Do you love to watch birds? Would you like to help scientists in the field of ornithology while you watch birds? eBird.org is a website and birding community where you can submit your bird watching observations to be used by the scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. According to eBird:
A real-time, online checklist program, eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds… eBird’s goal is to maximize the utility and accessibility of the vast numbers of bird observations made each year by recreational and professional bird watchers. It is amassing one of the largest and fastest growing biodiversity data resources in existence… The observations of each participant join those of others in an international network of eBird users. eBird then shares these observations with a global community of educators, land managers, ornithologists, and conservation biologists. In time these data will become the foundation for a better understanding of bird distribution across the western hemisphere and beyond.
In addition to submitting your own observations you can explore data gathered by the entire community, displayed on maps, charts, and graphs.
Do you love wildlife and nature? Do you like to explore the outdoors and photograph your local wildlife? Do you wish you could contribute to our public knowledge about wildlife even without a background in biology or science? ProjectNoah.org is a website where you can explore beautiful photography of wildlife from all over the world and contribute yourself using your smart phone. According to Project Noah:
Project Noah is a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere… Our ultimate goal is to build the go-to platform for documenting all the world’s organisms and through doing this we hope to develop an effective way to measure Mother Nature’s pulse. By encouraging the mobile masses to document their encounters with nature, we hope to build a powerful force for data collection and an important educational tool for wildlife awareness and preservation.
Categories include: All, Plants, Mammals, Birds, Arthropods, Fungi, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fish, Pets, and Other. You can sign up for missions to photograph specific things. There are apps for Android and iPhone. Project Noah also has a blog.
Would you like to get outdoors and do something fun this weekend? Do you need help finding a good park or campground? Do you need advice on what gear to take? GORP.com is your online guide to outdoor recreation and adventure, with information on parks, campgrounds, trails, equipment, and much more. According to GORP.com:
GORP.com is the definitive resource for all things outdoors, from in-depth national and state park guides throughout the world to product recommendations of the best outdoor gear on the market. PLUS: Inspiring photos, how-to guides, packing lists, and user-submitted photos, reviews, and hiking trails.
Categories include: Parks (park guides), Weekender Guides, Hiking (find trails), Camping (find campgrounds), Gear (equipment reviews), and Q&A. It’s easy to find a park that fits your needs, simply select your region and state, and then select which activities you want to do.
Doe it seem like the weather reporter on TV rambles on forever about things you’re not interested in or don’t understand, when all you want to know is whether or not you need a jacket? Do you wish you could just view a simple graphical weather forecast anytime you wanted? swackett.com is a weather app that displays fun colorful weather information that anyone can understand with just a quick glance. According to swackett:
swackett is a whole new way to look at the weather. We convert complex weather data to easily-understood, visual weather reports designed for people of every age. Our unique approach is to combine raw weather data (current conditions, radar, and detailed forecasts) with thoughtfully crafted people symbols (called “peeps”) who always appear appropriately dressed for the weather. If it happens to be cold outside, swackett peeps appear dressed in winter hats, coats and boots. A hot, sunny day? swackett peeps appear wearing shorts and sunglasses — and they even remember to bring along drinking water and sunblock. Rain? swackett peeps appear with rain jackets and an umbrella. This is a fun, fresh and truly useful weather report experience for people of any age.
Forecast locations can be easily searched for by zip code. There are apps for Mac, iPhone, or iPad, and there is a web app as well to cover everyone else. More detailed weather is also included for those who want it such as: AccuWeather “real feel” temperatures, humidity, dew point, wind direction and speed, weather timelines, animated satellite, and radar imagery.
Would you like to get out and enjoy the great outdoors a little more often? Would you like to begin a new outdoor sport or hobby but don’t know where to start? Outdoor.com is your online guide to the great outdoors, covering every aspect of outdoor recreation including activities, destinations, skills, and gear. According to Outdoor.com:
Welcome to Outdoor.com, we enable users to explore information vital to the enjoyment of their favorite activities and locations… We also have details on thousands of hiking, mountain biking and backpacking trails and road cycling routes. At Outdoor.com, we are dedicated to providing the best educational information about the gear and skills you will need for your adventures, including buyers and care guides, technique, training and safety guides and in depth advice for those of you just starting out. The goal of Outdoor.com is to offer something for everyone – from the novice to the hardcore enthusiast.
