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Day 5: Keeping a nature journal and a nature riddle

Outdoor activity ideas and inspiration

From mid-March to the end of May 2020, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT) posted a simple outdoor activity idea and nature riddle for kids every weekday. Some days we also posted other resources, like downloadable chapters of the Junior Ranger Activity Book.

Created to support parents who found themselves homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic, these activity ideas are a great jumping off point for any outdoor adventure. Click here for a list with links to all 50 activity ideas.

Nature 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.

Keeping 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)