We walk along an old dirt road, three woman, four children and four dogs. We are chatting, stopping to look at ponds, and trees and cairns of rocks, and caterpillars. The autumn air is a perfect temperature of not to hot for a good long walk and not to brisk to require a hot drink at the end. Our destination is an old barn at the end of the road, where hikers park their cars. My camera batteries are threatening to be dead, but thankfully they hold out. We stop to look at beaver dams and the chewed ends of a good sized tree. I put my hand on my friends shoulder and tell her I am thinking of her father. She knows why. I learn that the other woman is an art teacher too, and a musician. The children complain about the walk, but run about and have fun. My dog stays by my side and behind us all. On the return trip he runs ahead with the others, children and dogs. Why do children always complain on the front end of a walk about how tired they are and then run ahead on the way home? What a gloriously beautiful tree. And you cannot imagine how HUGE that maple tree was at the end of the walk. One of the biggest I have ever seen.