This is where I live. And for me, loving the South Mountain landscape has always been easy – I was born here. I have vivid childhood memories of spending every moment I could outside. My family was fortunate to live along the headwaters of the Conewago Creek where we fished in the spring, swam in the summer, delighted in the fish that spawned in the fall, and skated in the winter.
It’s not only the creek and streams I remember with joy, it’s also the sled rides down the hills of the nearby orchards, the cross country skiing in the stillness of a moonlight night, the glowing embers of a campfire and the feeling I was and am somehow connected to something bigger.
My hikes in the Mountain continue to be a mystical experience – I marvel at the creative hand that produces changing hues, blazing colors and vivid sunsets making each and every moment a new experience – South Mountain is such a magical place to me and I am at peace here.
The various paw prints I see remind me however, that I am not alone on the Mountain. I have played peekaboo with a young raccoon clinging to a tree trunk and nearly stepped on an eastern timber rattler. My encounters have been various and amazing over nearly sixty years. And I must confess, I am a tree hugger – “Big Bertha” is a very special white pine whose many years, much like my own show the cracks and wrinkles of life – I hug her every chance I get.
My life is ordered by the change in seasons here, where the first true sign of spring and renewal begins to unfold in a chorus emanating from the vernal ponds and seeps that harbor the tiny Spring Peepers. This renewal continues all through the Mountain, as wild violets, trout lilies and fern fronds unfold – there is also the unforgettable sweet scent of apple blossoms……
Life has been good growing up in South Mountain and I continue to make it my home. I have shared the fishing, swimming, delighting and skating with my nephew as he grew up – South Mountain is our family connection and most recently this sharing is being passed along to my niece’s young daughter – at five years old her childhood memories of the Mountain are just beginning. Yes, this is where I live.
By Bicky Redman
January 29th, 2015