One of the real advantages of birding with kids like Mira and Lael, besides their innate enthusiasm, is that they see things that Leslie and I tend to miss. For instance, Mira had asked about beavers, so when I saw freshly chewed sprigs, I pointed them out to her and went on my way looking for birds. We’d barely gone ten yards down the path when she called us back to see her discovery.
Neither Leslie or I could spot what she was talking about at first, but I finally managed to focus my birding lens (the wrong lens) on the insect (which I never did identify) and could see it in the viewfinder.
We hadn’t gone too much further down when she called us back again, this time to look at this green insect sitting on the sign.
I probably should try to identify it, but I’ve resigned myself to limiting myself to identifying all the birds I see and to not cluttering up my mind with the names of all the insects and plants I wish I could identify but will never manage to memorize in this lifetime.
Heck, if I could manage to identify all the insects I’d still be frustrated by my inability to identify trees (and flowers) that I photograph.
Thankfully, it’s possible to see the beauty in a branch without knowing its name. It’s far too easy when we “know” a plant to ignore it, as if giving it a name somehow captures its essence. Unlike kids, we take it for granted.
Of course, even though I recognized this as a variety of Oregon Grape, it struck me as quite beautiful: