A winter moon in southern Illinois, full and bright in the dark background. The leafless branches of an old tree are visible by moonlight as are the vapor trails of two passing jets. The land is absolutely flat and the sky expansive. Barn cats roam the property warming themselves by the huge outdoor wood-burning furnace that heats the farmhouse. The night was cold....10 degrees, but the wind was calm and the silence was broken only by an occasional "maoooow" from the cats.