Views of the pond were a good reason to stop for a moment or two:
I took this picture of the sun dappled trail behind me but I somehow did not think to capture the really steep sections. Maybe I was too busy watching my footsteps or trying to catch my breath
Heading back to the parking lot, the last leg of the hike:
There was a wide path through this meadow. It was a warm day, but I was not going to roll up sleeves or wear shorts (long pants tucked into socks instead) because this just screams tick habitat to me.
I am enjoying getting back into the woods even with my fears about ticks. Having a group with a leader planning these excursions is kind of nice as well.
I found this tick kit article useful but it doesn't give me a false sense of security.