Early Spring on Shute Hill
March 2016

Judy and I hiked up to the 20 acre field on Shute Hill this afternoon.
I worked Spain, Italy and England.

The way up the hill was pretty muddy even though the town had spread many trucks
full of crushed rock on the road. We walked past Ivan Phelps' farm and turned up
the lane going east into the big field. We could hear red winged black birds trilling.
It was sunny here, but only 43F.

I tossed my line into a big oak tree and pulled up the wire. I sat below the branch and
hooked up the KX3. I started on 17M and picked the strongest station on the band...
IK4VFD was calling CQ. Rudy gave me a 559 and we signed after a brief exchange.

Then I switched to 20 meters and called Andy EA5IIK. He also gave me a 559 and we
had a quick contact.

Down the band I could hear Tom G3HGE working another station. I wanted to say "Hello"
to my old friend so I listened while they chatted for a few minutes. When they were finished
I called Tom. He came right back. I knew he was using one of his beautiful handmade
Vibroplex-style keys. You can see one on his QRZ.COM page. Tom and I have had many
QSOs... a lot of them while I was outdoors operating in the boonies.

After signing with Tom, I packed up and headed back to the old range road about a half mile
to the west. This will be a nice warm spot to operate in the coming weeks. Soon the grass
will start to turn green and the hillside will fill with the sounds of peepers and spring will
be here for real.