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The world outside your door is filled with things that buzz, tweet, squawk, flutter, scurry, build, burrow, hoot, chase, pounce, and soar. It’s fun, free, available 24/7, and there’s always something new! Just step outside and…

What can you do with 5 or 10 minutes?

  • Listen to the wild voices you hear. Depending upon the season and time of day or night, you may hear insects buzzing, amphibians chorusing, birds calling, singing, or drumming, or other animals making a whole range of entertaining sounds.
  • Watch your wild neighbors while they work, eat, and play—birds gathering nesting material, feeding on berries or insects, or splashing in your birdbath; butterflies and bees sipping nectar from flowers; squirrels storing nuts, gathering leaves, or having a good chase!
  • Feel nature first-hand—capture a silky milkweed seed on the wind or a “whirlybird” maple seed twirling to the grass below; gather a few pinecones, nuts, or leaves in your hands, or compare the bark textures of different trees.

What can you do with 30 or 40 minutes?

  • Identify! Try to get a good look at the creatures making the wonderful wild sounds you hear outside. Then, check out a few field guides, CDs, or websites to identify some of the species and learn more about them. Have a little fun trying to make similar sounds!
  • Discover! Take time to watch the butterflies, moths, bees, bats, birds, chipmunks, rabbits, squirrels and other creatures in your yard.
  • Examine! Search for seeds, nuts, feathers, or other natural objects to examine. Check your field guide to learn more about the plant or animal species they come from, or which creature may have been nibbling on them.
  • Create! Use your sketchbook, journal, or camera to record your memories of the animals and plants you encounter, or write a poem about a real-life nature drama that you watch unfold.

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