So I'm thinking of getting out into nature to start getting to know the various flora and fauna. I was planning on bringing some identification books and notebooks out with me and to start taking notes of everything I see while I'm out. Then I can keep track of everything and eventually when I have enough information I can fill out another notebook organizing everything I've seen into the Linnaean taxonomic system (I figure it's a good way to familiarize myself with it), and print off a picture from the internet or possibly draw some pictures to go along side.
It seems like a pretty daunting task, there are plants, insects, birds, mammals, etc. I don't really know where to start so I'm just going to go out tomorrow and start taking notes.
Do any of you have tips for me? A better way to organize my notes. Tools I should bring? Recommended books or websites? Any help would be appreciated because I don't really know the best way to go about this. I live in the Canadian Pacific Northwest.
What are you going to focus on, plants or animals? I'm not sure about out west, but I had to be able to ID 80 different Trees and Shrubs in Ontario by twigs and buds, and then again by bark and leaves. It seems a lot harder than it actually is, you just need to put time into it. I could give you some tips on tree ID if you want, but mostly it's just practice makes perfect.
As for animals, you should pick up a book called Tracking and the Art of Seeing by Paul Rezendes. Pretty amazing book. It's obviously more about animal ID and tracks of the animals and signs that they leave behind (antler rubs, feeding evidence, etc). For example, it tells you things like if you see a twig that has been "cut" at a perfect, 45 degree angle, then it was most likely a rabbit feeding there, where a deer will just bite the twig and not cut it cleanly, and the cut will the straight, no angle.