A Refreshing Walk

A couple of days ago I took a walk on the “new” side of the Pennypack Trail, going from the parking lot on Welsh Road north. My goal was to walk 5 miles (out 2.5 miles and return trip) as part of meeting a ten-mile walk goal. I used to do this route in one day but I haven’t walked so far in one go for a couple of years, and so I planned it for two days, this being the first half.

Anyway, I headed out on a hot afternoon. It was a nice walk all right, and the trail was pleasantly busy with people always in sight, but never close enough to intrude. Here are two events from the walk.

Beaver pond

On the way out, I walked up the rail trail, but on the way back I crossed a bridge over the Pennypack Creek to take me to the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust lands on the other side. There is another trail there that parallels the creek; it’s much rougher and more secluded, making a nice change. And…I wanted to see how things looked at the beaver pond.

I turned off the main trail and headed up this one:

The pond is right there on the corner.

The pond was created by a family of beavers who were here a few years ago; there was a spring there but it was the beavers who set up the circumstances to fill up this swampy area and turn it into what you see now. Last fall, the hurricane that caused so much damage in our area severely affected the pond environs and washed out the trail. Things are now repaired and access to the pond restored for trail-goers.

I am not sure if there are any beavers still living here at the moment. They had moved on before the storm. Maybe we’ll get a new family?

I had stopped by here some months ago. Here is the same view slightly skewed to the right (you can see the edge of the sign in the left side of the picture). It’s quite a change from March!. Take a look:

After resting for a bit, I headed back down the trail and crossed back the bridge back to the rail trail.

Bryn Athyn Post Office

This post office is in the former Bryn Athyn train station on the rail trail, from when it was an active line. As I was walking by on the outbound trip, I saw this sign at the former platform area facing the trail:

I thought this was really nice of them to do. On my way back I stopped in and said thank you to the two women working there. Because I felt they needed to know it was appreciated. I went on my way thinking that yes, no matter what a mess the world might be in, there are still people doing good things everywhere we go. It cheered me up.

Well, that is the story of that little journey. It was nice to be out in the good weather and to revisit familiar places that I enjoy.

New Birds in Town

I always look forward to seeing baby geese each spring. I love their green fluffy look when they are so young, as these are that we saw on the Pennypack Rail Trail a couple of days ago. In fact, these are the first goslings we have seen this year. Here they are.

Art Drop-off 3/23/22

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.

Art Drop-Off, Pennypack Rail Trail, 2/24/22

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.

All right, that is it for today! Happy Thursday.

Voices Are Speaking if We Will Listen

A couple of days ago I saw this AWOL glove at the Pennypack rail trail:

Well, you know I’m interested in these gloves that get away out on their own. Plus I liked the purple, orange, and white color scheme a lot. I took the photo and came a little closer.

I then saw that this glove had a message for me (and anyone else who stopped to listen, too). Look at the sticker – “You Are Beautiful”.

Thank you, purple glove.

Trailside Lost and Found

People drop all kinds of things along the trail. I think it happens most often when someone reaches into a pocket or a pack and the item either doesn’t make it in entirely, or else is pulled out by mistake. In either case, it falls to the ground and is left behind.

Then…the nice thing to do, for anyone who comes upon an item lying on the trail, is to set it where it can be seen. The owner may come searching for it.

The only exception to this rule of thumb is car keys. Then what you do is retrieve them and then hang them on a trail info kiosk, preferably at the nearest parking lot. That way they are up off the ground and in a place where it’s easy to check, because on most trails around here, there are only a couple of parking lots and chances are the nearest one is where the person started from.

All right. Trail etiquette aside, most of the dropped items aren’t worth a lot. The owner probably isn’t going to care too much if they are found or not. Still, it’s nice to make the effort.

Here are a couple of lost item experiences I have had in the last week or so. Note: many more things are lost in winter. Because we have so many more items on our bodies to keep us warm!

Here’s a frosty hat set on a fencepost. I saw it early in the morning of January 11.

Here’s a little collection near the train crash site (from 1921 when this was an active line) that I saw early on January 15. I added the blue glove, found a little ways up the trail.

The two pairs of glasses were already there.

I love the way the lenses reflect the morning scene.

Art Drop-off 1/7/21

Here we are again at the Pennypack Trail, this time near the Moredon Road crossing.

I left the array of tiles on the info kiosk there.

With this drop-off I’ve given out all of the approximately 200 tiles I made back in the summer, I guess it was, of 2020.

Art Drop Off 1/6/21

Another day at the Pennypack Trail, and more tiles were left on a big rock alongside the trail.

Gosh, there isn’t much more to say about it. So instead just take a look!

Art Drop-Off 1-5-21

A new year but we are up to our old habits. Art drop off at the Pennypack Trail

I left some on a bench next to the creek. A train happened to be passing at the nearby grade crossing.

Art Drop-Off 12/9/20

On December 9 my husband and I walked another section of the Pennypack Trail, this time heading toward the city (Philadelphia) direction.

Remember, this trail was formerly a rail line. The current trail was developed on an inactive portion, but only about a half mile from the end of the trail is the current working rail line into Philadelphia, at Rhawn Street.

What happened? Well, this line was electrified only up to Rhawn Street. Then passengers had to disembark and reboard a diesel train to continue the journey to Newtown, PA. Due to equipment issues and repairs needed to the line, it was decided to discontinue service on the diesel portion in the 1980’s. The unused rail line sat quiet until the trail came along in 2014 or so.

We left tiles on the fence posts along the trail at the Moredon Road parking lot. You can see the first one; the others are on the following posts.

And here they are as individuals. I think they fit comfortably on the posts.

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