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Nature Study Goals 2016 – 3rd Quarter Update

Handbook of Nature Study Goals 2016 @handbookofnaturestudy

Nature Study Goals 2016- Third Quarter Update

1. Complete 2 out of 4 Outdoor Hour Challenges each month posted on Fridays.

For some reason I wasn’t very diligent about writing our Outdoor Hour Challenge experiences up on the blog. I may do a catch up post later this month.

2. Research and learn about four birds. Learn the call, field marks, and create a nature journal.

  • Osprey
  • Great Blue Heron
  • California Towhee

3. Focus on learning my local wildflowers. Create some sort of record of each flower.

hecata head lighthouse oregon august 2016 (1) foxglove wildflower

We have been keeping up with wildflower journal that I started last spring. I endeavor to list any flowers we see on each hike. I think this is a tradition I will continue next year as well.

Yosemite from Tunnel View Sept 2016
4. Take Yosemite photos from the Yosemite photography book– September trip: There weren’t many suggestions for September except to take a late afternoon photo from Tunnel View. We were there mid-morning so we took a photo then. Note: You can see the effects of the bark beetles on the forest in Yosemite. You can learn more about it here: Drone Shows Devastation of the Bark Beetle.
5. Visit a new national park. We didn’t add any new parks to the list but we did visit Yosemite National Park during September and hiked to the top of Sentinel Dome on a bluebird sky day.

hecata head lighthouse oregon august 2016 (3) foxglove wildflower
6. Visit two new state parks. I had California state parks in mind when I made this goal but I am going to list the new Oregon State Parks we visited this quarter: La Pine State Park, Silver Falls State Park, South Beach State Park, Jessie Honeyman State Park. We also went to Cape Perpetua, Hecata Head, Cape Foulweather, and Yaquina Head.
7. Identify three rocks from my original challenge. Nothing accomplished this quarter towards this goal.
8. Read 10 nature related book! 10 Best of Everything National Parks.

How are your nature study goals coming along?

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Outdoor Mom’s Journal – September 2016

Outdoor Moms Journal September 2016


This Outdoor Mom had a fantastic end of the summer! This post features our second Oregon trip of the year and lots of kayaking adventures. Technically, the Oregon trip was at the very end of August but after my August Outdoor Mom’s post so I want to include it here because it was a fantastic trip.  I will be dedicating a complete post in October to the many Oregon State Parks we visited on this latest trip. It was a perfect trip!

bend oregon old mill district deschutes river 2016 (2)

We spent four days in the Bend/La Pine, Oregon area. It was a heat wave for them and most of the lakes and rivers were super busy with so many people swimming, using stand up paddleboards, rafts, and kayaks. I was really glad we had our kayak and we made the most of the time out on the water. We are in the middle of training our Labrador to ride along with us and she is quickly getting the hang of jumping in and enjoying the ride. The image above was taken in the Old Mill District of Bend, Oregon along the Deschutes River. It was a perfect night for a walk along the banks of the river and for sitting at an outdoor patio for dinner. We read in a brochure that Bend, Oregon is the most dog friendly town in the U.S. We believe it!

Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway Oregon  (47) sharps lake kayak

I think this is first photo I have shared where you can see our awesome tandem kayak (Old Town Loon 160T). We LOVE it! Both my husband and I are tall and there is enough room for our legs and the 70 pound Labrador. The image above shows us launching at Sparks Lake on the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway. It is a large shallow lake within view of many of the area’s signature mountains: Mt. Bachelor, South Sister, Broken Top.

