it was hard to put my “Outdoor Mom” thoughts together. I felt more like an indoor kind of mom because of my surgery, recovery, weather, and then having a mom who needed my care. Things just got pushed aside.

Barb McCoy and Amanda at Lake Clementine

Although I never lost the desire to be outdoors, even in the thick of my recovery from double hip surgery, I kept my eyes outside on the birds and wildlife that came my way. Then when I was sitting in the hospital day after day with my mom, I would look out the window and take quick walks around the edges of the parking lot to find something refreshing to observe.

My nature journal has been neglected until the past few weeks when finally things have settled down a bit and I can take those few minutes a week to record my reflections and thoughts.

 Outdoor Mom – May 2019

American River confluence

During our outdoor time this month we went…

While in California, my daughter and I took a long hike along the American River. It was very green and there were already many wildflowers along the trail. We must have seen a hundred butterflies as they fluttered across our path and landed on flowers.

swallowtail butterfly

It was warm and we were so glad we made the decision to hike early to beat the heat and the crowds. It makes my heart happy that my grown children enjoy a hike with their mama when we can make it happen.

kayak little deschutes may 2019

Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)…

We managed a kayak/canoe paddle down the river one afternoon in the bright sunshine. We didn’t encounter a single other person on the whole trip. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy having the river to ourselves but it makes us wonder why we rarely see anyone on this section of the water. On this particular day, we were joined on our paddle by mallards, swallows, Canada goose, red-winged blackbirds, and a heron. All of us are hoping to get together for many more kayak trips over the next few months.

One last image…or two…or three…

I haven’t shared beautiful wildflower photos in a long time. So, to make up for that, here are some from our hike that I love!


Some variety of white lupine


Variety of pink allium



indian pink

Indian pink

chinese lanterns

Chinese lanterns

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Follow me here: Instagram – outdoorhourchallenge.  If you’d like me to take a look at one of your images on Instagram, use the hashtag #outdoorhourchallenge.

Want to join in the Outdoor Mom post?

Answer all or just one of the prompts in a blog entry on your own blog or right here on my blog in a comment. If you answer on your blog, make sure to leave me a link in a comment so that I can pop over and read your responses.

  • During our outdoor time this month we went…
  • The most inspiring thing we experienced was…
  • Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)…
  • In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting…
  • I added nature journal pages about…
  • I am reading…
  • I am dreaming about…
  • One last image…

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Outdoor Mom’s Journal – January 2017

Outdoor Moms Journal January 2017 @handbookofnaturestudy


My February entry is a little early this month because I am anticipating a week with my daughter where we will be going unplugged for the most part. I will share my early February activities and thoughts in the hope that it will inspire you to get out and have your own Outdoor Mom time. Don’t miss the prompts at the bottom of the post for some ideas to get you started if you want to write up your own journal or share something in a comment here at the end of this entry.


american river rain day hike

  • During our outdoor time this month we went….

We have made time for only one formal hike because of the weather. It has been all over the place as far as rain, snow, ice, and wind. What a ride! My husband takes a daily hike and he invited me to accompany him early one morning last week during the middle of our wettest week in a very long time. We actually had over 17 inches of rain in less than a week. He loaned me some rain gear and it kept me dry as we hiked down a familiar trail to the river. It is usually a loop trail but on this day about a third of the trail was under almost flood stage water. The power of water always impresses me and this day was no different. The photo above shows my husband on the trail’s end. I captured the event in my nature journal.

Rainy Day Hike American River and Lichen

  • The most inspiring thing we experienced was…

We had one snow even where we received about an inch and a half overnight. The snow stuck around all morning and it happened to be a Project Feederwatch day so I was periodically looking out at our feeders.

Sharp shinned Hawk

About 9 AM I noticed a small hawk resting on the block wall to the side of our feeder area. He had his back to us so I tried to use the binoculars to spy his features. I didn’t want to spook him so I stayed fairly still as I observed. I was able to snap a few images that helped me identify him as a sharp-shinned hawk. It was an awesome sight and very rare to see a hawk in our yard.

Nature Journal Pages Winter January

  • I added nature journal pages about….

