The weather is so fickle right now, some days very mild and others brrrr freezing cold, that my walks outside and consequently my art drop offs have been hit or miss. Here is one from this date, set on the info kiosk at Moredon Road crossing on the Pennypack Trail.
On a chilly but sunny morning, I headed up the Pennypack Rail Trail for a walk. I had an artwork to leave somewhere along the way, too.
When I came to the first bridge (there are 2) that crosses the Pennypack Creek to the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust (PERT) on the other side, I realized I was very near the beaver pond. I haven’t been there in months – and for good reason – the area was very affected by the floods last fall from Hurricane Ida and has been off limits.
Now it looks like it is open, so I crossed and took a look.
The landscape is quite changed – the area around the pond is bare and clear now. Here is how it looked a couple of years ago:
Here it is now.
Yes, I know it is a different season, but still, it’s quite dramatic, I think. The area was completely flooded and wiped clean. Quite a bit of cleanup has been done to get to this point. Here is a shot from the same location, then and now, to give a comparison. (Though the sign is new – I guess the old one washed away, too.)
I left a painting on one of the (new) benches. You may remember the pond is at at crossroads of trails, and I chose a place along the trail heading back away from the creek into the hills.
I decided to walk along the creekside trail up to the next bridge and cross back over. It’s been rehabbed with new gravel. This is an improvement – the old road/trail was very rough with broken up pavement and washouts and drifts of gravel. You can see they are also replacing what remains of the fence.
I couldn’t go very far, though – the trail closed again where it passed through a short paved residential area. I guess the trail up ahead must still be undergoing repairs.
Well, that’s all right, I just turned around and went back over the same way I came. I’ll have to keep an eye on the place as time goes on and see how things progress.
Here is a little 4″ x 4″ painting I left at the gazebo at Rockledge Park in Rockledge.
This park is a tiny community site at the start of the Pennypack Rail Trail. It’s not part of the trail but if you go into the park and head for the blue warehouse building at the back of the park, you will find mile marker 0.0 for the trail. So, this little park gets a lot of foot traffic.
I always like to take a look at this sign. I think it is stating the obvious, and I find it a little bit funny.
All right. Here is the artwork in its location in the gazebo, which is very near the park sign.
On March 20 my husband and I were walking a section of the Perkiomen Trail, up near Schwenksville. For those of you who may remember, the trail passes by Ott’s Exotic Plants, and that’s the section we took. Although we didn’t stop in for any flowers on this trip.
Anyway, I left a couple of the 4″ x 4″ small paintings I am trying out for drop-off suitability. I left one on top of a vehicle barrier on the trail:
… and I left another one at the base of the railroad bridge. I’m sorry I don’t have a larger photo to show of the art – it’s one of the few pictures that got lost in my previous computer’s amnesia and death. I can and will show you a photo of the creek, though – I really think the Perkiomen should be called a river, not a creek, because it is wide and deep all along its length.
I did check the picnic area where I left a piece some weeks ago. It’s gone. That is a good thing.
As far as my auditioning of these small paintings is going, I am leaning toward the 4″ x 4″ being more attractive to passers-by. I think the larger 6″ x 6″ ones give people the idea that they shouldn’t take it because they aren’t sure it’s not meant to be some kind of an exhibit, maybe. I base this feeling on the fact that the 4×4’s have all gone quickly but the 6×6 seem to have lingered (recently I revisit sites often enough to know this). So if I keep making paintings to drop off, I think I will stick with 4×4.
On Saturday February 26, my husband and I made a visit to Ott’s Exotic Flowers, prompted by a visit some friends had made to this same place earlier in the week. Once the idea of seeing a whole lot of greenery in winter is in your head, you have to go and find it, and give yourself a little taste of spring, don’t you?
But before we stopped in, we decided to do an art drop-off in the nearby Plank Road trailhead park area of the Perkiomen Trail. The trail passes by right in front of Ott’s. I decided to leave a flower painting in honor of spring and flowers:
We decided to set it on a picnic table under the shelter.
All right. Let’s hope someone in need of bright colors and a flower burst will come upon it and take it home.
Next, we went right over to visit with the flowers. At this time of year, there isn’t a lot of bright color from spring and summer flowers; we are a little early for that.
We did see this nice display of cyclamens. They are a winter indoor flower and popular for those gray months.
We did see these lemons. Yes, they are lemons, and they are called Ponderosa. Not surprising, that name, is it?
There were a lot of cacti to look at. I think there are no more of these than usual, but without the more showy and colorful summer annuals and perennials to compete with, they really stand out. I like the look of the individual plants and also how the rows of pots made patterns.
I also liked this airy starburst:
And I also enjoyed this display of purply plants. I like their look, and I also like that they remind me of our neighbors in our previous house, who had a plant like this in their kitchen window.
And, to top off the visit, we saw the resident cat!
Quite a different morning from yesterday’s spring-like weather! On my walk today I was wearing a shirt, two sweatshirts, and my winter coat; tights and sweatpants. It’s cold out there.
Anyway, my husband and I did a few miles on the Pennypack Rail Trail. This is a long-familiar location; I must’ve walked or run hundreds, if thousands, of miles here over the last ten years or so.
I chose a small painting, 6″ x 6″, for today’s drop off. It’s one I did some time back, 2018, I see from my records – I’m going through my inventory and sending these out into the world, as well as new ones that I am making now.
We’re expecting snow/sleet/rain over the next day. I chose a sheltered location – one of the old control boxes from when this was an active rail line. I have left many items in it over the years. Not too long ago, someone added the words you see above the top shelf. I like the message and I hope my painting fits in.
Here is the whole scene as you might come up upon it on the trail.