Kayaking Beaver Creek Oregon Aug 2016This collage of images is from our stay in Newport, Oregon. We found an amazing spot to kayak just south of town at Beaver Creek (Brian Booth State Park). First we paddled up the creek and saw some interesting birds: Belted kingfisher, Great Blue Heron, Turkey vulture, and several different ducks. Then we paddled back down the creek and all the way to the ocean! What a day!

silver falls oregon august 2016 (67) south fallsThis is the South Falls at Silver Falls State Park near Salem, Oregon. We had three days of hiking in this amazing place! There are actually TEN waterfalls that you can hike in a loop. This one was our favorite because you could actually hike behind the waterfall…look at the image carefully and you can see the trail. You can be sure I will be sharing more about this destination in my October Oregon State Parks entry.

nature journal pages osprey and heron august 2016 (3)I did fit in some nature journaling on this trip. I learned some interesting things about the heron and I actually heard the loud sound it made as we paddled too close to one and it flew off. Loud! It surprised me. I will be sharing a bit more about my nature journals in an up-coming post.

garden renees sunflower august 2016 (5)A little closer to home, my sunflowers bloomed! I looked out the window one morning and discovered this beauty. I love the sunflower time of the year and look forward to it each summer. This is one of the sunflowers from Renees Garden Seeds. So perfectly perfect.

IMG_5148We did some hiking closer to home when my two New Yorkers were home for a visit. We camped at Fallen Leaf Lake near Lake Tahoe in California. It was perfect weather and the hiking was filled with wonderful autumn air and sunshine. IMG_5246This is Fallen Leaf Lake on a crisp September morning. We all took turns taking the kayak out for a spin on the water to take in the high Sierra views.

IMG_5358The last place on our travel list this month was to Yosemite National Park. We hiked to the top of Sentinel Dome with our children and they posed at the top for this amazing photo. It captures so much of what our family is about as we adventure in the big outdoors together. It was a day of laughter, refreshing vistas, and friendship. I tried to soak in the family time since it is hard to gather us all in one place anymore. We end up outside when we do get a chance to spend time together….habit? necessity? mutual love for God’s creation? I think it is a little of all of those things.

I hope you enjoyed my entry this month and if you want to play along, there are instructions at the bottom of this post.

If you missed my August and September nature study entries, here are the links:

Our Wildflower Observations: This entry shares our August wildflowers, both in California and in Oregon.

Snail Observations at the Tidepools: We had a fantastic time hunting, observing, and learning about marine snails in response to the August newsletter topic. This is one of my favorite blog entries of the year!

Insect Nature Study -Potpourri: We had several opportunities to observe insect homes up close. We even identified something new to us!


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 printablse which provides members with even more in-depth studies each month.

Read more about it!


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Our Wildflower Observations – July and August

Oregon Wildflowers – August 2016

Here in California, July is a dry month. No rain at all falls in July in an average year. So, that means everything starts to turn brown (or some say “golden”). August has been dry as well…not a drop of rain!

The few colorful wildflowers that bloom are a welcome sight in an otherwise dry landscape.

Oregon Coast McVay Rock

So we felt like we cheated a little and used our time in Oregon to spy out some colorful and abundant wildflowers for our nature study delight. I filled my wildflower notebook with a whole list of flowers we found. See an image of one of the pages at the bottom of this post.

Wildflower collage oregon coastThese were flowers around our campsite in Southern Oregon. Such diversity in shape, color, and scent!

Pearly Everlasting

 Pearly Everlasting is one of our all time favorites and during July it is along most of the trails we hiked.


 Amazing and wonderful gentian was spotted at Port Orford on the Oregon coast. This was a new flower for me and its color and dots make me smile.

Goldenrod and red shouldered ctenucha
This is a new insect for us that we discovered on the coast of Oregon. It is called the Red shouldered ctenucha and it has a blue body and silver tips on the wings. Incredible find!


Isn’t this a pretty flower? Looks a lot like sneezeweed but my field guide doesn’t show it growing along the Oregon coast…anyone know what it is?

Wildflower JournalI am continuing my wildflower journal as part of my 2016 nature study goals. I endeavor to keep track by hike what specific wildflowers we find. It is a great lesson in learning how flowers bloom at different times of the year and I hope to continue this project into next year and beyond. It makes me happy to page through and see all of the different flowers we know and have enjoyed on each and every hike. My journal is small enough to fit in my pocket or in my daypack and it doesn’t weigh much at all. It is now a habit that I stop and record my list right after my hike if I haven’t taken time during the hike to do so.

