The blustery breezes, cool temps, and fresh mountain air called to me this afternoon as I headed toward western Augusta County and the fog-shrouded mountains. Sunshine was breaking through the clouds that had brought early-morning, much needed, rain. The air that had been hazy the past week or so because of temperatures in the upper 80s was clear and mountain ridges were sharply defined against the sky. The farm above is nearby ... the leaves are just beginning to turn.
Not far from the farm, I stopped and look toward the Appalachian Mountains at Elliott's Knob.
This forest road located in the George Washington National Forest at Buffalo Gap is always pretty in the fall as the leaves cover the gravel road leading to a favorite hiking trail.
Augusta Springs Wetlands in western Augusta County is a popular birding area with hiking trails and a woodlands pond at the site of the old turn-of-the-century Augusta Springs Hotel that burned 100 years ago.
Fun in all seasons, today's visit was full of the aroma of fallen leaves as the wind showered me with more and I shuffled through the ones on the ground. It was a reminder of a warm day six years ago when my sister and then-11-year-old niece and I stopped by for a summer adventure, following the trail and boardwalk markers, something I had done with my own children when they were young.
Through the eyes of my niece, Augusta Springs makes us all children again in this tiny corner of the George Washington National Forest.
Queen Anne's Lace lined the roadsides.
Another nearby farm in the shadow of Elliott's Knob.
Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
October 7, 2013