Botany Pond–A visit with the Field Botany class to the NCC property in Lac Du Bois brings with it a sense of abundance. Sandhill cranes call in the near-distance, meadowlarks trill and ducks swim on the pond. We climb the hill to the largest aspen stand I’ve found in these upper grasslands. Near the top, the students spread out to sketch rolling landscape. This is my favorite place in these grasslands. Each time I visit, I feel bequeathed with natural history moments to treasure. I lose track of time completely (my wind-up watch running down completely) and it is not until Christine reminds me that it is nearly noon that I face leaving this oasis of diversity. As we head down the old, grown over road, I look back to catch a glimpse of the pond(s) shimmering in the sunlight. Back in my office, surround by the trappings (encumberances) of an academic life, I rest easier knowing that that there is a calm spot of quiet up in the hills.