Friday, April 30, 2021
Sunday, March 28, 2021
We often talk about what we can see, but sometimes it’s enjoyable seeing what you can hear. With songbirds returning for spring in the northern hemisphere, spend five minutes listening to them sing.
(This is part of the 5 Minutes in Nature project, a series of activities that are designed to help you recharge by spending five minutes concentrating on nature. Learn more about the project here, and see past activities here.)
Sunday, February 28, 2021
When I launched the 5 Minutes in Nature project, I purposely avoided talking about specific plants or animals. This project is about finding your own connections to the natural world. I also didn’t want to suggest something that you would never see in your own area.
But today, I’m going to introduce you to the chickadee. It’s a fascinating bird. And you can find it almost everywhere. You can likely even find it now before other birds arrive for the spring.
Monday, February 15, 2021
Have you ever taken the time to observe how many different types of birds use your yard? In this 5 Minutes in Nature activity, we’ll venture out to appreciate the variety of birds and see how they get along.
This post is part of the 5 Minutes in Nature project, a series of quick activities designed to help you relax and build a deeper relationship with nature — a few minutes at a time.
Monday, January 25, 2021
I suspect for most people, ducks are the first wild creatures they remember encountering. Ducks are everywhere and some species, like the mallard, don’t show much fear toward people — probably because we have a reputation for tossing bread at them.
We now know we shouldn’t give them bread. It’s like junk food for them, making them feel full without giving them the nutrients they need. But it’s still fun to watch them feed. Take five minutes to study them.
Monday, November 30, 2020
If you’re in one of the many communities that are returning to stay-at-home orders, you might find some enjoyment in appreciating how social some animals are this time of year.
This post is part of my 5 Minutes in Nature project, a series of short activities designed to help you relax and feel closer to nature. Numerous studies have found that spending even a few minutes outdoors is good for our well-being.
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Changing seasons can help you appreciate the subtleties of nature. Often, you don’t have to travel far from home to find something wonderful to observe.
This post is part of my 5 Minutes in Nature project, a series of short activities designed to help you relax and feel closer to nature. Numerous studies talk about the healing powers of nature. One published last week by the American Psychological Association finds that actively trying to notice something new during a walk provides emotional health benefits for seniors. The New York Times also wrote about the study, calling the activities “awe walks.”
In the spirit of discovering something new — in finding some awe in your neighborhood — here are a few things to try the next time you can spend five minutes in the autumn air.
Monday, August 17, 2020
This post is part of the 5 Minutes in Nature project — quick activities that are designed to help you relax and more deeply appreciate nature, five minutes at a time.
What color is grass? What color are leaves in the summer? What color is a cactus? They’re all green, right? But our snap response causes us to miss some of the nuance that makes nature interesting.
Friday, March 20, 2020
For the past several months, I’ve been working on a project called Five Minutes in Nature. My plan was to introduce it to you now — the first full day of spring. But this is not how I planned to do it.
Five Minutes in Nature is about getting more people outdoors, appreciating the natural world five minutes at a time. The original idea was to help people get away from their screens.