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‘Jewels’ of Chester County

I started this idea for a project a couple of years ago, and lately, I’ve seen an increase of ‘jewels’ and in some very unusual places.

Over the years, it has not been uncommon for me to see small pieces of trash along the way, but there are other times…

In the early days, some of my captures were just looking at oddities that I came across.

Rusty Paint Cans 018
Rusty Paint Cans 018 – Below Marsh Creek Dam in Downingtown, Chester County PA

When the Mark Creek Lake was drained of 8 feet of water in late 2012, I found some more items…

Sometimes, not all is trash!

It is amazing how some folks will just leave ‘stuff’.

These images were taken just last week on a Sunday walk with my son along the Rim Trail in Hibernia Park [Map].

If you can carry it in, you should be able to carry it out!

Here in Chester County PA, we are very lucky to have groups like the Brandywine Valley Association, that organize demonstrations in local grade schools, and several years ago, I even volunteered for a day, when my daughter was in the 4th grade at Uwchlan Hills Elementary School (UHES)!

During the Event, there are several stations with each showing a different phase in how the Water System works  – It rains, the water washes over the roads and lawns, picking up various ‘elements’; flowing into the myriad of streams and creeks then into the Brandywine; the effects on the macro/micro organisms that are used to identify the health of the water; water treatment facilities to drinking water.  Full circle!

In the Fall of 2014, the new Marsh Creek 6th Grade Center (MC6GC) opened here in Downingtown, and one of the first field trips of the new school years, was to Paradise Farm Camps.

During the course of the day, each group of kids was introduced to new skills such as rope courses, teamwork building, collecting live samples and orienteering. By the end of the day my Fitbit had logged just over 9 miles walking!

What was very wonderful to see, that the same skills that were introduced during the Red stream Blue stream at UHES, were now being reconnected ‘in the field’ while the children were tasked to search for various specimens in the pond and stream that are part of Paradise Farm Camps.

But alas, even they had succumbed to the intrusion of the modern vehicle…

Earlier this year, in April, I volunteered again to help the MC6GS Science classes in their first (hopefully continuing) measurement of Shamona Creek.

During each session, the students would record the creek’s temperatures, ph/acidity, velocity, volume and the various macro/micro creatures found in the waterway.

At the beginning of the day, as we approached the testing locations, I noticed a car battery, on the bank of the creek, about 4 feet from the water’s edge.

Some of the cosmetic case had been cracked, and there was no way to tell how long it had been there. I picked it up and moved it closer to the road.

During the rest of the day, the car battery sat there, as a reminder to all what some folks are doing to the environment.

At the end of the day, we took it back to the school for disposal.

Other times, I seem to find items, that have just been swept away…

Then there are days, you still have to scratch your head!

Plastic Doll Head 037
Image taken while on an early spring walk at Stroud Preserve in Chester County PA

Knowing the area, it is very difficult to imagine how this plastic doll head got to this spot!

I did get a nice little note from the Stroud Preserve

“Oh dear! I’ll let our preserve manager know there’s litter out there!”

“As for the dry “ponds,” a few years back we restored the stream running through Stroud by removing the dams, which allowed land to convert from ponds (man-made and not good for water quality) to wetlands (more diverse than coral reefs and wonderful for filtering water).” – Stroud Preserve


I have recently been reading several articles about the new Wyoming law that now

makes it a crime to “collect resource data”… including taking a “photograph”…

But as the article goes on to say, the law is unconstitutional.

Here is a list of additional Links –

Needless to say, I have been a little anxious about Posting this…


I hope to encourage you, when out walking about in Nature –

  1. Do Not Litter!
  2. If you see something, Pick It Up!
  3. Try to leave a place better than you found it!

If you have any Thoughts or Comments, please let me know!

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Blogging Flickr Philadelphia Photography Photostream

Making Photo Connections – 1985

In checking my Flickr account this morning, there was a Message from Adam Currell, identifying a women in a photograph I took in 1985, with an image that he had done around the same time!

Pam by Andrew Seymour (circa 1985)
Pam 1985 by Andrew Seymour
Pam by Adam Currell (circa 1985)
Pam 1985 by Adam Currell

Now what do you think the chances of that happening!


– Andrew
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Blogging Chester County Coatesville Creeks Facebook Flickr Google Earth HDR Nature Panoramio Photo Journal Photography Photostream Streams

Columbus Day Photography

Looking down the Brandywine - Hibernia Park
Looking down the Brandywine – Hibernia Park

I was lucky enough to have a free day to go out and do some shooting.

The later Summer, early Autumn weather has been relatively warm, and no cold snaps to set the leaves into colors yet, but I was still going to go out.

If anything, just to do some scouting.

So off I went…

I love having a GPS!

After about an hour of just driving around, enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Morgantown, Churchtown and Honey Brook areas, I headed toward Hibernia Park to find the spot I had surveyed earlier in the Summer on another GPS drive.

After parking in the small little lot, I equipped myself, crossed the bridge and down the trail to find a way to creek edge.

What had caught my eye about this section before, was the bigger rocks and swifter water flow.

