The best way to learn about nature is to get out there and experience it for yourself, but be sure to cause no harm while doing so.
Watching wildlife in their natural habitats can be a lot of fun and very educational. Be sure, however, to watch from a safe distance and do not try to interact with wildlife.
Stay on marked paths and be sure not to disturb habitats, especially breeding grounds or fragile habitats. When watching sensitive or dangerous animals, you should always be extra careful.
You would not want to cause harm to the animals or come to any harm yourself. If wildlife seems disturbed by your presence, give them more space or leave the area. When bringing pets, be sure to keep them close so that they don’t inadvertently harm any wildlife or habitats.
When enjoying the outdoors, be sure to leave everything as you found it. Do not disturb habitat when hiking or camping, and be especially careful in pristine habitats. Avoid lighting fires or light fires in pre-existing fire rings or pits and put them out thoroughly when finished.
Be careful what chemicals you use and dispose of any trash or other waste properly. Keep food and trash safely away from wildlife.
For more information, you can check out the Leave No Trace program (www.LNT.org), which promotes and educates about environmentally friendly practices for enjoying the outdoors.
Excerpt from Losing Altitude, by Arras Wiedorn.
Artwork by Briana Mercedes Weidner.