Yard Camp

We were forecast a really wonderful night up here last evening. 45° projected for the low, moon coming up about 1 AM, light breezes… seemed like the perfect night to try out sleeping under the stars again.

I dragged out a 40-year-old L.L. Bean tent cot that my mother had bought as a sun lounger, together with the little stool off the porch, laid out the bivy bag and one of the mid range sleeping bags that I’ve got.

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I set up a few of the necessary extras for comfort… you know, music streamed from the Wi-Fi in the house, Kindle to read, pipe to smoke… “all the comforts of home” [home being 40 feet away].

It turned out to be just as nice an evening as I could’ve hoped for. Cloudless skies, the full wash of the Milky Way overhead, some fireflies flashing on and off, with just the occasional thin, drifting cloud. I just lay there, tucked in warm and cozy, with my hands under my head, staring up at the Cosmos.  Best of all, the dragonflies, and the bats out of my barn seemed of done an excellent job on the bug population. I didn’t hear a single mosquito whine.

Now… the downside: my dog was not content with being left inside, so I clipped her to her runnerline and laid out one of her dog beds down beside me. [it should be noticed that this is a $50 shredded memory-foam bed that’s nearly 4 ft.²— uber-comfortable] My Siamese/Himalayan, DidiMao, also wanted to be out. Cat slept in the humongo dog bed. Dog stayed on the porch… and barked at everything. And I mean everything. Fireflies. The breeze. Bird noise. Motorcycles passing by on the road down in the valley. I hoped that once I rolled over, and was drifting off to sleep, she would settle down, but she didn’t. After three or four hours of this annoyance, a pair of Barn Owls showed up in a tree about 30 yards away and started a very earnest, and constant conversation. Probably about the dog.

So, anyway, sometime around 2 AM or 3 AM, I gave up and came back inside. I was perfectly warm and comfortable, but the distractions got to be too much and too many. I will give it another shot on another night. There’s just something wonderful about sleeping out under the stars, even once you’re sleeping or not stargazing. And the setup took all of about five minutes… I can do it on a whim. But next time I’m leaving the pets indoors. The owls I’ll deal with.

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