The air was fresh and cool when VFFN members set off on our Aug. 22nd “Lost Cow Trail” trek, as the wildfires’ smoke was barely discernible on the horizon. Joan Kelly led ten of us through the woods on a trail just off China Creek Road – a path that led to a great viewpoint looking across the valley to the south. We stopped at this spot and found a log on which to perch and relax. We spent some time exploring the area and admiring the vista, while spotting turkey vultures soaring overhead. A lone merlin also flew above us, harassed by a flock of ravens. As we made our return journey, shedding jackets when the sun began to warm us, we heard the flat, drawn-out caws of Clark’s nutcrackers, as well as the high, piping peeps of pygmy nuthatches. It was another companionable outing filled with laughter, exercise, and the tantalizing fragrance of pine. Our field trips are perfect opportunities to meet new people – two of our ten were out of town visitors: a young woman from Arizona and a 92-year-old from Metro Vancouver!