This June, I was extremely fortunate to meet a family of newly hatched Piping Plovers in Long Island. A species listed as near threatened by the IUCN, heavy protections have begun to pay dividends as each spring, more pairs have been found breeding on the island. They've even begun to breed further inland. I spent a sunset with this young family, watching as the impossibly small and cute, precocial day-lings flitted about the sand, seeking tiny insects and aquatic invertebrates. I was cautious to keep distant, allowing them to feel comfortable and non-threatened. Positioning myself facing the sun, I laid low, watched and hoped for one of them to come closer. When this tiny cotton ball ran through my field I noticed that not only did its fuzzy downy feathers light up, as expected, but the sand beneath as well. It was a magical moment I'll never forget.