Forests are awe inspiring habitats, don’t you think? Stepping into a forest is like stepping into an entire world of unique plants, trees & animals all co-existing together in sensitive ecological relationships. For this reason, forests make major contributions to our earth’s overall species, and it’s fascinating to understand why forests have such high biodiversity. Biodiversity is … [Read more...] about Why Do Forests Have High Biodiversity?
Naturalist Training Articles
Everyone knows that plants play an important role for the survival of wild animals by providing essential food and shelter. What’s less obvious is that animals also help plants in crucial ways that form a sensitive and beautiful symbiotic relationship. Animals help plants pollinate their flowers and spread seeds. Their droppings fertilize the soil, while grazing & browsing animals help … [Read more...] about How Do Animals Help Plants? (4 symbiotic interactions)
As a passionate naturalist, wildlife tracker and ecologist, one of the most foundational skills I ever learned was how to observe the difference between coniferous and deciduous forests. Most people already know how to identify coniferous and deciduous trees by comparing the major differences in leaf structures. Coniferous trees like fir, spruce and pine trees have needle-like leaves that … [Read more...] about What’s The Difference Between Coniferous And Deciduous Forests? (with photos and analysis)
Before the invention of modern forecasting, humans knew how to predict weather by looking at clouds. So on my quest to learn ancient survival & awareness skills, I decided to investigate what clouds can tell us about the weather. To predict weather with clouds, you simply have to look at observable patterns like cloud size, cloud shape, altitude, vertical depth, and color shading within … [Read more...] about How To Predict Weather With Clouds
Forests are some of the most fascinating environments on the planet, filled with amazing natural mysteries to explore and discover. One of the best ways to really appreciate these environments more deeply is by learning how forests form through a process called “forest succession”. All forests go through distinct stages of growth as they develop from non-forested lands into full canopies of … [Read more...] about How Do Forests Form? (Forest Succession, Pioneer Plants & Growth Stages)
Every year during spring, the forests & fields of nature become filled with a hustle & bustle of nesting birds. When you know what clues to look for, this brings a rare opportunity to practice finding bird nests and study their predator defence strategies. The easiest way to find nests is by watching for birds carrying nest materials like twigs, mud, plant fibers, moss & sticks, … [Read more...] about How To Find Bird Nests
When I first began studying nature, one of best skills I learned was how to ask really good questions about plants. Whether you want to learn about plants for yourself, or if you’re a teacher looking for ways to engage your students outside, good questions are the foundation of effective learning! The most common question people ask about plants is ‘what kind of plant is this?’… But there’s … [Read more...] about 6 Fascinating Questions About Plants To Ask Outside
Whenever I watch birds around dusk, it’s always fascinating to wonder about where exactly they go for the night. It’s not always easy to observe birds after dark, so their nighttime habits are a common point of curiosity for students of nature. People often wonder things like: Do birds actually sleep? Where do they go? Can they fly in the dark? And why do they sometimes make noise at … [Read more...] about Where Do Birds Go At Night?
Look over there! What bird is that? One of the most common areas where people struggle in nature studies is being able to confidently identify birds. This is because birds are almost constantly moving and changing their behavior in response to whatever is happening in the environment. It can be surprisingly difficult to get that critical closer look and know for sure what birds you’re … [Read more...] about How To Identify Birds: 21 Tips To Rapidly Improve Your Bird Identification Skills
Today's podcast talks about nature mapping as a learning tool to promote deeper awareness of the land & how animals are using your local environment. I'm excited to share the story of how mapping helped me trail a mother cougar with her sub-adult family through the Pacific Northwest rainforest. I actually got to see these animals up close and personal, but the really cool thing is how … [Read more...] about Nature Mapping: An Intuitive Way To Learn Your Land & Predict Animal Behavior