“Look at that caterpillar,” Andrew J. Brand said one afternoon, as we passed a hummocky old bottlebrush buckeye shrub in my garden.
What caterpillar, I thought, quickly training my eyes in the direction of his gaze rather than embarrassing myself by acknowledging that I hadn’t noticed anything.
What he had spied looked to me like nothing more than just another of many twigs, jutting from a branch at a slight angle. But it was not a stick. It was a stick caterpillar, the well-disguised larval form of some geometrid moth or other — a creature so inconspicuous, so cryptic that it can eat without being eaten, hiding in plain sight from everyone. Except for Mr. Brand.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, in Boothbay, is to make certain that big-picture scenes grab us, too.
his Instagram page when he posted the close-up of that long-gone-by bloom. Mr. Brand is neither social-media influencer nor professional photographer, but friends and colleagues look forward to seeing what he sees, and shares, with the hashtag #observeconnectexperience.
His way of observing is often focused on what he calls “the greatness in small scenes.”
Each small moment quietly reminds us not to rush on to the next garden chore, or get distracted by the showy, obvious stuff. Instead: Slow down and really look.