Realized, when I smelled a faint trace of bear, that I haven’t ever gone into Wendell State Forest at night. It’s a wild enough place that it never feels like it belongs to humans, but under full dark, spotlit by perigee, I called Gilgamesh to heel and kept clear of dense growth. A beaver felled a tree on the other side of the water while at pond’s edge, I photographed the Milk Moon, closer to earth than it will be again this year. Gilly stayed close—tail-happy but close. A dense and quick mist slid through the pines, clinging to the ground, rising halfway up the trunks, obscuring all detail but sky. When we returned to the mown field at the top of the forest access road, I released him from heel with a whispered “okay.” He wheeled in rocking-horse-gait, cavorting, glee in our moonlight adventure overwhelming creaking bones. Apple blossom scent washed over us. Clusters of Quaker Ladies spread like snow-patches on the silvered green.


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