Fall is our favorite time here in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. It’s a time when all of the efforts of summer’s work yield its reward. The garden is now ready for its long winter nap. The onions are safely stored away in the cellar and those jars of lovely red canned tomatoes patently sit on the shelf, waiting to be made into a nice steamy hot pot of soup. There are still lots of cabbages, apples, pumpkins, and squash for sale in the roadside stands but colorful scarecrows have now taken the place of the summer flowers.
Fall has always been a time of reflection for me. On one hand, I am grateful for the extra two weeks of summer like days that we have enjoyed in October. The extra time was put to good use: cleaning up my yard and garden, storing summer’s tools, and planting some bulbs for spring. But the ever shortening of the days seems to drain energy for me, just as the fleeing sun drains light from the sky. I don’t want fall to pass me by so quickly.
I took a drive to Vine Valley, a little hamlet in Middlesex, NY. This place is located at the southern end of Canandaigua Lake and is rich in Indian history. This place was inhabited by Native Americans many thousands of years before the white man came. I was hoping that the beautiful colors of the fall leaves there would restore some of my lost energy but the leaves are already past their “peak” and either have turned a pale yellow or already have fallen to the ground. The one exception that I found was a beautiful red maple obviously planted there by the locals.
There was some activity at the Vine Valley beach as New York State Environmental Protection Fund is paying for some upgrades to the beach area: a bath house and a paved parking lot nearby. But it does make me wonder if some of the magic of this place will be lost.