She’d landed her dream job here five months ago, and it seemed her work as a plant conservationist would finally make a difference. The size of the property, sprawled over ten thousand acres of some of the prettiest land in the region, meant she had little human contact except for checking in at the Institute. That suited her just fine. Plants were much easier to figure out than people. Their needs were clear cut, and there was no duplicity or manipulation in their world.
It was quite unusual that more than half the land was set aside as a sanctuary for native plants and animals, but that pleased her to her toes. The rest of it was dedicated to expensive homes, retail stores, and recreational facilities, but she felt no lure toward those aspects of the community.
The golf club and restaurant were quite upscale, in sharp contrast to what she felt was more important. But the Institute didn’t operate in a vacuum, and money made it possible for more noble ideals to be realized. Who was she to question the Institute’s arrangement with the developers?
The site for a snack bar designed to cater to those using the proposed nature trails was the area under contention today. She saw no need for such a thing. Self-sufficient, she had no problem carrying her own pack with whatever essentials she needed, whether she was hiking on Institute business or for her own pleasure. A “recreation café?”
“Maybe.” She shrugged. “Maybe not.”
Eriogonum longifolium, var. gnaphalifolium. The leggy wild buckwheat right smack in the middle of the site would stop construction, at least for now. No matter what the Chapman guy said.
She’d see to it.
Harmony’s camp was wired for electricity and her tent-cabin had a separate plumbed bathroom and shower. The spot was slated to become a lakeside recreation area within the coming year, but for now it was hers and hers alone. Just the clear water, sprawling live oaks and towering cypress trees to keep her company.
Her tent-cabin wasn’t large, just one room with a screened-off private area to change.
The short walk to the bathroom and shower was no hardship. She knew where to step.
Not like that fool she met yesterday.
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