Life in a cabin on a mountain in southern Pennsylvania
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Checking on the color change
Last night was a “four cat night” on my bed, so the speed of fall’s color change is likely to speed up. Right now, I’d describe the state of the leaf color as variable. In some places it’s quite nice, if not yet perfect. Drive 200 yards and there’s no color at all. Drive another 200 yards and it’s nice again.
Although the peak of the color is likely two weeks away, this weekend will probably show some reasonably nice leaf change. And if nothing else, leaf lookers will probably have two weekends of enjoying the fall colors before it’s over.
This past weekend I found some decent, if yet unspectacular, examples of local color change. As you can tell from the shots, the lighting and the weather wasn’t particularly cooperative. The weather was gray and a bit hazy. I’m hoping for better or at least acceptable weather for this weekend when I will try for more autumn photos. I have a route of walking and driving already planned out. Weather permitting, of course.
If you’re not traveling to New England or northern Pennsylvania for the color change, I highly recommend driving on Rt. 233 from just south of Mt. Holly Springs all the way to Caledonia. The drive is about 18 miles long and passes Fuller and Laurel lakes. The trip is entirely forested, with nothing but mountains, the state parks at the lakes and some cabins along the way.
The views of the mountains and forests are lovely. Roll down your windows to smell the pine trees along the way. You may need to turn on your car heater to stay comfortable while doing this. As a kid, we called this “playing Valley Forge.” There are plenty of places along the way where you can park the car and walk in along snow machine or hiking trails to see even more.
So far, I haven’t yet seen or heard the big flocks of waterfowl moving south. Today feels like the kind of day when that could happen. I wish I could spend the day home at the cabin to see if I’m right about today being that day. The timing is right, too. The few times I’ve added loons to my “yard” list of birds ranged between October 9-12. I count birds for my Roundtop list if I see them when they fly over the mountain.
I live in a cabin in the forests of Pennsylvania. I write about what I see and do in the natural world around me. I've been a hawkwatcher for more than 20 years, a birder for longer than that, and a crayfish-catcher since I was a polywog.