Over the past month, I have been working hard to get everything ready for winter. Barb hasn’t been able to help due to her recent surgery and hospitalization, although she has recovered significantly over the past two-plus weeks. Throughout that long work and recovery process, most of our time was spent at the Winchester, VA hospital and at home. Now that the work is done and Barb is feeling much better, we decided to take a recreational ride to Blackwater Falls State Park and Canaan Valley on a sunny Saturday (October 19) to relax and enjoy the splendor of our fall foliage.
Most of the highest elevations in our area are past peak color, but Blackwater Falls was still strutting its foliage finery. We found the canyon walls lined with nature’s pallet of brilliant red, orange, bronze, and golden leaves that so epitomizes the season. The hard frost we experienced the night before had taken its toll on the foliage, but the colors remained bold. Our expectations of the season had been tempered greatly by the extended dry period we experience through August and September, so we were overjoyed that so much strong color remained. Many of the leaves in our own valley dried and withered before changing color leading us to believe that we would be disappointed in the display this season.
We competed with a large throng of tourists to find the few remaining parking spaces available at the major canyon overlooks. We had never before visited the park when such a large crowd was present. The foliage was obviously the biggest attraction. After spending more than an hour at the park, we drove through the tiny Town of Davis to Canaan Valley hoping to enjoy more color. Regrettably, most of the foliage there was past its peak brilliance or had already dropped from the trees. Nevertheless, the mountain vistas in Canaan Valley are always worth the trip, regardless of the season.
We are now waiting for the first snow of the season. Our vegetable garden is bare, except for one remaining row of yellow onions that I am hoping will mature a little more before we harvest them. They are very hardy plants, and the recent hard freeze didn’t appear to faze them in the least. Now that the annual fall preparation chores are complete, we look forward to some long-deserved relaxation. It has been a busy year here at Peeper Pond Farm and I hope we have earned some relief. Our winter supply of firewood and pellets is safely stored in our garage and we cautiously hope we are prepared for whatever winter will throw at us. We wish all of our followers as pleasant and colorful fall.