Photography is a great way to connect with nature. It's like telling someone you'd like to get to know them. Then, after interacting with that person for a while, you realize you've got a great friend and some wonderful memories.
As it turns out, the National Wildlife Federation provides some tips for those hoping to capture their environment in photographs. Check out the tips here.
Also, each year, NWF holds a photo contest for professionals, amateurs, and children. The following video is a promotion for last year's contest, but it also contains some great tips. Plus, check out the bird in the YouTube still image. For those who don't recognize it, it's a cedar waxwing, which is one of my favorite birds. For me, the photo captures the character of these birds perfectly. (Waxwings always seem a little cavalier and irreverent--maybe it's the black masks.)
When the information for the 2011 NWF contest becomes available, I'll post it.
Now, get out there and shoot away.