Tag Archives: Coatesville

A look back – Hibernia Park

It should be not secret at this point, to anyone living on the East Coast of the United States, that if it is not raining, just wait.

I will…

At the moment, Hurricane Joaquin is headed toward the East Coast…

Which means flooding… Somewhere…

It just so happens, that 5 years ago today, Tropical Storm Nicole, had just passed over the Chester County area, drenching the area, over night, with several inches of rain.

Silly me, I grabbed, my camera, and went out…

Out to Hibernia Park in Coatesville walking along the West Branch of the Brandywine Creek.

As you can see, there was a great deal of water, especially when you compare these two images, taken 7 months apart, during a Photography Meetup.

Hibernia Park Oct 10 vs Apr 11 - Two images taken 7 months apart in Hibernia County Park, Coatesville, Chester County PA.
Hibernia Park Oct 10 vs Apr 11 – Two images taken 7 months apart in Hibernia County Park, Coatesville, Chester County PA.

Do you remember Tropical Storm Nicole?

Are you ready for any type of storm?

What tips do you have to get through the next couple of days here in Chester County?

- Andrew
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2014 Chester County Balloon Festival

I FINALLY got through the gates and found a place to park, and it feels SO good to stretch my legs!

I gathered my gear, and started up the hill.

I HOPE I can find my spot later…

As I got to the dirt road, I heard a voice call my name, and it was Brian A, a fellow local photographer in his car with his wife, and they were leaving.

We chatted for a little bit, and I headed off for my well deserved beer!

It was quit noticeable, the lack of balloons in the air, just laying on the ground like colorful shadows…

Walking to the Victory beer truck, I did see someone was taking advantage of the strong winds, by flying a very colorful kite!

You might be able to notice, the long grass had just been cut, and was laying in the sun to get dry, but that did not stop the children from building hay forts in the fields!

I finally got my beer, and quietly drank it, as I surveyed the fields and the setting sun…

My stomach and nose also told me, it was time to get something to eat, so I ventured back up the hill and into the vending area.

and of course, there were kids and parents all over the place!

All eyes were on this man and his flying kite! – As long has his kite was flying high in the air, no balloons were taking off!

FAA Kite Man 144
Image of the FAA Kite Man, monitoring the winds at the Chester County Balloon Festival.

Eventually, one brave group decided to give a balloon raising a try!

As the sun faded, the temperature began to drop.

Folks began to cuddle up, as a few more balloons attempted to fill the night sky.

Cuddling up 171
A couple cuddle up during the flame glows at the Chester County Balloon Festival.

But the winds refused to die down, as the balloons began to slowly sink back to the ground, a mere shadow of what they could have been.

- Andrew
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Speakman #1 Covered Bridge – 4 years later

While I was out on a GPS drive yesterday, I found myself very close to Speakman #1 Covered Bridge, and having several hours before the kids got home, I decided to stop by and do a follow-up session.

The last time I was at the bridge was back in 2010, and as I got closer, I started to notice signs saying the bridge was closed.

This made me very concerned, especially since we’ve had several harsh winters since I was last there.

As I approached the bridge, I felt rather depressed when I began to see barriers in front of the bridge opening.

Bridge Closed signs at Speakman #1
Bridge Closed signs at Speakman #1 in Chester County PA.

While I was getting out of the car, I was wondering what kind of damage had happened, when I was shaken from my thoughts by a man in a pickup truck.  He asked if I was fishing to which I raised my camera.

The truck pulled into the area in front of the bridge and the man got out and started chatting about the bridge in general.

I explained to him that the last time I’d been down here was in 2010, and that I was rather shocked to see the general appearance of the bridge.

At this point, Lawrence introduced himself and said the bridge had been closed for about two years due to damage by a truck hauling steel plates through the bridge.

Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.

Apparently, a driver was heading southbound on Frog Hollow Road, when a steel plate shifted as he turned right onto Covered Bridge Road, severely damaging the South West entrance post.

Lawrence continued to tell me stories about the local area and the bridge as we walked around, inspecting the damage.

In this picture, you can still see some of the fire damage cause by some local boys.  Notice the char in the diagonal crossbeam.

Arson damage at Speakman #1 in Chester County PA. - Notice the 'new' siding.
Arson damage at Speakman #1 in Chester County PA. – Notice the ‘new’ siding.

From the outside, looking upstream, you can see the boards that were replaced.

Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Truck damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.

I asked when the bridge was going to be fixed, but that remains to be seen. There appears to be an argument between the local townships and the state about who is going to pick up the restoration cost.

When you go to the upstream side of the bridge, you can see where the tall grass has gotten stuck between the boards during several recent floods.

Flood damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Flood damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Flood damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.
Flood damage to Speakman #1 covered bridge in Chester County PA.

If you look very carefully at the above image, you can see how the left vertical steel I-beam is bent from all the ice and trees hitting it.

Needless to say, it is easy to see that Speakman #1 Covered Bridge needs some major restoration if it is going to last into the future.

I hope by posting these images, I can make other people aware of what needs to be done.

If you have any contacts, please let me know!

Thanks in advance,

- Andrew
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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.

- Andrew
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Ice, Snow and Water

A revisit of some recently Posted images, but moved into a Black and White presentation.

What do you think?

Please leave your thoughts below in the comments!

- Andrew
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14°F getting warmer!

Being the nut job that I am, I managed to tantalize someone else to join me in the 14°F weather!

When we got out into shooting position down by the Brandywine creek, it was allot more dangerous because of the 6-8 inches of snow covering everything!

Some of the ice structures that I had seen on my visit on the 8th, were no longer around, and the water was not as dark with silt.

I still have more to process, but I wanted to get something Posted.

- Andrew
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9°F on the Rim Trail

Some images taken along the southern Rim Trail in Hibernia County Park, when the air temperature was 9°F!

- Andrew
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