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Nature Observer – Nature November

It’s been another month of spending time inside recovering from my hip replacement surgery. There’s been a lot of time gazing out the window at the view and my birdfeeders. In addition, I’ve done quite a bit of reading about my favorite nature topics. There’s just so much to learn!

We spotted the first of our elk herd a week or so ago but haven’t seen them since. It’s always just at daybreak when they move behind our fence so we have to be up and watching or we miss them.

beaver tree 2018 in progress

Plus we have been watching and waiting for our beaver to make his appearance. It all started with my husband noticing a tree down by the river that had been gnawed almost the whole way through. We set up our critter cam to see if we could capture the beaver at work but we missed it! We didn’t have the camera in place on the night they finished off the tree.

beaver tree cut down 2018

In the meantime, we’ve been trying to get a video of the beaver taking the limbs off the tree but so far we’re unsuccessful. We won’t be giving up!

Here are my pages from the last month for your inspiration.

silverweed nature journal page

This wildflower is a common sight on our walks to the river and in our yard too. We have a bit in our rock garden and some even growing in our lawn.

june 2018 common silverweed

We tried to transplant a few of the silverweed plants to our new landscaping berm and next year we’ll see if they moved successfully.

critter cam journal page from nature observer

I converted an unused page in my Nature Observer journal to record our critter cam results.

Note the link above is my amazon.com affiliate link.

chickadee nature journal page

One of the most common birds in our birdfeeders is the chickadee. I realized we live in an area that has both the black-capped chickadee and the mountain chickadee. As I worked on my bird sketching skills, I created a page with a few facts and field notes for the two species.

chickadee at the feeder

I find that sketching subjects and writing a few pertinent facts down in my journal helps me to remember it better.

Project Feederwatch tally sheet

We started the new season of Project Feederwatch! I love this activity and look forward to each week’s counting days. If you aren’t familiar with the project, you count birds that come to your feeders for two days in a row basically once a week. You can watch the feeder for just a few minutes or as long as you have available. This super easy citizen science project helped me gain confidence in recognizing all the birds that come to our feeders by taking it one bird at a time. I highly recommend this for bird loving families with a birdfeeder in your yard!

In addition to my regular nature journal, I work daily in my Nature Observer journal. This is the perfect way to note all the simple every day thoughts and observations which over time give a fuller picture of your local habitat.

 

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge small

Don’t forget that I’m sharing a nature journal page each week on my Instagram account if you want to see the pages as they unfold. Follow me here: Instagram – outdoorhourchallenge. And, if you want to create a page and share it on your Instagram for me to see, use the hashtag #OHCnaturejournal.

 

 

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Nature Observer – August

Nature Journal Project: Nature Observer August 2018

Wondering what we have been up to this month and what nature journal pages I have created? August has been very laid back as far as getting outdoors and experiencing nature. We’ve done some trail and campground exploring within a twenty mile radius of our house and found an abundance of awesome places to investigate further. I’m keeping a list in my nature journal of possible places to use for outings in the future. Yes, I know I’m spoiled to have so many things so close at hand, but that’s part of the reason we moved to Central Oregon. It’s a fantastic place for nature nerds to live!

Here are my pages from the past few weeks.

 

Quaking Aspen Nature Journal Page

We planted a new aspen tree this month back in our far corner. It’s visible from our living room windows so I’m already anticipating the change of the season and the leaf color. I created a page in my journal with a few interesting facts about aspens, some of my observations, and then a leaf rubbing.

Nature Observer Guided Journal @handbookofnaturestudy

Here’s a two page spread in my Nature Observer journal (see the link and cover below). I LOVE this journal and every day I’m eager to record a few thoughts, facts, and/or nature observations. It has become a great record of when things bloom, appear, disappear, etc.

Fall River nature journal page

This page is a record of a magical afternoon spent sitting by Fall River with my husband. The weather was perfect and we found a secluded spot along the bank to watch the birds, enjoy the wildflowers, and the sound of the rippling water.

