All those past times of grasshopper study rush before my eyes when I touch the plant, and I relive the sense of sweaty heat, the potent plant smell, and the calm of togetherness. I don’t remember our conversations. I remember the silences, the communication that floats noiselessly from one person to another, the sudden flashes of realization that we shared, and the collective joy of discovery.
The new trail camera photo showed the back view of a hog-nosed skunk on the black, icy pond, its tall, airy tail hiding the rest of its body, the round patch of skin of its anus highlighted in the flash. "A great shot of his asshole," Sam said. I smiled, knowing that the placid picture hid the fact that the skunk would have been slipping on the ice.