The northeast of the United States is a very diverse part of the country. You have some of the largest cities in the world, as well as some of the most rural areas. While New York City, Philadelphia and Boston are well-known, most people are unaware of the fact that, for the most part, this is a very large agricultural part of the country. In fact, New York State and Pennsylvania are among the largest dairy producers in the country. I had the good fortune of being able to spend a weekend in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania just as Fall was beginning to use its paintbrush, since a friend had invited us to her house in the mountains for the weekend.

As we approached our friend’s house we passed dairy farms along the road reminding us that while we were only two hours from our home in New York City, we were in a completely different world now. The sounds of traffic were replaced by either the sounds of cows, or most often … silence.

Although Fall is only a week old, here in the mountains – unlike in the city – the colors are starting to show quite nicely. Everywhere we looked we were reminded that the heat of summer is now behind us, and the lush green of the mountains is now giving way to its autumnal palette, as Fall Comes to Northeast USA

When we first set our GPS before leaving from home, even it warned us that our destination was not on a paved road, and asked if that would be okay? It was more than okay, and I was looking forward to the peace and relaxation that being in a secluded spot in the mountains can bring. We arrived at our friend’s house and stepped out of the car and into a world much different from the one we left. You could feel it in the cool, crisp autumn air. 

To me it brought to mind the days of my youth when my grandparents owned a summer-house in New York State’s Catskill Mountains. We had no TV and no neighbors to be seen. In the distance we could hear the PA announcements from the bungalow colonies where people were spending their summer vacation and their children were attending day camps. At night we would sit on the porch – in our sweaters since no matter how hot it got during the day it would be cold at night – and my mom would read to us. One story I remembered vividly was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – recently made into a movie. But to me it was a story that my mom read to us. We would also play board games, most of which were my dad’s that he played as a child in the mid 1940’s. But these words cannot convey the feeling of peace and serenity that those nights brought about. But although that was the summer months of July and August. sitting in the evening and visiting with a friend in a different mountain range here in the Fall of September brought much of that back. The next morning I was out of bed while it was still dark, and stood outside in the chill morning air awaiting the sunrise. Without the light pollution of a big city, the sky was as I remembered it from my nights in the Catskills – alive as you can never see from the city.

And then it started happening … sunrise! (You can see some of the shots of that sunrise on my photoblog, “Gathered Images” 

The next day, camera in hand, I took a walk down that unpaved road and took the shots you see here.

And then, as it always does and always too soon, it was time to pack up and head back home. But that weekend in the mountains went a long way to recharge the batteries. And now we are on the verge of yet another trip … a very different one … in the opposite direction – south! But more about that next time …

Mark is a resident of NYC. He shares his life and knowledge with us each month.