Time Passes

I was walking in the Pennypack Ecological preserve today, a place I haven’t been for some time. Now, let me explain – I walk on the Pennypack Rail Trail, paralleling the Pennypack Creek, almost every day. It’s a wide, easy-to-navigate trail and follows the old rail line. Across the creek lies the Pennypack Ecological preserve. It can be accessed from the rail trail by two bridges.

The preserve is criss-crossed by a network of footpaths, quite rough, most of them, and there is one main trail, a former road now in disrepair. I crossed the creek from the rail trail to the preserve side, intending to walk along the road and re-cross later at the other bridge.

I took a whole adventurous walk, but I’ll tell more about that later on. For now, I wanted to mention this sight. In April, 2015, I took these photos of a toppled uprooted tree located right beside the trail. The overturning of this tree was quite recent.

Now in October 2016, take a look. Here is visible evidence of time passing.


The roots are now wearing a wig of fast-growing vines.


About Claudia McGill

A person who does art and writes poetry. That's me!

5 responses to “Time Passes

  1. It’s fascinating how quickly nature takes over. I watched a documentary years ago about the ways in which nature would reclaim man made structures and areas should humans just disappear. It was incredible how rapid some of the natural growth was – or was posited to be.

    • I agree, this walk today showed me how much things can change in just 18 months – I haven’t gone on this side of the creek since last spring, having fallen several times due to eye and balance problems, so I took a break. Now that I see the same landscape again, I am surprised by how much the road has crumbled, the vines have changed the look of things, and how much bigger little saplings they are growing in a field have gotten in just that time.

  2. As they say, nature abhors a vacuum! Plants will quickly colonize any available space. When was in the UK to visit my grandparents during the 1960s there were still several bomb sites (from the Blitz in WW2) and they were completely taken over by plants – the ones I particularly recall are Buddlia which was/is a butterfly magnet, and Rose Bay Willow Strife with its pretty deep pink florets. All gone now of course. Some plants particularly thrive on overturned earth, the common poppy is one of them. That is why it became such a symbol of WW1, because poppies bloomed in the earth disturbed by the shelling, and you still see swathes of them in northern France. Love your descriptions!

    • Thank you! I enjoyed your memories and the info on the plants described. It made me think of another thing, tiny tree seedlings appearing in fields no longer under cultivation; they can move in in an eye blink. I like watching Nature’s persistence over time as familiar surroundings slowly evolve.

  3. Pingback: Out in the Woods, Part 2 | Sometimes You Get So Confused

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