Friday, August 12, 2011

The Valley in the Summer

The valley in the summer seems to me a lazy, hazy place, perhaps because I just drive through it occasionally, on my way to the trail, a potluck, or the general store in Kimberly. The lighting is almost always a little hazy, except for early in the morning, and everything looks green. As there are fewer and fewer active farms, there is more and more young forest, as well as a lot of mature forest on the upper slopes and valley bottom.

The cliffs and hills of the Niagara Escarpment do add a lot to the view that you see. It's not just flat countryside, but a wide shallow valley to the north, getting narrower and narrower as you come south. The two ski clubs are nearer the south, where the valley is quite deep compared to its width, and slopes are quite steep. Both are on the west (or east facing) slope, where the snow lasts a little longer in March. And every time I drive by in the summer, I think about how quiet they are for 9 months compared to the 3 months of winter.

In reality there is a lot going that doesn't show up in a wide view of the valley - farmers dealing with crops and livestock, hikers along the trail, numerous small construction projects, usually either new homes or additions, tourists visiting to walk, fish, canoe and kayak, and so on. In our case we've been gardening like mad for 8 weeks now. But for me, fall is the hiking season, and winter is the skiing and snowshoeing season; that's when the valley seems really busy. For now the valley is a peaceful and beautiful place.

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