Western Toad nature journal page @handbookofnaturestudy

I tackled a sketch of our resident toad. I used a photograph as a reference and then water-colored it in for my nature page. I learned some new facts about the toad and I can now appreciate his comings and goings as part of his life cycle. My friend named the toad “Geraldine”. I’m not sure how to tell if it’s a boy or girl toad, but we’re going with Geraldine for now.

Western Toad Oregon

I’m still going strong with this Nature Observer Guided Journal that I started back at the beginning of the year. There are so many positive things I could say about it but the most important thing is the flexible nature of the calendars and the prompts. I make every page work for me in my habitat. Plus it has a built in habit trainer…in the form of a bullet-style journal section for each month’s goals. So helpful!

If you’re looking for a pre-printed nature journal for yourself, take a look at this one on Amazon.com. I highly recommend it! Please note that I am an affiliate for Amazon.com.

 

Getting Started with Nature Journals

Do you want some more specific nature journal ideas? Click over to my nature journal page and scroll down for the Once-a-Month Nature Journal Project idea buttons. There’s a lot there to keep you busy!

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge small

Don’t forget that I’m sharing a nature journal page each week on my Instagram account if you want to see the pages as they unfold. Follow me here: Instagram – outdoorhourchallenge. And, if you want to create a page and share it on your Instagram for me to see, use the hashtag #OHCnaturejournal.

 

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Nature Observer – February 2018

Nature Observer – Journal Examples

February 2018

I’m excited to share my nature journal pages this month! I’ve had some great experiences to record and that makes all the difference in my attitude. When I have things to write about and sketch, I’m eager to open my nature journal to put those memories on paper.

 My enthusiasm is sparked in part by using the Nature Observer – Guided Journal.

When you have fun nature observations to include in your journal, it makes it super easy to be motivated!

Make sure you are spending time outdoors looking for interesting things to create nature journal pages about each week….or as often as you can.

Have you seen my Pinterest board for the Once a Month Nature Journal Project? I started this board but there are some really nice pins from group members. Take a look: Once a Month Nature Journal Project.

Here are my weekly entries for February!

Four Interesting Things nature journal idea

There have been so many interesting things observed during our outdoor time so I decided to create a page featuring four of those items. I’m not super happy with the sketches but each one will remind me of a special item we saw and then learned more about during our outdoor time.

Ponderosa Pine nature journal page

I love ponderosa pines and I created a page with some of the interesting things about these magnificent trees.  I even managed to draw a decent looking ponderosa pine for the page.

Garter snake nature journal page

What a surprise! We found this garter snake in our front yard and it became the star of a page in my nature journal.

Hike Map and interesting things nature journal page
From Nature Observer journal

I scheduled a hike at the Deschutes River just so we could complete these two pages in the Nature Observer journal. We had such a wonderful time walking along the riverbank and then it was easy to create a map of the trail and a list of ten things we found interesting.

If you need a little nudge in your nature journaling, I would highly recommend the Nature Observer journal as a starting point to record your nature observations and be inspired to make particular activities happen each month.

 

Are you keeping a nature journal? What is your biggest challenge to creating entries regularly?

 

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge small

Don’t forget that I’m sharing a nature journal page each week on my Instagram account if you want to see the pages as they unfold. Follow me here: Instagram – outdoorhourchallenge. And, if you want to create a page and share it on your Instagram for me to see, use the hashtag #OHCnaturejournal.

Getting Started Outdoor Hour Challenge ebook

Have you looked at the sample for the newly revised Getting Started with the Outdoor Hour Challenge ebook? I updated and revised the original ebook as part of my 10 year anniversary.  The nature study challenges in this ebook can be used over and over for as long as you would like with your children. It’s appropriate for all ages and includes custom notebooking pages for you to print out and use alongside the nature study ideas.

Ultimate Naturalist Library September 2017 @handbookofnaturestudy

This edition of the Getting Started with the Outdoor Hour Challenge is available in every level of membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study.

Be encouraged! Be inspired! Get outdoors!

 

 

 

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Nature Observer January 2018

Nature Observer January 2018

Don’t you love it when you establish a habit? You know it’s part of your routine when you don’t even think about it anymore and it just happens. After last year’s goal to create a nature journal page a week, I find myself now looking forward to sitting down to focus on something for the journal. Not every page is a masterpiece but each one is a memory or a new thing I have learned.

