Do you have some time on your hands these days for a little extra nature study?
Here’s a short of list of the newer Outdoor Hour Challenges you may want to complete that feature some totally awesome mammals. I’m personally working my way through the list in my own study and following up with nature journal pages for each one. I still have a few more to go!
River otters are a favorite animal around our house and this week’s nature study is going to introduce you to this active and entertaining animal. We frequently see them along our local river and are amazed at how fast they can swim! Check your local resources (nature centers, aquariums, or zoos) for a place to view river otters on your next field trip.
In the meantime, use the information in the Outdoor Hour Challenge to learn more about river otters and follow up with a nature journal page. I’ve listed a few activities below to get you started, but please remember that members have access to the full and complete challenge in the High Desert ebook.
Here are a few ideas to get you started with a river otter nature study:
Please note that I won’t be posting the complete challenge here on the blog, but you will find the detailed challenge in the High Desert ebook that’s available both in the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level memberships. Sign into your account and download the ebook for the details, more links, and notebook pages.
If you don’t have a membership yet, you can click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 25 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!
Topics in this ebook include:
Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel
Please use the discount code INITTOGETHER to receive $10 off an Ultimate Naturalist Membership
The High Desert ebook is now ready for you to download and use with your family. This ebook has been a labor of love on my part because it is filled with some of my favorite topics and things I have in my own habitat. I have been anxious to share these subjects with you my blog readers for a long time!
I have included many links and resources for nature journal pages for your family to use in your nature study.
We will be working our way through this ebook in a few months so get ready to follow along. Please note that even though this ebook is titled “high desert”, many of the the topics can be found in other habitats. In most cases, I have suggested an alternative nature study idea to supplement or substitute for the ebook topic. I encourage you to give it a try!
There are 14 brand new Outdoor Hour Challenges for you to complete as part of your nature study lessons with your children. These Challenges are not based on information in the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock. You’ll be using internet links and field guides to glean information about each topic. See the bottom of this post for book and resource ideas you may wish to have as a supplement to this High Desert ebook.
This 63 page digital ebook has 14 challenges and supplemental activities
There are multiple custom notebooking pages for each of the topics. You can choose from simple notebook pages or more advanced notebooking pages.
Here are the specific topics included in this ebook:
Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel
How do you get the new High Desert ebook?
Members of the Ultimate Naturalistand 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’m offering a $5 off discount code that will be good towards your Ultimate Naturalist membership.
Discount Code: OHC10
Here are my favorite resources that I use all of the time in my own study of the High Desert habitat.
This month is a fresh start to my nature journaling journey. I’m keeping several different journals as a way to become more of a naturalist specializing in my own habitat. This just feels like it’s the right time.
Although I’m still trying to keep things simple, I’ve created a new routine for recording my daily notes and statistics as a way to reach my Nature Study Goals for 2019.
Every day I create a brief entry in the Naturalist Notebook which is really a five year record of daily details. You can see in the image how there is a very small box for each day running across the page. Then, down the column will be where I fill in information over the next four years. This way you can compare the daily events from year to year. Right now it feels very ambitious but I’ve learned that if you take it one day at a time it isn’t such a huge project.
The second place I’m recording daily information is in this planner/notebook. It has larger spaces for me to include more details or thoughts for each day. I’m still deciding if I like this particular notebook for this purpose, but time will tell if it works for me.
Note: It’s an 18-month calendar and so the first part has been unused. I’m trying to decide if I should just remove the pages or repurpose them in some way.
This entry includes affiliate links to Amazon.com.
I have yet to make a single record in my field notebook. It’s super cold when I go outside and I usually wear gloves. This makes it hard to take the notebook and pencil out. That’s a pretty bad excuse for not giving this tool a try and I will be working on doing better. Maybe I should wear my fingerless gloves when I go out on my walks.
Personal Nature Journal
This is where I’ve really stepped up my nature journaling game this year. I’ve gone ahead and prepared several introductory pages for the year and then planned a few pages for January ahead of time.
If you follow me on Instagram, I’ll be sharing the month’s pages at the end of each month in a video along with an explanation.
Here’s an example of one of my January pages sharing my winter willow observations. You can see that I’ve switched to a larger size page for this year just to switch things up.
I have some of the pages planned out, but there’s still room to add in things that spring up during our nature walks like the river otter scampering across the icy river with a fresh fish in his mouth. What a great experience!
Al in all, I think I’ve been successful in getting started with my new routine of nature journaling. It takes a few minutes a day to keep up with the daily notes and maybe 30 minutes or so to create a new nature journal page in my personal journal. With this little effort, I’m loving the feeling of getting to know my habitat better with each passing week. Using the Outdoor Hour Challenges gives me a framework and inspiration to learn something new! This knowledge is not only fun to learn but very encouraging to pass along to my friends and family.
Be Inspired! Be Encouraged! Get Outdoors!
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!
There are many, many nature journal ideas included in the archives of the Handbook of Nature Study newsletters. If you have any level of membership, make sure to download the newsletter index to make finding a topic easy.
Outdoor Hour Challenges for families since 2008!
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