Spending time in nature can lead to many discoveries - some physical and others metaphysical. All are awesome.
It also seems the more time we spend outdoors, the better able we are to notice things that are out of place- like a feather dropped or a skull. These things will stick out to us like a sore thumb.
If it is not disruptive to the environment, we can ask the object if it wants to go home with us. You will know if it is right to take it home or if it is best to leave it.
Having a collection of natural objects helps us to learn about them. We can study them closely, handle them, and make comparisons between similar objects.
As you collect, you might want to note the date and location of each item. This information might help to better understand it.
Some objects, like my favorite natural item to collect, sticks, can be useful in other ways. A good stick can add stability to our hike and it is useful to swat away the occasional spiderweb.
Finally you may want to arrange the objects on a shelf, a tray, or fill a jar with them. Give honor to these objects and thank them for being part of your space and for helping you to better understand the world.
Anna Lentz, artist, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.