This new habit will be nurtured this year by using the Nature Observer – Guided Journal.

Keeping a journal stretches me to notice the beauty and wonder

in the things found in my everyday life.

Isn’t that what we hope our children will find in their lives? I know I do even with my grown children. I never want them to get so busy that they forget to note the amazing natural world all around them.

Need inspiration for your nature journals? Here is a link to my Nature Journal page on the Handbook of Nature Study.

 

Pygmy nuthatch nature journal

I relish counting birds as part of Project Feederwatch each week and see how noting the species and number of birds that visit makes me hyper-aware of any changes or newcomers. This month we identified a new bird visitor, the pygmy nuthatch. What a little, round ball of feathers with lots of energy! I knew it had to be recorded in my nature journal as soon as we discovered it.

Oregon grape nature journal

This pretty holly-like bush is blushing with color in the January landscape. I notice it as we hike along the river trails in Sunriver and I’m hoping to add it to my backyard as part of the native plants garden we are planning. In the meantime, I will enjoy its pretty shaped and colored leaves in this winter season.

Nature Observer 2 page spread

I started on January 1, 2018 with the Nature Observer journal. It has a series of pages for each month that help me keep track of things in my natural world. The page above is a weekly spread where I can note things I observed or I may even at some point sketch on these pages.

Nature Observer patterns page

Along with a monthly calendar and weekly notes pages, there are unique page prompts for each month. For the month of January, one of the prompts was to note either in words or sketches some of the patterns noted in nature. Each day, I can note any patterns I have observed during my outdoor time. It is a simple suggestion that has definitely opened my eyes to looking for and then observing patterns in nature.

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge

Don’t forget that I’m sharing a nature journal page each week on my Instagram account if you want to see the pages as they unfold. Follow me here: Instagram – outdoorhourchallenge. And, if you want to create a page and share it on your Instagram for me to see, use the hashtag #OHCnaturejournal.

1 Outdoor Hour Challenge Oct 17 to Aug 18 Plans

We are continuing to work in the Winter Wednesday series until the end of February 2018. If you would like to follow along, make sure you have subscribed to my blog to receive the Outdoor Hour Challenges in your inbox each Friday.

 

Handbook of Nature Study Subscribe Now 2

If you have an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership, you’ll find the Winter Wednesday ebook in your library. The ebook contains all of the custom notebooking pages for each challenge.

Winter Wednesday ebook NOtebook pages

Don’t forget that I’m sharing a nature journal page each week on my Instagram account if you want to see the pages as they unfold. Follow me here: Instagram – outdoorhourchallenge. And, if you want to create a page and share it on your Instagram for me to see, use the hashtag #OHCnaturejournal

 

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Nature Journal Project – December 2017

Weekly Nature Journal Project

December 2017

Here we are at the end of the year! I’m so pleased that my nature journal is filled up with a year full of memories because of my challenge to myself in January to complete a page a week. I honestly didn’t think I could keep that goal because of my history of dropping the ball when it came to my personal nature journal. But, with determination and increasing awareness of how following up my outdoor week with a nature journal could bring such joy, I was able to stay motivated!

It also helped that sharing my pages on my Instagram account and then here on my blog kept me accountable. I knew that many of you were following my progress. If I slipped up and didn’t get a page done in time for my Wednesday morning Instagram post, I would pull out the art supplies and get busy so that I could post a page, maybe later than planned but always done by the end of the week.

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Inspired by other’s posts on Instagram, I generated my “bestnine” image showing the top nine posts for 2017 on my Instagram account. Four of my top nine are of my nature journal which makes me happy. I am hoping to continue to inspire and encourage nature journaling into 2018. I have a new project that I’ll be working on, something a little less conventional and more structured.

Nature Observer Guided Journal

Here’s my new nature journal inspiration, Nature Observer: A Guided Journal. I found this pre-made journal at the bookstore and immediately decided it was my project for 2018. I’ll be sharing more about it soon, along with a peek inside. You can look at it over at Amazon if you’re curious now.

