Falling Leaves at Knox Mountain
October 2012

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. Today 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.