Have you been looking at wildflowers?

Here is a link to the original challenge from earlier in the month: Summer Wildflowers









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Snail Observations at the Tidepools

Snail Study at the Oregon Coast @handbookofnatuestudy

This month as I wrote the Handbook of Nature Study newsletter, I really didn’t think I would find any snails to observe up close. Some topics are like that and I don’t anticipate having the opportunity to see the month’s focus topic in person. But, many times I am proven wrong and all of my preparation for the study is rewarded with an awesome experience.

Oregon Coast Tidepool Snails

This happened while camping on the Oregon coast when we found lots and lots of black turban snails (Tegula funebralis)  to view up close and in detail.

Here is a short YouTube video that we uploaded showing the animal that lives inside the shell:Black Turban

Black Turban Snail Oregon Coast

This is the star of our nature study…the black turban which in real life looks quite blue or purple. We discovered the reason for this doing some research once we were able to get on the internet. Take a close look at who is living on the outer shell of this black turban! Amazing since the size of the snail shell is probably a little over an inch….it just looks bigger in my close up images. (click on the photo to really see it)

Oregon Coast tidepools and snails

They get pounded by the surf and it actually wears away the outer shell to expose the colorful layers underneath. This image shows just how plentiful they are on this part of the coast. This is only exposed at low tide so the black turban actually can capture some water inside its shell and then “plug” it up with the operculum to keep itself moist until the tide rises again and they are under water. Amazing creation!

oregon trip 2016 tidepools harris beach  (7)

If you look closely at the images, you may spy some limpets and barnacles on the rocks surrounding the snails and also on the snails outer shell! This was not apparent to use until we looked at the images and is quite common.

Want to learn more about the Oregon Tidepools? Here is a wonderful and helpful link: Oregon Tidepools.

Just a sidenote: I found a wonderful page on the Monterey Bay Aquarium that features many invertebrates that you might like to share with your children. So many of these don’t look like they should be invertebrates so it may spark some interest in the topic for your family. Plus, it is a beautiful page! Invertebrates – Animal Guide

mollusk nature journal pageHere is my very sloppy journal page for our discovery…it is more about the learning than the journal at this point in my life. I hope it inspires you to create something after your snail study!

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Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter August 2016 Cover image











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Outdoor Mom’s Journal – June 2015

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…

I will be posting my Outdoor Mom’s Journal entry once a month. Look for it during the first week of the month each month.


Outdoor Mom’s Journal – June 8, 2015

Tidepool images June 2015

During our Outdoor Hour time this month we…..spent some time at the Oregon Coast during a negative tide where we could explore the many creatures that were exposed. Colorful seastars, anemones, and crabs were the highlights of the day! We try to time our visit to the ocean to coincide with a low tide so we can really see some interesting things. This page may prove helpful:

Renees Garden Cilantro

In the garden….we are planting herbs and veggies and flowers in pots. I am enjoying the process of watering a bit every day with our shower water and see the sprouts come up and flourish. I received quite a few different seeds from Renee’s Garden that say they are particularly for containers. I will let you know how it goes this summer!

Snail Oregon

A photo I would like to share….this is a magnificent snail we saw in the redwood forest. Isn’t he great!

Brookings Oregon

The most inspiring thing we experienced….glorious sunset walks on Harris Beach. We lingered and watched. We strolled and talked. I savor those moments with my son…all grown up but he still appreciates the beauty found all around us.

Please join me! Share something that you have done lately….looking forward to reading your entries and comments!



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Crater Lake National Park – Tips and Images



This month I am sharing tips and ideas for a national park trip to Crater Lake National Park in the state of Oregon. Our family has visited this awesome place two times…both during the month of July. One time there was so much snow that we couldn’t do all we had planned but the second time it was perfect. Lesson learned? Check ahead of time on the national park website to see the current conditions...including road conditions.

