Attention

An ordinary walk on an ordinary summer Saturday can yield the most extraordinary rewards. Here, walking across a sumac leaf, is the larval stage of a green lacewing, looking for aphids to eat. Commonly known as a “junk bug,” this diminutive critter has disguised itself under what appears to be bits of Styrofoam. Below it blooms a plant we often misidentify as St. John’s wort, but this one, with its little yellow bow-tie flowers, is our native St. Andrew’s cross. On impulse, I snap a picture of Queen Anne’s lace, and zoom in to look for the single purple flower in the middle of an umbel. Surprise! A Northern crab spider appears instead. Another zoomed photo of the Queen Anne’s lace reveals details of the seeds I would never notice with my limited human vision. When we pay close attention -- and make use of this gift of technology -- there are so many wonders to discover in the world right outside our walls. ~K