It seems to me that the wild purple asters are prolific this fall. They have appeared in sufficient numbers that they give the open fields a purple hue. Along the roadsides, they are the most numerous of the wildflowers.

There is an aster four feet tall growing out of the space between the flagstones in the outdoor shower.

They are a delightful wildflower and require no attention from humans to flourish. I don’t recall in previous years that they were as abundant as they are now.

Yet, I’m cautious about stating such a conclusion. I have learned by personal experience that I am capable of missing the obvious.

For example, back in the summer of 1981, I was driving the Chappy Ferry on a daily basis. One afternoon, upon arriving for my afternoon shift, I noticed to my surprise that the Vose boathouse was dramatically atilt.

I mentioned it to Captain Charlie Ross, whom I was relieving. He replied that it had been that way for a couple of days and that there was even a picture of it in the paper. I had driven the ferry for an entire night shift the previous day and had not noticed it.

Granted, things are pretty busy on the Chappy Ferry on a summer evening and my focus would have been on the boat traffic in the immediate vicinity of the ferry crossing. But I was startled at the narrowness of my attention to the world around me.

Since then, I take a scanning look around the entire horizon of the harbor when I arrive at the ferry. I try to do that wherever I am. It’s too easy to miss the interesting and sometimes important stuff. As Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by just watching.” Yes you can!