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Nature Goals 2017 – End of Year Recap

2017 Nature Study Goals @handbookofnaturestudy


Nature Study Goals 2017 – This was the year I focused on my nature journal!

The following items were on my nature goals list this year. I’m so glad I kept it simple for a change and made the journal page the measure of my success.

image of page in my nature journal

1. Create monthly entries for my Outdoor Mom experiences- I did my last entry a few days ago (recap included): Outdoor Mom – December 2017.

2. Focus on my nature journal, creating a weekly nature journal page – I’m so happy to report that this has been a joy and a big success. My journal is full and I’m going to continue on now that it’s part of my weekly routine. I highly recommend this goal to everyone who wishes to create a meaningful record of their outdoor learning and experiences.  I’ve been so inspired that I’m going to write a new ebook that will hopefully inspire its readers to make their own journaling habit.

3. Instagram images of my journal – This was done every Wednesday in 2017! You can follow me on Instagram!

4. Read and review 6 nature journal related books – I was fairly successful in reading the books (5 out of 6) but not so good at reviewing them. (Note some of these are Amazon affiliate links.)

1. Laws Guide to Nature Drawing (Review shared in January 2017)

2. 20 Ways to Draw a Tree – I shared this on Instagram but not here on the blog.

3. Nature Anatomy – Skimmed through this for inspiration.

4. The Curious Nature Guide – This helped me with some new journal ideas.

5. Draw 500 Things from Nature – Still working on this one.


I’ll be posting my 2018 nature goals soon…excited to get started!

1 Outdoor Hour Challenge Oct 17 to Aug 18 Plans
Join us for another year of nature study using the ebooks shown above. All of these ebooks are available in the Ultimate Naturalist Library membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study.

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Outdoor Mom’s Nature Goals – 3rd Quarter Update

2017 Nature Study Goals @handbookofnaturestudy

Nature Study Goals 2017 – 3rd Quarter Update

This quarter has flown by! I had a feeling this would happen since summers here are short and we made a point of getting outside to go hiking, biking, and kayaking as much as possible. We squeezed in a lot of adventures since June.

I feel much like a novice at knowing my new environment with even the most common of plants and birds being so new to me. It’s exciting to see my nature journal fill up with pages recording my adventures and discoveries. This has been the perfect year to focus on giving my nature journal lots of attention because it doesn’t matter where I go, there will be something to observe and then sketch onto a page.

I feel pretty good about my progress at keeping my nature study goals during the 3rd quarter of 2017. I am now in the home stretch and eager to keep the good stuff rolling.

As you turn the calendar on another month and another season, create some goals for your family or remind yourself of the goals you’ve already made for 2017. It’s not too late to fit in a lot of nature study time if you make it a priority….it will be winter soon enough.

Here are the goal details:

  • Create monthly entries for my Outdoor Mom experiences as I share our nature studies using the Outdoor Hour Challenge, our travel experiences, and any of my family’s nature adventures. This was accomplished. You can read my entries during each month here: July, August, and September.
  • Focus on my nature journal and create at least one page weekly. I think I missed one week in July if I remember correctly. I would call that success.
  • Post images of my nature journal pages on Instagram each week. If you follow me on Instagram, you will see a new nature journal page every Wednesday.
  • Read and review 6 nature journal related books. I read and thoroughly enjoyed the Vitamin N book by Robert Louv. I am now working on The Nature Fix by Florence Williams.

Original goals here: Nature Study Goals 2017.

If you want to see the previous quarter’s entries for 2017: First Quarter Update and Second Quarter Update.


Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge smallJoin me on Instagram for weekly images and nature journal examples.


Nature Study Goals 2017 Planning Page

It’s not too late to get started with your own nature study goals.

Do you want to create some goals for your family? Use the free printable planning page in this entry to get started: Nature Goals 2017.

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Outdoor Mom’s Nature Goal Update- First Quarter 2017

2017 Nature Study Goals @handbookofnaturestudy

Nature Study Goals 2017 – 1st Quarter Update

  • Create monthly entries for my Outdoor Mom experiences as I share our nature study using the Outdoor Hour Challenge, our travel experiences, and any of my family’s nature adventures. This was accomplished. You can read my entries here: January, February, and March.
  • Focus on my nature journal and create at least one page weekly. I have kept this up! I am most proud of accomplishing this goal.
  • Post images of my nature journal pages on Instagram each week. If you follow me on Instagram, you get to see a new nature journal page every Wednesday.
  • Read and review 6 nature journal related books. Oops! I really need to get myself organized for this goal. I just ordered my first book from Amazon so look for a review soon.

Have you created your own nature study goals this year? How are you doing?

I will update you when I finish the second quarter!

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Nature Journal Examples – February Pages

Weekly Nature Journal Project 2017
Month of February

I know that I set the bar rather high when I decided to create a nature journal page every week as part of my nature goals for 2017. I have never attempted anything like this before except for my monthly nature journal project and that was a stretch. Imagine how surprised I am that carving out the time and energy to make a weekly entry has so far, not been too much!

