Sunday, October 26, 2014

Part 6 of 10: The Crown of Nature's Changing Year

Above me spreads the hot, blue mid-day sky,
Far down the hillside lies the sleeping lake
Lazily reflecting back the sun,
And scarcely ruffled by the little breeze
Which wanders idly through the nodding ferns.

The blue crest of the distant mountain, tops
The green crest of the hill on which I sit;
And it is summer, glorious, deep-toned summer,
The very crown of nature’s changing year
When all her surging life is at its full.

Amy Lowell, "Summer"

We celebrated the midpoint of our summer - "the crown of nature's changing year" - in the sleepy campgrounds of Hills Creek State Park.  This beautiful unassuming Pennsylvania park was opened in the early 1950's on land that was previously used as a pigment mine for the paint industry.  Truly a testament to the Pennsylvania Park Service, this park boasts pristine campgrounds nestled in towering Hemlocks and also miles of trails surrounding the still waters of Hills Creek Lake.

We arrived late to the park and had to set up camp in the dark, which most campers know is a frustrating endeavor that makes even the most beautiful forest campsite seem ominous and uninviting.  However, what we failed to see with our flashlights at night certainly made for an inspiring surprise the next day.  As we set out for an early morning hike we were greeted by a lily-pad covered lake,  fog transcending from its still waters as it "lazily reflected back the sun".  It was a beautiful moment.

Part 6 of 10: Hills Creek State Park