In living up to my goal to create a nature journal page each week, I have been working diligently on my journal.

>>>Winter Backyard Study (from the January 2017 newsletter), Nature Goals 2017 – made an official record of my goals, focused mainly on my journal, Sharp-shinned Hawk sighting, Rain Day at the American River<<<<

  • I am dreaming about…

An up-coming trip where I will put my feet in warm sand.

Downy woodpecker

  • A photo I would like to share…

We have had a downy woodpecker visit our suet feeder just about every day this week. He is a welcome visitor!

Outdoor Mom’s Journal

Whether your family spends a few minutes a week outside or hours at a time, share what is going on in your world.

How Do You Join?

Answer all or just one of the prompts in a blog entry on your own blog or right here on my blog in a comment. If you answer on your blog, make sure to leave me a link in a comment so that I can pop over and read your responses.

  • During our outdoor time this week we went….
  • The most inspiring thing we experienced was…
  • Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)…
  • In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting….
  • I added nature journal pages about….
  • I am reading…
  • I am dreaming about…
  • A photo I would like to share…


Outdoor Hour Challenge Plans for Sept 16 to March 17 @handbookofnaturestudy

You can use the free monthly newsletter along with the Handbook of Nature Study book for your nature study. Adding a membership gives you access to the Ultimate Naturalist Library’s ebooks and printables which provides members with even more in-depth studies each month.

Read more about it!

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Look for me on Instagram if you want to follow my outdoor experiences in photos. Use the hashtag #outdoorhourchallenge or #OHCnaturejournal and I will stop by and see what you are up to on your Instagram account.


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3 Questions Nature Walk-December 2016

Fungi Hunt on a December morning @handbookofnaturestudyA 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.

Fungi Hunt December 2016 collage 1

We were amazed at how many mushrooms there were but also the variety of mushrooms that we could see.

 Fungi Hunt December 2016 collage 2

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 newsletter to 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.






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Outdoor Mom’s Journal – April 2016

“She who opens her eyes and her heart nature-ward even once a week finds nature-study in the schoolroom a delight and an abiding joy….She finds, first of all, companionship with her children; and second, she finds that without planning or going on a far voyage, she has found health and strength”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 3

It has been a great month of outdoor activity here in our household. I tend to forget how much better I feel when I get outside and walk/hike regularly. It is a cleansing of the everyday anxieties that is only found with fresh air and physical activity.  I would love to share some highlights of the month so far with you.

Butter and Eggs April 2016

It is always so exciting to find and identify a new wildflower! We were on a hike at a very well known trail and there it was…a new flower. I took some photos and then later used my field guide to find out what the name and some interesting facts. This is Johnny-Tuck or Butter and Eggs (Triphysaria eriantha).  When we were looking at it closely to make some notes of what it looked like, I noted that it reminded me of owl’s clover and sure enough it belongs to the owl’s clover group. I love the connections that we can learn to make over time between similar flowers and plants.

Fringepod april 2016

This has been a wonderful year for all my favorite wildflowers with the amount of rain we have received it has been a bumper year for flowers. Above you can see the special plant that lines one section of our local trail. This Hairy lacepod (or fringepod) is actually blooming right now and developing these jewel-like pods with lacy edges. I enjoyed showing this plant to a friend of mine who has come to appreciate the diversity of plants in our area. [Thysanocarpus curvipes]

American River with lupine April 2016

We took three different hikes to the American River this month so far. The section above is on the South Fork of the American River and you can see the lupine blooming in the foreground.

American River lupine April 2016

This image is from our hike on the North Fork of the American River, again with lupine in the foreground. Two different areas but equally as wild and beautiful.

 Bee on California Lilac april 2016

 This image is from a little close to home…my frontyard! I have been working in the yard and enjoying the living creatures that visit each day. This honeybee has his pollen baskets full! That is really the color of the flower on the California lilac…so amazing and perfect to brighten the sides of my front steps.

