Art Drop-Off 3-19-20

On March 19 my husband and I walked the newer section of the Pennypack rail trail and left this tile hanging on a tree:

We also spotted a little owl figure set on a rock, and we hung him on a branch too.

It’s interesting about this little guy. Someone makes these and leaves them around the park, as I have done with my own art. Here is another one from some time back, and read here if you want to know how I encountered it:

Pennypack Eco Rest. Tr 6-19 (3)

 

Art Drop-Off 3-18-20

On March 18 my husband and I got out to the Pennypack rail trail early for a walk. I have decided to try to stay with 5 miles per day as long as the weather permits.

3-18-20 art drop off (2)

I left a little container with a tag in it in one of the train control boxes along the route.

Here is what my message said.

Sing Along

This morning my husband and I took a walk along the newer section of the Horsham Power Line Trail. We’ve done lots of sessions on the older part (here is one from 2015, for example) but usually we don’t go on this stretch of the trail. No reason, just works out that way.

Anyway, this trail follows the electrical towers for some miles – the trail is in the right of way below them. This 2+ mile section passes a development of new houses and then continues in a more wild-looking setting (though houses are very close on either side).

We noticed someone had left messages written in green chalk at intervals. Soon the theme became clear. Song lyrics. I’ll say no more, just show you.

Here’s one with a reminder:

IMG_5675005

And this one sums things up:

Come together (when it’s over).

But I think on this trail today we are already together, aren’t we? In a good kind of way.

IMG_5677006

A Triangle of Art Drop-Offs – March 14, 2020

My husband and I took a walk this morning in Norristown Farm Park. It’s a location you have seen before. We have done a lot of miles on the roads in the park, not to mention some orienteering events.

Our county is on shutdown for the coronavirus. The park is closed, as far as gatherings and the facilities, but the roads are open for walking, biking, running, etc. It was a beautiful day and we chose this location for the sense of isolation and peace it has, even though it’s in the middle of a busy suburban area.

All right, let’s get going. Our object was to walk, enjoy the weather, and drop off three tiles remaining from the set I mentioned a week or so ago. Here is the original group of nine:

Tile Wall Hanging 2-20001

Six were left in the Fort Washington State Park last week. So we intended to put these out in this park and finish things off.

We parked by the East Norriton park area which includes the bocce courts and started into the county park. You may remember this park is the former farm for the adjacent state mental hospital. In the past, it was thought therapeutic for patients to work if they were able, and the farm produced the food and other supplies for the hospital for decades. The fields are still rented out and you can see remnants of last year’s crops ready to be plowed under for planting.

These scenes are near the dairy barn in the middle of the park.

We swung along road toward the creek and left this tile at a culvert bridge. (Notice I took my own advice from last week and put strings on the tiles to hang them with.) The tile’s location is pointed out by the black arrow.

We continued on the road. There is a short section that’s on the mental hospital grounds, near the powerhouse. We walked out on to the bridge and looked back at the building.

Norristown Farm Park drop off 3-14-20 (5)

Now, turn around and walk over the bridge. We left the second tile hanging on the log barrier. (Sorry, I forgot to put an arrow on the photo, but it is in the middle of the barrier.)

We moved on. The road winds around, crosses railroad tracks, and there is a split at which we took the lower branch so as to walk around another quiet cornfield. It took us past this house, one of several on the grounds remaining from its past life:

Norristown Farm Park drop off 3-14-20 (4)

and along to the bottom of Norris City Cemetery (if you are interested, we made a leisurely visit to this cemetery about 2 1/2 years ago. If you’d like to know what a white bronze grave marker is, for instance, you will find out in the post. And a view of the bocce courts nearby is also part of it.)

Norristown Farm Park drop off 3-14-20 (3)

We turned to go up the hill and placed the third tile on a tree branch to the right of the road. (This time I did include a black arrow to show you.)

Now the tiles are all gone. Thank you for coming along with us today.

