February 2, 2021

Orren Whiddon, Photos by Mike McConnell

One of our pleasures living here in the Allegheny Highlands is the magical change of the seasons

and how those changes bring out aspects of The Land that we live with every day,
but none-the-less remain invisible to us.


 It takes an early spring's rain freshet for us to see the incredible green halo atop the Tulip Poplar trees down along the river,
just waiting for a bit more sun and warmth to explode their leafiness. And perhaps that very rain flushed out the winter's riverbed and brought with it a newer shade of turquoise in the shadows of the deeper pools.

These are the things we live for, the pulse of The Land changing through the seasons.
The knowledge of an impending winter's snow fall gives us sweet anticipation of the coming changes,
as the very air begins to quiet and hang still, light diffused through the overcast.
The sound of our footfalls seems louder as more distant sound is muffled by the atmospheric density of the cold.

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 And as the snow gathers, all sound stops, except the low almost imperceptible murmur of millions of snowflakes
gently settling into each other, creating their mounded filigree on any horizontal surface.

And transformed, we see trees outlined as we have never seen them before, this brief instant,
this hour before a slight breeze rises and this woodland lacework falls to the ground. Expired.

And like everything in life that really matters, becomes beauty, ephemeral... memory.