Walking in silence along a trail so familiar my eyes were drawn to bubbles at my feet.
Tiny bubbles, tinier bubbles, tiniest bubbles formed random patterns as they gave new life to dying grasses.
Nearby, salmon-colored disks sprouted upon the mint-green crustose form of candy lichen's granular base.
Meanwhile, crimson caps of British Soldiers shouted for recognition as they showed off their branching structures.
Upon a rotting tree and backlit by the sun glowed the irregularly lobed fruits of Orange Jelly Spot.
In another sunny spot, a Little Copper sought nectar from a goldenrod still in bloom while a Spotted Cucumber Beetle photobombed the shot.
I have to admit that I struggled with ID: Ruby, Cherry-faced, and Saffron-winged since this dragonfly showed characteristics of each in the meadowhawk clan.
Being present on this October afternoon reminded me of another day when I paced before a couple of shrubs and watched the insect action.
I am honored and humbled to announce that that blog post was recently published in The Observer, a publication produced by the Maine Natural History Observatory. My friend and fellow master naturalist, Cheryl Ring, also has an article in this issue. The most humbling thing for me was an email I received from a reader who is also an avid naturalist. She commented that my ID of a butterfly at the end of the article, which I called Painted Lady, is actually American Lady. I now realize I need a new field guide because mine refers to it as American Painted Lady and I inadvertently dropped "American," while hers dropped "Painted" in the name. It's another lesson in why I need to wrap my brain around scientific names since common can cause confusion. I do appreciate that she took the time to read the article and write to me. That said, the best lesson of any day is to take time to be present and observe in nature. Even if it's only for a few minutes.