Frontyard April 2016 rosesThis is taken from my front deck where I spend a lot of time each day as I sip coffee or read, enjoying the view and sunshine. This Outdoor Mom has come alive alongside the plants and insects this month….feeling more myself than in a long time. I am going to be taking an unexpected trip to the East Coast soon and I hope to carry on with some unique outdoor experiences as I visit my children.

New York Garden with ground hog

I also hope to work a bit in my daughter’s garden as it comes alive with her New York spring weather. We planted spring bulbs last fall and they are already making a showing…perhaps we will add some summer bulbs on this trip. The image above shows a couple of her garden friends….the chickadee and the ground hog!

American River at Daybreak

Here is a photo from my husband’s travels this month. Taken from his regular walking spot on the river at daybreak. He takes this loop trail a few times a week and he always sends me an image. The water is very high in this picture from all the rain and snow we have experienced in the last six weeks. Such a welcome change from the years of drought!

I’m looking forward to the rest of the month and the Outdoor Hour Challenges that will fill my time. Join me every Friday for more nature study fun!


Outdoor Moms Journal @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Mom’s Journal

Whether your family spends a few minutes a week outside or hours at a time, share what is going on in your world.

How Do You Join?

Answer all or just one of the prompts in a blog entry on your own blog or right here on my blog in a comment. If you answer on your blog, make sure to leave me a link in a comment so that I can pop over and read your responses.

  • During our outdoor time this week we went….
  • The most inspiring thing we experienced was…
  • Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)…
  • In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting….
  • I added nature journal pages about….
  • I am reading…
  • I am dreaming about…
  • A photo I would like to share…


Outdoor Hour Challenge April 2016 Monthly Printables for Members @handbookofnaturestudy

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.


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Need help getting started with your nature study using the Handbook of Nature Study? Check out the fresh “Getting Started” page here on the website!



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Mammal Study Big Grid Nature Study

The Handbook of Nature Study newsletter topic this month was a focus on mammals. I was hoping that everyone could find a local mammal not only to learn about but to observe up close.

Mammal study @handbookofnaturestudy nature journal deer (3)

I know this is a challenge that depends on creating some opportunities to be in the right place at the right time AND to be ready to seize the time when it happens. Well, I have been keeping my eyes open this month. Here are the results.

 deer november 2015

We spied a deer in our front yard last week…a buck! This was a great reminder that I haven’t completed a nature journal page for our local and very often spotted mammal. This buck was just walking up the street, taking his time, and looking for an easy meal. This is a California mule deer…..this year, especially with the drought, we have seen more and more deer right in our neighborhood.  We have no vegetable garden to speak of so they are not as unwelcome as in the past. They are just trying to survive in a very dry habitat.

Doing research for this entry I found out that it is illegal to feed deer in California: Keep Me Wild Deer.

deer pair buck mammal november 2015 (1)

Then,  we saw these two in our neighborhood this week. The buck was most definitely keeping a close watch on the doe. She seemed annoyed more than anything else. We actually spotted this pair three times this day and the last time she had curled up inside a big leafless bush. He seemed to be trying to get inside the bush too but his antlers were in the way.

Mammal study @handbookofnaturestudy nature journal deer (1)

One thing we have seen an increase in is “near misses” as we drive along. I can’t tell you how many times there are deer that leap right out in front of my car. We had an incident just two days ago where we had to slam on the brakes or hit a rather large deer. My husband and I were a little shaken up and our dog riding in the back of the Highlander was knocked over but we all survived. My husband has had two major collisions with deer int he past and we have seen with our own eyes how much damage it can do. With the increase in the population of deer living in so close of quarters with humans and their vehicles, the increase in deer strikes on roads and highways is something to always be aware of in our part of the world.

mammal tracks (2) raccoons

Looking for tracks is easier after a good rainstorm! We drove down by the river after a day of rain and walked along the sandy shore until we found some prints. The ones above where just under the water line in the very shallow water. I couldn’t tell if they were old prints and the water had covered them up or if they were fresh prints where the raccoon had walked in the water?

mammal tracks (4) deer

There were many distinct deer trails along the river and this one is an easy identification with the two hoof marks.

