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Day 5: Keeping a nature journal and an animal riddle

Outdoor ideas and inspiration

We understand that this is a difficult time for many people, and we want to help. To that end, we will be posting daily outdoor ideas and inspiration (weekdays only). Being outdoors in nature is good for your health and emotional well-being!

For parents, we will frequently share simple activities to engage your children with the outdoors and keep them healthy and occupied. Check out other ideas on our engagement blog and on Facebook and Instagram.

For all ages, we will post reading material and inspiration to help you make healthful outdoor time and nature watching a part of your new normal. We also encourage you to check out our Harpswell Nature Watchers Facebook group and sign up for Harpswell Nature Watchers emails.

We would love to hear from you! Please share photos from your outdoor adventures and ideas and suggestions for others. Send photos and ideas to photos@hhltmaine.org and we’ll share some of them.

In this post you will find:

  • An animal riddle and link to a Nature Notes article
  • An outdoor activity for all ages: Keep a nature journal (template and binding instructions included!)
  • Information about where to get outdoors in Harpswell and beyond

Animal riddle

While touring in Costa Rica during the winter you have a good chance of seeing one of the raptors that fly more than 2,000 miles to nest along the shoreline of Harpswell. What bird is it? Click here for the answer and to read more about this bird.

Outdoor activity for all ages: Keep a nature journal

Let nature calm your nerves and focus your attention on its beauty. Go outside and look closely at the buds on the trees and shrubs. Some buds may be getting fuller and changing color, while others don’t seem to be changing at all yet. Look closely at the ground to see what greenery might be emerging.

If you are not already keeping a nature journal, you might consider starting one. This is the perfect time of year to start because the seasonal changes are rapid, allowing you to observe something almost every day. This month marks the beginning of the third year of nature journaling for me. Now I have two years of information about seasonal changes to compare against. My journal also gives me a “heads up” for changes I’m particularly interested in, like when the osprey at the nest nearby will return or when I should start looking for the wild asparagus on my property. Nature journaling is fun and very satisfying!

You can purchase “The Naturalist’s Notebook” by Nathaniel T. Wheelwright and Bernd Heinrich, which contains a ready-made journal formatted for five years of observations, as well as lots of information and inspiration for journaling.

You can also make your own journal by downloading and printing a template (click on the download button below). Use card stock or cut a file folder to size for a cover. Decorate your cover with sketches, rubber stamps, or stickers; or jacket it with inspiring decorative paper. Instructions for binding the journal are found in the second download below. (Submitted by Lynn Knight)

Trails and Preserves in Harpswell and beyond

For more information on where to get outdoors in Harpswell, click here.

For more information about where to get outdoors in the broader southern Midcoast region, click here.

Your own backyard and neighborhood are also great, safe places to spend some time outdoors.