What’s New at the Farm Park

My husband and I took a walk this morning at the Norristown Farm Park. There was nothing exciting about it, really – but being outside on a cool morning in June, before 7 AM, and traveling a circuit of 4.5 miles or so around a place we are familiar with and yet always surprises us – it seems worth noting.

I’ll show you the photos and let you see.

We park at the East Norriton admin building/township park. The bocce court is open this summer, after being closed all last year.

The corn continues to grow up through the golden remnants of the winter cover crop.

I remembered to take a photo of the symbol for the Montco Trail Challenge – a trout. Very fitting for this park with a stocked trout fishing creek running through it, and its own trout fishery up on the hill near the hay barn.

Near the Getty Cottage, at the main entrance to the park from Germantown Pike, we decided to take the loop around the large field that fronts the road. We split up here, going in opposite directions, to meet and continue on together later.

I headed toward the road and turned along it. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has been developing a learning garden here for some time. It’s now taking form.

These buildings, right up on Germantown Pike, have become an area related to the garden, though I don’t know how, exactly. Looks to me as if they have building materials here. I wonder if they are meant for the greenhouse that’s to be built?

I continued around the field. I am always struck by how, if you look in one direction, into the park, the scene is so rural:

… and then you turn to the other side and face the highway and the hospital and the suburbs…

I’m seeing these plants all along the edges of every field. I don’t know what they are – I think last summer is the first time I have noticed them. I photographed some detail and will look them up.

I also took this photo of a flyer in a kiosk to remind me to look up the park’s programs. In the past they had quite a few events, walks, and nature sightings to choose from. There was nothing last summer but this year is different.

Well, that’s about it. Thanks for coming along.

Art Drop-Off 12-21-20

This morning, 12/21/20, my husband and I took a walk at Norristown Farm Park. We parked at the bocce court, entering through the Stanbridge Street township park. It was dark when we arrived – we needed our headlamps.

I left tiles at the wishing well site – it’s meant for leaving a message rock or taking one, but I’ve been doing tiles instead. I left an assortment arrayed on the edge. But it was too dark to take the photo then…so, I’ll take you around the park as we went and then show you the tiles at the end, when daylight had come and I could take a photo.

Let’s go.

We saw this snowman out in a field. He is a mysterious figure blending in so well with the snowy landscape and the blue pre-dawn light.

Up at the top of the hill we came to the Getty Cottage. You know this has been a repeated subject of drawings for me. Here is one from June 2020.

I took these photos thinking I might do a sketch of the house in this stark winter setting.

Some time later I took this photo of a harvested cornfield in the snow. I love the lines the truncated cornstalks make, poking through the snow.

The park is just beautiful right now, I think.

Finally we arrived back at our starting point, after walking over a little more than 4 miles. Here are the tiles in their setting. They are also near the tot lot. Which, as you can see from the footprints, has been getting some use even in this snowy cold weather.

It’s a nice time of year to be outside. If you bundle up and step out the door, you will be rewarded with a real sense of invigoration from the crisp air and the snowy scenery. It is also very quiet on the trails now – not everyone wants to be out early like we do. We only saw 4-5 other people in the hour plus we walked. And I so enjoy being out just as the day is beginning.

Art Drop Off 5-10-20

On Sunday, May 10, my husband and I took a wonderful walk in Norristown Farm Park, a county park near us that I’ve written many posts about – because we go there often, and I love it.

Quick background – the park is the site of the former farm attached to the Norristown State Hospital, a mental hospital adjacent to the park and in existence for about 150 years. It’s now in the process of winding down, but its campus still holds many shuttered buildings in a leafy complex as well as a few that are still in use by the hospital and some other entities.

In the past, the hospital’s farm grew crops, raised dairy cattle, and also had a trout farm. The produce fed the patients and staff as well as providing patients, if they were able, with work – it was thought to be therapeutic and healthy for them. This practice ended some decades ago and the site became a park. Portions of it are still farmed in soy and corn, and there are many buildings scattered around the site from the days it was a working farm.

It’s beautiful rolling land and it reminds me of my childhood growing up in the country. I like coming here.

For a couple of other posts on this site, look here:

An orienteering session through the grounds of Norristown State Mental Hospital.

An overview of the park.

Spotlight on soy, grown at the park.

OK, let’s get started. We parked near the township building near the bocce courts and came into the park in kind of a back entrance kind of way. It was a simply beautiful day, though cool and breezy.

We left the first tile at a bridge over the Stony Creek. It’s fishing season and we saw a fisherman below. We quietly moved on.

Here’s the tile.

Clay Head Tile 8 3-20 4x4005

And the tile in place.

We stopped to take a look at this little building. I remember one orienteering meet we did where a control point was in this area. I did not stop to look at the building then, you bet!

Shed NFP 5-10-20 #1

We worked our way up the hill, stopping at this building. It’s called Getty Cottage and I don’t know what its function was originally. Or now, either. But I can see it is in use, from the louver-covered windows and the power supply going to it.

Doesn’t matter, I just like the look of it.

We made our way around to the dairy barn area. I left another tile here.

Here’s the tile:

Clay Head Tile 9 3-20 4x4003

And here it is in place.

Another look at the dairy barn complex and the vista across the fields next to it.

I was intrigued by the way the concrete had been worked so as to give traction up a slight incline into the shed next to where I left the tile.

NFP Tile #2a 5-10-20

We continued on our way, working along a long stretch of road running past fields waiting for the plow. We passed wild areas, too:

NFP Tile #3d 5-10-20

We arrived at the trout hatchery. It continues in use, run by a local group of anglers. We left a tile at a memorial garden for one of the group’s prominent members.

Here is the tile:

Clay Head Tile 11 3-20 4x4001

and here it is in place.

We continued on, passing the hay barn. Look at the view from this spot. Would you believe that you are in the middle of a county with 825,000 people living in it?

We finished out the walk, passing by some more fishermen along the creek and enjoying following the movements of birds in the sky.

And I took a photo of the powerhouse for the hospital, noting its low-pitched humming. It is hard at work. You know, I think I almost always take a picture of this building when I’m doing photos, and I don’t really know why, because it doesn’t change. There is something about it I like, I guess.

Power Plant NFP 5-10-20

Well, that’s it for this trip. A really nice walk for us today.

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