Update on Canary Melon Land

Remember those canary melon seeds we planted in a pot, now sitting on our porch, a few weeks back? They are growing. Take a look. Here they are on August 4.

And how about today, August 14?

Conf 8-14 #101

I am sure we ought to be thinning them out. But we’re not going to. We’re not trying to get melons to grow, just enjoying the plants and how they develop. I noticed that, like squash and gourds and other vines, these guys might like to climb, if they could. One of the little plants is developing those twirly-grabby-on kind of things…

Conf 8-14 #201

Full of surprises, these little guys are. Keep on growing! I encourage them every time I go in or out of the house.


Let’s Catch Up

…on some art drop-offs. This first one was July 21 at Norristown Farm Park. The pavilion was booked for a family event later in the day. I imagine this tile might have been gone the same day.

A tile at Lorimer Park, at the bathroom/classroom cabin. Sunday, August 5.

A tile at the historical info kiosk at the Welsh Road parking lot on the Pennypack Trail. Monday, August 6.

At the parking lot at Moredon Road, Pennypack Trail, Wednesday, August 8.

Near the 0.0 marker of the Pennypack Trail, Wednesday, August 8.

OK, I think we’re all caught up to date now.

In Which I Garden. Sort Of.

I’ve always had a fascination with growing things from found seeds. You may remember the acorn episode from the past at Fort Washington State Park and the Bur Oak trial from Norristown Farm Park  …neither of which turned out too well.

Squirrels ate the first set of the former attempt and the second ones did not sprout, because we were too late in the year for harvesting the acorns…and the Bur Oaks never even sprouted, darn it, though preparing them for planting was informational). Anyway, I’ve been trying this version of gardening since I was a little girl.

I remember digging up some wild daisies and replanting them near my playhouse in the back yard – where they promptly gave up and died. I think I did not realize I needed to water them to get them started in their new home.

You wonder why I keep doing it, and I point you to the avocado plant I raised way back when. (Hmmm, maybe I should try another one of those…)

But I digress.

Back here in July 2018, we  tried out a canary melon – saw it in the grocery and liked its looks. It was so-so as far as taste, I thought – mild and, well, melon. I thought I’d pep up the experience by planting some of its seeds.

My husband put them in a pot and we set it on the front porch. I had some difficulty in getting him to understand that I did not expect to grow melons. I just wanted to see the seeds grow, if they would.

Maybe it doesn’t make sense. I realize these melons grow on a vine and that we are not going to bring this pot inside over the winter and get vines to run themselves over a trellis made of the dining room chairs. But I wanted to do it anyway.

On July 22, germination! and the first two leaves appeared.

I always think of this initial pair of leaves as being the plant’s baby teeth – they are always just a sign of getting things going and are not the kind of leaves that will come along later.

Today, July 29, take a look. The first set of real leaves are appearing.

Conf 7-28 18 #104

All right! Let’s see how things go!

Happy Tired Feet

I’m writing this post to commemorate the longest walk I’ve ever taken.

Background: once a month I try to take a ten-mile walk. I go the length of the Pennypack Trail, familiar to you from many earlier posts.

Actually, the trail is about 10.75 miles, round trip, Byberry Road to Rockledge Park and back, but I usually stop at the 5 miles out mark to make it an even ten miles.

Today I did the whole thing, added another quarter mile  – and presto! an eleven mile walk.

Now, I’ve run a half marathon (13.1 miles). I have also run the (Philadelphia) Broad Street Ten-Mile run twice. All of these were done 7 years ago or so. After that my various health issues sidetracked me for a long time, and I’m not really running any more. But walking – well, let’s get going!

If you want to know, it took me 3 hours 2 minutes to do the route. I started at the mid-point of the trail, Welsh Road – down to Rockledge, back to Welsh Road, up to Byberry Road, and back to Welsh, plus about another 1/4 mile barely out of the parking lot, and…done.

Here are pictures. I take them as I go along and send them to my husband to keep him up on where I am. He sends messages back to encourage me. I appreciate that.

It’s not a visually thrilling set of photos, these you see here, but – they represent a lot of footsteps!

Art Drop-Off, Allentown, PA, July 12

In my Art Diary post from the week of 7/13, I mentioned that I have an exhibit of my paintings in this city. On the evening of the opening reception, we had some time before we needed to arrive. We spent it by taking a short walk in Trexler Park.