The most useful reminder for me this month from the newsletter is the Mammals Big Grid Study page (page 4). It has lots ideas that can fit any habitat or any level of nature study interest. There are 24 ideas there to choose from or mix and match. If you are a subscriber to the blog, make sure to download and save your newsletter so you will have access to this Big Grid Study page for future reference.

Mammal study @handbookofnaturestudy nature journal deer (2)

Other Miscellaneous Mammal Related Experiences This Month

We had fox scat right in our own driveway. I didn’t take a photo….aren’t you glad? We know we have red foxes in our neighborhood but we weren’t able to actually observe any this month.

Squirrels! This is a busy time for squirrels in our neighborhood. We have lots of oaks and they can be spotted scurrying up and down, around and across. I never get tired of watching these little acrobats. We have Western gray squirrels in large numbers in our area. There are also red fox squirrels that visit us in our yard. Both of these squirrels are tree squirrels and can be found in, under, and around our birdfeeders.  You can read my entries on fox squirrels here: Sad Story of Our Walnuts.

Fox Squirrel
This image is from my archives…taken in my front yard.

Here is a link to a mammal nature walk from three years ago that you may be inspired by: Taking an Autumn Hike and Looking For Signs of Mammals.

 Outdoor Hour Challenge Mammal Nature Study Index @handbookofnaturestudy

You can find all of my current mammal related challenges under the “mammal” tab at the top of the website. There are quite a few specific challenges and some free printables for you to use with your mammal study. If you are a member here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you can find the coordinating notebook pages for each challenge in the ebook noted next to each mammal challenge.


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Winter Berry Hike – Fungi Too!

toyon berryWe had a chance to hike to the river this week to look for winter berries. The only ones we observed were the bright red toyon berries that lined the trail in certain spots. This is a shrub that we have studied in depth in the past and although it is not in the Handbook of Nature Study, we used the internet to discover what birds or animals eat the berries.

I found information that says that there are many birds,  coyotes and bears eat the toyon berries which help to disperse the seeds.

Here is my Toyon Berry (or Christmas Berry) entry from last year.

This hike though was all about the variety of fungus that we have emerging from the ground in our area since the rainy season has officially started.

IMG_8820So these look like Emetic Russula that my field guide says are present in all western forests. In the comments in the guide it says that they are usually regarded as poisonous and have an extremely acrid taste that would discourage you from eating them anyway. I will just enjoy their bright pops of red on the forest floor as I hike along.

Here is a glimpse into some of the other more interesting fungi we spotted as we hiked. It was actually a little overwhelming to try to see them all…it was a perfect fungi walk!

IMG_8795 IMG_8791 IMG_8790 IMG_8785 IMG_8781 IMG_8777This is my favorite…the trametes versicolor or turkey tail. Don’t you just love it?

The woodlands of our area are coming alive right now as the rains bring on the green grasses and beginnings of the early wildflower plants. As we pass the first day of winter and the days gradually get longer and longer, I feel the pull to be outdoors again even in the cold temperatures. This is actually one of the best times to be outside in our area if the sun is shining. Hats and jackets are required to keep warm but as long as you keep moving or stop only in the sunshine, it is a glorious time outside.

As this year draws to a close, I am reviewing my Nature Study Goals for 2014 and anticipating those for 2015. Stay tuned for those posts soon!

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Fall Seed Walk – From Our World

Dave Moore oct 2014 (5)On an absolutely beautiful autumn day, we hiked out to the river to enjoy the sunshine and fall colors. We were on the lookout for some fall seeds and we discovered a new flower!

Dave Moore oct 2014 (14)
I have no idea what this plant is but it was about four feet tall and was swaying in the breeze…waving us over to take a closer look. Aren’t these the prettiest little flowers?
Dave Moore oct 2014 (16)
Each branch ended with these delicate flowers and the stem of the plant was purplish red.

Evening PrimroseWe also discovered a patch of evening primrose dispersed among the big boulders lining the river’s edge.

MulleinWe also spied this massive mullein plant with its soft rosettes of leaves.

We were so distracted by the plants and flowers that we didn’t collect any seeds for our nature journal entry. I am thinking that it will take a change in the weather before I am inspired to collect seeds and sit down long enough to make a page for our fall seeds. Can you blame me?

