July 2019 Update: World Friendship Day

Did you know that July 30th is the International Day of Friendship? Celebrated by the United Nations, this day reminds us of all the special people who have helped us learn and grow throughout our lives.


The International Day of Friendship is important not only for humans, but also for our relationships with our wild cousins! By treating flora and fauna with respect, I find that we can celebrate nature in a way that both protects it and allows us to understand it better.

I recently watched a film that celebrates nature and shows it in its colorful, diverse, animated glory. You may guess what it is… it’s The Lion King! I remember having watched the movie as a child, but watching it now as an adult, I found myself appreciating the story and setting even more.


Just two weeks ago, I saw a family of baby mink for the first time. I’ve only ever seen an adult mink before, and was pleased to come across three little ones. Their fur was a dark, glossy brown, and a white stripe ran along their chest. As I watched, they swam fluidly through lakewater then scampered onto rocks, before diving into the water again.

I didn’t have a camera on me, but here is an image of a mink.

I hope I see more wildlife this summer! That said, though summer activities like hiking and biking can be tons of fun, it’s important to remember that as humans we are coming close to the homes of wild animals, both land and water. When visiting beaches or national parks, I try to remember and leave the space the way I found it.

Here are some tips for being a good friend and neighbor to nature this summer:

  • Instead of drinking out of plastic water bottles and disposable coffee cups, bring reusable ones.
  • Bring reusable bags, utensils, and food containers when camping.
  • Recycle!
  • Maybe it’s just me, but I also speak softly when I’m in nature. I believe this increases the chances of my seeing wildlife – so that they don’t run away from ruckus!