We are very familiar with this park and have taken walks here many times when we’ve come to Allentown (which is about an hour from our house). There is a peacefulness about the place.

We left two clay tile people on benches near the small lake. Here’s one:

And here is the other:

Then we went off to the exhibit, leaving these little guys to find new homes – and in the meantime to enjoy being in the park. Along with everyone else…


Art Drop-offs – June Ends and July Gets Off to a Good Start

I’ve been walking with my husband on the Pennypack Trail this week. Each morning before he goes to work we have gone out  and gotten in some miles. Why are we doing things this way? Because it is really hot right now – 95+ F during the day – so we want to go early and beat much of the heat.

We’ve been covering the same section of trail this week – between Welsh Road and Byberry Road,  the upper half. This side is almost 100% in the shade and runs beside the water. Once again, we are thinking cool.

I’ve left tiles all week. I admit to a little confusion about which day I set down which tiles. My computer was out sick for a few days and I didn’t get to organize the photos in my usual manner. So – I’ll do my best. Here are the tiles and where they went.

June 30: oops, these are little clay rocks, not tiles. On a rock by the trail.

Also June 30. Set on a bench at the memorial for the train crash that ocurred here in winter, 1921.

July 2 – yellow tile on a ledge. It’s not easy to see (bottom photo, look to the left side). Sometimes I like to give the art a challenge…

July 2 – Dark tile on a bench.

More July 2 – Tile on a bench. I particularly like this bench because of the sentiment expressed and the lovely contemplative location.

More July 2. I’m pretty sure some of these just mentioned must have been from July 1, but, well, it will always be a mystery.

July 3 – Tile on a ledge. I often use this location. It seems made for display.

July 3 – this item is not one of mine but I participated in its life. Look. See that little red bit (the helpful arrow was not there in real life. I just happened to notice a spot of red and had to look and see what it was.)

July 3 Rock #103

It’s a little rock painted red with some gray sections. I looked it over, admired it, and gave it a ride a little further down the trail.

I’m going to wait and see what happens. I may bring it home, but I thought I’d let others decide if they want it before I just grab it.

July 4 – The trail was very crowded today on the holiday. Never a time when people were not passing. Still, I managed to set down one tile near this bridge.

My husband does a great job as a spotter!

OK, that’s it for now. As for who is still in place on the trail and who has been taken home, I am mixed up. I will say that more than half are already gone, including all the clay rocks.

Until the next time…

Art Drop-offs June 19 and 20, 2018

Back at the Pennypack Trail these two days and the clay tile trend goes on. On the 19th, I left this tile near the Welsh Road parking lot, not too far from where the trail crosses the active commuter rail line:

The photos are not so great because suddenly some people started toward me from the parking lot and I had to pretend to tie my shoe. Anything to keep my anonymity!

On June 20, my husband and I walked before he went to work. We went toward the Byberry Road direction from the Welsh Road parking lot, the opposite of yesterday’s walk. This time I set the tile in a place that deserves a little more explanation.

conf 6-20 #301

In this section of the trail, there are two vehicle bridges crossing the Pennypack Creek from when there was a road along the other side of the creek from the rail line. A fragment of this road still exists and serves a few houses – this bridge I speak of today connects that fragment with today’s road system.

Across the creek is a trail paralleling the creek, much rougher than the Pennypack rail trail, and a network of even smaller trails all through the area. It’s part of the Pennypack Ecological Preserve:

conf 6-20 #107

If you are looking for a wide-ranging network of wild and interesting walks, this is your place to go. I’ve been all through it over the years and wow, it’s a lot of fun and interesting in all seasons.

Back to the bridge. This is an old structure:

conf 6-20 #604

This marble plaque says “Built by Montgomery County AD 1847” – I think it’s 1847, anyway. The bridge has been repaired not too long ago and is in great shape for being so old, I think. And take a look at this nice creek view:

By the way, before we started off on the 20th I checked the drop-off of the day before, back near the parking lot near the SEPTA line, remember? The tile was gone…

A Short Walk in an Arboretum

On Sunday afternoon, June 17, my husband and I took a short trip over to the Morris Arboretum, about 15 minutes from home. We wanted to take a short walk and shake off the effects of sitting all day Saturday at the art show I participated in in Allentown, PA. The Arboretum fit the bill – we’re members, so we can go anytime and stay for as long or short a time as we want. Plus, the Bloomfield Farm side was open this day – unlike the regular grounds that are open daily, this side of the site is not – you have to catch the once-a-month date to see it.

