Book Tour Big 350: lichens, butterflies, and mussels

From Portland, Maine, Kimberly Writes: We've been blogging every night during our book tour through New England, updating readers on how we're doing with our 350 Species Challenge.  But after a very long, wonderful and emotional day on Thursday, we were just too darn tired, so we promised ourselves that we'd catch up soon.

Highlights from Thursday, October 25th.  
We started our day in Concord, New Hampshire and headed off for Exeter, New Hampshire.  We made a slight detour so we could spend some time on the coast, both to add species to our list and because we both love the ocean and the beach.  

We stopped for lunch at a great little place and splurged by ordering big bowls of Clam Chowder!  It was a little chilly on the beach, so we were both happy to have something warm and wonderful like delicious local Chowder. 

Just outside the restaurant was a small butterfly garden that still had some blooming flowers.  They were looking a little tired, but still had enough life left in them to attract a few late season Painted Ladies!  By this late in the season, every butterfly we see feels like a gift, and the Painted Lady was no exception.  

On the beach we found several new things for our list, including...

Sea Lettuce

Blue Mussels

And the aptly named Sunburst Lichen

Spending time on the beach was great and it helped put our list up over 320.  But we really had to move on, so after our lovely walk on the beach we headed for Exeter where we gave an evening talk at the Water Street Bookstore.  

Everything about the evening was perfect.  Water Street Bookstore is one of those awesome bookstores where charm and atmosphere flow from every nook and cranny.  The audience was warm and friendly and very complimentary about our presentation and about the book.  And the store's owner, Dan Chartrand, was a perfect host. 

Just when I thought the evening couldn't be any better -- it was!  

Dan told us that he had something for us, and he came out with this stunning flower arrangement. 

I couldn't imagine who they could be from, and then I read the card. Turns out, my wonderful, amazing family back in Ohio had arranged for these gorgeous flowers to be delivered to the bookstore for us. When I read the card and discovered who the flowers were from, I just broke down and cried.  It was the sweetest, most thoughtful and encouraging thing for my family to do, and I love them beyond words for this very special surprise. These beauties are now strapped into backseat of the Nature Mobile so I can enjoy them everywhere we go!  


  1. The flowers are beautiful and your family is so wonderful for thinking of this! I'm sure this has made the long trip away from home a little sweeter! We can't wait to see you both! Now, go get those 350 species!

  2. Thanks so much, Tiffanie! The flowers are gorgeous - and what you're doing for us by caring for my babies at home is just as beautiful and just as thoughtful. There's no way I could have enjoyed this trip like I have if the kitties had been boarded someplace away from home. You and Delaney are like angels to me!


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