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North West trails of Marsh Creek State Park

I captured these images during a fall walk along the North West trails of Marsh Creek State Park in Chester County, PA.

These images share some of the views during my 5+ mile walk, and thankfully, the there was no real rain to speak of during my outing.

Once again, the storm clouds added some drama to the scenes.

Hope you enjoy!

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Drawdown with Snow – Chambers Lake

I was driving along Chamber Lake in Hibernia Park yesterday, and I had to stop for the view of the drawdown with snow.

This is a small (3635×1000) panoramic view, of 9 images ‘stitched’ together, looking toward the dam.

Chambers Lake panorama with Snow (3635x1000)
Chambers Lake panorama with Snow (3635×1000)

I was standing knee-deep in snow, and for the locals, there is a good 5-8 feet of water missing because of the drawdown.

You can also see maintenance trucks working on the dam itself.

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Hot Dam Night

I have always enjoying looking up into the night-time sky, and following the rhythms of our solar system is something I follow daily online.

Lately, I have been keeping my eye on the rare alignment of Jupiter, Venus and Mercury in the west-northwest about 30 minutes after sunset. The next time this will happen, is in 2026.

Being Friday night, I had to go out and try to see this!

The whole week has been hotter than normal for this time of year, and I hoped the cover of night would help.

The dam parking lot had two other cars when I arrived, and as I unpacked, a jogger going downhill, turned and entered the park.

MCSP Sunset & Fishing
MCSP Sunset & Fishing

Because of the heat and humidity, I packed my equipped vest into the daypack, and threw it over my shoulder, along with my camera and tripod, and headed into the park.

Heading down the hill, it got darker because of the overhanging trees and leaves, but the light grey colored maintenance road made it easier to follow with the ambient light.

When I got to the opening at the bottom of the dam, and I could see I was a little late in getting there, but I still had time.

I took the steep dirt path through the tall grass to the south-eastern corner area of the lake. The ‘flea and tick season’ phrase kept repeating itself in my head.

I finally reached the dirt road at the top, panting heavily and thinking that I should have brought along a second water bottle, while the jogger I had seen earlier, passed by me, and off into the increasing darkness.

Once setup, I could see that most of the sky was clear, but there was a thin bands of clouds, hovering in the distance, just above the treetops, in the northwest sky, right where my compass was aimed at 300°.

I was a little bummed, but as the 30 minute mark began to approach, I did see a bright spot right where it should be, and not moving. Could this be one of the planets?

I took numerous pictures of the sunset, and rising ‘planet’, and then started to focus my attention on the various fishing boats with lights, motoring silent around the lake.

Light Fishing at MCSP
Light Fishing at MCSP

As one boat crossed in front of me, I heard –

“You can not take his picture. He is in the witness relocation program.”

Followed by chuckles from the boat.

Responding back, with a smiling tone, I said that my camera did not have the resolution, and that they were going to fast.

Little do they know… Tee hee…

I also followed the various airplanes crossing my vision. It did not seem like a very busy night, especially compared to other times I have stood in the boating parking lot, staring up into the night sky on other photography expeditions.

As 9:30 approached, and fending off the mosquitoes was becoming impossible, I packed up, crossing over the rest of the dam, turning sharply to my left, and down the diagonal road.

Jupiter and Venus over Marsh Creek State Park
Jupiter and Venus over Marsh Creek State Park

Walking next to the marshy area, I saw fireflies signaling their presence, and at the bottom, I could see that I was going to need my headlamp, as I started back into the darker section of the road. I had not been here before at night, so I did not know what I might encounter.

When the light flashed on, I was greeted by a thin fog that reflexed back the bright light, making it more difficult to see. I turned the lamp down, be it did not help. Maybe next time, I’ll get the headlamp with multi-colors.

Finally, I reached the brown swinging gate at the top of the trail, and headed into the parking lot, where I threw my gear into the car, and headed home.

Note to Self – Next time, bring two water bottles and bug spray…

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After processing several series of images, it seems that I might have ‘caught’ Venus and Jupiter in my captures, with Jupiter being just too faint to see with the naked eye.

We’ll try again in 2026!

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Spring – Day 5 Snow

Woke up this morning, and there was 2-3 inches of snow on the ground…

The 5th Day of Spring… Go figure…

Got the kids on the bus and headed to the Marsh Creek Lake Dam area for maybe the last snow of the season.

In the woods, I was getting bombarded by snow, as it fell from the trees.

When I finally reached the Dam plateau, the snow was coming down hard, and it was nearly impossible to keep the front of the lens clean, so most of the shoots are looking south, with the wind at my back.

After about an hour of wondering around, I headed home…

I am so ready to get some real colors!

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South of the Boat Ramp (Day 5)

I parked in nearly in the same spot as I did some ten days ago, when I was exploring the northern side of the boating launch on that foggy morning.

Today, there is more activity and the temperature is finally starting to reflect that it is late December…

While gathering my gear, I saw several people walking, some dogs running, and once I was ready, I headed toward south-east, along the shoreline.

Swimming Hole 01
Swimming Hole 01

As I walk in the sand, I know, just to my right, there is a very well-worn path that I have walked countless times before, but today, it is difficult to even recognize the “beach” where I have been many times before.

Looking at Rental Complex (North-East)
Looking at Rental Complex (North-East)

It was one of my easier walks to the end of the blunted point, that almost points due south, where I was once again greeted with more wood pilings (Woodhenge) sticking out of the lake’s bed.

In the mouth of the Cove
In the mouth of the Cove

From there, I started into the cove, and I knew from previous walks along the dirt path, off to might right, that I was entering a heavy vegetation area, but once again, walking the shoreline made it look so different, and I did not expect it to drop off so quickly.

Deep in the Cove Looking East
Deep in the Cove Looking East

Finally, I reached the end of the cove, or at least as I was far as I was willing to go.

I was not having to have another mud adventure!

Empty Ramp
Empty Ramp

Walking back, I took this final capture, knowing I had to get back to the real world, and do some holiday shopping.

Tech Notes

  • Canon XTi  ISO100  f16-f22 with a ND 3.0 filter
  • HDR Capture with 3-4 captures between 15-120 seconds (raw)
  • HDR Processing – Lightroom 4.3 > Photoshop CS5 > HDR Efex Pro 2 > Viveza 2
  • B&W Processing – Photoshop CS5 > Lightroom 4.3

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