Monday, June 10, 2013

Shenandoah Weekend - V. 2.0

I had to say goodbye to my 8th graders last Friday. It's amazing how fond I became of that group. Some are coming back next year (YES!) and some are heading off to other high schools.  If I had my way, they would all be coming back. They were my first group of kids. I'll admit, I was quite nervous to be teaching them at the start of the year. But I quickly began to love that grade, and those kids. I'm going to be so bored without them in my lives this summer. 

Friday night Tom and I went to the Shenandoah Valley to meet up with the same group of friends we hiked with last fall. We stayed at the same cabin that had a terrific view of the area and quickly began with our traditions that we started last time: board games, talks of running, politics, and Vermont, and just good times hanging out. The rain that had plagued us all day finally stopped right before we got there and Saturday morning ended up being quite nice. 

We woke up to the sound of the cicadas on both Saturday and Sunday. I find their entire life cycle fascinating and was not sure what to expect. 

Their sound is very noticeable and surrounded our cabin that morning. I was a little worried to go hiking with them in the woods, but they seemed to stay away from the hiking path. We were able to spot the holes in the ground from where they emerged and even spotted the exoskeleton that they had shed once on the surface. Below is a video with their sounds. 

We did a mini hike on Saturday, only going for about 4.5 miles instead of the 13 we did last fall. It's amazing how much more I enjoyed it this time around. I wasn't training for a marathon, had actually gotten full nights of sleep all week, and was finished with teaching instead of just starting. I could actually enjoy it!

When we stopped for lunch a butterfly found Tom's bag and would not leave it alone. It even posed for me when I took it's picture. It stopped flapping its wings but resumed once I stepped away. 

After the hike I plopped down on the porch with my computer to write my 90+ student comments. I didn't mind the writing with such a peaceful view as the one I had below. Without the distraction of the internet, I was able to get them done much faster. And.... there was no way for the NSA to spy on us ;)

We had a fun time and it was a great way to start off summer.


Wilson was sad that we had left him, but was happy to see us when we returned. He's going to be even happier in the coming weeks when he discovers that I'm home with him all day. I, on the other hand, am not looking forward to how attached he'll become. He is a needy kitty and will drive me insane quite quickly. I can guarantee this. 

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