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Apps to help you connect with nature

While much of the U.S. is on temporary pause, many people are anxious to do something that will help them break up the monotony that naturally results from social distancing.

PC Mike Wendland has three apps that will not only help you get outside, but learn a few things, too.

Audubon Bird Guide is an app that helps you get outside and get your birdwatching on. It covers 810 species using photos instead of drawings, includes range maps, has a good selection of audio recordings including alternate calls and regional variations, and slightly more descriptive text including habitat, range, and nesting information. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Another great app to use outside on your own is called Sky Guide. The app shows a detailed picture of the heavenly bodies above, as well as what’s over the horizon and on the other side of the world. The app points out constellations and their exact locations, so you can look up at the real sky and find everything. The app is $2.99 and av  ailable for iOS.

As long as you’re outside exploring, consider the iNaturalist app. It helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over 400,000 scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature when you document what you’ve seen.  . The app is free for iOS and Android.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.