Tag Archives: Brandywine Creek

Panorama of Kerr Park Post Hurricane Irene

I finally finished this MONSTER!

As I blogged before, this image is composed of 42 images stitched together in Photoshop CS5, and then some Tone Mapping.

NOTE – By Clicking on the Image Twice (2 Times) you can see the FULL image!

Kerr Park - Post Hurricane Irene - Panorama
Kerr Park – Post Hurricane Irene – Panorama

At one point, this file was 3.7GBs in size!

But I have been able to get it down to a little over 7MBs as a JPEG file.

It has been interesting to see which sites are having problems with the size…

 

Sites having issues with the FULL size image – 11336×1000 (157.4″x13.8″)

Sites NOT having issues with the FULL size image – 11336×1000 (157.4″x13.8″)

Hope you enjoy!

– Andrew
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Post Hurricane Irene Nature Walks

About an hour ago, we finally got our power back!

We lost it Saturday night around 10:32pm during “Dr. Who”… I mean Hurricane Irene.

I was monitoring my various networks, watching for things related to the storm that was all around us.

The TV was nothing but an Emergency Broadcast transmissions for tornado warnings all over the area.

The first alert was described as strong storm, with possible circular rotation for areas to the south, starting in New Castle and heading towards Kennett Square.

About 5 minutes later, there was another warning that included the King of Prussia area.

We are right in the middle, and needless to say, I was a little nervous.

At 10:31pm, I posted to Facebook that our lights were browning…

Then the Power was gone…

I turned on the radio and listened as I paced the house, moving from the front to the back, and occasionally into the garage to look out into the night from one of the opened doors.

Sometime around 3:30am, I finally laid down and continued to listen to the radio before I falling asleep.

I was woken up by my wife, as she prepared snacks for the kids, who were upstairs watching a movie on the iPad.

They were happy.

Walking around the house, I surveyed out all the windows to see what the outside looked like, and how many branches would I be picking up later.

I also watched for cars to gauge how the roads were, and as I saw more, I wanted to go out to see for myself, and so did Madison.

We got down to Kerr Park around 11:30, and saw several other people already exploring what Irene had left.

Kerr Park 003 - Small Bridge
Kerr Park 003 – Small Bridge

After parking, both Madison and I walked across the water-logged grass, and headed toward the Brandywine creek, which was well over it’s banks.

Kerr Park 013 - Flooding
Kerr Park 013 – Flooding

The small little stream and bridge in the middle of the park were covered with several inches of water.

Kerr Park - Fallen Tree - Hurricane Irene
Kerr Park – Fallen Tree

One could also see that one of the older trees and fallen over during the heavy winds from the night before.

Madison on top of fallen tree root ball
Madison on top of fallen tree root ball

After walking around some more, we headed back to the car, and off to the Dam along Struble Trail.

Kerr Park 096 - Trees and Flooding
Kerr Park 096 – Trees and Flooding

When we got to the small little parking area, there was another family already investigating the dam and all the water that was flowing over it.

Struble Trail Dam 01 - Downingtown
Struble Trail Dam 01 – Downingtown

We finished taking our pictures, walked back to the car, and on to home.

Once there, Logan was now ready to see the outside world also, so we jumped into the car, and headed to the Dowlin Forge Road entrance to the Struble Trail.

I was actually a little surprised to see as many folks walking the trail, but considering that the power was still out, what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

As Logan and headed West, we found our little trail that leads down to the edge of the Brandywine, but were confronted with a large puddle from earlier flooding. Logan jumped on my back for a piggy-back ride across and we continued on.

It was loud and many of the ‘normal’ creek-bed features, were covered in several inches of deep water.

I wanted to find the “Creek Claw“, but with all the water, I knew that it was not going to be, but I was able to find the “Hobbit House” tree.

110828 Struble Trail - Hobbit House Tree
Struble Trail – Hobbit House Tree

As I took several different angles, I reminded Logan that when the water was lower, he was able to stand inside.

He looked at me with disbelief, and then went back to lightsabering the tree branches.

We continued down the dirt trail, and back up to the main paved trail.

On the way back to the car, we only saw one tree laying across the trail, which was a surprise.

Fallen tree across Struble Trail
Fallen tree across Struble Trail

From the parking lot, we drove along Creek Road (Rt. 282) back into Downingtown, and on to Kerr Park for a quick stop, and no camera.

