Falling Leaves at Knox Mountain

It’s a perfect fall day… sunny and nearly 60F. I head to Knox Mountain to enjoy the fall air and make a few QSOs. I work France and Georgia.

The trail is a carpet of color. The air is glorious. Most of the leaves are on the ground. Afternoon sunlight still dances between the bright yellow beech leaves.

The brook tells the story without a word. Gold leaves mingle with golden sun and green moss.  The season is changing as rapidly as the running water. There is a certain nostalgia that comes with the season.

The trail follows the brook, and as I approach the cabin, I must jump across the rocks to the other side. The old bridge has rotted, and the caretaker has removed the ancient timbers.

The pond is full, not only with water… but of stories and images that lay mysteriously upon the fragile surface.

I sit in my favorite place in the sun on the east side of the cabin… beneath a cherry tree. Everything is still except the tapping of a woodpecker. Even the crickets are quiet now. But I see them hopping in the grass around me. The clouds are but wisps… the day a poignant reminder of the changing season.

I heave a line about 40 feet over a cherry branch and pull up a half wave wire for 20 meters. The band is muted… I think many of the stalwarts are on 15 and 10 meters today. I should have brought the ATS-4 so I could operate on 15. I am using the HB-1B with 4 watts. Signals are down here and I get poor reports from the stations I work. First I call F8BPF in the northwest of France. It takes Sylvain a few tries to get my call correctly. He gives me a 419, but copies my name and QTH the first time. He is running 100 watts to a 3 element yagi. I can hear him easily.

Next I work a county hunter operating mobile in Georgia. Greg, NM2L/M only gives me a 339, but again he copies the exchange first time.

I pull down the wire and prepare to leave. Today radios take second place. The air, the sky, the water, the leaves and the quiet rule the atmosphere.

Jim Cluett, W1PID, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Hampshire, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

4 Responses to “Falling Leaves at Knox Mountain”

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Jim the pictures are great and sure do tell a story, I have to admit I am very jealous!!! That is a fantastic spot and to improve on something I would think was heaven…..then you add ham radio as the icing. Up this way the weather was just great but I had to work and enjoy it later in the day and evading.

  • Thanks for the note Mike. Fall is just MUCH too short for me. vy best, Jim

  • Michael - N5TGL:

    Great story, well written. I can’t wait for the weather to cool here in Texas!

  • Dave K1THP:

    Good job Jim. Have you ever considered thaking these snipets of the outdoors in New Hampshire and publishing them, pictures and all, in an E-Book? Probably too much work but your hiking and ham radio adventures need a larger audience. I like your style of writing augmented with just the right mix of photography and just enough of Ham Radio to pique even the non-ham readers curiosity of our great hobby.

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