A Circle of Art Drop-Offs

A few weeks ago in my studio clay class, our assignment was to make ceramic wall art, some kind of installation or piece that could be hung on a wall. I made a couple of things – a set of glazed tubes and a set of glazed tiles.  I made the tile set because I was not sure the tube idea, my first choice, would work out.

Well, it did turn out well, so the tiles were extraneous to my purposes. Actually, both sets of objects are kind of…extras. I really don’t need anything more for my walls and so I kind of had other ideas for both arrays of objects when I was making them.

I wanted to put them outdoors as art drop-offs. And that is what I am in the process of doing! Today was the first step.

Let me back up and explain a little more. Here is the array of tiles I made.

Tile Wall Hanging 2-20001

You see that they have holes in them – one in each corner. My idea was that if I had turned them into a wall piece, I would attach them to each other with wire, in some configuration.

I thought about doing it, but I decided I just didn’t want to put the time into it. The project’s excitement quotient for me was middling. I’d rather be doing something else.

So…on March 8 my husband and I took 6 of the tiles to the Fort Washington State Park and left them in various locations. We followed the 5K cross country route, walking it. Here we go.



 

We parked at the bird observation stand and walked down the hill, turning on to the trail running along the perimeter of the park. As you can see, it was a beautiful day, sunny and mild.

 

We left the first tile on the hay bale that protects sledders from crashing into it…

 

they come down this hill when there is snow. This winter, though, there has been NONE, and so this lone hay bale is all that has been needed. Usually the park puts out a multi-bale barricade.

FW SP 3-20 Tile 1 (2)

 

Next stop – this birdhouse. The little sign says it is an Eagle Scout’s project. We participated by leaving a tile. If you are looking for it, it is at birdhouse 29…

 

The third tile ended up on this picnic table. If you are wondering where to look for it, it is near the knobbly-trunk tree.

 

We continued on. The ground has gradually been rising but now we are getting ready to ascend to the upper level of the park via a steeper trail. We left the fourth tile hanging on a branch at the entrance to the trail. It had occurred to me that maybe it would have been nice to attach loops to the tiles so that they could be hung on tree branches, but I didn’t get around to it. I think I will try it for the ones I have remaining from the set. I like how the tile looks on the tree.

The upper level of the park is devoted to group camping – Boy Scouts and other organizations use the area and there are several campsites.We left the fifth tile on a picnic table in one of the campsites, alongside a random object that had already taken a spot there:

From there we continued back to our starting point and began the last leg of the trip. The 5K course repeats some of the ground we have covered – remember this section?

FW State Park 3-20 tile 1 (5)

and then the course takes a sharp right turn across the park, with a steep uphill climb following the power lines. This hill is a challenge to climb. By the end of the summer I will be able to run it again, but today…we walked. At the top we stopped and looked back down the hill (and I am telling you, photos do not convey the steepness…)

FWSP 3-20 tile 6 (1)

Anyway, we left a tile on a branch near the top of the hill.

Recovered from our climb, we decided to run back to the car. It was downhill all the way, why not?

Remember, there are three tiles left from the set. I will find a home for them soon.

Spring is Here, Calendar Not Needed

Two signs of spring:

Snowdrops in the front yard.

Spring 2020 (1)

The girls’ softball team at the high school across the street from my house held its first outdoor practice yesterday, March 2.

Spring 2020 (2)

Mark your calendars, spring is here. No matter what the weather does from now on, it’s just part of spring!

Art Drop-Off 2/24/20

Art drop-offs have been scarce recently. I don’t get out as much in the winter. Well, things will be changing soon. Spring is coming!

Here is a session from 2/24. I was running on the Pennypack rail trail (new section above Welsh Road). I went two miles out and two miles back, scattering these items along the way. I have a big collection of miscellaneous clay items to leave out in the world, and so you will be seeing some odd things over the next months, I think. Well, that’s ok.


