today i didn’t have much time for Naturing (when someone is treating you to a happy hour at an outdoor spot in your ‘hood, you prioritize that), so i did a quick visit to Elk Glen Lake. the sunshine and lack of crazy winds made the place particularly lovely and lush and a joy to walk around. while enjoying the crazycloseproximity to a Pygmy Nuthatch about four feet from my head that happened to be serenading me, a young boy and his father came up the trail to watch the small group of them in the tree above us all. the father, perhaps noting my binocs, asked me what the bird was. i told him, and he then asked how i knew it wasn’t a chickadee. i proceeded to explain how to tell the two apart, assuming he was referring to the Chestnut-backed Chickadee. we chatted a bit about them, how lovely Elk Glen Lake was, and about the coyotes they recently saw there. after telling them how big the pups are right about now, he asked me how i knew so much.
i explained how i’d become a naturalist of sorts since the pandemic. we parted ways, and it was very sweet. and then a solo guy asked what i was looking at while i was taking a closer look at mushrooms on a tree. and, it was a very pleasant exchange. and lastly, a guy i walked past asked me if i’d seen the fairies. wha?? he pointed me to a new fairy door i totally didn’t notice as i was looking at eye height to see where a dragonfly had gone. and, it was super friendly. all in all, i had many friendly encounters with humans today. not sure if it’s easier to want to do this as we’re now unmasked outdoors, or if it was just a nice, sunny day, or if we’re closely approaching a new, better normal on the 15th, OR WHAT. doesn’t matter. i was kinda overwhelemed with the positive interactions i had with strangers. it could be a whole new world of Naturing to come.