Monday, March 31, 2014

Rock Creek Park Woods in March 2014

Notice the softening of the light taking place over just a few days at the end of March.  The color tone shifts from black and grey to warmer blue, yellow and brown.

CHFM Volunteer Days

Spring begins volunteer cleanup days in the woods around Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting.

 David Bower, Volunteer Coordinator for Philadelphia Parks & Rec, gives a thank you to volunteer team from Holderness School in Plymouth, NH.

 Damaged and fallen pine boughs are collected and then carried away for chipping and shredding.

Ginger the dog is an important part of the work team!

Dragging Away Abandoned Tent and Trash


Taking Out a Fencepost Set in Concrete

Initial digging.



Below, lifting.

Cool Art

 'Tinzenhorn,' by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.  1919.  Pastel.  From the Bruecke Museum in Berlin.

 'Wind Map,' by Fernanda Bertini Viegas and Martin Wattenberg.  2012.  Custom software showing wind patterns from NWS data.  In the Museum of Modern Art and also available online at 

Airline flight paths map the United States.  In the Museum of Modern Art.

'Urbino Tea Service,' Trude Petri-Raben.  1930.  Glazed porcelain.  Museum of Modern Art.

Several Images from Philips Gallery Collection

Duncan Phillips and his wife created a small and very fine collection of art.  It is open to the public in Washington DC.  There is an entry fee.

'Aspiration," by Augustus Vincent Tack.  1931.  Oil on canvas

'The Mediterranean,' by Gustave Courbet.  1857.  

'New York, Lower Manhattan,' by Stefan Hirsch.  1921.

'The Migration Series, Panel no. 59:  In the North they had the freedom to vote,' by Jacob Lawrence.  1940-41.  Casein tempera on hardboard.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Snow, Snow and More Snow: Feb, 2014

January and February in Philadelphia have been among the coldest and snowiest on record (even as western US had heat and drought).  

Upright shrubs without leaves managed.

Evergreens suffered more.

White pines were especially hard hit.
Many had branches split or snapped in half.

Shoveling Tips

 There was plenty of snow to practice shoveling, so far well over 50 inches and more in sheltered places.

 The key is to get new snow off as fast as possible; the sun can melt any residue.

Also, important to push the snow back beyond the pavement so that a strip of earth is showing.  This will soak up melting, avoid ice on the pavement and need for salt.

Two photos to the right show how overhanging snow melts onto the pavement, forming ice and hazards and requiring salt.

Snow and Ice on the Roads, Feb. 2014

The pictures here do not show the reality of streets crowded with vehicles, drifts, salt & dirt and no place to park.  They show how beautiful and deadly conditions can be when snow is driven over, not plowed or salted and then frozen.  Oh and the potholes!

 Even a minor snowfall can turn into a sheet of ice overnight.  Conditions seen to the left and below were difficult to even walk on.


The key is getting snow off quickly so it is not driven over and the sun can warm the street.

Enough Snow for a Cave, but No Place to Pee

 Some of the parking lot drifts were 10 and 15 feet, high enough to build a real snow cave!

 Even in a little snow cave, the light coming through the snow is definitely blue.

For a dog who likes his bare ground to sniff, times are hard:  just pavement and snow are to be found.  
What's a dog to do?

Note little red dog booties necessary because of all the salt.