Here are my December nature journal pages for your viewing pleasure…and inspiration.

Willow Gall Nature Journal

This page was actually completed in November but not in time to include in last month’s post. We found something interesting growing on a willow during a walk along the river. Turns out it was an insect gall that looked like a tiny rose. Fascinating!

December Nature Silent Walk Nature Journal

I used a Winter Fun study grid from a newsletter in my archives to give us some winter nature study inspiration. I’m still working on this one and will have it all filled in by the end of the month.

Project Feederwatch Nature Journal

Project Feederwatch is a weekly activity that keeps me focused on the birds that come to visit my feeders. I wanted to create a page that kept track of all the species of birds we see and the number of birds that we see at one time as part of this activity. Over the coming years, these statistics will help me see patterns in the comings and goings of our Central Oregon bird friends.

First Day of Winter Nature Journal

Marking time by the season is a simple idea for a nature journal page. Taking time to notice the day with all your senses helps make more of an impression. Plus, I decided long ago that every page doesn’t have to have a sketch or be pretty. If I’m in the mood to record words and word pictures, then that’s what I do!

I hope that there are nature journal pages to be completed in your journal this month. Even if you just get one page in before the year ends, that’s one more memory saved for the future.

 

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge small

Don’t forget that I’m sharing a nature journal page each week on my Instagram account if you want to see the pages as they unfold. Follow me here: Instagram – outdoorhourchallenge. And, if you want to create a page and share it on your Instagram for me to see, use the hashtag #OHCnaturejournal

 

1 Outdoor Hour Challenge Oct 17 to Aug 18 Plans

We’ll be starting on the Winter Wednesday series the first week in January. If you would like to follow along, make sure you have subscribed to my blog to receive the Outdoor Hour Challenges in your inbox each Friday.  If you have an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership, you’ll find the Winter Wednesday ebook in your library. The ebook contains all of the custom notebooking pages for each challenge.

 

 

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Nature Journal Project – November 2017

Weekly Nature Journal Project

November 2017

 

As I prepared to write this entry, I took a few moments to reflect on how much I have come to look forward to the time I can spend in my nature journal each week. It doesn’t feel like a chore but rather an extension of how I’m growing as a person, an Oregonian, and a naturalist. The outdoor time comes first, the observations and questions come second, and then keeping a record of what I have discovered comes with ease.

It’s always easier to make a nature journal page if I have something I’m excited about capturing on paper.

Here are my nature ramblings from the month of November.

 

Watercolor Landscape Nature Journal

I’m often mesmerized by the landscape scene out my back window. It is ever changing, even from minute to minute. The clouds, the water, the sky, the birds, the plants, the light…always something to marvel at as I stand, many times distracted from chores, at my picture window.  I tried to use watercolors to make a record of a certain day and I love the way it turned out.

November Recap Page Nature Journal

Recaps are some of my favorite pages in my journal. It gives me the freedom to include a lot of different random thoughts all on one page.

Wild Rye Grass Nature Journal

This page illustrates the “whole to parts” idea for a nature journal. Instead of just including a sketch of the whole subject, you add smaller sketches of interesting parts. On this page, I drew the seed head and the roots. Now I have a better appreciation for the grasses that grow out behind my house and their importance to the habitat and the wildlife that frequent there.

American Beaver Nature Journal Page

After researching the beaver, I wanted to make a page to highlight the things I learned and appreciated about this truly amazing mammal. I can look for signs of our beavers as we walk along the river and feel a connection because I have a deeper understanding of how they behave and live. I really hope we find their lodge and perhaps even spy them at some point in the future.

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge

Don’t forget that I am sharing a nature journal page each week on my Instagram account if you want to see the pages as they unfold. Follow me here: Instagram – outdoorhourchallenge. And, if you want to create a page and share it on your Instagram for me to see, use the hashtag #OHCnaturejournal

Autumn 2010 Outdoor Hour Challenge

Join us for the autumn season series of Outdoor Hour Challenges using the ideas in the Autumn 2010 ebook.

