Tag Archives: Nature Walk

Founder’s Way Point – Marsh Creek State Park

During a walk  around Founder’s Way Point in Marsh Creek State Park, Chester County, PA, I took these images.

As you can see, this is a great area to both hike/walk or mountain bike!

- Andrew
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Sick of Politics and went for a walk

After spending my Sunday morning, reading all the various headlines, weeding through the rhetoric and engaging in several spirited conversations, it was time to get out of the house.

Especially with the kids!

We backed up, and headed to the Marsh Creek Dam trailhead, and started our Sunday Family nature walk.

The three of us were eager to see what the water level was, since hurricane Sandy had passed over our area earlier in the week.

As we headed down the hill, in the distance, one could see the rapid flow of water as it traveled down the spillway, and by the time we reached the USGS station, it was easy to hear the water thundering over the dam.

From the observation area, we were amazed at the power in front of us.

We walked along the trail, enjoying the first cold weather of the season as we headed for the metal bridge.

After some time, we headed back to the car, as I commented about my adventures to this area back in September.

At dinner, all the kids could talk about was the flooding and the smell!

- Andrew
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Daddy Day Camp Opens!

Welcome to the first day of “Daddy Day Camp” 2012!

I am starting this blog segment in an effort to exchange ideas with other Parents that might be needing some ideas for what to do with their kids this summer!

Over the past couple of days, I have been working with my kids to come up with a list of things they would like to do during the course of the summer on Monday’s and Tuesday’s, and here are a couple of ideas to start off with:

  • Arts and Crafts
    • Make Official T-Shirts
      – Every camper has to have one!
      – Very simple, just grabs some white t-shirts and markers and let them make their own!
      – Let the kids design the logo!
  • Education period
    • Reading or Blogging
    • Math
    • Science!
  • Library Time
    • Both my kids have library cards, and we are going to take advantage of our great local library!
  • Outdoor time
    • Nature Walks
    • Sports Play

We also plan to mix in chores (weeding, pick-up the lawn, etc.) and little projects (clean basement, paint mail box post, etc.) that are a benefit to the “Camp”.

There are plans to also visit local parks and museums!

So stay tuned for more details!

– Andrew, Madison and Logan

Possible Ideas

20 Creative DIY Project Ideas

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Spring Family Walk at ChesLen Preserve

Some images taken during a Family Nature Walk at the ChesLen Preserve in Coatesville, Chester County PA.

This image was taken at the edge of one of the hedge rows, in the shade.

Power Towers in the ChesLen Preserve in Coatesville, Chester County
Power Towers in the ChesLen Preserve in Coatesville, Chester County

Looking at Power Line and newly plowed fields, which are now ready for planting.

Plowed fields and Power Lines in ChesLen Preserve in Coatesville, Chester County
Plowed fields and Power Lines in ChesLen Preserve in Coatesville, Chester County

Addition Links and Info

 

– Andrew
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Stroud Preserve Selected for Collection

110501 Stroud Preserve 076 tm
110501 Stroud Preserve 076 tm

I just got an alert from my Flickr mail that the Director of Communications at the Natural Lands Trust, asking for permission to use this image as part of their collection for Stroud Preserve!

Needless to say, I’m very honored by this recognition!

thank you very much for this honor and I look forward to seeing my image on your website!

– Andrew

Update

Since getting this e-mail, I have had the chance to visit both the Binky Lee and ChesLen Preserves with Madison and Logan for our Family Nature Walks! (Unfortunately, Amy can join us because of her allergies!)

Again I am blown away by the fact that I have traveled past both these preserves many a times and never realized they were there, let alone how beautiful they are!

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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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Father’s Day 2011 – Daddy’s Day

Feather Light
Feather Light

It’s Dad’s Day and I don’t need to do anything!

Well, within reason.

After all I have two kids…

But that is the best part!

When I was woken up, I was presented with Father’s Day cards, and a special banner that Amy, Madison and Logan had worked on just for me!

What a nice way to start the day!

From there, I was allowed to watch my Sunday morning programs with a hot cup of coffee and an omelet in peace!

So far so good!

And peace was a relative term…

I could hear the kids up stairs running back and forth in the upstairs hallway, screaming and giggling…

It was also not hard to realize, they needed to get out and burn off some of the energy that is perpetual when the two of them are together!

Since it was Daddy’s Day, I got to say where we were going! Yeah!!

I did not have to compromise or negotiate, especially when the kids heard that Mommy was going to come with us!

Marsh Creek Reservoir looking North (Panorama 01)
Marsh Creek Reservoir looking North (Panorama 01)

My plan was slowly taking shape!
(Insert “Mad Scientist” Laughter)

Now the hard part… Where?

I wanted to try some place that I have not been to before, but keep it close by.

I knew because of the heat and humidity, I wanted to be near water.

Based on that, I looked up Marsh Creek State Park.

Am I suggesting that I have never been to MCSP before? – NO

Along the trail (20110619 Marsh Creek 107)
Along the trail (20110619 Marsh Creek 107)

I have been to the Pool and Water Park area on the east side several time, and I have been Mountain Biking before in the south-west part near the Brandywine before, but I did not think anyone but me would be interested in that adventure.

So I had to figure out some place new, so I took to Google Earth to fly around a little to scope out a trail, and in doing so, I remembered the damn in the southern park.

So I gather up the troops, jumped into the car, and headed out, and about 30 minutes later, we were parked and heading down the trail.

There are many small coves that surround the lake, and as we approached the first one, there were some folks fishing and a dog that was having a grand time in the water.

Not to be out done, Logan and Madison pleaded with us to be allowed to go in the water and play with the dog.

Who am I to say “No”?!

We let them play for a little bit, and then called for them to join us on the rest of the walk, and all we got was “Awww…”, but finally we were off again!

I should have figured that as soon as we were on “open” trail, Logan would be running down the trail, and the parents calling out to him to slow down and be careful! Soon to be followed by his sister, trading back and forth who would be our guide, calling out rocks and roots so we would not fall.

Very cute, but after the first 50 “obstacles ‘… Well, what do you say as a parent…

We finally got to the over-flow drain, and the kids were having fun walking on the grate, looking down into the rushing water as it fell in, but Amy was a little more apprehensive about the whole situation.

Butterfly on the Damn (20110619 Marsh Creek 095)
Butterfly on the Damn

Then we crossed over the main damn, where we were pasted by several Mountain Bikers as they headed to the trails on the far side. I reminded both kids, that we needed to work on getting them off of training wheels so that we could start doing the same thing.

At the edge of the meadow, we stopped and rested, saw a Red-Winged Black bird, and agreed that it was time to head back.

Tree Stump and Ferns (20110619 Marsh Creek 110)
Tree Stump and Ferns (20110619 Marsh Creek 110)

On the trip back, Madison made sure that we all knew she was the guide, but after some time, she relinquished her lead, and Logan scampered to the front.

As we returned the swimming cove from earlier, both the kids just ran into the water without evening asking, and happy played until it was time to leave once again.

On the car trip home, there were talks of baths and then fun that we had on our Father’s Day Nature Walk.

– Andrew

Andrew (SDC) - View my 'Marsh Creek ('11 Father's Day)' set on Flickriver

Additional Information

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