Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

Post Wedding: Hiding in the Poconos

When life provides an opportunity to escape to a refuge of peacefulness and shut out stresses and distractions it is wise to seize that opportunity. After the wedding Pam and I headed north to spend some time in the Pocono Mountains. We stayed in Dingmans Ferry, by the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The area has a fascinating history. It also has Dingman’s Ferry Bridge, which is one of the last privately owned toll bridges in the United States. We paid $1.00 to the toll collector standing in between the bridge lanes on our trips over and back.

Our little cabin in the woods was a glorious retreat. And it had a hot tub. On the first morning we had a black bear on our deck welcoming us to the forest–I wish I had taken some pictures.

The back side of a small cabin, with a hot tub on the deck.

The little cabin we rented.

During our stay we played games (Jaipur, Morels, Canasta, Qwirkle), and an interesting trend emerged. Games that required a running score had a scoresheet (which may be seen in the photo below). Our titles were Wife and Husband on this scoresheet. And it just so happened that the Husband won every single game that was documented on the scoresheet, while the Wife won every single game that was not documented on the scoresheet. Our sample size was too small to determine any significance to this, but it made for an interesting trend (and one I will be watching).

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The Delaware Water Gap area has forests with streams and rocks, which translate to waterfalls. We spent some time hiking trails and taking in the beautiful scenes.

Fulmer Falls.

Fulmer Falls.

Deer Leap Falls.

Deer Leap Falls.

Someone kept photobombing my pictures.

Deer Leap Falls Photobomb

While we were hiking to Dingman’s Falls we saw two beavers in the stream. They were working on lodge and dam construction.

A beaver floats in the water while chewing on sticks.

The variation in waterfall size and shape kept things interesting. Photos fail to do justice to most of them. Also missing are the glorious sounds of falling water and the forest. I enjoyed seeing all the mountain laurels, rhododendrons, hemlocks, beeches, partridge berries, and ferns in the forest. Everything was so green!

Silver Thread Falls.

Silver Thread Falls.

Dingman’s Falls has layers of rocks. This picture makes it look small.

Dingman's Falls.

Dingman’s Falls.

Above Dingman's Falls.

Above Dingman’s Falls.

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Adam's Creek.

Adams Creek.

At Adams Creek one of us might have decided to go swimming in a secluded pool, while the other was reluctant.

Adam's Creek.

Adams Creek.

Adams Creek Falls is an impressive area. When we arrived at the falls a group of people were cliff jumping into the pool. I had to carefully maneuver to take a picture without humans in it.

Adam's Creek Falls.

Adams Creek Falls.

Adam's Creek Falls.

Adams Creek Falls.

It was a delightful time in a delightful place. The days flew by, and all too soon we were packing up and leaving. Life has many seasons and chapters, it is nice to savor the sweet ones.

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A Brush with Storm Sandy

I was in southeastern Pennsylvania when Hurricane Sandy passed by (or whatever the storm was classified as at that time: hurricane, tropical storm, tropical depression, tropical cyclone?). Compared to neighboring areas we did not get hit very hard, though damage occurred due to flooding and high winds. Last night we lost power for about an hour. Many trees and branches fell, obstructing roads and tearing down power lines. Approximately 500,000 people in the area are without power right now according to an estimate by PECO.

Yesterday as the storm increased in fury I went outside and ran wind sprints into and with the wind. It was fun to run up hills at ridiculous speed with the wind at my back. I also managed to set a personal record:

This afternoon I took a quick drive around the area to see how the rest of the neighborhood fared. I took a few pictures, but only when I wasn’t driving. Just down the road a tree fell, stopping traffic and snapping a telephone pole (which means a power outage is coming soon).

A power outage is imminent.

Many trees have fallen. As I drove around the neighborhood I noticed that many pear trees were split apart, which is a common occurrence when that species encounters high winds.

It was a bad night for trees, especially pear trees.

When I drove by Skippack Village I saw that the power was still out. Stores were closed. Some traffic lights were dark. Everywhere I went signs were in bad shape. Billboards, business signs, and road signs were knocked over and strewn about. I also noticed, to my delight, that I did not see one political sign during my entire drive (of course this means they must be littered about somewhere, but I saw no trace of them).

