Have you ever noticed how a season can define a place?

Lancaster offers beauty in any season…

Lancaster, Pennsylvania is like that. Visiting in the Spring will leave you with a much different experience than when you visit with Old Man Winter.

Spring blooms welcome new life…

May sweeps in with a wonderful, exuberant feeling of Spring and new life. Fresh grass pushing up from the soil, horse and buggy happily prancing down country lanes. Amish children help their fathers with farm chores, while their mothers hang freshly-washed traditional frocks out on the lines.

Traditional frocks dry naturally in the Spring sunshine….

Beautiful, hand-made colorfully-patterned quilts are displayed on front porches, luring inquisitive tourists to leave their cars out on the road, and perhaps purchase these treasures.

Brightly colored quilts lure passing visitors a little closer….

And come they do, those tourists… by the HUNDREDS; all clamoring for a “taste” of the Pennsylvania Dutch life and experience.

Daily chores add richness to the Lancaster landscape…

They crowd around the stalls at the outdoor (and indoor) farmers’ markets, push and shove past each other entering and leaving the shops in the neighboring areas, and make each other wait for up to one hour to get into “authentic Dutch-style” restaurants.

Each and every tourist is there, snapping photos and recording video while posing in front of the horse and buggy parked obediently by the side of the curb. Excited to show family and friends back home what they did on their Amish vacation (even though most of them NEVER get into the buggy for the ride around the villages).

That’s May in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Buggies draw memories of a simpler time….

In December, when Old Man Winter visits the countryside, the shops are practically empty. The tourists have gone home for the season and remain home, fearing bad weather.

And bad weather DOES arrive!

Crisp air brings in a new season…

Snow blankets the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside creating a winter wonderland fit for a Norman Rockwell painting. Serene. Peaceful. A moment captured in time. A time with fewer visitors.

Winter offers time to rest, reflect, and renew…

But the Amish don’t seem too bothered by the absence of “those folks.” Their daily chores must continue and their horses and buggies must trudge through the snow and slush to their appointed destinations. Afterall, for them, this is home.

Daily life continues even when tourists are not around to see it…

The beautiful hand-made quilts still hang on some front porches, their colors appearing more striking against the snowy backdrop. Winter tourists remain tempted to discover these treasures as they travel along the roadside.  Indoor farmers’ markets remain open, only for selected hours now.  And the one hour wait May tourists experienced at the shops and the restaurants, are replaced by instant service and seating.  Hotels which proudly posted “NO VACANCY” in May, now happily welcome the few who do venture out to this beautiful area.

The feeling in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in December is not as exuberant in May, but still is one of wonder, awe, thankfulness and enjoyment…just to be in
Lancaster; ANYTIME….

 

 

Photo Attribution:

  • www.flickr.com/photos/20705353@N00/3639859026/
  • www.flickr.com/photos/rswatski/5478654005
  • www.flickr.com/photos/angelo_antonelli/6133657841/
  • www.flickr.com/photos/shinyasuzuki/9648719091/
  • www.flickr.com/photos/tristanloper/25886459543
  • www.flickr.com/photos/tristanloper/26216323010
  • www.flickr.com/photos/tristanloper/26396945372
  • www.flickr.com/photos/tristanloper/26423185931
  • www.flickr.com/photos/tristanloper/25886516263/
  • https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6231/6309882999_0d4aa46cb4_b.jpg
  • https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5350/9674528162_452aeb7bef_b.jpg

 

Plus various Public Domain Photos