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My lovely sister-in-law, Em, came down to visit last Thursday and Friday. I’d invited her to come take advantage of the solitude of the house to study for an upcoming exam while I work on writing my dissertation. I actually ended up getting side-tracked for several days getting my manuscript ready for resubmission so my dissertation has sat untouched until today.

 

Birch?

 
I thought I would have the changes made to my manuscript in no time. A tweak to the text here, an updated figure there. But no. It took me a good three straight days of frantic editing and I still only got it to my advisor a day later than promised. So when I finally had my edits wrapped up and sent off, Em (who had been steadily studying away) and I both decided that we needed a break and some fresh air.

 
Fences and Sunshine

 
There are some woods out behind the house that I had explored recently on my cross country skis. Someone has cleared trails through parts of it to make a nice little loop, perfect for a quick breath of wintery freshness after being cooped up for several days straight.

 
Icy Bouquet

 
The first part of the walk leads up a hill to some beautiful rock formations and an unusual little spot in the snow. It’s some sort of rock pool surrounded by the remains of a wooden fence. It’s not very large or deep and it’s not particularly close to any houses or ruins so I’m at a loss as to what it was originally intended for. Maybe a watering hole for livestock back when this all used to be farmland?

 
The Ole Watering Hole?

 
As we made our way back down the hill, I was trying to catch a good shot of a bee’s nest hanging from a tree when Em pointed out an abandoned campsite half buried in the snow. If I had been alone, I would have hightailed it out of there as quickly as my legs could carry me in the snow, looking over my shoulder all the way. As it was, I felt quite safe in the company of my Amazon sister-in-law and went exploring.

 
Winter Retreat?

 
Nothing too exciting to report, unfortunately. I’m guessing it was just a hangout for local teens in the summer who didn’t bother to take it down before winter came.

 
Sunset over the Brook

 
We headed back to the house as the sun was starting to set, much refreshed from the serenity of the woods. I’m looking forward to finding a cozy spot by the brook in the spring. I have a feeling I’ll be coming back often whenever I need to recharge.

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