Sabbatical is one of those remarkable gifts of the academy. At Cornell University, after 12 semesters of service on campus, one can apply for 1-2 semesters off campus, free from most administrative and teaching duties to focus on scholarship. This year has been my third sabbatical, and every one seems better than the last. I was unquestionably able to commune with my study organisms as I never have before (see my previous post, M&M in Mexico Part IV). I learned more about conservation in Mexico and field work in at high elevation than I could have ever learned from the literature. Yes, of course, I wrote a couple of scientific studies and caught up on all sort of backlogged work. But, much more importantly, I planned my days on the spot, behaving like a graduate student again after many years. Considering both carefully and whimsically what I wanted to do. There have been many rewards, not the least of which was spending an intensely close year with my family. Being an academic is a special privilege, as we are entrusted to study, investigate, and create knowledge in addition to being part of the higher education of the next generation. Sabbatical is one of the treats of the job and I will forever cherish this last year. In addition to all sorts of new scholarship, I return to Ithaca (after a final month of travel, to Madagascar!) refreshed and ready to contribute to our communal enterprise at Cornell. Below are the last bits of Monarchs and Milkweed from Mexico.