Monday, October 26, 2009


Yes, it's a place, and nary a moose in sight.

We had been heading that way anyway, but after stopping (screeching to a halt, actually) for Dixie Fried Chicken at The Good Stuff Cafe and meeting Paula Rhodes, the bubbling Southern proprietress, we headed up a road with Dixie in our hearts and warm chicken steaming up the windows.

Do not eat the doll's eyes berries. You will not have time to be sorry. They say.

But I'd like to return in late April to see the sweetly lemon-scented, fluffy white flowers. The plants were right beside the road, spotted when we pulled off on a rare and miserly verge to see these falls.

We seemed to be a bit late for mushrooms in general, and this particular day was bitterly cold, but I found these pretty fungi on a fallen tree branch.

We walked as far as we seemed to be allowed, about fifteen feet from the road.

Beside this lake was a single house, well-groomed, on the opposite side, separated from the road by the stream: ideal. Winter must be a little scary, though, and cold. The valley is deeply narrow. I think the manymany signs belonged to them.

At last we got out in the glittery, clear air and unpacked the chicken that had been tantalizing us for thirty minutes. It looks a bit lonely there on those plates. Also from Paula, potato salad, biscuits and corn bread.

Today's apple? Mutsu.

We were so cold that Vince got his watch out to measure the temperature. It said 8'C (46'F). It lied. No way. The picnic table had been adorned by unadventurous beer drinkers. If only we'd had screwcap wine.

After lunch, during which Vince swaddled me and tried to provide a human wind break (he came down with a bad cold the next day), we headed down the broad leaf-strewn path beside the picture book stream.


My mother, coming through the rye, I mean trees.

I'd have to say that this is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. As a South African, from the Free State and Western Cape, this kind of landscape belongs to stories, not experience. Perhaps in the Hogsback region of the Eastern Cape one might find scenery a little similar, but not where I come from.

Early this year I stood on some of the oldest sand dunes on earth, in the Namib, at dawn, and while this in no way compares visually, it does, somehow, in the effect it had on me.

So. A few hundred yards from the table we used, we found this solitary one beside the water and in the leaves. I suppose this place may be mobbed in summer, when the water is swimmable, but it was deserted when we were there.

A contemplative husband hoping for trout.

And a last look at the saturated yellow of the slender trees crowding down the slope.

We'll be back. With boots on.


  1. Absolutely stunning. No wonder you mean to go back there.

    And those creepy berries are so well-named!

  2. Hmmm, looks like the woods here — we should trade places one of these seasons ;)

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  4. btw, "dolls eye berries" is one of the spookiest things I've ever heard, and furthermore I think that whatever town borders "Peekamoose" should be renamed "Eeekamouse" immediately.

  5. How absolutely beautiful - could do with a bit of that right now. Just wanted to wish you a really fantastic birthday today (it's the 27th here) - I'm really excited to be in a new decade of life - sure you will be too - Enjoy xxx


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