Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Walk in the Park

Between my generation and my daughters, a travesty has occurred. We played outside in the woods. We got dirty and wet and had great adventures. Most kids today never have this opportunity. The world has become so unsafe that now we shelter our kids and let them watch Discovery Channel specials of what the natural world is like. When I was a kid, my Mom pushed me out the door to go play. I was often told to go out and play, and did just that until it got dark. My friends and I would disappear into the woods to build forts, fish, gig frogs, build fires, and share that one beer one of us managed to swipe from our Dad. To this day I relish going out to play in the woods. The only thing I was told was "stay out of abandoned buildings".
Here are a few photos of my last walk in the Patapsaco State Park. The Patapsaco Valley had been very heavily industrialized during Colonial times. Economic trends and massive floods have removed just about all of it now. Signs of this industrialization can still be found if you know where to look. Near the end of this post, you will see the one factory that remained in operation until about ten years ago, when a third, mysterious fire burnt it up. Slowly it is being reclaimed by nature and salvagers. Hope you enjoy.

You will probably see more of these Walk in the Park type posts. I have read that 1839 gold was discovered and a mine established in what is now the park. The only person who ever got rich was the guy who supplied the mine the timbers. The gold rush of 1849 ended just about all the gold mines on the Eastern Seaboard. I am on a mission to find this mine. I suspect many many walks in the woods will be required.


Sue and Spike said...

Looks like found art objects!

Anonymous said...

No Guts, No Glory! http://www.mgs.md.gov/esic/brochures/gold.html


YMGW said...

Nice photographs Frank. I don't believe the world is less safe for our kids, just that we have chosen to interpret it as such. "Back by tea-time", meaning "Don't come back 'til tea-time," should re-enter our lexicon.

Aluminium Idler said...

Great shots Frank - you're quite the documentarian !

Like the holes drilled to split the granite. We have the same method here on Dartmoor where they call it 'feather & tare' - the feathers were little metal slivers (a bit like an old floor nail) and the tare was a gently tapered wedge. Once the short hole was drilled the feathers were put around the edge with the tare in the middle and then the whole line was tapped in turn. As the wedges drove in deeper the ringing note got higher and higher until, finally, she split open.

Keep looking, keep documenting.

All the best for 2012 - Chris

crowldawg said...

Amazing what can be done to stone with a few wedges and star drills.I can appreciate it not sure I would still enjoy doing it all day.