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Travelling for pleasure or recreation is pretty much out of the question during the COVID-19 pandemic.   However, now is a good time to start planning your next trip for when things get back to normal.  Planning a trip and dreaming about it can be almost as much fun as actually taking the trip. Travel is a real educational experience if you can experience it in a comfortable, enjoyable manner.  Take some time to do some planning and the trip will go

It's a good idea to look up all your ancestors in the Census.  This helps you picture them as real, living people, not just names and dates.   The U.S. Census was begun in 1790, for the purpose of apportioning the House of Representatives, and has continued every 10 years since.  It's used to figure the size of congressional districts, and also to provide other statistical information about our population. In the censuses from 1790 through 1840, only the head of household

Your genes make you the unique person you are.  Why not find out where they came from?  Once you get started in genealogy, it can be addictive. Start with yourself, then your parents, then your grandparents.  Write their names in a branching pattern like a tree (printed forms for this are often available at libraries with genealogy or local history sections).   Always write the full name of each person, and maiden names of females.  Then under each name, write their birth

Every birder needs a pair of binoculars.  If you're just starting out, see if you can find other people with binoculars and practice using theirs before you spend any money.  You will want to start out with a fairly simple pair and, if you get more serious about your birding, graduate to a more expensive pair.  If you buy a used pair of binoculars, try them out first before buying. The numbers on a pair of binoculars refer to the magnification

Springtime is the best time to start birdwatching.  Reason:  the birds are territorial, and announce their presence with singing.  They don't sing because they are happy!  They sing to let other members of their species know to stay out of their territory.  And only the males sing. If you live in a rural area or neighborhood with lots of trees and shrubs, take a walk around and listen.  See how many different bird songs you can hear.  Each species has a

It’s up to you to choose where to go, when to go and what kind of budget you’ll have. Our 17 travel tips cover all kinds of road trips, in all kinds of countries – consider this your road trip 101. 1. Google Maps A great place to start. Enter your start and final destination, and get an idea of timing. Adjust the route and see where you can go and how long it’ll take you (you can also see if you’re just a

Have you heard over the years that your family is descended from royalty?  Or, perhaps, your family came over on the Mayflower?  To find out if that is truth or myth, you will have to do a lot of research.  Welcome to genealogy. To begin your genealogical adventure, start with the known: yourself, then work you way back to the unknown.  Identify what you know about your family, and then find the vital records to prove what you know.  You will

Do you have hiking or camping on your agenda? Mapping out your wilderness nutrition needs is important: There's plenty to consider besides simply grabbing an energy bar or a bottle of water. Follow these tips to ensure you have a nourishing and safe food experience on your next outdoor adventure. 1. Have a Plan Your food and water needs are generally higher than usual on activity-based excursions. Pay extra special attention to packing plenty of fluids for hot weather adventures. Some other

What’s so great about birdwatching? It seems like all the kids are doing it these days, so there must be something to it. I’m joking a little here, because in reality not that many youngsters are into birdwatching. But this seems to be changing and I dream of a future where many more of our children are excited about birds and nature in general. Until then, let’s talk about why birds are cool and why you should start watching them. Birds are amazing

Being outdoors doesn’t only affect your physical, but your mental health, too. It has the power to completely set your mind at ease and make you forget about all your daily troubles. It’s simple, when we’re in nature we feel more connected to it and ourselves, which can only have positive outcomes. Of course, it’s also a matter of what kind of outdoor activity you choose and where you do it. Different places carry different benefits, and you can explore

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