Posted by: geolocke | 2014/11/09

Autumn In North Carolina

I believe that North Carolina is one of those special corners of all creation, where God paused and rested on the ‘seventh day.’  I’m sure that folks everywhere feel something similar about where they live, but in the case of North Carolina, I really feel this to be true.  Maybe it is the age of the mountains, which were once the mightiest range on this planet. Or perhaps it is the quiet surreal stillness of the black waters of the perfectly oval Carolina Bays that are scattered among the forests, fields and swamps of our coastal plain. Or maybe, just maybe it is the rich abundance of gold and gem stones that lie hidden in the depths of the soil of the rolling hills of the piedmont. Whichever the case may be, there is just something special about North Carolina that gets deep into my soul and lets me know that, no matter where I may wander, I know that my home will always be North Carolina.

While every season has its own particular blessings, I am especially fond of autumn in North Carolina. Everything  seems more relaxed and folks take things a little slower, although by no means is this a time of resting. On the beaches the summer crowds of frolicking sun worshipers gives way to the quiet solitude of the surf casters, and the wild ponies wander the shorelines undisturbed. Couples and solitary souls wander along the shoreline  amongst the surf casters searching for the one seashell that will complete their collection. Shrimp, oysters and blue crab are brought in abundance to the fish houses, freshly harvested from the Atlantic Ocean, the sounds and the marshes. Inland, across the coastal plains and the rolling hills of the piedmont, farmers are completing their harvest and preparing their farms for winter. Livestock is being fattened and preserves are being put on the shelf in the pantry. In the mountains, the apple harvest is in full swing and Christmas Tree farms are preparing for the start of their season. And every bit of this is occurring under the most incredible explosion of colors that one can imagine as the trees put on their annual show for us.

Julian Price Memorial Lake, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

For me, one of my favorite parts of this State is the area where the forests and red clay soil of the Piedmont’s rolling hills falls into the sandy fields and pine forests of the Coastal Plain. The dazzling array of red, yellow, gold, and white of the oaks, maples, sweet gums, beeches, poplars and sycamores suddenly gives way to the dominance of dark greens and browns of Loblolly and Longleaf Pines. And the rich red clay of the Piedmont suddenly changes to white and beige sandy soil of the coastal plain. In the fields, row upon row of brown dried corn stalks are waiting to be taken up for feed and Cotton lies like a blanket of snow from the road to the edge of the forests that lie at the boundary of the fields.  Could they be one mile away, or two? It is hard to judge the distance from the roadside. Some fields still hold soybeans awaiting harvest, the dry leaves of the plants rustling and whispering in the wind that blows from the north. Another field holds the green stalks of tobacco plants that have been stripped of their leaves and still other fields have already been plowed, awaiting the planting of the winter wheat crop.

Waiting for Spring

The watercourses also change their habits as they flow from one region to the next. Welling up from springs in upper lands of the Piedmont, they start life as small streams jumping among the rocks and twisting here and there as they combine and recombine with one another until they form mighty rivers. Pulled down by gravity, these rivers still have some action in them as they scamper over rock ledges until they suddenly find themselves slowing down in the gently sloping fields and forests of the coastal plain.  Although these watercourses have already descended some 600 feet in elevation, running about 100 miles from their sources to this point, there is still another 200 feet of elevation to drop them from the edge of the piedmont to the sounds and the Atlantic Ocean, and this drop is spread out over another hundred miles or more. The result is that the rivers suddenly slow down and widen and take on a darker color as more soil from farm fields is picked up by the slow-moving water.

It is this area that I find most special, where the changing of the land accents the changing of the seasons. For me it the ideal time to explore this land. To take a road I’ve never traveled down before and to see what lies around the next curve.  Perhaps to catch a splash of color illuminated by a ray of sunlight piercing through a gap in the clouds, or to come upon a majestic sunset across an empty field and to imagine for a moment that it was created just for me. To stop by the roadside and listen to the silence of a field or forest and to think of the life that lies hidden within the soil, just waiting for God to call it forth from its slumber. To laugh with joy at the sound of a running brook and to contemplate the stillness of slow-moving waters as they flow through deep dark forests. It is a land that calls to me and speaks to me with words that only my soul can comprehend. It is a land where God has planted me that I might grow and prosper and one day share the harvest of God’s Blessings. It is the land that I call my home, a land where I believe that God rested on the seventh day.

Hidden Potential



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