Today a sultry breeze sifts southern comfort through my screen. It playfully pulls at loose curls. It softly caresses ticklish skin. It rouses me from sweet summer dreams of red-eyed loons exchanging eerie calls across pristine northern lakes. In my mind’s eye, I’m peeking out at Palette Lake through the door of my tent. Then, fully awake, I find myself in my own bed.
Outside my window, the white pines whisper a mysterious message to their nearest neighbors, the aspens. The aspens listen in silent anticipation, then quake with delight as they answer. Their clapping and laughter rings out loud and strong across the hills. The stand of red pines down the road must have gotten wind of what was going on. Haunting, hollow voices murmur among themselves, as if debating whether the words bear repeating. Then, quite suddenly, their voices lower to a velvet lull.