Cattail Pond, Cismont
For friends and family, former Virginians and ex-pats, people who no longer live where the leaves change color, here are your annual fall foliage postcards. I’ll try to do some every couple of days, so you can follow the progress. Continue reading “Keswick & Cismont”
Wine Grapes, Jefferson Vineyards
It didn’t get truly hot here until recently. Until now it’s been a cool, wet summer, good for growing things. The vineyards are fat, and the hayfields are well on the way to a third cut of the season. Continue reading “High Summer”
South Branch, Hardware River, along
The Plank Road runs west from Keene toward the mountains. It was a toll road, and the original toll house still stands, a private residence now. It’s a very old road, once paved in wooden boards, and along it teams of oxen rolled huge hogshead barrels and cartloads of good from over in the Shenandoah Valley, coming down the switchbacks through Rockfish Gap. Continue reading “Cocke’s Mill”
Apple Orchard in Bloom, Blue Ridge
We drive through the little valley below Jefferson’s Monticello every day. Up above Monticello, along the ridge of Carter’s Mountain, is an orchard and vineyard with wide views of the Piedmont to the East and the Blue Ridge to the West. We’ve been going there since the kids were small, picking warm peaches in summer, pumpkins for Halloween, then apples and cider right up to first snows. In Spring, cycles of bloom sweep over the ridge like vast, slow moving clouds, starting first with the cherries. Continue reading “Mountain Orchards”
Spring is taking it’s time getting here, like it lost its way, stumbling about.
Mornings are cold and damp. Not really raining; just steady dripping from eaves and limbs, buds closed up tight. Hills and valleys stay swallowed in fog.
Small flocks of geese meander north, reluctant to leave.
New calves, sheered sheep, and fire in the fields.
Nothing but a wire fence to keep them all in.
It came down all day and all night, whistling in the chimney, blowing in under the eaves, onto the porch and woodpile. And down collars. The wet kind, that sticks to limbs and bark and poles and wire.
The maples are already in bud, and the narcissus and daffodils are up, now all pushing up snow.
Only three weeks ‘til Spring.
Continue reading “March Snow”