Autumn in the Hills of Potter County, Pennsylvania
Autumn in the hills of Potter County, Pennsylvania By Diana Pierce
This time of year sure is beautiful. The hillsides are alive with color. We should enjoy every minute while it last. I find myself feeling sorry for the city dwellers that can’t get away to see these spectacular shades of vivid reds, burnt oranges, bright yellows, golden browns and evergreen that is common to us country folk.
Driving down an old dirt road as the gentle breeze releases leaves gliding softly to the ground brings a calming effect. Like butterflies searching for that last taste of pollen, the leaves become a similar sight as they rest on bushes and whatever ground cover lurks below them.
Take this journey with me as I travel down the road of my familiar surroundings in good ole Potter County, Pennsylvania, better known to the natives as God’s Country. I begin by watching a sunrise with rose images across a soft blue horizon. It is has just begun turning night into day. The bright lights of the big city with all its glamour has nothing on the breath taking views soon emerging from the twilight.
I pass by and I catch a glimpse of blurry color as I aim my sights on yet a prettier spot to stop and take a picture. An aroma of dried vegetation and sweet fruit fill my nostrils. The undeniable scent of autumn is in the air.
Take me home country roads surely comes to mind as the late John Denver was certainly a country man. As beautiful as the words from his song, so are the best days to view a glorious sight such as back road U.S.A.
It's one of the prettiest places I know. God's Country
Harvest time in them there hills bring pumpkin patches and corn mazes to a peak along with the painted hills around them.
I pass farms and fields embedded among the brightly colored trees. I watch children as they enjoy the feel of plunging into a pile of fresh raked leaves. Even their faithful pets join in the fun. Not much can compare to sound of kids laughing as they play.
I travel to the top of a mountain where I can see for miles and miles. The scene carries into an endless horizon. Dotted dark spots from evergreens weave nicely in and out of red oak, yellow popular, and red and orange maples depending on the variety. Sugar maple is most abundant here as we are in the heart of a booming industry producing sweet maple syrup.
Potter County is known well for its potato harvest and their cellars are seen throughout the county buried into the side of a hill for added protection against the harsh winter so commonly witnessed.
It is one of prettiest places I know and not just because I have lived here fifty years, but because even the tourist flock here for all kinds of reasons. Hunting brings an attraction as whitetail deer and turkey are plentiful. The camps are loading up and so are the small towns reaping badly needed revenue such an event would bring.
Take a drive through Potter County
Press forward along a narrow road to nothing more than the majestic trails most used by ATVs and farm tractors. Potter County is home to hundreds of farms. Sadly most small time dairy farmers were forced out years ago, but the stronger ones still remain and hopefully they’re here to stay.
With a booming lumber industry here one might think our pretty trees are doomed, but far from it. Most of the forest is preserved and much is private or state owned land. I can take you to places where only a woodpecker and his woodsy friends are allowed to penetrate the bark on a tree.
Our watersheds here are the beginning of three major rivers. One can step over them. Certainly hard to believe any one of them was ever so small. The headwaters of the Allegheny, Genesee and Susquehanna rivers are right here. It is important that our watersheds are kept clean. A triple divide flows three ways, eventually empting into the gulf of the St. Lawrence, Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay. It all begins in these beautiful mountains that I for one am proud to call home.
Bring me a humble thought as I end my day by casting the light of a silvery moon right at my door steps. I watch as the light shines bright over the tree tops and lighting them prettier than any other energy could possibly do. This surely is God’s Country and He gave it more than we could ever ask for. He brought hope for a brighter tomorrow and He challenged us to appreciate every given single living thing. A Sunday drive through Potter County is God’s way of saying Bless you and all that follows. God Bless America.