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Things To Observe In Nature

Often times we spend our days glued to the screens of our phones or computers desperately trying to stay connected to others and up to date on our work load. It can be easy to forget that our technology isn't the only thing that needs to take time to recharge. We all need to take time to disconnect from our hectic schedules, and I cannot think of a better way to do so than spending time in nature.

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1. Bird calls

How many different sounds do you hear? Can you spot the birds with a pair of binoculars? I recommend bringing a field guide to identify the birds you see! One of my favorite common birds to see in Iowa is the Black Capped Chickadee pictured above.
Via allaboutbirds.org

How many different sounds do you hear? Can you spot the birds with a pair of binoculars? I recommend bringing a field guide to identify the birds you see! One of my favorite common birds to see in Iowa is the Black Capped Chickadee pictured above.

2. Evidence of animal life

Look for footprints/tracks, scat, feeding signs, or even actual animals. Great things to look for in here in Iowa are raccoon, fox squirrel, or white tailed deer!
Via iowadnr.gov

Look for footprints/tracks, scat, feeding signs, or even actual animals. Great things to look for in here in Iowa are raccoon, fox squirrel, or white tailed deer!

3. Trees

Some areas can have a wide variety of tree, while others only have a few. Do you know how to identify a tree by the leaves or bark? I suggest making a leaf rubbing so you can identify the species later. Check out the maple leaves above!
Via dengarden.com

Some areas can have a wide variety of tree, while others only have a few. Do you know how to identify a tree by the leaves or bark? I suggest making a leaf rubbing so you can identify the species later. Check out the maple leaves above!

4. Clouds

One of my favorite things to do outside is to stare at the clouds and see if I can find any shapes. When looking at the clouds can you name any of the cloud formations?
Via smithsonianmag.com

One of my favorite things to do outside is to stare at the clouds and see if I can find any shapes. When looking at the clouds can you name any of the cloud formations?

5. Plants

A wide variety of plants exist for you to explore. Take a few moments to notice which plants are flowering. Can you find any edible plants? I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with plants you might want to avoid in your area, such as poison ivy (pictured above) or stinging nettle!
Via philaymca.org

A wide variety of plants exist for you to explore. Take a few moments to notice which plants are flowering. Can you find any edible plants? I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with plants you might want to avoid in your area, such as poison ivy (pictured above) or stinging nettle!

6. Insects

Insects are everywhere! Many time we don't look at insects with a positive light, but I promise if you get up close you'll start to appreciate these neat little creatures like the tiger beetle pictured above. Can you tell what they eat? Do they make noise?
Via iowatreepests.typepad.com

Insects are everywhere! Many time we don't look at insects with a positive light, but I promise if you get up close you'll start to appreciate these neat little creatures like the tiger beetle pictured above. Can you tell what they eat? Do they make noise?

7. Scent

What do you smell when you go outside? When we say it smells like spring or fall, what exactly are we smelling? Do you smell different things as you move around outside?

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