We were spoiled by a long run of good weather and spectacular mountain scenery, and what I'm convinced was the prettiest fall foliage in memory, when the clouds closed in Tuesday and brought heavy rains to the Virginia mountaintop. We rarely saw the other side of the hayfield while the heavens were going forth and multiplying -- over 4 inches, according to my $4.95 Farmer's Hardware rain gauge on the deck. We thought the weather was clearing late Thursday, but more rain came in the night -- and then the northwest winds started blowing. With them came the sun, slowing drying out sodden fields and puddled roads and revealing some lovely sights we were afraid had blown away with the gale.
What a difference. The winds keep blowing and the leaves are falling -- or rather scooting sideways, coming from the direction of Blacksburg and by now landing, I'm pretty sure, in Winston-Salem and stations south.