Sunday, July 26, 2009

W. Reading (Penn, Franklin, Cherry)

Sunday afternoon between rain storms Max and I headed to West Reading. The Farm Market was wrapping up, but I wanted to find some different subjects.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wood Glen Drive Flower Gardens (Elverson)

Off of Geigertown Road just outside of French Creek State Park is an amazing garden. Probably 50 feet or more, this colorful bonanza, was planted on a bank in lieu of cutting grass I suppose. Thank You!

French Creek State Park (Dragonfly Season)

A visit to Scott's Run Lake at French Creek State Park was the destination on a warm humid summer afternoon. Scott's Run was calm with just a couple boats and shore fishermen.

Dragonflies were buzzing everywhere. It must be mating season for many were flying in tandem and connected. There are so many varieties of them too. Most common are little fluorescent blue, a few big green, blue-green, double-banded wings, brown, and even reddish ones were spotted.

Max and I explored the heavily grown-up North shore first where the dragonflies dominated, then crossed the dam and traveled the South shore line and woods trails for some scenic pix.

The paths were not very muddy until the seeps and wetland spots were encountered. As usual, F.C.S.P. is always a fulfilling outing.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Joanna Furnace (Breakfast and Garden)

When not hosting great festivals, the Hay Creek Valley Historical Society offers a breakfast buffet on the third Saturday of the month.

The breakfast is a fairly new offering and deservedly gets a pretty good turnout. They have complimented the breakfast with flea markets, art shows, furnace demonstrations or other educational tours.

These morning events offer an opportunity to tour the grounds without the big crowds. I was particularly interested in the typical 19th century garden with herbs and flowers.

A couple classic cars flaunted their lines in the parking lot too.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Angelica Creek Trails (Replayed)

About 9 days ago, I paid a visit to Angelica Creek. I saw it's huge potential, so I was inspired to go back and try to capture it.

More wildflowers, dozens of finches and other thistle eaters. Some huge frogs at the pond (they evaded my lens). 75 and breezy when we arrived turned into about 72 and calm near dusk at 8PM.

Max & I did the trails near the creek but then headed about 0.5 miles under SR10 down to the Schuylkill River for some nice lighting on the calm waterway.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts

Two "must-see" events at State College (aka Penn State) include the Arts Festival and football games. In July many thousand alums, families, and art fans congregate and reunite for a long weekend of fun on the streets of State College and Penn State Campus.

Heister Street was closed for street chalk painting. Allen Street had a band stand, and water activities for kids. Sand sculptures. Food vendors, albeit overpriced, lined the street too.

Tents for photographer's, painters, jewelers, plus glass and wood workers meandered for about of mile. To my delight, a high concentration of photographer's showed off their various destinations and print processing techniques.

Penn State has added some great buildings over the past 10 years. Possibly my favorite new one is the Information Technology Sciences building, a curving, soft "S" shape straddles Atherton St.

Finishing off the morning was a delicious lunch at the Indian Cuisine restaurant on Calder Way.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Angelica Creek Trails

Angelica Creek Park has a field-like appearance from SR10, but up close it is brimming with activity. A warm, breezy and bright 80 degree afternoon brought Max and I out for a memorable walk in the sun.

Maybe a half mile or so of trails run along the former lake bed on both sides of Angelica Creek. The planners who designed the park did a nice job with the wildflower selection. Not only is it colorful, but serves the purpose of providing a food source for so many song birds.

The thistle (popular ingredient in finch food mixes) bushes were plentiful and dozens of gold finches were feasting. I was fortunate to get to watch these little birds pull out the thistle seeds in a natural setting.

This place has unlimited potential and has started off in the right direction in my opinion. In the years ahead, as the fields and wetlands mature, pathways improve, and trees grow up it will have an even greater look and appeal.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Philadelphia Independence Weekend

Philadelphia can really throw a festival! The Independence Day weekend had numerous activities from Penn's Landing to the Independence Center to the Art Museum.

AYCE Ice Cream party at Penn's Landing drew thousands. An outdoor living history set-up with several dozen tents and even more period dressed educators was kid-friendly and informative.

If you stick around for dusk and sunset you'll be treated to a free Pops concert, Sheryl Crow on the BF Parkway and then watch fireworks shot off over the Art Museum.

I never did the Duck Boat tours and the weather was predicted to be perfect. The tour lasts over an hour and our driver, Jake, was a real comedian. Quackers were handed out to everyone to deliver insults "quacks" to unsuspecting, yet deserving pedestrians. Splash down into the Delaware River was thrilling and the views unique. The total experience was a blast and totally recommended.

We found parking in the garage of the Hyatt (Penn's Landing) for $13 for 6 hours, $19 for longer. Not too bad for that part of the city.

Dave and Busters was the happy ending to the day. It wasn't that busy for I think everyone was eating alfresco at the 200+ cafes around the city. Ironically, outdoor dining was illegal until Ed Rendell repealed the law in 1995.