The hoary frost caused a warm vapor trail twisting like camp fire smoke in the chill of mountain air. Joe was almost to his favorite spot to settle in for the night. It was only halfway up the incline, but he chose to linger a while, chop a few sticks of kindling to warm himself and make a pot of coffee.
The monarch butterflies were folded into sleepiness and the birdsong was quieting. It wouldn’t be long before the loons drifting on a slow current on the lake and wood owls would start their part of the concert. It had been what seemed like months since Joe made this familiar journey and he had been yearning for the fresh air for a while.