Season of light


Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.  October 2015.

Shenandoah, I hear you calling

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Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.  October 2015.

The cider apple heap

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Carter Mountain Orchard.  Charlottesville, VA.  October 2015.

Wild sunrise


Troy, Virginia.  October 2015.

I’m just a horse on the moor

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Troy, Virginia.  October 2015.

Delaplane Cellars

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Delaplane Cellars.  Virginia, September 2015.

Old House Vineyards

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Culpeper, Virginia.  July 2015.

Blue Ridge Mountains

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Shenandoah National Park, VA.  October 2014.

Monday cheese


Creamy blues and earthy burrata on a chilly afternoon in the Big Meadows at Shenandoah National Park.

What a life I lead when the wind, it breathes

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Shenandoah mountains, VA.  October, 2014.

The Golden Wood


“For in the autumn their leaves fall not, but turn to gold. Not till the spring and the new green opens do they fall, and then the boughs are laden with yellow flowers; and the floor of the wood is golden, and golden is the roof, and its pillars are of silver, for the bark of the trees is smooth and grey.”  —J.R.R. Tolkien

Are there passages of books that stick with you?  Words evoked again and again through your varying experiences?  One of the descriptions in a book that I remember best is of the golden forest, Lothlórien, in the Lord of the Rings books.  Honestly they weren’t my favorite books and I don’t remember much about them, but for some reason, that one description is lodged in my memory.  Every year, I look forward to that very late part of fall, when the only leaves left on trees are the pale yellow ones, because it reminds me of that passage from the books.

On our recent trip to Shenandoah, we passed through a short section in the northern part of the park, and the sunlight was streaming through this patch of trees in just the right way to light up all the leaves and cast a golden glow on the surrounding forest.   My mind, of course, went back to that description in the book, and I would have been happy to wander through those golden woods for the rest of our visit.


Wanderings: Shenandoah


Fall has been moving in on the east coast, and we had perfect weekend weather for a last minute trip to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.  Fall colors were peaking, temperatures were crisp, and our bellies were full of fresh apple cider donuts.  Driving through the glowing yellow forests and past overlooks that opened out onto red valleys and the Blue Ridge Mountains, I can hardly believe I’ve lived so close to such a beautiful place for so many years and never visited.  I’m already plotting a return visit for next year.

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Cider and donuts


What is your favorite part of fall?  As much as I love red leaves, crisp temperatures, and beautiful pumpkins, there’s nothing I look forward to quite as much as hot apple cider and fresh apple cider donuts.


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