 

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Nature Journal Examples – October 2017

Weekly Nature Journal Project

October 2017

October is flying by and I have been trying to capture some of its glory in my nature journal. It’s easy to let things slide or think we will remember them, but I find that having a written or drawn record of special or even everyday observations makes my journal such a happy place.

 

IMG_1971

I’ve been working on this page all month as I make observations of the aspens in my neighborhood and take images for the autumn photo project. I absolutely love the brilliantly colored aspens in my neighbor’s yard.  (The topper is from the 10/14 newsletter which can be found with the autumn photo project in the Member’s Library here on the Handbook of Nature Study.)

 

IMG_1973

I used crayons to outline the leaves on the page and then I filled in the colorful leaves with watercolors. We don’t have many colorful leaves in our yard but I still wanted to make a record of the walk we took looking for autumn foliage.

 

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We had the awesome experience of watching sandhill cranes fly over in a group as they made their way south during this autumn season. I included both facts and the story of this event on my nature journal page.

 

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I have learned that often the best pages are those that capture a moment taken on an ordinary day to record the season’s observations. We have had wintery weather over the past week, so today when the sun burst through the fog and the temperatures elevated to near 70 degrees, I took 20 minutes to sit outside on a tree stump in the sunshine and put my pen to the paper. Of course I included a list of birds…always a favorite thing to keep track of in my nature journal.

Perhaps I will complete a sketch on the page facing this one later on to round out the journal. There is a “new to me” bird on the list that may just merit a whole page to itself. We spied a flock of varied thrushes in our yard a few days ago and since then we have seen a few more.

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge

Don’t forget that I am sharing a nature journal page each week on my Instagram account if you want to see the pages as they unfold. Follow me here: Instagram – outdoorhourchallenge. And, if you want to create a page and share it on your Instagram for me to see, use the hashtag #OHCnaturejournal

Autumn 2010 Outdoor Hour Challenge

Join us for the autumn season series of Outdoor Hour Challenges using the ideas in the Autumn 2010 ebook.

 

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Nature Journal Examples – September 2017

Weekly Nature Journal Project

September 2017

The weather has drastically changed in the last week or so here in Central Oregon. We have gone straight to chilly autumn weather and sprinkles from time to time. I haven’t seen the aspens changing color yet, so I’m still waiting on that show of color to really feel like autumn is here to stay.

My nature journal continues to fill up with new and exciting things as I learn about the plants and animals. There is always something to put in the journal when I get ready each week to make my page.

During October, I encourage you to make time for a page or two with your children or just on your own. Make it a special time with a special snack or drink to enjoy while you work on your page. In a few weeks, the Outdoor Hour Challenge will be to get started on your journal so take that encouragement and create a simple nature journal page.

Here are my September pages for inspiration:

IMG_1391

I wanted to make a record of this gorgeous flower we saw on our visit to Crater Lake National Park back in July. I decided to sketch it even though it was a little daunting to get it right.

rabbit brush

This shrub is the most abundant flowering plant in my area right now. I love where there are whole fields of it with its cheerful yellow flowers. We have a bit on our property so I’ve been able to watch it bloom and now fade. I will look forward to seeing it next summer.

IMG_1579

This page came about when I brought in a small bouquet of wildflowers and put them in a vase on my kitchen counter. I found that practically overnight they went to seed. The small winged seeds had spread all around the vase. The lupine pods have been sitting on my nature shelf for a month or so and I heard a popping sound the other day and discovered the pods had burst open and shot the small round seeds flying all over the shelf and floor. I decided to create a page that will remind me of the seeds and the promise of next year’s wildflowers.

 

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge

Don’t forget that I am sharing a nature journal page each week on my Instagram account if you want to see the pages as they unfold. Follow me here: Instagram – outdoorhourchallenge. And, if you want to create a page and share it on your Instagram for me to see, use the hashtag #OHCnaturejournal

Autumn 2010 Outdoor Hour Challenge

Join us for the autumn season series of Outdoor Hour Challenges using the ideas in the Autumn 2010 ebook. The first challenge will be October 6, 2017.

