Living as we do in an expansive mountain wilderness, we get to enjoy dramatic scenery that changes with every season. I made sure our house had large windows in every room so we could enjoy as much of our glorious 360-degree mountain view as we possible. This year, despite all the Coronavirus hysteria, we have had the incredible fortune of enjoying the most brilliant fall foliage season we’ve experienced since retiring to our farm nearly four years ago. We’ve already shared some of the gloriously vibrant colors we’ve seen in my October 4, 2020 post, entitled Autumn Splendor, but that was only the beginning. Throughout the past two weeks as we have traveled around our Potomac Highlands region, we have enjoyed such widespread intense brilliant foliage that it is almost impossible to decide what picture to take that will do it justice. All I can say is that this fall season has given us the full kaleidoscope of vivid colors that I commonly recall from my childhood in New Hampshire. I have seen so many bright reds from crimson to pink, as well as rich orange, gold, and bronze trees that dapple the flanks of our prominent ridges and mountain.
Although we are now past the peak colors of the season, Barb and I could not resist the temptation to take one more grand tour of Pendleton County yesterday afternoon to photograph the remaining colors that linger in the North Fork Valley and Smoke Hole Canyon. It was a bright, sunny day with pleasant temperatures in the mid-60’s that provoke you to appreciate the great outdoors. After all, it will be all too soon when we will refuse to abandon the embracing warmth of a hearty fire in our wood/cook stove.
We began our journey with a ride across the summit of North Fork Mountain to appreciate the grand iconic view of Germany Valley and Spruce Knob. Many of the trees that lined the road as we drove along its flanks still displayed their dazzling colors. Even the shoulders of the road were littered with colorful leaves that had recently fallen. Judging from the license plates we competed with for a parking space at one of the summit overlooks, roughly half of Virginia’s residents had decided to visit for the show. I had to walk up and down the road for a distance to photograph the best trees and views, simply because we couldn’t park at each of the best locations.
We continued down through the North Fork Valley to Seneca Rocks, but the best colors had already faded there. We continued on to Smoke Hole Canyon, where we managed to find some spotty elegant colors in the upper levels of the canyon road, but the colors were less impressive along the South Branch River. Still, we managed to enjoy the lingering spectacle of glorious fall colors that this season has brought us. Now, if we can only manage to have a beautiful white Christmas, we will know that we have been truly blessed with great weather this year. We sincerely hope that all of our readers can enjoy the beautiful fall scenery this season.