As we walked around, I pointed out where the water had been earlier and told him I would show him the pictures later, once we had power again.

– Andrew
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The Warm Brandywine Creeks… It is HOT!

Looking Down Brandywine Creek - Glenmoore
Looking Down Brandywine Creek – Glenmoore

Continued from Previous Post

After packing up, and driving further West along Creek road in Glenmoore, I found my next little parking cove, and pulled in.

The breeze from the drive helped, but it too was warm.

From the rear of my car, I gathered my gear, and started to walk back down the road, to find a path down to the creek.

After a 100 feet or so, I climbed over the guard rail, down a small embankment, and stopped at the water’s edge to view my options.

From where I was standing, it was a near perfect 90 degree bend in the creek, so I waded into the warm water and headed up.

As I walked through the shallow water, I could easily see the creek bed rocks.

I continued to walk further and further, until I finally reached a series of trees that had fallen over the creek, resting on the banks.

In my heart, I wanted to continue. I could see deep shade on the other side, but it was too hot to be climbing over any trees today.

Trail Head - West Glenmoore 01 HDR
Trail Head – West Glenmoore 01 HDR

Heading back down the creek, to near where I started, I exited the water and entered into the woods, seeing a potential short-cut to get further down the creek.

As I walked in through the woods, I kept my eye on the creek, looking for my next shot.

I finally found an interesting area, and setup. I took several captures before taking the one at the top of the page, and it was the sun penetrating the water, revealing the details of the creek bed that I wanted to emphasis.

After a few more clicks on the camera shutter, I looked at my watch, and started back to the car.

There was one last place I wanted to try before  calling it a day.

At the car, I put my gear in the back, jumped in and headed further west to the spot that I had stopped and visited the night before.

This time, there was an actual parking lot!

Once again, I gather my gear, and headed to the creek.

As you can see from the first two pictures, this area of Chester County is dry, and the water levels are down several inches.

During my visit the night before, I had taken note of the much large rocks in the creek, and I had been looking forward to doing some exploring with my camera.

Water Cooled at 101° F
Water Cooled at 101° F

With the bigger rocks, it was also fun to bounce from rock to rock, trying to find scenes to photograph.

I was also very apparent how low the water table was by looking at the levels on the larger rocks. In the “Trail Head” image, you can see several lines on the rocks.

I setup and took a number of another shots, including this close-up detail of the top region of a small waterfall, “Water Cooled at 101° F”.

Looking around some more, I made a metal notes on areas I wanted to return to in the cooler Fall days when the tree are in full color.

Once again, I looked at my watch, and started back to the car.

It was also nice to consider that there was a pool at my next stop!

I was very ready to for this!

– Andrew

Notes

  • All Images were bracket multi-exposure captures into Canon CR2 RAW format
  • Images were then converted to Adobe Digital Negatives (DNG)
  • HDR Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop CS5
  • Web images (jpg) were created with Adobe Lightroom 3.4.1
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101°F Looking for a Quarry in Glenmoore

Near Marsh Creek Speedway
Near Marsh Creek Speedway

Finally, I got a day to myself to go on a photo-walk!

On my drive out to my sister’s last night to drop off Madison, I got a chance to do some drive-by scouting of the various areas along the Brandywine Creek that I wanted to try the following day.

Later in that night, I spent some time using Google Earth to further explore my options, and also figured out a potential route to the Quarry!

I spent the morning getting work related things out-of-the-way, and finally just after noon, I was walking out the door.

Pow! – The heat and humidity smacked me in the face!

I should have known better – Earlier, when I had been checking Facebook, several friends had already been posting that the weather outside was really bad.

But I did not expect this…

20/20 Vision – On Wednesday morning, when we first looked out the windows, we though we saw fog, but in reality, it was the thick humidity of a new day!

The drive to Marsh Creek Speedway was not that bad, but that because I had ALL the windows down!

At the Speedway… The heat hit me again – Now there was no breeze… and I was closer to water…

I parked the car; gathered my gear; and found the closest entrance into the creek and waded in… I was already wet from the day…

Along the Fence of the Quarry
Along the Fence of the Quarry

Even the flowing creek water was warmer than normal…

This was a HOT DAY!

As I moved up creek, I noticed a parked car above me, by no easy path up, so I continued.

After about 150 feet, I found something that looked like a path and followed it up, until I reached a surprising dirt vehicle road.