 

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Nature Journal Examples – August 2017

Weekly Nature Journal Project
August 2017

Every day this week I have felt more and more like summer is coming to an end. The days are shorter, the nights are chilly, and the landscape is turning a golden brown as the grasses dry up in the sun. We have had lots of smoky days from wildfires in our area which make the light different and the view not as pretty.

Summer 2017 recap nature journal

I created a page at the beginning of August to document a few of my summer observations and a few favorite things. I used watercolor pencils to create the background and then a ZIG pen to do my journaling. I like the way it turned out!

Eagle nature journal page

During our trip to California, we fit in a hike up on the Tahoe Rim Trail. We made it to Round Lake and sat by the water’s edge for a long time watching the clouds and birds. There was some drama as an osprey caught a fish and then an eagle tried to take it away! Then, the eagle flew right over our heads so we got a very close view of him…what a magnificent bird he was!

Mammals of Oregon nature journal

The newsletter this month featured some ideas for mammal study and I took that idea and created a mammal page for my nature journal. I featured some of our smaller mammals that I have seen this summer in our area. Can you believe we saw a badger?

Total eclipse 2017 nature journal page

Of course, I had to document the total eclipse that occurred here in Oregon. We were at 98% totality so it was a dramatic experience as we sat in our own backyard. Our town has been full of visitors and people passing through even since the eclipse so I added a little mention of that part of the impact on us locally.

Hopefully you have been adding to your journal this month. Don’t forget to keep your pages simple and create something that fits your style and experience. You will never regret taking the time to document your nature adventures.

 

Once a Month Nature Journal Project @handbookofnaturestudy

Some of the page ideas this month can be found on my Once a Month Nature Journal Project Pinterest Board. Pop over and get some inspiration!

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge

Don’t forget that I am sharing a nature journal page each week on my Instagram account if you want to see the pages as they unfold. Follow me here: Instagram – outdoorhourchallenge. And, if you want to create a page and share it on your Instagram for me to see, use the hashtag #OHCnaturejournal

 

Nature Study Notebooking Pages

Please note that I am an affiliate for NotebookingPages.com. I have used these pages with my own family over many years. They are truly a simple way to get those nature journal pages done!

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Nature Journal Examples – June 2017

Weekly Nature Journal Project

June 2017

I’m trying to keep up my nature journal page a week goal and some weeks it is not easy. This time of year I am spending lots of time outdoors both having adventures and working in the yard. I struggle to make myself sit down and actually pull out the nature journal. But once I have it out, I am eager to make a page. Discipline!

 

Buttercup Nature Journal

This was actually done on the last day of May but it didn’t make the May blog entry. I created this as a follow up for the Poppies and Buttercups Outdoor Hour Challenge. We have plenty of buttercups in our backyard to observe so this was part of my learning more about the things we have right outside our back door. I am a huge fan of learning as much as you can about your local area’s plants and animals. Since moving, I have a lot to learn!

Pea family nature journal page

As part of my on-going self-education, I am learning about plants according to their plant family. I created a page for the pea family this month and listed the outstanding features of plants in this family as well as a list of plants I have seen in the past and want to look for in the future.

New Oregon wildflower nature journal page

Wildflowers seem to be a focus for me right now as I explore my new habitat. Three flowers made it into the journal this week: Silverleaf phacelia, Meadow forget-me-not, and Rosy pussytoes. They are all so pretty in real life.

June nature journal recap example

I keep a spiral notebook with pretty much daily notes that record anything I observe of interest. This month I decided to put the highlights from those notes on a recap page in my actual nature journal, first crating colored boxes for some visual appeal.

Once a Month Nature Journal Project @handbookofnaturestudy

Some of the page ideas this month can be found on my Once a Month Nature Journal Project Pinterest Board. Pop over and get some inspiration!

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge

Don’t forget that I am sharing a nature journal page each week on my Instagram account if you want to see the pages as they unfold. Follow me here: Instagram – outdoorhourchallenge. And, if you want to create a page and share it on your Instagram for me to see, use the hashtag #OHCnaturejournal

 

Nature Study Notebooking Pages

Please note that I am an affiliate for NotebookingPages.com. I have used these pages with my own family over many years. They are truly a simple way to get those nature journal pages done!