You may remember the Arboretum from previous posts:

and I did an art show there last fall.

So, good, off we went. It was a hot, sunny day, perfect for being outside.

We parked at the lower section of the location and walked across the street to the farm section. Look at the milkweed blooming!

At the farm (it’s called that because of its history, but it is mostly a wild landscape) we passed the education building and equipment sheds with their green roofs – wow, I just loved these. The whole building complex is meant to display methods of sustainability – it captures rainwater and is sited for energy efficiency, among other things.

Even the birdhouses had green roofs.

There are a lot of beehives. I did not venture close. No. I did not.


We stopped in the gristmill – it’s a real mill that’s been here since the 1700’s and is in the process of being restored step by step. We joined the tour for a short time


but I wanted to go back outside.


We wandered down to the community garden. Mint is planted around it – I think deer are put off by mint, maybe? Though there is a fence around the garden as well, more deterrents don’t hurt. Deer are persistent and numerous, being pests, really, in our area. Anyway, the mint crushed in my fingers – ahhh, the smell!


We wandered through the aisles of the garden. I liked these lettuces wearing hairnets to keep off the sun…


There was a lot of growing going on, that is for sure.

When we left, we had shaken off our stiffness and felt better for sunshine on our faces.


Art Drop-off Today, June 18

Well, the title tells you a lot, but not all of it. I went out on the Pennypack Trail this morning, in a very warm and getting warmer fast kind of morning, humid and sunny. Just perfect summer weather.

I parked the car at Moredon Road with the idea of doing 4 miles at a good fast walk (it takes me about an hour or a minute or so over), and this way, I could stop at the car for a quick drink if I were thirsty (which I was, so it turned out well).

All the previous tiles I’d left had been taken up. Fantastic! Today, I left this tile in a train control box.

Conf 6-18 #101

Here’s a full-view shot, and look at the lush vegetation all around. Green is the color of the day all right.

Conf 6-18 #202

Here is a photo of the trail in the direction I was walking. Now, it is important that these art scatterings happen so that I can remain anonymous. That means keeping an eye out for other people when I decide to set something down. I’m usually successful but a few times I have had to pretend to tie my shoe or that I needed to look at my phone, in order to throw people off the scent.

Not today. The warm sticky weather mean the trail was quiet. Good! I did my work and went on my way.

Conf 6-18 #303

Art Drop-Off Update – June 8 and 9, 2018

Let me get right to it. On Friday, June 8, I walked on the Pennypack Trail, Welsh Road to the 0.0 marker and back – 5 miles. I left two tiles along the way. This first one is near the Moredon Road parking lot and I set it on this fallen tree remnant. You see it to the right of the trail in the second photo.

The other one, on a bench.

I like to read the dedications on the benches along the trail and say a little thank you to everyone who is remembered in the plaques and to those who cared enough to have a mention put up.

The trail was quite busy. I saw several familiar faces. Shout out to Stu and Norm, two guys I have known for several years from trail walks, and to Alan, who wasn’t there, but Stu said he said to tell me hello next time Stu saw me, so – I’m saying hello back to Alan right here.

On Saturday, June 9, my husband and I walked in the Norristown Farm Park. We approached the bridge that leads to the state hospital – it’s blocked off to vehicles but those using feet for transport can go right along:

conf 6-9 #7004


I set a tile on the log barrier.

Here is what the tile is looking at, the direction we just came from – this nice leafy tunnel of trees:

conf 6-9 #6003

I set another tile on a bench.

Once again I read the inscription.

conf 6-9 #3007

Here is the view the tile is looking at:

conf 6-9 #1009

Now, we’ve been wondering. The fields this year have looked untouched. You see it in the above picture. Was the park planning to move from being a crop-growing farm? A ranger came by in his truck and we flagged him down. He said – no, they have just planted the seeds. It’s a little later than usual. Weather and so on. But corn and soy are coming just like always.

I was glad to hear it. This location has been a farm for 130+ years – you may remember that it started out as the farm for the adjacent state mental hospital and patients, if able, worked the land. This site, which also included a fish hatchery (still in action as part of an anglers’ club today) and formerly had dairy cows and fowls, supported not only this hospital but a couple of others, the ranger said. I am glad it will be growing things this season.

Until next time.

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