Sunday, February 24, 2013

More Walks in the Woods (series)

Since it was a bright sunny day with a high near 50, I decided to take a walk in the woods. The naturalized daffodils sure think Spring is right around the corner even though the calendar says it is still  24 days away.

I seemed to find a lot of steps to nowhere in the woods today.

Everywhere is somewhere, but where these steps used to go is unknown to me.

Some of these stairs took a great deal of hand work to build. Shame they really go nowhere significant nowadays.

Sometimes the stairs took a great amount of forming followed by a bunch of pouring. Now they preform no purpose at all. There is nothing at the top and they took you from nothing of any trace.

Sometimes the stairs lead to something charming.

Cast iron holds up well to the elements. The plaster and lathe on wood framing does not hold up quite as well.

The cross seamed oddly stripped of its jewels. 

A seedy spirituality seemed to have creeped into this sanctuary. Maybe not, what do I know.

The marble had sure given up its shine, though.

And then there was the VW bus. It was where it just shouldn't have been. It was one of those "how did that get here" moments. 

It might have been left there by the Dharma Initiative. Nero might have donated it to the cause too.

It was like a fallen city in some parts of my walk.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Yet Another Walk in the Woods.

My sciatica has had me down for well over a month. The continuous pain has had me doing very little and has effected every aspect of my life. Thankfully the Chiropractic treatments I have been receiving in conjunction with physical therapy and electro therapy have me feeling a lot better. The pain, though constant and persistent has actually become tolerable. I decided I needed a long walk in the woods. It was a comfortable 28 degrees, so off I went, camera in hand. My favorite spot to "walk in the woods" is Patapsaco State Park. It is a narrow park running from Elkridge Maryland all the way up to Liberty Reservoir in Carroll County, 32 miles long, never more than a mile wide. Just like many parts of Appalachia, the long time inhabitants of the area were cleared out to make room for the park. I love to find their remnants of habitation.

I tend to find a lot of bed springs. They are always in really odd places.

They left behind a lot of their survival tools. At one time this probably was used to cut up the trees, thrown into the stove on a day just like this one. I have a chain saw. I can only imagine the effort it took to keep the house warm back then.

I just never know what I might find at these old homesites. I do not know when they began moving folks out, but from what I understand, most were gone by the early 1970's

The houses seem to all have been burned to the foundations and left to decay. At one time people lived here. Kids played, meals were shared, people lived their lives. Now trees grow though what was once a home.

One thing that I find a lot of is spring boxes. They are always left in tact. The entire homesite is gone, but the spring is left alone. 

I can only speculate this is or was a property marker. I was on the edge of the park when I found this human made anomaly.

I tend to find a lot of dams also. The entire Patapsaco River Valley was heavily industrialized from the 1770's on. There were many factories running off of the water power supplied by numerous containment ponds. Behind all these dams the space is completely filled in with silt and stone so instead of a dam, they are just waterfalls now.

There are hundreds of beautiful waterfalls in the park. This is the first step in the piedmont to the Appalachian Chain.

Did I mention it was only 28 degrees?

Knock, knock... Anyone home? Not for years now.

Yes, I drank from this spring. Very nice tasting water. Like I said, the springs at these homesites are for some reason left in tact.

I come across a lot of dumps. In the trunk of that car is a complete wood burning kitchen stove.

I love old dumps like this. I can spend hours looking through the debris. I really wanted to take that wood stove with me, but it is way too heavy and miles from a road.

I was really digging this crank. My first bike had that very same crank. I got it in 1973, when we lived in Atchison Kansas for a year.

When cars had real style...

My sovenier for the day. 6 foot long, enameled sign. I will be going back for the other side in the very near future.