I was reminded by my friend Laura’s (A Pict in PA) recent post regarding her family’s trip to Norristown Farm Park that we had not been there ourselves recently. Plus, I was intrigued by her sunflower photos…I had not noticed any when I was last at the park, but it has been some weeks, and crops grow FAST this time of year.
So my husband and I decided to take a walk there on Sunday, August 3, to renew our acquaintance with one of our favorite spots around here.
We parked at the bocce courts in the township park next to the Farm Park, because I wanted to leave some tiles at the Wishing Well. We pass by it on our way into the Farm Park and I like to leave something there if I can.
We decided to take a different route through the park today – staying on this side of the park rather than making the large loop we often do. I also had some clues from Laura’s photos as to where the sunflowers might be, and I wanted to include that section on our route.
So today we saw some different sights.
Right off the bat, an impressive view: check out this field of soybeans. Not to mention the insect buzzing by, too.
Remember, this park is composed of the land formerly attached to Norristown State Hospital, just adjacent. I’ve written many posts on that location as well as this one in that context, so I will not give more details except to say that much of the land is still farmed as it was when the hospital patients worked here, although today the only crops grown are corn and soy. In the past, it was thought beneficial for mental patients to have productive work to do, if they were able, and this farm raised food crops for the thousands who lived at the hospital or worked there, as well including a dairy, hay-making, and a trout fishery (still in existence and managed by a local fishing club).
Autumn is not that far away. The life cycle of trees and flowers is heading into making seeds and fruit. This evergreen tree knows.
We continued on our walk. The route takes us on and off the hospital grounds. To the casual observer it all looks the same, and it doesn’t matter, because the hospital grounds are also open for walking. This building here is on hospital property; we decided to take a gravelly path uphill toward the section we wanted to walk in.
But guess what’s in its yard. Two birdbaths.
I recently illustrated a story involving a birdbath and well, now I see birdbaths all over the place. (Look here if you want to know more).
No idea why they are here, but they are nice. I took their photos so I could draw them too, if I want to.
We continued on around the building and up the hill.
We continued on our walk and eventually were making our way back to our start point. Where were the sunflowers? Suddenly my husband noticed the field, tucked down the hill a bit. Yes!
I love sunflowers. I love everything about them, their colors, the way their heads move with the sun or droop when they are full of seeds. Bees and birds love them too, and the sight of a field of sunflowers is to me a sight of hope and renewal.
The sunflowers are new to the park this year. I am sure they will be harvested, but in the meantime, they are here just for us to enjoy. Another sign encouraged us to go into the field, but not to pick them – just take them away in photos.
So I will leave you with those same photos.