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Autumn Weeds: Milkweed, Thistle, Teasel, Burdock, Queen Anne’s Lace


Autumn Weed Study Outdoor Hour ChallengeThis week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge allows you to pick from a list of the autumn weed studies already in the archives here on the Handbook of Nature Study. Pick one of the weeds and then mark your planner to revisit this weed in all four seasons to experience its full life cycle. Make sure to read the lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study as noted below for specific weed observation suggestions.

Autumn Weeds – Handbook of Nature Study

Autumn Milkweed – Lesson 148

Autumn Thistle – Lesson 141

Autumn Teasel – Lesson 147

Autumn Burdock – Lesson 142

Autumn Queen Anne’s Lace – Lesson 128

Make sure to click the links above to read the entire Outdoor Hour Challenge with helpful links, nature study ideas, printable notebooking pages, and suggested follow-up activities.


Additional Links

Queen Anne’s Lace Autumn Study: Here is a link to one of our autumn weed studies.

Autumn Nature Journal Examples: Take a look at some of my autumn nature journal pages, including an autumn thistle page.



queen annes lace autumn



Autumn Nature Study Ebooks graphic 

If you’re a member of the Ultimate Naturalist Library, you have access to the following ebooks with notebooking pages for each of the autumn weed studies listed below.

Autumn Milkweed – More Nature Study Autumn

Autumn Thistle – More Nature Study Autumn

Autumn Teasel – Autumn Nature Study Continues

Autumn Burdock – Autumn Nature Study Continues

Autumn Queen Anne’s Lace – Autumn 2010

OHC Plan 18 to 19 Join Us

This Outdoor Hour Challenge is part of the 2018-2019 Plan here on the Handbook of Nature Study. We’ll be using the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock to discover new things about the world around us. Join us each Friday for a different nature study topic. Make sure to subscribe to this blog to receive the weekly challenge right in your email box.

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If you want to become a member here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you can click the Join Us button for more details. Benefits include those shown above including access to ebooks, notebooking pages, archived newsletters, and new ebooks and printables published during your membership.


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Family Weed Study (No Teasel Here)

Teasel New York Trip
The first teasel I ever saw was in New York at Anna Botsford Comstock’s cottage on Cayuga Lake.


This week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge was to look for and observe some Teasel. We were not expecting to see any teasel this week and we didn’t…not too disappointed and we didn’t let it stop us from taking some hikes to see some other weeds with prickles and interesting flowers.

yellow star thistle

We observed something with prickles….Yellow Star Thistle. This is a menace in our neighborhood and I immediately pull it out by the roots if I see it in my yard. We have friends that have a honey business and they insist that star thistle honey is the best. It is very light tasting and is one of my favorites.

curly dock 1

We also observed some Curly Dock. It is so colorful in the landscape right now. (More information on Cal Flora.)

curly dock 2

Sometimes you just need to go with whatever subjects present themselves.

King Fire Sunday

We are experiencing the King wildfire in our area which is a little scary. Each day we looked at the smoke and clouds and wondered how far it would come our way. Some of our friends were evacuated but so far we are safe here at home. The drought conditions in California are so severe and those dry conditions coupled with heat and windy afternoons make for perfect “fire weather”. This is from the bottom of my road.

King Fire Wednesday

This is from yesterday in town looking towards the fire. They call those clouds above the smoke “pyrocumulous“.


We are all praying for the fire to be contained and for all those evacuees to be allowed home to their homes. My husband is working on this fire but is in management with a job behind the scenes at base camp. He is tired but doing okay…this is what they do and they are accustomed to being under stress in emergency situations.

Hope you had a chance to get outside and look for some teasel or other weeds this week!



OHC Autumn Nature Study Continues Cover Button

This Outdoor Hour Challenge is included in the new Autumn Nature Study Continues ebook. It is only one of fifteen nature study topics included along with notebook pages and coloring pages. If you have an Ultimate or Journey level membership, you will find this ebook in your library!

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Teasel Weed Study


Teasel Nature Study @handbookofnaturestudy

Make sure to have your outdoor time this week even if you don’t have any teasel to study. We don’t have any in our local area so we will be looking back on photos from past trips and also looking for local weeds and wildflowers to view.

Inside Preparation Work:

  • Read pages 539-542 in the Handbook of Nature Study (Lesson 147). There is a lot to learn about this plant so read the narrative carefully for facts about the stem, leaves, and flowers that you can share when you observe your teasel.
  • Here is an interesting YouTube video on teasel: It is a little long and includes quite a bit about the medicinal properties of teasel so preview and share as much as you find helpful. This is another more academic video on YouTube:
  • You can follow this link to see what kind of teasel you have in your state: USDA Teasel.
  • Ebook Users: Make sure to view the images in the ebook together with your child so you can will know what to look for.

Beware! The teasel plant has extremely sharp spines both on the flower head and on the stem. Take along a pair of heavy work gloves if you intend to touch the plant, cut it for your nature table, or bring it home to examine more closely.

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • Use your outdoor time this week to go on a teasel hunt.
  • If you find a teasel that is blooming, examine the pattern of blossoms. This is what makes this plant so interesting. The blossoms will begin at the middle!
  • Look for water in the little cups made at the base of the teasel leaves.
  • Allow time for an outdoor sketch of the teasel.
  • You may wish to record the location of your teasel plants so you can return to observe them during the winter to note the changes.
  • NOTE: If you don’t have teasel to observe, pick a different weed or wildflower to view during your outdoor time.

Follow-Up Activity:

  • Create a nature journal entry after discussing all of the teasel’s unique features. Ebook Users: You can use the notebook pages in the ebook for your entry. Younger children can use the coloring page.
  • Advanced Activity: Start a seasonal study of the teasel plant by starting a nature journal entry with a sketch and detailed description of your autumn teasel. Make a note to return to your teasel plant sometime in the winter to make a comparison and add to your nature journal entry.
  • Advanced Study: Take a look into this topic:Teasel. You might also like to read and view the images on this site: Teasel. For information on medicinal uses, you can view this page: Teasel Root. Add any information you find interesting to your nature journal page. If you are using the notebook page in the ebook, you can continue making notes on the back if you run out of room.

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library

Join us for this series of challenges every week here on the Handbook of Nature Study. If you want to purchase the Autumn Nature Study Continues ebook so you can follow along with all the notebooking pages, coloring pages, and subject images, you can join the Ultimate or Journey Membership Levels. See the Join Us page for complete information. Also, you can view the Autumn Nature Study Continues content list on the announcement page.

OHC Autumn Nature Study Continues Cover Button


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