Another mild day, and we decided to go to the Power Line trail for our morning walk because we had a lot of rain yesterday, and this trail is paved. Not that mud bothers me but it slows me down and today I wanted to put on some miles.
We set out before 7 AM, I guess, and took along this little painting (6″ x 6″) to set along the way.
I decided on this bench next to the tiny bridge over one of the many small creeks running through this tract. I like this place at the bottom of the hill – I’ve taken photos of the vegetation in the water and done a couple of drawings from it. There are always so many patterns to look at.
And, it reminds me of the creek we had in our yard, when I was young, and how much fun it was to set our little homemade boats off on a “river” journey, sometimes with dolls precariously hanging on for dear life.
But I digress. Here is the painting in place:
You may wonder, Where is this painting’s little raincoat in case of rain? (See this post for what I mean.) Claudia, didn’t you say you were going to protect the art in plastic if you could not put it in a sheltered place?
Yes, I did say that. My thinking has evolved. (For one thing, I didn’t have any plastic covers of the correct size, but never mind that.)
I’ve decided always to try to set the art in a place safer from rain and so on, if I can. If I’m going out and it is raining, I’ll see if I can’t take along something that I can wrap up or can stand the rain. But if the weather is ok when I go out, well, I’m just going to pretend it’s always going to be that way until someone picks up the art.
There you have it. My plan is set. Life is too short, let’s just get some more art out there!
another chance to try out a category of new objects to drop off
this wonderful date, all 2’s of it!
So early this morning my husband and I went to Victory Field in Plymouth Meeting, about 15 or 20 minutes from home, to walk around the perimeter trail. Rain was threatening, so we wanted a spot where we could get back to the car quickly if need be (though I had my raincoat, so that I could just slip it on and keep going if we wanted to).
Victory Field is a complex of sports fields adjacent to Plymouth-Whitemarsh HS (my husband is an alum, but this field did not exist back in his day). The path is a paved one mile circuit, not very interesting, but easy to walk along.
Lots of groups use these fields besides the school students – when we arrived the Chestnut Hill College women’s lacross team was practicing as the sun came up.
I had chosen this 4″ x 4″ “portrait” done on 3/8″ masonite for today’s drop-off.
I realized it might get wet in the rain and I wondered if I could do anything about that. Yes. I have some plastic art bags left from other projects. This little guy fit inside. I put a tag in there with him with my standard line: Take me with you if you want to. So I was prepared before we left home for any location we might choose.
I set him on a bench in this small memorial garden.
I feel that I would rather just put the art outside with no coverings, but I realize there will not always be a good place to set a small painting where it will be protected. I think this solution does not take away from the experience of a person who might find it.
Since my husband had the day off for the Presidents’ Day holiday, we decided to take a tiny trip to the Delaware Bay beach of Slaughter Beach, about 2 hours from home. I’ve written about this place before. We came here a couple of times last summer, so I won’t go into much detail – take a look at the earlier post if you want to know more.
I also decided that it was time for me to get back to doing some art drop-offs. I haven’t done any for quite a few months. My eyesight issues have gotten in the way. Now that they have improved and healed so much, I am more able to think beyond the next doctor appointment.
I’m also testing out new items to drop off. I gave my kiln away recently, having decided I did not want to do clay at home anymore. (If I get the urge, there are plenty of art centers with studio time for me to choose). Clay tiles and figurines have been the backbone of my art drop-off routine for some time, because they hold up to the weather. This feature is important in case the item lingers before someone picks it up.
I’ve decided one item I will offer out to the world is small paintings on board. True, they will not last forever outside, but usually these items get taken home pretty quickly, and I figured I’d look for sheltered spots to leave them in.
I chose this one for today. I thought the marsh-like scene would fit in well with this location, which is a narrow sand beach backed by miles of marshes.
All right. We got on the road early and arrived at the beach about 9:45 AM. We parked right across the street from the firehouse, as usual.
This beach is quiet even in mid-summer – the street has virtually no traffic. Same thing today.
We crossed the street over to the pavilion, where I set the painting on the info kiosk. You can see it on the ledge on the left side of the bulletin board.
Then we headed to the beach, just a few steps away. As you can see, it is quiet and peaceful here.
The waves are big enough to make a muted surf sound, but not to chase you up and down the beach.
The beach does not offer many shells but is instead pebbly, with water-worn stones scattered all over in different colors and shapes.
I collected some stones and shells to take home, but mostly, we just walked. I guess we were out there about 2 hours or maybe a little more.
We returned to the car, changed our shoes, and took our lunch over to the pavilion to eat.
As we were eating, a couple came around looking over the pavilion as a site for a gathering in July. We fell into conversation and learned that they were planning a celebration of life party for their young adult son, who had died recently. His mother walks here on this beach a lot and thought her son would have liked a beach party.
When they told us the party was to be in July near his birthday, I asked what date it was. It turns out that it is the same day that my granddaughter will turn two. I know on that day we will be thinking of this young man who we never met, and his parents who loved him so much.
Our conversation returned to such mundane things as to whether the pavilion has electrical outlets or not (yes, it does); they left, and we finished our lunch.
I found this day very emotional and meaningful. I am grateful for my eyesight which is so much better than the last time we were here. And for my husband and all the enjoyment we have in doing outings like this one. I note the warm (for February) weather and the sunshine. I am pleased by the fact that I resumed the activity of art drop-offs (not just the drop off itself but the planning and the creating something I hope others will like). I feel for the parents who have lost their child and I am grateful for my family and especially for my little granddaughter.
My husband took a couple of photos of me doing the Polar Bear toes in the water event – a toned-down version of the Polar Bear plunge events done at the beach in winter. The water was not that cold, really, which is why I look perfectly cheerful.
And here I go back up the beach to see what I can see!