I find that I am thinking about what kind of page I want to create as I go about my outdoor time…looking for meaningful ideas that bring joy not only to the process but in the finished product. I am still journaling inside and not in the fresh air because of the weather,  but I am hoping soon to be able to pack up my supplies and hit the trail for some en plein air journaling.

I hope that my pages inspire and encourage you this month.

February is always a month of counting birds not only for Project Feederwatch but for the Great Backyard Bird Count. I always love a good list so it is no surprise that one of my pages is a list of February birds. I also included a comparison of the crow and raven for my own self education. I many times see one or the other flying in my neighborhood and this research will help cement the field marks to look for in identifying one or the other.
violet nature journal page
My backyard has a violet patch of every increasing size. They seem to pop up in the funniest places, even in the back lawn. When the air is warm, their scent is heavy and sweet. I was reading online about violets and came across an interesting tidbit that explains something fascinating about the violet’s fragrance. I thought it was worthy of a journal page.

Sequoia nature journal page

I created another backyard inspired page that features our sequoia tree. It really started with finding a sequoia cone on my back deck that prompted me to do a little research about the cones and seeds. Taking time to carefully observe something like the cone, led me to learn so much more about something that I see every day and can become commonplace. A sequoia should be anything but commonplace with its amazing size and resilience.

February nature journal monthly recap
I have a fondness for monthly recap sorts of pages in my journal where I can note little items of interest that come up during the month. It gives me a place to practice my doodling as well.
Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge small
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

Need some help getting started with your own journal?

I shared awhile back some tips for moms who wanted to get started with their own nature journals, but felt they didn’t have the necessary skills. Listed below are three points I wanted to share again in the hope that they will encourage you to get started this month with your nature journal.

1. Keep it simple and don’t be afraid to get started.
A blank page can intimidate even the most seasoned journal-keeper. Work through your fear of failure by starting small and keeping it simple. Be a good role model. If you have children and you are encouraging them to keep a nature journal, you can empathize with their feelings of inadequacy. Be brave and your children will look to your example and be more confident about their own journals.
2. Use a variety of ideas…find something that works for you.
You are not required to sketch. Try something else. Keep a list, include a photo, copy a poem or some facts…just get started. Don’t wait. You may someday feel like sketching or water coloring in your journal but it’s not a requirement. There are no rules for nature journals. Use color and a few well-placed decorations to make your journal more personalized if you feel inclined.
3. A journal can be a private place of joy.
Remind yourself that your journal is a personal keepsake and a record of your thoughts and experiences. You do not need to share it with anyone…in real life or on the internet. If it makes you happy, that is all that counts.

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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!

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge small

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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Outdoor Mom’s Nature Goals 2017

2017 Nature Study Goals @handbookofnaturestudy

Nature Study Goals 2017 – Let me inspire you to create your own goals!

I am at a point in my life that I am simplifying and decluttering my home, my thinking, and my lifestyle. I’m embracing these changes as I see the space both physically and mentally it provides for new opportunities and experiences. I have thought long and hard about how this relates to what I do here on my blog and with the Outdoor Hour Challenge.

Things here on the blog will go on pretty much as before except for perhaps fewer posts in months where we are traveling. I will still be creating a monthly newsletter as a companion to the weekly Outdoor Hour Challenges. There will still be printables and activities added to the Member’s Library.

Big News Here at the Outdoor Hour Challenge

The biggest development here, and the real reason I want to simplify my blog work, is a new wildflower ebook in the works. I will expound on that very soon here on the blog but you can anticipate the first set of wildflower challenges (all new) to start posting in April.

But for me personally, 2017 is going to be a year that I focus on my personal nature journal. Most of my goals will be centered on creating a more meaningful and thorough record of my nature study experiences. (Especially after reading and being inspired by The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling.)

You are welcome to join me as I pull from ideas that are in my archives, from internet sources like Pinterest, and from the books I have on my nature reference shelf.  I will of course be sharing some of my work here on the blog but you may consider following me on Instagram since that is my social media outlet of choice and lends itself to the visual nature of a nature journal.

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge small

Nature Study Goals 2017 – Focus on My Nature Journal

  • Create monthly entries for my Outdoor Mom experiences as I share our nature study using the Outdoor Hour Challenge, our travel experiences, and any of my family’s nature adventures.
  • Focus on my nature journal and create at least one page weekly. This is a BIG commitment on my part but I think it is a goal I can reach with continued focus and inspiration. I have created a chart for the front of my nature journal that has page ideas for me to use so that I get a variety of pages over the year’s time.
  • Post images of my nature journal pages on Instagram each week.
  • Read and review 6 nature journal related books. I will need inspiration to keep me going. I haven’t had a chance to gather 6 books together yet but I will be sure to share them both on Instagram and here on my blog ASAP.

I always love to read your goals so leave me a comment with your goals or a link to your blog if you post an entry there.

Be Inspired! Be Encouraged! Get Outdoors!

Nature Study Goals From Previous Years:





Are you interested in creating your own nature goals? Here is a free printable for you to use as you brainstorm the goal and the steps to meeting that goal.

Nature Study Goals 2017 Planning Page

 Nature Study Goals 2017 Planning Page