Dave Moore oct 2014 (22)

Have you collected any seeds yet?

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Nature Walk – Of Butterflies and Labradors

We set out to look for signs of mammals but good intentions were set aside when we spotted some wonderful butterflies along our hiking trail. I reminded myself that the best advice I always give is to follow interest and to be flexible if a nature study topic comes along that you can’t pass up.

We have long past our winter season anyway so last week’s Winter Mammal study not really a perfect fit. We had plenty of winter mammal observations when we saw the signs of beavers at our creek. We see scat all winter long just beside or in the middle of our walking trail. I have stopped sharing scat photos because it seems a little weird. I don’t want to be the “weird nature lady”.

So, our first subject of the day is this Mourning Cloak butterfly. We looked it up when we got home in our insect field guide and online. It seems the host plant for the caterpillars is the Black willow. I am going to check and see if what I remember observing in this area is a willow.I also read in my field guide that the edges can look a little “tattered” and that was the case with this particular butterfly.

We hiked down to the river, which was extremely low from lack of rain and snow melt, and we threw the ball in for our Kona dog. She never tires of retrieving the ball even when the water is cold. The sun was warm though and I sat on a big rock and felt the refreshing air and sunshine.

So how did this violet arrive here below the normal water line, in among
the river rocks? What a surprise to see its pretty purple blossoms!

Taking a break from swimming…love the pink tongue. She is one happy dog.

On the way back up to trail, I was able to capture another butterfly that we saw as we hiked. There were many, many of these flying around the area but managed to get a really good close-up of this one to share. This is a Pipevine Swallowtail. I did some research and found that this butterfly only lays its eggs on the Dutchman’s Pipe plant. I found after digging on the CalFlora website that this particular plant is found in the area we live in but I have never seen it. I am now adding it to my list of plants to look for during our travels.

Can you see his proboscis?

One last image from our hike today. The dog went off the trail and disturbed some leaves…my husband spotted this snake all coiled up underneath. We came home and looked it up on California Herps and it appears to be a Sharp-tailed Snake. It was very small but bright red on top and black underneath. I am not a big fan of snakes but we will keep this one in mind when our spring snake study comes along.

Although we set out to look for signs of mammals and we didn’t find any to note, we feel like we were a success in keeping our eyes open for interesting things to learn about as we hiked.

I hope you get outside this week to look for something to share alongside your children.


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Nature Study Goals 2013: New Hike #1 Cronan Ranch

I challenged myself to hiking four new trails this year and we are excited to share the very first one with you because it was such an awesome hike! My husband and I had an afternoon to spend together last weekend and he picked the destination. We packed up a few snacks and filled up our water bottles, traveling light. The sun was hot and had the feel of late spring/early summer….I made sure to put on sunblock and secure my hat before setting off on the dusty trail. Northern California doesn’t stay green very long in the spring so I will share with you my green hills while I can.

Our new trail at a familiar spot..the Down and Up Trail at Cronan Ranch. The Bureau of Land Management has a huge section of this foothill property down to the river set aside for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. We opted to hike…I love the slow easy pace that we take and the ability to easily stop and take photos of all the amazing sights.

The rolling foothills give way to a river canyon about two miles from the parking lot. Now you can see why this particular trail is called the Down and Up Trail. The gentle ups and downs make it interesting and around each new corner and on top of each new hill there is another sight to take in as you go along. The soundtrack is birds in the distance, slight breeze blowing over the grasses, and the buzz of bees and other flying insects.

We usually hike the Long Valley Trail but this time we heading up hill and along the ridge. The Fiddlenecks are in full glory and I kept trying to pick just the right spot for a photo. This view is looking up from the trail to a hilltop oak….so very Sierra Nevada foothill in flavor. This IS my habitat.

There were many, many butterflies flying and landing on the wildflowers along the trail. Some places had so many that I thought they were going to fly into my face as I hiked. I don’t complain about dodging butterflies because I love them so much.