Main categories include (there are many more specific categories): Destination Guides, Activity Guides, Skill Guides, Gear Guides, Local Guides, Latest Articles, Adventures, and Weather.
Would you like to try your hand at gardening? Are your thumbs not exactly green? Could you use some expert advice and information to jump-start your gardening efforts? Garden.org, the official website of the National Gardening Association, provides a plethora of information covering every imaginable aspect of gardening. According to National Gardening Association:
For more than 35 years, the National Gardening Association (NGA) has been working to renew and sustain the essential connection between people, plants, and the environment… Our Web sites represent crucial hubs where gardeners and educators find information and inspiration. Each month, nearly half a million novice and experienced gardeners take advantage of the region-specific information found in our Regional Reports and participate in our gardening blogs. They peruse our extensive article, FAQ, pest and weed control, and how-to project libraries, and consult our planting guides, event calendar, horticultural news, online gardening courses, and garden industry research data.
Expert Advice categories Include: Plant Finder, Weed Library, Gardening Articles, Q & A Library, How-To Projects, How-To Videos, Pest Control Library, Food Garden Guide, and Plant Care Guides. Reference categories include: Zone Finder, Event Calendar, Calculators, and Public Garden Directory. There are also discussion forums and many more features. The National Gardening Association also has a website specifically for gardening kids: KidsGardening.org
Would you like to have a garden but live in an apartment or condo with only a small deck? Do you already have a small garden but wish you could get more from your limited space? UrbanGardensweb.com is a blog all about creative gardening solutions and finds for small urban spaces. According to Urban Gardens:
So, here, I (Robin Plaskoff Horton – the creator of Urban Gardens) present you with Urban Gardens: Unlimited Thinking for Limited Spaces. I will link you to the freshest innovative and eco-friendly designs, trends, and ideas for the stylish urban garden. I will explore and showcase what’s out there in the urban garden universe–from the amazing products of talented new designers, to community gardens experimenting with edible landscaping, sustainable urban agriculture and micro-farms, to guerrilla gardeners transforming derelict abandoned properties into lush, or at least, provocative garden spaces.
Main categories (with many more sub-categories) include: garden design, great finds, green and sustainable, and lifestyle.
Do you love to work in the garden? Would you like to learn more about gardening and interact with fellow gardeners? GardenWeb.com is an online community and an information resource for gardeners. There is a blog, which is a collection of reprinted blog posts from the best gardening blogs on the web. There are discussion forums which according to GardenWeb: “comprise the largest community of gardeners on the Internet. Whether you’re a new gardener or an old master… you will find like-minded people and friendly discussions.” GardenWeb also includes photo galleries, and an Ask The Experts section that answers the most frequently asked questions from the forums. Finally there is a Tools & Directories section where you can: “search out information on plants in the Hortiplex, look up a term in the Glossary, find gardening organizations and public gardens near you in the Directory, check out the Calendar for events near you, or browse the GardenBazaar for hundreds of mail-order sources selling supplies.”
Do you love to go camping? Would you like to learn more about it and interact with other campers? Campster.com is an online community of campers over 8000 members strong. According to Campster:
We built Campster with a few simple goals in mind. We are avid campers, and we wanted to build a site that others who share our love for camping would find helpful and informative. The site is run by campers for campers, and our intention is not to promote anything, but rather, to let the camping community help one another… Campster is a community and information site for campers and RVers. It’s a place where you can find unbiased reviews of every campground in the US and Canada. A place where you can keep in touch with fellow campers or meet others with common interests. Campster is a place to share old memories and build countless new ones.
At Campster you can join special interest groups dedicated to specific types of camping or specific aspects of camping. You can read camping journals from fellow campers or write your own. Campground reviews and discussion forums are also included.
Love grilling, barbecue, and other forms of live fire cooking? Want to learn more? BarbecueBible.com is the website of Steven Raichlen, author of The Barbecue Bible and several other books on topic of barbecue and grilling, and also the host of PBS’s BBQ University and Primal Grill. According to Barbecue Bible: “This site was created as a place for barbecue and grilling enthusiasts to come together and share their passion for live fire cooking.” In addition to Steven’s blog the sight includes lots of recipes, information on techniques, forums, archives of the “Up In Smoke” newsletter, and much more.