Here is a clay blob tile (I call it by this name because it’s made of clay left over from a project that had gotten too dry to do much with, so I formed it into a ball and squished it). Here I have also  taken a tool and made pseudo-Sumerian marks in it.  I set it on this bench beside the trail. Someone may try to decipher it? No, I don’t think so.

Nest, this tile I made in my clay studio class. It’s set on this former train control box. I think someone will see it and take it away.

Lastly, this small landscape tile. I set it on the big rock to the side of the trail. It is not easy to see. Someone will have to be looking. That’s ok, the tile can be patient and wait.

As you can see, the woods are leafless and scoured clean by winter. It’s time for spring to start filling in the picture!

 

Rain and Parking Garage and Road and Houses

Last week I showed you the pedestrian bridge at the hospital and I described its structure. After I tore myself away from examining steel, I looked out the windows. It was a rainy day and the glass was covered with drops. Somehow it made an ordinary scene really beautiful, I think.

I even like this blurry one.

Rain Scene 1 Bryn Mawr Hospital 2-20

I went to college about two miles from here and my first apartment was in a complex within a short walking distance of this location. The area has changed very much, though, in the forty years or so since then – this building did not exist. Looking out of the windows of the doctor’s office I could not orient myself. Well, that’s all right. Nothing stays the same. I’m focused on today and the view that this February rainstorm and this new (to me) building has given me to enjoy.

 

In Which I Am Fascinated By How This Pedestrian Bridge Holds Itself Together

A few days ago I had a doctor’s appointment at a local hospital. We parked in the garage and walked over an enclosed pedestrian bridge to the office building.

Walkway Bryn Mawr Hospital 2020 #1

Though I’d made a couple of other trips to this site, this time I saw something I hadn’t noticed before:

Walkway Bryn Mawr Hospital 2020 #4

Yes, it’s this assemblage of oversized bolts, screws, and rods that caught my eye. I immediately saw the structure of this bridge very differently – as from the standpoint of – how is this thing actually put together and holding itself up so that I can travel across it without a thought?

Well, it’s simple. As you can see, there is a series of diagonal supports from ceiling to floor.

Walkway Bryn Mawr Hospital 2020 #6

Halfway over the bridge they switch direction.

Walkway Bryn Mawr Hospital 2020 #2

You saw the giant screw threads:

Walkway Bryn Mawr Hospital 2020 #4

and how about these cotter pins?

Walkway Bryn Mawr Hospital 2020 #3

I would have loved to see them putting this structure together. Below is the original view of the bridge I showed. Now, if you were to take a seat and relax here for a while, you’d feel pretty good about the glass tube this bridge pretends to be, right? Because it’s really a pretty brawny entity.

Keep your eyes open next time you’re in an office building or other such structure. Even if they put in ceiling tiles and so on…there are clues as to how the building works. It’s interesting to follow the clues.

By the way, above these ceiling tiles, which don’t cover the whole surface, it’s possible to see utility pipes carrying the building services over the bridge. Painted a slimming and hiding black, but they are up there…

Walkway Bryn Mawr Hospital 2020 #1

Pound and Pounded (Apart)

I take a class at the gym called Pound. You use a couple of bright green plastic sort-of-drumsticks as you exercise, hitting them together or on the floor as you do various moves. Let me tell you, you do a lot of squats in this class and your legs will hurt. But the sound of the sticks hitting is a great motivator.

It’s also hard on the sticks. They break. Not every class or even every week, but it happens. And in our gym when they do it’s something to be commemorated. I’ve been hoping I’d someday join that club, and today, I did. One stick, snapped in half! Was I surprised.

Following tradition, the instructor signed my stick parts and I took them home.

Confused 2-12-20 #3

She put my name, the date, and even the song it broke on. Hey, I know it’s one of those things – “you had to be there” – but it put a smile on my face.

(Look here if you want the official info on Pound class).

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