Saturday, February 28, 2009

Valley Forge National Park (Blustery!)

John (flickr) and I spontaneously decided to meet at Valley Forge National Park for a blustery photo shoot. He's my photographer buddy from the Mother of all Philadelphia photo walks.

We met at the Welcome Center and then drove to the National Memorial Arch. It was a 34 degree, gray day with strong winds. I've been to the park about six times and remember windy conditions most of those visits. Tour Map of VFNP.

We spotted some deer down in a field next to County Line Road. Not knowing how many deer we'd see, we drove down to get a closer look. The deer are mainly oblivious to cars and people so photographing them is fairly easy. We turned around at the Maintenance Road and saw even more deer by the maintenance buildings. Deer sightings will be a little less common, for they are planning a massive (80% reduction) deer harvest over the next 4 years.

Back on the tour, we stopped at General Wayne's statue. I mistakenly thought he was George Washington, due to the clothes and tri-cornered hat. His story is quite remarkable, for he led a raid into New Jersey to basically steal livestock and food from the enemy farms. The success of his pilfering missions contributed to the survival of many soldiers over the winter months.

Sneaking up on deer was a recurring theme for the day. After a few more roadside deer photos, we turned onto and rumbled across the covered bridge. Unlike most wooden bridges, this one is white and has open sides.

Running out of time, our last stop was going to be the Artillery Park. Frankly, this is what I was most looking forward to shooting. Rock steady subjects, totally unaffected by the wind and gray skies, the canons were really fun to shoot.

On the way out of the park, I stopped at the Freedoms Foundation. Touting one the biggest U.S. Flags I've ever seen, it can be seen easily from multiple vantage points inside VF.

My final stop was at Black Rock Preserve (1 mi N of Phoenixville), which is a stop on the Atlantic flyway so birding should be great in season.

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