Changing seasons, unique vistas
People don’t usually think about going outdoors in the changing seasons. Winter hiking is awesome, summer hiking…well, you know. Fall is gorgeous, of course. But in between changing seasons, you see things you don’t see any other time.
When lake ice is breaking up, it…sings. The sounds it makes as it cracks and pulls away from the shore and from itself can be weird and otherworldly. If you’ve never heard it, you owe it to yourself to check out Pleasant Valley Lake, Vernon Valley Lake, and the Highland Lakes in the late winter or early spring.
Blink and you’ll miss these early bloomers: Snowdrop, Bloodroot, Bluebells, Ground Ivy, Dutchman’s Britches, Early Saxifraga, and more. These poke out of the snow in March and are usually gone by May. Go out in the early spring to catch a glimpse of these rare beauties.
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=92696
Who’s awake? If wildlife is your thing, there’s plenty of action in the spring. Stay quiet and you may catch a variety of animals emerging from hibernation or hungrily seeking fresh buds after a long winter—or at least find their tracks in the snow. Look for signs of whitetail deer, gray and red squirrels, chipmunks, gray fox, bobcats, and beaver. Hint: to photograph animal tracks in snow, overexpose slightly to keep the snow white, and use a flashlight to add side lighting, if necessary to highlight the tracks.
Gear up for the changing weather: Because spring weather can change quickly, dress in layers and be prepared for the extremes. Check the weather, but it can be much colder in valleys out of the sun. Waterproof hiking boots and a change of socks is highly recommended—ice turns to mud quickly. Always hike safely—let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return.
When you get back to civilization, enjoy a hot cup of coffee or cocoa—or something stronger! —in one of the area’s many hospitable restaurants, bars and inns, and share your pictures and stories. There’s a lot to see and do here, and you’ll enjoy it all in the most unique season of the year.
For up-to-the-minute information about local attractions and availability of our beautiful vacation homes, call 973-506-9955.