CT assistant editor Katelyn Beaty lists some of the most visually appealing websites to help you rediscover the beauty of planet Earth this spring.
FLICKR'S NATURE PAGE
When you want to explore the outdoors but inclement weather stops you, Flickr's collection of nature photography is a close second. One of today's most popular image-hosting sites, it features some 6 million images from nature alone, some of which are spectacular enough to appear in National Geographic or Audubon magazine.
Most Americans will never travel higher than commercial planes do. Thankfully, the U.S. space program has provided rare footage from its exploration of the heavens. Watch archival videos of the Apollo missions, and search an expansive image collection of galaxies, quasars, and comet-clouds, which will likely inspire awe akin to David's in Psalm 8.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ANIMALS
National Geographic is best when it avoids hot-button topics adrift of its longstanding focus on the natural world and conservation. Its animal website features fascinating facts on some of the strangest, most delightful creatures out there. With names like the blue-footed booby, the aye-aye, and the kinkajou, you'd think we were on another planet.
AMERICAN BIRDING ASSOCIATION (ABA)
Birdwatching has taken flight as one of the most popular recreational pursuits in the U.S. But you don't have to buy $700 binoculars to enjoy this multifarious part of creation. A birdwatching trail is one that spans several habitats and guarantees many sightings. Check out ABA's list of the best trails, organized by state, and if you get really into it, scan its list of bird (or is that nerd?) clubs.
Of course, the best way to enjoy nature is to get outside. Whether you're planning a weekend camping trip or an African safari, you'll first want to visit GORP, a vacation-planning resource for adventure travel and outdoor sports. Its vast website includes a trail finder, a campsite data-base, and transnational trip itineraries.
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