On the way there we stayed in Ashland, Oregon(around 90 minutes) but Medford, Oregon (less than 90 minutes) is a little closer if you are looking to stay in a bigger city near Crater Lake National Park.

Crater Lake National Park reflection

This is one amazing place! The first thing you notice is the color of the water…Crater Lake Blue! The reflections will blow you away no matter the time of day. You can’t stop looking at the view.

Crater Lake 2007

You can drive all the way around the lake easily in a day since it is just around 29 miles. Our family completed the drive but not without stopping for a few photos along the way. We also stopped at the Visitor Center which was informative and included a movie. (Don’t forget to get your National Park Passport Book stamped before you leave!)

Crater Lake boat trip 2

We took the Crater Lake Boat Tour and it was worth the hike down to the shore to catch the boat (a little more than a mile each way). Our kids loved this boat ride and it was fun to see all the different rock formations from lake level. The guide was knowledgeable about the area’s history and geology so we soaked it all in. Yes, the water really is that color blue!

Crater Lake boat trip 1

Here is a photo from lake level where there was a waterfall coming into the lake. The tour was an hour and a half and you really did get a great look at this amazing lake from a viewpoint that was spectacular.

Crater Lake 2

The “Phantom Ship”

Crater Lake Blue Water

Crater Lake is known for its amazing clarity – the official website states that the water is so clear that you can see to a depth of 120 feet. The lake itself is 1,943 feet deep, the deepest lake in the U.S. and one of the deepest in the world. Truly a unique place!

Crater Lake National Park Hike wildflowers

We also enjoyed the wildflowers at Crater Lake National Park. There are several easy hiking trails that you can take around the rim of the lake and this one at Castle Crest Wildflower Trail is one of the prettiest we enjoyed during our stay. It is super easy with beautiful views of the area.

Crater Lake Wildflowers 1

Amazingly beautiful flowers to enjoy!

Crater Lake Wildflowers 2

We stayed outside of the national park (about a ten minute drive) at the Crater Lake Resort. This place was perfect for a family with active boys! We actually rented two cabins for our big family but with the reasonable price it was a great choice. I can tell you that it is exactly as depicted on the website and we would stay there again in a heartbeat.

Crater Lake Resort 4

Nothing fancy but clean and comfortable…including a full kitchen which helps save on your vacation food costs.

Crater Lake Resort 2

There were canoes and rowboats to use at the resort and that kept my men occupied while I did a little journal work.

Crater Lake Resort 2

There was a rec room and bikes to borrow too. This place was terrific.

This is a national park that you can take a day to visit, seeing the highlights and making memories that will last.

 Other Things You Might Like to Know

  • $10 entrance fee per car
  • Mazama Village has a gas station
  • There are a number of park brochures you can download ahead of time: Park Brochures.

You can read more of my national park tips in these entries:

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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….

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Our Oregon Coast Wildflower and Weed Grid

This is the Oregon Coast Edition of the Wildflower and Weed Grid Study! I had a fun-filled week of hiking and beach-combing in Oregon and we had our eyes out for as many wildflowers as we could possible find. It wasn’t hard because each trail had an abundance of wildflowers for us to enjoy.

I tried to capture as man of them as I could to share with you in this post.

Blue Oregon Iris – These are a frequent flower along the trail.

Sea pinks along the shore…blowing in the wind, casting cool shadows.

Our campsite was filled with clover and daisies. Imagine…daisies so plentiful they seem like weeds!

Cow parsnip lines the roads and pops up along the shore. Some of these plants are super tall and the flower heads are enormous.

Inside Out Flower was found in the shady spots and it is one of my favorites from this trip. I decided to include a special page in my nature journal for it (see below).

We found patches of lupine along the Humbug Mountain Trail. This trail was a new one for us and what a view! It was a lot of fun to adventure up and we look forward to taking this trail again.

