What a wonderful place to do that!
On our way to class I spied a big fatbottom campus gray squirrel and knelt to make his picture. I called my little family over and gave a short lecture on Bergmann's Rule, which says that the colder the climate, the larger and bulkier a species becomes. Bodies become burly and tanklike. Extremities may get shorter; ears, which radiate heat, will shrink; fur thickens, of course. This squirrel looks only superficially like our southern Ohio squirrels. Sort of the polar equivalent. Phoebe needled me, saying that the only genetic difference is that this squirrel lives near Moulton (a dining hall). So FAT. I begged to differ, and went all Science Chimp on her with the Bergmann's Rule stuff.
Although I hadn't had much sleep, I got up early that morning (not hard in Maine, where even in late November, it's getting light at 5:30 AM). I ran for a couple of hours before we were to meet Phoebe for class, exploring some new marsh and woodland in Freeport. I have to explore when I'm in a new place, on foot, as far out as I can go in the time that I have. I'm compelled to do this, and I'm so glad that I do. I meet people and see things and get a feeling for the land under my feet, for the birds that live there, for the trees and the earth, too.
I find that my hosts, rather than being put out by my disappearing for a couple of hours, seem to understand and appreciate this. I figure as a guest that getting out of their hair in the morning is the least I can do.
The best stuff happens then. The best light happens then.