I happened upon a neat idea for connecting with nature. This is especially great if you have young children.
The idea is to make field guides of plants and animals where you live. How often do we find ourselves running to our professionally produced field guides to find out about a new species we have seen? Now, we can become the experts ourselves. Check out ideas for building field guides here and here.
I think making field guides of our own is such a great way to become more familiar with the world around us. As the links suggest, it can also be a wonderful experience for our families. Additionally, the guides could become important records of both the workings of nature where we live and the activities and experiences of the people we love.
One idea I would add to those discussed in the links would be to put together some field guides based on different times of the year. For example, you could have a guide for winter species, for birds that appear during the migration periods (fall and spring), and for birds that stay throughout the summer.