Blogging Chester County Downingtown Drawdown Fog HDR Marsh Creek State Park Photo Essay Photo Journal Photography Tone Mapping Water Weather

Foggy Morning at the Boat Launch (Day 4)

We woke up to a very foggy morning that had engulfed our area during the night.

With nothing pressing on my agenda, I got my kids off to school, packed my car with my photo gear, and headed off to try to capture some of this elusive weather.

Morning Fog near Boat Launch
Morning Fog near Boat Launch

Not knowing how long the fog would last, time was of the essence, but I also knew that I had to be careful on a day like today.

In the back of my head, I heard my inner voice, my wife and a recent conversation with Joe all going off, so I drove down to the mega-sporting goods store in Downingtown, looking for orange apparel, only to find a very limited inventory, and in only youth sizes.

Do I drive over to Exton? Or just head on out, being extremely careful?

MCSP Boat Launch
MCSP Boat Launch

Personally, I think I looked more like a bear, carrying a tripod, but that is another conversation…

I left the store, I jumped into my car, and headed north on Creek Rd, towards the boat launch area of Marsh Creek State Park.

As I drove along road, I could see areas of fog along the Brandywine that were beginning to thin out, and I begun to wonder if this day was going to be a bust of a trip, but I continued on.

Root Squid 01
Root Squid 01

When I turned on to N. Reeds Rd., and was looking over the horse pasture, and on to the lake, there was nothing but grey-white fog, and I knew I was going to have some fun!

I parked at the main lot at the bottom of the hill, where normally, the bumper of your car to the water is may be 40 feet, but now because of the drawdown and gradual slope to the ‘underwater’ terrain, the nearest lake water is easily over 100 feet away!

As I get out of the car, and I am packing my photography vest, getting ready for my walk, I can easily overhear three guys yelling between themselves about what to do about a boat.

I could not make it all out, but what I could, sounded was rather comical, and they where definitely making the best of it.

Root Squid 02
Root Squid 02

It is hard not to be amazed at this new landscape the 8 foot drawdown has revealed, and with the shallow slope of the southern launch area, the water seemed miles away.

The fog had receded a little bit, and condensed a little into a light mist, which would accumulate into water droplets when it hits such things as your lens.

Note – I just read a story earlier in the week how harmful acids in your breath can actually damage your camera lens.

It was not until I rounded the corner of the barbecuing point, did I realized why those three gentlemen had been so excited in their earlier conversations.

The launch ramp where normally one would back their boat down into the water, was now a mixture of sand, mud and rocks, and the water was well over 100 feet away.

No easy task, and the risk of getting your vehicle stuck was rather high.

Root Squid 03
Root Squid 03

The three gentlemen had used their truck to move their boat to the grassy area next to the launch.

From there, they dragged their boat over firmer sand and mud, and finally into the water!

Talk about dedicated fishers!

I continued north of the launch area, and rounded another small little point, where I saw a series of beautiful old tree stumps that had weathered over many years of being underwater, and now the roots look more like the tentacles of an squid.

As I continued to walk along the shoreline, I was greeted with forrest present-day fossils of shapes that were once living trees.

After some time of collecting more images, I finally reached the Chalfant Rd entrance to the park and proceeded along the coastline a little bit more, until I reached a very peculiar outcropping of rocks, that just made me stop.

Bent rock formation
Bent rock formation

It was very apparent that there was a layer structure to the rocks, but there also seems to be indication that the rock has bent. How?

This does not make sense, but it will be a good conversation with my wife later on tonight.

I turned around, and started back to the car, knowing that I had allot of image processing that I needed to start on…


2012-Dec-17 – In doing my normal daily reading, I ran across these following links of interest at they relate to the Marsh Creek Lake/State Park water drawdown:

This Gordon’s Supply Company page, that shows the 2010 drawdown, as well as some historic images from the 1970s!

- Andrew
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By Andrew

A Father, Photographer and Computer Geek living in Chester County (PA).

My Photo Journal of images taken in Chester and Lancaster Counties, including Covered Bridges, Barns, Nature, Fine Art and Events. Images can also be found on and