There are some magnificent oaks in this part of California and we could hear and see woodpeckers as well as swallows flying over and around the trees. I dream of having a home with a huge old oak on the property. I love the shape of them and the smell of the hot oak leaves in the sunshine is a wonderful fragrance…one you don’t forget.

I wondered about snakes as I climbed up on the rock for a better view and to take a few photos. I also stood on the top of this rock for a long time having some FaceTime with my daughter who is living in Bolivia…the reception was perfect up there on the rock and my daughter got to see some of the view that she has been missing.

Then we hiked down the trail and I saw unusual metallic bugs on some grasses and I stepped off the trail to investigate. As I stepped back onto the trail my husband starting yelling at me that there was a snake. A snake indeed! It was a huge rattlesnake and it was stretched out across the trail…I hopped over and out of the way and the rattler moved quickly up onto the hillside into the grass. A little way down the trail we saw a much smaller snake but he was a gopher snake…much to my relief. We think this rattler is a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake.

We made it down to the river at last and I took off my shoes to cool my toes. We had a cool drink and watched the whitewater rafters float by and on down the river. It was so refreshing! Two hikers came along as we rested and we told them about the snakes…showed them some photos and swapped snake stories. I love the camaraderie of hikers who share their passions and interests. One of the guys told us of his sighting of a rattlesnake on the trail to Half Dome in Yosemite and we tried to decide how high in elevation rattlesnakes are found. We decided to look it up when we got home. (We read in our field guide that there is a rattlesnake that is found up to 11,000 feet in elevation.)

The water was high and there was very little beach so we opted to sit on the granite rocks and enjoy the sound of the water rushing by. The sun was hot but the water was still freezing…melted snow.

Back on the trail again we found a large area of lupine blooming, this one was in the middle of the trail. The bees were buzzing and it reminds me how much I love the purple and green combination.

Here are some more lovely wildflowers that were clustered along the trail.

I learned about the Monkeyflower a few years ago and now can spot it in the moist parts of our area. These were growing along a little moist ditch with just a bit of water and a bit of shade.

One more snake…snake number three was another gopher snake and he was quickly moving across the trail in front of us as we hiked up the hill. You can read and see the difference between a Rattlesnake and Gopher Snake on the CaliforniaHerps website.

And here is one last look at the trails from the top….left to the Down and Up and right to the Long Valley Trail. This is one of our favorite local hiking spots and there is one last trail to try before we have tried them all. (Don’t you love the panorama setting on my iPhone?)

The East Ridge Trail is on the list of things to do in May before it gets too much hotter. I will be glad if we don’t see any more snakes but I am anxious to explore a brand new area of this park. My goal for the year 2013 is four new hikes…one is accomplished and three more adventures to go!

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Nature Study: Rock Observations for January 2013

To refresh your memory, I am going to try to collect all fifteen rocks discussed in the Rocks, Fossils and Arrowheads (Take-Along Guides).This month we spent lots of time out and about looking at rocks, collecting a few new ones, and enjoying our rock adventures. We did not actually complete any of the fifteen rocks from the book. I can see now that I need to be more purposeful if I am going to achieve this goal in the year 2013.

That is the beauty of goals…they keep you focused and on track.

We did however accomplish several rock-related activities.

We added a new rock to our front yard rock spot. We have yet to identify it but that is going on February’s list because I actually think it is some kind of shale or slate which would be one of our fifteen rocks from the book.

We collected a rock from the other side of the river canyon and comparing it to the rocks on our side of the canyon, realized it is different. This I think is going to be the value in labeling our rocks with where we collected them.

Rock Hike to the River @HBNatureStudy

My son, my husband, and I enjoyed a warm mid-winter afternoon sitting on a big rock at the river. I collected a few rocks for a friend as a surprise.

This was a month we spent more time outdoors looking at rocks and talking about rocks and not much was recorded in our nature journals. I already have my rock grid in my nature journal so I just need to sit down with a pen and record this month’s thoughts and discoveries.

I am going to do my best to have one of my official fifteen rocks studied by the end of February.

Next week I will update you on my “using less plastic” goal for 2013…which I did a much better job with this month!