The Monkey flower was amazing! There were areas along the moist gully that just screamed yellow from this pretty flower.

A familiar sight along any redwood forest trail this time of year is the rhododendron….this one was a pale pink. This was spotted along the Shrader Old Growth Trail. This is a fun hike out of Gold Beach and worth the long dusty dirt road to get there. We had the trail all to ourselves on this morning. There is nothing like being out in the wilderness hiking along hearing the birds and nothing else.

One day we visited Crissey Field State Park which has an awesome visitor’s center and several trails. The beach there is wide and open which invites you to walk a long way next to the shore. This Sea Verbena was growing along the sandy dunes. My boys were entranced by all the driftwood and they spent about an hour just hunting among the piles for interesting shapes. Boys.

These are pretty little Seaside daisies….another one I really like and will be adding to my nature journal. I think the delicate fringe-like petals are the best part of this flower.

Smith’s Fairybells…another shade loving plant we saw a lot of as we hiked.

It always makes me happy to see where flowers naturally grow to make pretty color combinations. These sweet peas and daisies were found right along the edge of the bank in our campground.

Seaside Tansy…the interesting part of this plant are the fern-like leaves. They also grow right along the dry cliffside going down to the beaches.

This Tiger Lily was actually in Del Norte County, California. The drive up Hwy 101 takes you through Redwoods National Park where the Tiger Lilies are blooming profusely along the road. I had to stop and capture one for you! Gorgeous!

We found Wild Bleeding Hearts too! We have these planted in our garden here at home but it was fun to see them growing in their natural environment.

Aren’t these lovely? Western Azaleas grow in Harris Beach State Park and we always look forward to seeing their happy blossoms.

We saw many Wild Cucumbers blooming but this one had its fruit already formed. Isn’t it interesting? It is in the gourd family and you can see why when you see the fruits.

Here are the flowers from the Wild Cucumber.

I know this is a non-native invasive plant but we saw it on many of the trails. Wild Radish comes in a variety of colors…white, soft pink, light lavender.

This is my first unidentified wildflower…if anyone knows what it is you can leave me a comment.
EDIT: I think this is Yellow Parentucellia...figwort family. Range: Western Washington to NW California.

This is my second unidentified wildflower…yellow ones stump me for some reason.

This we saw in a pond at Lagoon Creek which is technically in California. Yellow Pond Lilies were blooming all over the pond.

So there you have all the interesting images that I could pull from my camera. We did see quite a few more and if you look closely at my Wildflower Grid nature journal page you will see them listed.

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Looking Back At Our Summer – Outdoor Life

As I file away photos from the past few months, it is wonderful to think back on all the outdoor things we have done as a family. Even though the sons are all older (16, 18, and 24), we have been able to squeeze in things that are fun for them and have made such great memories for this nature loving mama.

Our summer started off with a dreamy camping trip to the Oregon Coast. The weather was perfect for most of the week and we were able to fit in hiking, bike riding, kite flying, beachcombing, tide pooling, exploring, and lots of good food.

Now that the boys are older we can pack up a dinner picnic on a weeknight and enjoy an empty picnic ground and some smooth water on the lake. We can sit and watch the geese and ducks as they paddle near the shore and then head out onto the lake to see the awesome clouds and sunset. My middle son is the wake boarder in the family and we all get a kick out of his skill at jumping and flipping. I am content to ride in the boat and watch the mountains and trees zip by.

For me personally, the summer has been full of quiet time with my hubby as well. We have explored new areas of California and also spent time at our favorite spots too. We counted bees in the garden for the Great Sunflower Project and our Kona dog has been my constant companion. As a family we decided that kayaking is a great sport to do together since we can all have our own boats and go at our own speed. I like to take it easy and notice the sky and clouds as we paddle along the shore of Lake Tahoe. (Kona loves to eat dandelions and this particular day she came up on the deck with one hanging out of the side of her mouth…made me laugh out loud!)

