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Nature Journal Pages – April Examples

Note: I found this entry in my drafts! I have been so busy over the past six weeks as we sold our house in California, purchased a house in Oregon, moved all our belongings, and tried to keep from getting to stressed out. It isn’t surprising then that a few things slipped through the cracks.

Here is my April nature journal entry for your enjoyment.


Weekly Nature Journal Project

April 2017

This month my nature journal is full of flowers. My world has been filled with flowers so it only makes sense that this is what made its way into my heart and then onto my journal pages. The first part of the month we were in Oregon, then back to California, then back to Oregon again. This pattern will be happening for the next few months while we transition our life to our new home.

Spring in Oregon nature journal @handbookofnaturestudy

Central Oregon is just starting to move from winter into spring, so it was fun to create a second spring page noting my observations in contrast to my previous California spring page.  I featured the crocus we saw and used a bright springy background of yellow for my journaling.

Mustard entry @handbookofnaturestudy

The first wildflower we studied from the new Wildflower Set #1 is the subject of the next page in my journal. We saw mustard all up and down the state of California.

April dogwood entry @handbookofnaturestudy

This is the second page in my year-long study of the dogwood tree. I think this is my favorite page of the month! I so enjoyed making careful and up close observations of this pretty flower…or rather flowers and bracts. The creamy color and delicate pink tinge may just make this my favorite flowering tree.

Purple chinese houses nature journal @handbookofnaturestudy

I think this is my first two page spread of the year. I wanted to sketch this flower and include a photo so it made sense to make it two pages facing each other. I included a list of the other flowers we found on this particular hike. It’s always nice to have a record to compare from year to year.

As we get ready to make our move to Oregon, I’m getting very sentimental about my home and garden here in California. Each day I try to make more mental notes of the sights and sounds. It’s comforting to know that many of those memories are tucked safely away in my journals. I packed my older nature journals into a box yesterday and was grateful for the time I have spent digging deeper into learning about my neighborhood’s flora and fauna. I also packed my children’s nature journals alongside mine in the box. I inherited those journals from them as they left home. You can be sure they will be treasured keepsakes of the 30 years we have lived here on Hilltop Drive.

From a hilltop to a riverbank….maybe next month you will see my new habitat make an appearance in my nature journal!


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


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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Purple Chinese Houses


Outdoor Hour Challenge Purple Chinese Houses @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge
Purple Chinese Houses Wildflower Study
Wildflower Set #1

Inside Preparation:

There are 20 species of Chinese houses, most found in California. Their common name suggests the look of a Chinese pagoda.

  • ¨ Purple Chinese Houses (Collinsia heterophylla) Look to see the range on USDA.
  • ¨ Sticky Chinese Houses (Collinsia tinctoria) Look to the range on USDA.

Outdoor Hour Time:

Look in sandy soil on shaded flats or slopes.

  • ¨ Usual bloom time is March to June. In my experience, these showy flowers are found in large patches on sunny slopes along the trail.
  • ¨ You may wish to look for the Checkerspot butterfly since this flower is a host plant for this insect.

Follow-Up Activity:

Note: Ebook users can find custom notebook pages to use for the Purple Chinese House flower and the figwort family.

  • ¨ Create a notebook page for the Purple Chinese house flower.
  • ¨ Start a figwort family notebook page. Keep a running list over time of the flowers you observe and/or study in this plant family.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Set 1 Ebook

How do you get the new Wildflower Nature Study ebook?

Members of the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey levels have access to the new ebook in their library. You need to click the “Members Area” button at the top of the website, sign into your account, and the ebook is there to download and save for your family to use when desired. If you don’t have a membership yet, I am offering a $5 off discount code that will be good towards your Ultimate Naturalist membership.

Discount Code: Wildflower5




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Wildflower Series – Coming Soon to the Outdoor Hour Challenge


Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Set 1 Ebook

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Nature Study Set #1

Don’t miss the special promotion code at the bottom of this email!

Exciting News! I am creating NEW wildflower challenges based on flowers that I have become familiar with over the years. These are flowers that are NOT specifically covered in the Handbook of Nature Study written by Anna Botsford Comstock. They will be flowers that many of you know about and have seen in real life and now you can use the brand new OHC lessons to create a meaningful nature study for your children.  In addition to the specific flower, each challenge will help you learn about a different plant family.

This is a huge undertaking and much more time consuming than I originally anticipated, so I am going to create a series of smaller ebooks and release them over the next few years. I am planning on releasing the first set of five wildflowers by the end of March 2017. Then starting in April 2017, this series of fresh wildflower Outdoor Hour Challenges will post every Friday.  The ebook will contain custom designed notebooking pages for each wildflower, including more advanced pages for older students.

Please note the notebooking pages will only be available to ebook users and the ebook will be available for those that have an Ultimate or Journey level membership.


A Little Background

In choosing which flowers to start with in this series, I tried to narrow the list to early blooming plants that many of you will have access to in person. I’ve also included suggested substitutions for flowers that may also be common in your area by listing related flowers in the same plant family. Learning more about the plant families is something I’m going to be stressing in this new series of nature study ideas by referencing the Botany in a Day book and providing internet links for you to use as resources.


Want a sneak peek at the topics?

  • Wild Mustard and Wild Radish (mustard family)
  • Shooting Star (primrose family)
  • Lupine (pea family)
  • Purple Chinese House (figwort family)
  • Yarrow (composite family)


This new ebook will be loaded into the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level memberships soon!

Ultimate Naturalist Library @handbookofnaturestudy

If you aren’t a member yet, you still have time to join and have immediate access as soon as it publishes.

As a special promo, you can use the discount code WILDFLOWER5 for $5 off the Ultimate Naturalist Membership.

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Membership

Join us in April for this interesting series of nature study challenges!