On April 26, I wrote my very first post to this blog, entitling it “Three Weeks to Go”. Now here, 5 1/2 months later, I could use the same title once again. Three weeks from today, on Sunday, November 1, we will be leaving this magical island and going home to our lake house in south Georgia.
In that first post I wrote about packing boxes and address change forms. I was going to ship seven boxes north a few days before we left, as there would be no room for them in the truck. Now, those same address change forms must be completed, but there will be only one box to ship ahead, filled with Christmas gifts for family and friends. Ted and I are adamant about not taking home a lot of clothes. We are leaving most of what we have worn during these 5 1/2 months here, hanging in the closets and folded into dressers. We both know there are plenty of clothes in our closets and dressers in Georgia to get us through the winter and the beginnings of spring.
We’ve had another weekend of freaky weather here on the island. More strong winds (more trees down), a few snow flurries (but you had to be looking out the window at exactly the right second), a little rain, and much colder temperatures (Friday night-32, Saturday night-34, and highs in the low 50’s both days). Wind chill – well, let’s not talk about wind chill. Brrrrrr.
Two weekends of wind storms have stripped some of the trees’ beautiful leaves, just as they were reaching their peak of color. But for every semi-bare tree, there are thousands more just turning, or already wearing, brilliant reds or oranges or yellows. We will make the hike up to Fort Holmes sometime this week to get the next photo in the fall series from that spot. I have a feeling that the difference from last month will be phenomenal.
I really wish you could have seen me bundled up for walks this weekend – I had on so many layers I could barely move. Today, after church (the last service of the season for Little Stone Church), Ted and I walked downtown for lunch at the Chippewa. We came back up Fort Hill and walked through the woods to the condo, so I could “leaf watch”.
Leaf watching on the island is much different from leaf watching in Georgia. There, when we talk about “going to see the leaves”, we mean we are going to take a weekend trip into the Blue Ridge Mountains of north Georgia. There, from cabins set on edges of cliffs, or from roads that curve through the mountains, you look out on a panorama of color that spreads out for miles and miles. On the island, unless you are at Ft. Holmes (the highest point), it is the individual tree, or groups of trees, that draw your attention. Hiking through the woods on dozens of paths is like going on an exciting treasure hunt. You never know what you will find around the next bend in the trail, or by simply looking up to the heavens through the brightly colored trees highlighted against that blue, blue sky. Sometimes a tree will be so beautiful that you will just stop and gape. And when the sunlight hits a leaf in such a way that you see every vein and pattern, you know that only the greatest artist of all could have created such beauty.
The pictures below are from our excursions out into the cold this weekend. The peak of the leaf color is still to come.