I was hoping for more color in the canopy over the water, but it was not going to be…

Looking up the Brandywine - Hibernia Park
Looking up the Brandywine – Hibernia Park

Even without the real reds and oranges of Fall, this part of the Brandywine presented many nice sections of water action, and found myself setting up and capturing several section during my creek walk.

As I crawled across a fallen tree, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a single small white mushroom, growing in the hollowed out root ball of one of the trees.

Tree Stump with White Mushroom - Hibernia Park
Tree Stump with White Mushroom – Hibernia Park

Setting up my tripod for this shot, was very difficult because of the angle I needed to see into the stump, and having a stable platform to do the multiple shoots needed for HDR, but I think it was worth it.

– Andrew
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Chester County Creeks Nature Photography Photostream

Hibernia County Park – CCPaPhoto Meet-Up

After several weeks of ‘conversations’ online, we finally gathered at Hibernia County Park for the first Meet-Up of the “Chester County (PA) Photography” – Facebook/Flickr groups!

What is always very interesting at First meetings that start via the internet, is the real person behind the profile icons!

Also helps with not having to create or bring “Hello/My Name Is” name tags!


We meet at the main parking lot for the mansion at Hibernia County Park, and then drove down the hill toward the “Old Damn” Area, which was already rather full with fisherman.

From the parking lot, we started down the Forge Trail, which follows the West Branch of the Brandywine Creek.

For me, this was a second visit.

The last time that I had been here was seven months ago, just after Tropical Storm Nichole in early October 2010.

On a technical side, this was my first chance in trying out my new Tiffen Digital Neutral Density Filter Kit!

The Kit includes a 0.6ND, 0.9ND and a 1.2ND, and the concept of playing with an additional 9 stops was very intriguing, especially around water!

When the group got to a cleaning next to the water, all the tripods sprung into action, and camera bags flying open in all directions.

110410 Hibernia Park 012
110410 Hibernia Park 012

Not wanting to be left out, I started to look for a good entrance point into the water, and then waded in.

It was cold, was not too bad.

On the way back to the trail, I did manage to slip, and dunk my arm put to my elbow in the creek!

My vest did touch the water, but the pocket liners kept everything dry!

I did not need to lose another camera to water, like I did back in college at Watkins Glen (NY) when my Canon A-1’s neck-strap broke.

We continued down the trail toward the small fishing pond, where there were many people enjoying the day.

Stopping at the small little bridge, we spread out to capture the sights around us.

One vary popular subject, was the small little water fall on the down stream side of the bridge.

110410 Hibernia Park 039
110410 Hibernia Park 039

From the bridge, we head down Lion Heads Drive and toward “The Wall”.

After a little stop, we found another interesting area, which had a very strange attribute.

As one walked from the road toward the creek, there is a large area that has an intense orange color in the dirt and a blueish sheen.

110410 Hibernia Park 048
110410 Hibernia Park 048

Once on the other side of the mess, I crossed a little island, and found a spot.

110410 Hibernia Park 058
110410 Hibernia Park 058

We turned around at Cottage #1, and headed back to the parking lot.

When we got back to the small fishing pound, Jason headed directly back to his car via the trail, while the rest of us continued up Lions Head Drive.

We passed the Mansion and headed back down the dirt road to the Upper Damn Area parking lot.

In the parking allot, we chatted some more, and tossed out ideas of where and when the next Meet-Up will be. Details will be Posted on Facebook and Flickr groups.

From there, we went our separate directions.

When I got home, I began to transfer and process my files, and while showing my daughter my new images, I was able to show my daughter these two images, which I quickly turned into a combination “Poster”.

Hibernia County Park (Oct 2010 vs Apr 2011)
Hibernia County Park (Oct 2010 vs Apr 2011)

All and all, I think folks had a good time!

Thanks to all those folks that came out, and I look forward to our next adventure!

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Chester County Creeks Downingtown Flickr HDR Nature Photo Journal Photography Photostream

1,100 Views of my little creek

1,100 Views, 761 Comments, 42 Favs, 2 Galleries
1,100 Views, 761 Comments, 42 Favs, 2 Galleries

As I sit here, trying to heal from another cold, I have been Flickr-ing about, and in doing so, I have noticed that my simple little picture of the small little creek near my house, has reached 1,100 views!

I think back to that day, it was the day after the first snow of the new year, and at the time, I had know idea how this capture would be received.

It just seemed such a simple capture, and simple HDR processing.

• • • • •

Since I posted this pictures, it has received several Flickr group awards that I am very proud to have gotten, including the following:

Andromeda "50"
Andromeda "50"
Elite Club of Photography for Recreation
Elite Club of Photography for Recreation
Above and Beyond - 500+ Comments
Above and Beyond - 500+ Comments


Build Your Rainbow Group Member
Build Your Rainbow Group Member

This capture has also allowed me to connect with many more photographers on Flickr, and share our unique visions from around the world.

Dragon Dagger Awards
Dragon Dagger Awards
The Light Painters Society
The Light Painters Society
Chariots of Artists
Chariots of Artists


Needless to say, I want to thank again all those that took the time to click on my thumbnail, and paste an award!

– Andrew
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