It’s highly recommended not to travel anywhere during this time, which means most natural areas across the country are closed to the public. While I’ve been waiting for our beautiful national and state parks to open, I’ve been using the Seek app to get my fair share of nature before Earth Day rolls around. Seek by iNaturalist is a science social media app used for cataloging biodiversity. It can tell users the domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species of almost every organism around the globe. It’s effortless to use as well. All you have to do is open the app, press the camera button at the bottom of the homepage, hold it up to a plant or animal, and the app tells you what it might be. If you’re able to go outside for a walk, have a backyard, or even have houseplants or pets at home, Seek is perfect if you want to be sure. It’s not “spot-on” all the time, but it makes life easier as you won’t need to sift a giant guide book. You can also create personal nature guides and share them with others on iNaturalist. Not only is Seek informative, but you can have a little fun with it too. A couple of days ago, I used the app to identity my dog as a “Domestic Dog” and a banana as a “Cavendish Banana.” Seek does it all!
- Jillian Little
I have unfortunately been unable to go for a walk around my neighborhood because of the onslaught of work from online courses and unpredictable Midwest weather. Due to those reasons, I am not as connected with nature as I would like. However, I have found a few ways to keep me occupied and close with living things. Primarily, this involves caring for my indoor plants. I would love to get a chance to grow an outdoor garden once this semester is over, but for the time being, I am satisfied with my family of plants in my bedroom. I have a few miniature succulents, a thriving aloe vera, a cute little jade plant, and even a towering “money tree.” I also have a tiny cactus, and a few other green and flowering plants. It gets to be a bit much to keep track of the watering cycles of all flora and fauna in my house sometimes, but I adore having plants in my home. Hopefully, once we can venture out more, I will be able to adopt some new plants for my home and expand my indoor greenhouse. My collection is always growing, both physically and numerically, and it is fun to read about different plants and their preferred home environments. I highly recommend everyone get themselves a little plant friend to get through the social distancing blues.
- Rukayah Hussein