I headed in the direction of the car, and finally came to an open area, where a light blue car was parked, along with a beach chair and a large thermos container.

Then I noticed an older women dressed in a Security Guard’s uniform, backing out of the car, on the edges of nowhere.

This was odd…

We both said hello, and started to talk about how hot it was.

Turns out she is about to retire at the beginning of August, and she was within her last few days of sitting in the heat!

After some time, I asked her which of the trails lead to the Quarry.

She pointed to one trail, and said that it was the main entrance, but because it was Private Property, there was no access.

She then pointed back down the dirt road I had just emerged from, and said that if I head back far enough, there was a trail that went off to the right.

She also warned that there had been a lot of snakes reported, and there was a Mountain Biking team using the trails in preparation for an event.

We chatted a little more, and I started back down the vehicle trail.

Quarry Gates - Glenmoore, Chester County, PA
Quarry Gates – Glenmoore, Chester County, PA

I passed the spot from where I started, and continued walking till I reached the split in the road, and headed right.

The trail started up a hill, and just seemed to continue. After a while, it leveled off a bit, and turn into a young growth area, with no trees thicker then 3 inches.

Then it was back to the woods, and up more hill, and soon begin to see the fence that will be at my side for the rest of my trip.

Finally, I reached a corner, where I stopped and rested, and during my rest, I noticed that there is a gated opening, which a small vehicle might be able to get through.

I also noticed, that someone or some group of people already tried to gain access through this particular gate.

Question – Have you ever knowing crossed a ‘fence’ to obtain an image?

Looking at the gap, I did contemplate trying to crawl under, but with the excessive heat and agility not in my favor, I decided not to pursue this avenue.

After my break, I started back up the hill and finally reached the trail head.

From my previous nights investigations, I knew that this trail led into the main part of Marsh Creek State Park.

Trail Head (North) - Quarry in Glenmoore
Trail Head (North) – Quarry in Glenmoore

As I rested, I listened into the woods for any sounds that might be the mountain biking group, or anything else.

Looking up into canopy of green leaves, I was rather amused to notice, as I drank my water and rested, a group birds circling my location.

I captured a few more images, drank some more water, realized I was three-quarters empty, and started to head back down the hill.

The walk back down the hill was rather uneventful – I did not even see a snake my entire hike!

At the car, I removed my vest, which was already several shades darker from wetness and my tripod, and placed them both in the back of my car, hoping that the air generated by my open windows while driving, might dry the vest off, as I headed to my next location.

With the keys in the ignition, I started the car, rolled down the windows, retracted the sunroof, and aired out the car for several minutes…

Looking at my thermometer in my dashboard, it read 101°F…

and the car had been sitting in the shade…

Off to my next point-of-interest (POI) along the Brandywine on Creek Road!

Updates

2012 July 18 – Nearly a year later, and the temperature is nearly the same… Also in reading my web logs, I have noticed a number of hits that asked the following question:

“Who owns the Quarry in Glenmoore?”

and according to the picture I took last year, as noted in this blog, the quarry is owned by Philadelphia Suburban Water Company in Bryn Mawr, PA, which can be seen in this extreme close-up of the fence.

Extreme Close-Up of the Glenmoore Quarry Fence Sign
Extreme Close-Up of the Glenmoore Quarry Fence Sign

Notes

  • All Images were bracket multi-exposure captures into Canon CR2 RAW format
  • Images were then converted to Adobe Digital Negatives (DNG)
  • HDR Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop CS5
  • Web images (jpg) were created with Adobe Lightroom 3.4.1
- Andrew
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Gibson’s Covered Bridge (1872) – Part 2

Gibson’s Covered Bridge (1872) – Part 2

Downingtown, Chester County [38-15-10]

I went back today after taking my daughter on a Nature walk in new area.

When we got there, she really seemed to open up to the bridge.

It was “cool”!

The sun was just hitting the water at such an angle, that light was coming up from underneath, which was very helpful!

The weeds have NOT gotten any better!

and JPEG Compression can REALLY kill a HDRI image!

Gibson-Harmony Hill Covered Bridge - HDR 001
Gibson-Harmony Hill Covered Bridge – HDR 001
Gibson-Harmony Hill Covered Bridge - HDR 002
Gibson-Harmony Hill Covered Bridge – HDR 002
- Andrew
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If you are really a fan of Covered Bridges and Scale Models, you are going to love the work done at Mike and Jackies.  

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