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More Nature Tips

Get your daily dose of nature.

In Your Yard: Notice what is going on, use all your senses

Plants and Garden

1. Rake leaves, notice the colors, shapes, smells and the crackling sounds.
2. Plant flowers, herbs, bushes, bulbs, seeds, trees or a butterfly garden.
3. Trim around garden plots, weed, prune bushes, clear out leaves, prepare ground for planting, outline area with rocks or other natural materials.

Birds and Wildlife

1. Put a bird feeder where you can enjoy it from inside and outside.
2. Put up birdhouses designed for different types of birds and watch to see who comes to set up housekeeping.
3. Prepare a source of water like a birdbath or small pond with some quiet seating near it surrounded by greenery, flowers, rocks and other natural things.
4. Establish feeding areas in your yard to attract different birds and animals.

Morning and Evening

1. Watch the sunset or, if you are an early riser, the sunrise.
2. Watch the sky, listen for night sounds.
3. Pick a preferred nature spot, quiet and private, where you can go to just "be." If you are so inclined, sketch a flower, tree or something else you notice.

Walking Outdoors

1. Plan your walks around a theme and look for scenes that you can get lost in:
a. Colors - look for the color purple in the landscape especially in the late fall.
b. Contrasts - look for contrast of trees against the snow - shadows in sunshine or in the dark with street lights, stars or moon.

2. Take a camera to take pictures of those things you see that are particularly interesting or beautiful. Keep in a photo album.

3. Do some Exploring and Gathering

a. Bird and animal habitats - Follow animal tracks and see where they lead, look for nests or holes in the trees.
b. Look for different kinds of gardens - herb or butterfly gardens.
c. Gather natural materials for projects or just pick things up to feel and look at:
  • Leaves and ferns
  • Pine cones for making wreaths or decorations
  • Vines (wild grape) to make wreaths and decorate
  • Flowers to dry and press
  • Birch or sycamore bark to write notes on

4. Take a "Micro Walk"

a. Use a magnifying glass to look at leaves, flowers, tree bark, spider webs or anything else that catches the attention.
b. Use your glass to observe a square foot of earth for about 10 -15 minutes.

5. Identify Plants, Trees or Birds: Guides are available in book and nature stores.

WATER: Any source of water, large or small, can provide a nature activity

1. Ponds - Look for wildlife and the tracks they make when coming to the pond to drink and eat. Sit quietly and see who comes to visit.
2. River - Observe the current. Watch and listen for birds and animals.
3. Beach - Listen to and watch the waves, the birds and animals, collect shells and driftwood, walk barefoot in the sand.


Make a colorful indoor garden. Plant things that will grow and change day by day where you can see progress.

1. Some ideas for house plants and indoor gardens
a. Use common containers like clean milk jugs or cartons, cans and jars filled with water to sprout sweet potatoes, carrots or avocado seeds. Grapefruit, lemon and orange seeds can be planted in sterile potting soil or vermiculite and make very pretty plants.
b. Make a terrarium
c. Grow herbs, then dry them.

2. Have a fish aquarium, if you are so inclined. Watching the fish is fascinating.



1. Watch the snowfall and other weather changes
2. Use candles and a fireplace as much as possible
3. Visit the Botanical Gardens (there are both indoor and outdoor facilities)
4. Make a snowman
5. Visit the zoo especially the aviary and butterfly houses.


1. Look for new growth in woods and yard
2. Look for animal and bird babies.
3. Plant flowers, trees and bushes.
4. Plant indoor herb garden and prepare for outdoor transplanting
5. Fly kites


1. Eat outside as much as you can, take a picnic.
2. Pick fruits and berries.
3. Go camping if it's comfortable to do.
4. Go fishing, boating, canoeing, sailing.


1. Watch all the changing colors
2. Gather the harvest from the garden
3. Trim the plants for Winter and clean out the garden plots.
4. Plant bulbs for Spring
5. Go to an orchard and pick apples, take a picnic.


Botanical Gardens / Arboreta


Find places for yourself in which you feel safe and comfortable. Convenience is also important.


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Thrive Issue: 
Winter, 2011