There’ll never be a dull moment in nature if you do this

Volunteer using a smartphone at a NCC BioBlitz event. Photo by Brent Calver.

Volunteer using a smartphone at a NCC BioBlitz event. Photo by Brent Calver.

May 6, 2021 | by Wendy Ho

Is your outdoor walk getting dull? Or maybe your access to a sizable natural area is limited. Is lack of time a barrier to your ability to connect with nature?

For some people with a close connection to nature, it might not take much effort to notice neat things (plants, critters, geology, etc.) and find intrigue in the outdoors. But sometimes, those of us who are just getting acquainted with the natural world aren’t sure what to do or what to look at. It’s not the first time I’ve heard, “What is there to do on this trail? Is it all trees? Just walk?” from people I know. Well…actually, there is a lot to do.

I could go on and on. But I was once a newcomer to nature, too. And when you learn a fun fact, you want a little more, and as I started to know the names of things or recognize a bird call, I felt happy about my increased knowledge.

This is where participating in a structured activity (with lots of freedom and done at your own pace) can provide focus and purpose to the wandering mind.

In May, the Nature Conservancy of Canada is partnering with Exploring By The Seat of Your Pants, who have organized a global BackyardBio event to encourage the public to get outside and explore nature, and document the diversity of plants and wildlife close to home.

Here’s how you can join in the fun:

1)      Download the iNaturalist or Seek app on your mobile phone.

2)      Link your iNaturalist account to the BackyardBio project.

3)      From May 1 to May 31, go outside and take photos of interesting plants and wildlife and submit your observations through the app.

4)      Bonus: Use hashtag #BackyardBio in your social media posts to share your photos.

The beauty of the BackyardBio event is that if you only have five minutes of your day to do this, that’s okay. If you want to dedicate your entire walk to observing nature, that’s awesome! Every bit counts when you contribute to science. You’ll be a part of an online community where you can see observations made by other members and see the neat things they came across.

Hope to see you there!

Wendy Ho (Photo by NCC)

About the Author

Wendy Ho is Nature Conservancy of Canada's editorial coordinator.

Read more about Wendy Ho.

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