STEP 1: Identify something -- figure out the name of plants
and animals you discover in your backyard and elsewhere by using naturalist "tools," such as the special kinds of books known as
field guides and identification
keys, along with Internet sites.
At first you'll be overwhelmed by special terms and
concepts you don't understand. However, there's a special technique we
by which you can teach yourself what you need to know to complete the identification
STEP 2: Find out what's
interesting about the thing you've identified when you look
up the name in a book or on the Internet.
Finally, Over the years, keep gathering information,
mainly from your own observations but also from books, journals, web sites and other
sources, and keep this information handy in your Nature
Notebook (which can be kept on your computer).