Monthly Archives: October 2019

An Autumnal Rite of Passage

Each autumn, my part of the country is besieged by leaf watchers. Those hearty souls who plan an annual trip up into the mountains in order to witness how the changing fall colors have painted the mountain landscapes.

Typically, the best time for seeing this transformation, and for enduring gridlock on the Blue Ridge Parkway, is in early October .

A couple of months ago, a professor at one of the local universities predicted that this year would be particularly colorful and appear early due to the amount of rain that had fallen during the summer.

Such prognostications are almost always in error and this one proved to be no exception.

A particularly dry period in late August and early September seems to have thrown the proverbial monkey wrench into the works. By the second week of October there had been very little color change among the hard woods on the slopes of the Blue Ridge mountains.

During that period, I’m confident that local hotels and inns were filled with disgruntled patrons who had booked their reservations a year ago hoping to be greeted with mountain vistas of flaming reds, bright yellows, and oranges; only to find a palate of mostly green.

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The Falls at Graveyard Fields – October 19th

All is not lost however. A few days of rain and nighttime temperatures which have dropped into the low 40s seems to have done the trick.

Within the last week, the awaited transformation has begun in earnest.

Those who were wise enough to book their reservations for late October or even early November appear to have won this year’s leaf watchers lottery.

The color changes will continue to increase at the higher elevations and slowly progress down into the lowlands over the next few weeks.

Better late than never.

An on-again, off-again blogger

I suppose that publishing a new blog post every six months isn’t exactly the rate of productivity that most bloggers aim to achieve, but it is in fact the span of time which has passed between my last post and this one.

I’m not going to attempt to offer any excuses for this, nor apologize, because I clearly recognize the turmoil that has been my life since last April.

Let it suffice to say that the earlier than expected retirement of my wife, the associated decision to move back to the mountains of North Carolina, managing the work of electricians, painters, plumbers, et. al. in order to get our house ready to go on the market, the listing and sale of the rejuvenated house in four days (rather than the four months we expected that process to take), multiple house hunting trips to find our new home, hiring a moving company, packing everything we own into boxes only to turn around and over a few weeks unpack everything we own, and ultimately the joy of closing on two houses in two days in two different states all has a way of filling a good bit of one’s time for periods up to and including six months.

HomeAnd I didn’t even mention the two or three months it takes to complete all of the changes that are required to turn the new house into “our” place.

It should come as no surprise that I have declared that I will never (voluntarily) move again. I included voluntarily in this statement in order to provide for the possibility that at some point, members of my family may need to take the bull by the horns and put me out to pasture in the, hopefully, distant future. But I can assure you that I will have little, if anything, to do in making that move happen.

I’m here to stay.