When walking on trails or making your own this spring and early summer, watch out for all the little critters being born or waking up for the year. If you walk real slow and keep your eye out you’ll see tiny frogs, snails, insects, and maybe some cute little raccoons. All these creatures are special and important to the ecosystem in their own way. Even the ugliest little things have an important job and deserve to be stepped over and not stepped on.
When it comes to all the pretty flowers, they also need to be protected. Wild flowers are protected by law so that they’re not all picked. They might look good in a vase at home, but they need to stay in the wild to reproduce and be seen by everyone. There are invasive species and wild edibles that are good to harvest and it’s easy to do a little research to find out what those are. Be careful though and don’t eat anything you’re not 100% sure about. Wild carrots look a lot like poison hemlock for example and can lead to a deadly mistake.
If you see something that you’re just dieing to take home, take a few extra minutes to enjoy it in the wild and take some pictures so that you’ll always have a keepsake. That way the little critters can stay in their home and meet the next hiker that comes along.