this is one of those springs that you never want to forget. the warm weather and astonishing 11 days without rain led to a wonderful series of outdoor memories. earlier this week i backpacked with a group to a not-so-far-away spot to help instruct a course on Leave No Trace principles. two years ago it was my first time camping or backpacking. this time around, i helped others fiddle with backcountry stoves and water filters. i also got my first round of black fly bites, but not too many. i skipped the tent option and slept out under a tarp and the stars, of course. the peepers were deafening – i don’t know if you’ve ever slept near a pond a night in may, but the peepers are off the hook. it was the barred owls that serenaded me to sleep, however. there were multiple owls calling to each other in their typical territorial vocalizations that sound a lot like how i imagine monkeys in a jungle sound. we also woke up to a gorgeous misty morning and i watched the fog settle into the trees and roll over the murky pond.


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