Monday, October 27, 2014

Autumn Doesn't Get Any Better Here

Fox Chase Farm
The last weekend in October, just passed, was quintessential autumn here in the northern Piedmont.  Kali and I had errands to run on Saturday morning, but still managed to get some time to clean up the garden and rake some leaves - anything to be outside to appreciate the perfect temperatures, low humidity and cloudless skies.  Sunday was nearly a carbon copy, except it was a bit cooler and a little breezy - even more perfect,if such is possible.  We decided to take a walk in the afternoon in the county park downstream of my preserve.  The county had just lengthened the existing rail-to-trail route by installing a bridge over a ravine and I wanted to see the project and walk the newest part of the trail.
Looking across the new bridge back to the older part of the trail
The bridge is a handsome addition to the trail.  The CORE-TEN steel has weathered to a color that nicely complements the largely natural surroundings, especially in the autumn.
Across the new bridge toward the newly lengthened trail
The trail now terminates in a municipal park about 500 feet from the far end of the bridge.  Walking across the new span is nice, but the trail extension is so short that it doesn't add much to the walk - either in distance or interesting scenery.

On the return trip, I stopped to photograph Fox Chase Farm (lead image to this post) located adjacent to the county park.  Fox Chase Farm is a joint project of the Philadelphia School District and the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation (P&R).  The land is owned by P&R, but the school district operates the farm, which raises cattle, pigs, and sheep within the city city limits.  Ostensibly, the farm gives students the opportunity to become familiar with farming, but as one of only two farms still operating within the city limits (the other also operated by the school district), I wonder about the value of the investment for such an urbanized population. 
Harper's Run
Kali and I finished our glorious 4-mile walk following the course of Harper's Run within the county park.  Harper's Run is one of the most scenic tributaries to my creek, and a favorite photographic subject of mine.


packrat said...

Very fine images, Scott. I really like the first one of the farm. And that is quite a handsome bridge.

robin andrea said...

That's a beautiful walk! Interesting about the Fox Chase Farm. It surprises me that a school district operates a farm there, but it sounds like it could be an educational experience for urban students. Enjoy the beautiful autumn.

Mark P said...

That is pretty. I love fall. We've had some very nice weather here. The last few days have felt like summer again, but it should soon turn back into fall.

Scott said...

Thanks, Packrat. The image of the farm turned out better than I anticipated it would when I was in the field.

Scott said...

Robin Andrea: I really wonder how many students the school district "reaches" with its agricultural programs... However, with the new interest in urban agriculture, Fox Chase Farm may have a role to play. The farm also has public program days when they invite the general public to visit for sheep shearing, maple sugaring, and harvest festivals; they are always very crowded--people must miss their connection to the land.

Scott said...

Mark: The autumn colors have been fairly muted here this year--definitely not one of our more spectacular autumns. But, it's still my favorite time of year.