On most of our outdoor adventures I bring along my nature journal. Even just a quick sketch to be finished at home makes a great entry in the journal. We have used the Study Grids from the Outdoor Hour Challenge newsletters to stimulate a bit of nature study this summer as well. We all participated in the Beach Grid and I recorded our findings in my nature journal.

I will finish up this entry with a collage of our Summer Photo Challenge images. We really enjoyed having a photo assignment and I am hoping to put one together for next summer as well. You can see all the images from all the participants on the Summer Photo Challenge Pinterest Board.

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Garden Flowers – Aster Nature Study

Monarch on the Butterfly Bush
I don’t know about you but ever since we really learned about Fibonacci numbers in nature we have been on the lookout for the patterns and swirls. They seem to be everywhere once your eyes learn to focus on this interesting design in creation. The More Nature Study Book #4 Summer Sizzle challenge for garden flowers shares lots of ideas for getting to know about the Fibonacci sequence and the aster family.

Our Garden Flowers Study using the Handbook of Nature Study led us to discover some different kinds of asters that we have right in our own yard. The clue is the shape and arrangement of the flower petals.

White Daisies
The challenge was actually to study White daisies, Black-eyed Susans, and Asters. We went beyond and tried to find all the flowers in the aster family that we have in our garden. We found quite a few.

There are the dahlias. This surprised me that it was in the aster family. My son grows dahlias in his garden box for me and this year they are all shades of pink. I would like to add a few more colors next year.

Dahlia in a Container
We do have dahlias growing in pots on the back deck. We planted these from seeds that we purchased from Rene’s Garden. The package calls them Watercolor Silksand they live up to their name.

Light Orange Dahlia from the container garden

I bring them in and let them fully open up inside on the kitchen table.

We have lots of Echinacea in our cutting garden. We looked this flower up and it is in the aster family! Can you count the petals?

Bee Balm
We were not sure about the Bee Balm so we looked it up on Wikipedia…no, it is not in the aster family. Knowing what makes an aster an aster, we should have known better. Sometimes it adds to the learning experience to NOT find what you are looking for because it makes you stop and take note of the different attributes of a flower like petal arrangement and the way the flower grows.

The nasturtium is also not a member of the aster family. I would love to have a whole bed of nasturtiums. I settled for four scrawny plants this year. There is a study in the Handbook of Nature Study for the nasturtium and I think our family will be following up this aster study with that one in the near future…just for fun and to record this flower in our nature journals.

Other Miscellaneous Garden Adventures from the Past Month

Cabbage White butterfly
We have lots of Cabbage White butterflies in our garden everyday. I really love this link: Cabbage White. I learned so much by taking the time to look up this butterfly even though it was technically garden flower week. I love it when nature study subjects come to us and we slow down enough to learn a few facts. This is what makes our nature study so rich and satisfying. I think it is such a joy to know about the common everyday things in my garden. There is so much to learn.

Hot Cocoa Rose - Shores Acres

We visited a beautiful rose garden when we were on our Oregon trip last month. Shores Acres has a garden that is so magical that you don’t know where to look and you are afraid you are going to miss something. The rose above is my absolute new favorite…it is called Hot Cocoa. It had a slight chocolate fragrance and the color was reminiscent of cocoa.

Barb at Shores Acres
A rare sighting of me on the blog but I want you to know how much I enjoyed this rose garden. My son obliged me by taking a few photos of me as we wandered around and tried to find our favorites.

Shores Acres Rose Garden 1

My other son decided that the bench was just too inviting and he rested awhile in the rose garden…what a great way to spend a few minutes while you wait for your mom who decided she wanted to read very sign.

OHC Blog Carnival
So have you completed your garden flower study for the summer yet using the Handbook of Nature Study? I would love to see your garden entries in the Outdoor Hour Challenge Blog Carnival…you have until the end of the month to post your entry and send in your links.

Jami’s Tuesday Garden Party meme is open from Tuesday to Thursday so there is still time for you to jump in and participate!