Master Your Outdoor Domain with MyNature Flora and Fauna ID Applications


Maybe it’s time for a tech break? A day-hike, maybe? Perhaps even an overnight in the woods, out in nature with no TV, no computers, no emails or phone calls. Ah, yes, leave that iWhatever behind, break out those boots (could it be they’ve never once been used? Not once?) and hit the trail. Shouldn’t you do this more often? You know, get more familiar with the local flora and fauna and – wait, isn’t there an app for that?! Ugh. Yes. Of course there is.

To help you with what probably should come naturally, MyNature has just launched its MyNature Tree Guide which helps you identify trees by answering a series of 15 questions (as many as you can, anyway). The app will match your answers against its database of 200 North American trees to find the one that most closely resembles what you’re encountering “in the field.” Once identified, you can see photos, range maps and profiles to learn more about the tree in question. For the drill-drown, you can access images of leaves, needles, fruit and bark, as well. There’s also a “MyNature Journal,” in which you can record the trees you’ve found, along with the location, weather conditions and whatever other musings you want to jot down to remember that not-quite-tech-free day when you encountered that killer oak.

As for the fauna, MyNature has you covered there, too, with its tried-and-true MyNature Animal Tracks application. This guy has a searchable database with track sizes and shapes in seven easy-to-place-what-you-see search categories. Like the Tree Guide, Animal Tracks features a ton of pics and drawings – even sound (.wav) files of animal “vocalizations” – that’ll help you figure out what’s what. You can check out a demo vid over at Treehugger or at the MyNature Site.

So add these apps to EcoSalon’s top 10 green things you can do with your iPhone and 10 green apps. Both are iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad ready and require iOS 3.0 or later (Animal Tracks is also available for Android). At $6.99 they’re not cheap, but c’mon, what is it worth to have access to the knowledge you need when you finally go for that tech-free day out in nature?

Just you, the fresh air, the birds and your smartphone. Mmmm.

Scott Adelson

Scott Adelson is EcoSalon's Senior Editor of HyperKulture, a monthly column that explores opening cultural doors to initiate personal change. He is also the author of InPRINT, which reviews and discusses books, new and old. You can reach him at