The Perkiomen Creek is somewhat flooded, but I’ve seen it much worse many times. Many trees were knocked over along the stream banks.

The Perkiomen Creek is high, but not excessively flooded.

All in all we escaped Sandy’s wrath with minor damage in this area. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone dealing with power outages, flooding, wind damage, and shortages after the storm.

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A December Hike

Last year the weekend before Christmas snow descended upon eastern Pennsylvania. I drove back to Montgomery County just ahead of the storm. On Sunday morning (December 20) most church services were cancelled or delayed. I decided to take a hike along the Perkiomen Creek to take in the winter wonderland (in September of 2008 I briefly wrote a post about a similar hike, minus the snow) . I took many photos that morning, recently I was sorting them out and I thought I’d post a few of them.

On my way down to the creek I decided to head east to see if some of the farmland that used to be located in that area was developed. I was surprised to find a couple of fields still in use. There was about eight inches of snow on the ground, though it was so light it readily drifted and blew around. The clouds seemed very low on that morning, and in the distance the snow and clouds met almost seamlessly. I tried to capture this with my camera, but all the reflected light resulted in contrast between the sky and ground.

A field on a snowy December day.

I really felt like I could reach up and grab a cloud.

Caution, low clouds.

Evidence of all sorts of wildlife was printed in the snow. Deer and small rodents were the most common. I managed to get within about ten feet of a whitetail deer before it exploded out of the brush and snow it had been bedded down in, I will admit I jumped. I took a half dozen pictures before it vanished from sight.

A retreating whitetail deer.

Birds were also out in force. I saw hawks, cardinals, ducks, a blue heron, and numerous small birds I could not identify. I was disappointed that I did not manage to get a picture of the heron, he was camera shy. The ducks I stalked for about half a mile to photograph.

Ducks in the distance.

The picture above is shot with a 300mm lens, so I am not very close to them. I would try to sneak closer and they would spot me and fly about 100 yards downstream. This happened over and over, until I finally crawled along a berm and managed to pop up behind a tree without being detected.

Mallard ducks socializing.

My camera must have moved a bit, for after taking just a few pictures I was spotted. The ducks took to the sky, flying upstream this time.

Mallard ducks take flight.

A fresh snowfall is quite beautiful. It is even more beautiful in a natural setting with plants, rocks, streams, and animals.

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Are Pleated Pants Evil?

So I’ve been hearing a lot of pleated pant bashing lately. Some people seem inclined to lapse into hyperbole as they decry pleated pants. Pleated pants are the enemy, they say. Pleated pants are bad, they say. Hmmmm.

I do not have a strong opinion on this issue. I own both pleated and flat front pants. I wear both (at different times). I will defend pleated pants if I hear them being abused, but I will not go out of my way to sing their praise.

I’ve been collecting data from various social settings on the distribution of different styles of pants. I decided to create four categories:

Category 1. Pleated Pants. The category under fire. Controversial pleated pants. Includes pleated dress pants, slacks, corduroys, and khakis.

Category 2. Flat Front/Plain Front Pants. The alternative to pleats.

Category 3. Jeans. I decided to lump all jeans together. Technically I should separate designer jeans and regular jeans, but that distinction will be saved for a later study.

Category 4. Other. This is a veritable cornucopia of attire. Sweatpants, kilts, shorts, cargo pants, spandex, and nudists all fit here.

So here is the first part of the study. The distribution of lower attire worn by males between the ages of 12 and 100 in Evangelical churches in Pennsylvania during the month of September (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Distribution of lower attire on males (aged 12-100) in Evangelical churches in Pennsylvania during September

You’ll notice that jeans are the most frequently encountered lower attire. I observed a rather even distribution between designer and non-designer jeans.

Pleated pants were more common than flat fronted pants.

I suspect that the “Other” category would be much stronger during the summer months. I would predict a spike of shorts and kilts in June and July.

Distribution of lower attire will vary by, and even within, denominations. Age also plays a role, for subjects in the “Other” category are rarely older than 30. Along the same line, subjects older than 50 are almost always in either the “Pleated” or “Flat” categories.

Conclusions. Pleated pants are still acceptable in Evangelical churches in Pennsylvania during the month of September. Further study investigating the fashion sense of Evangelicals in Pennsylvania might be warranted before investing in new pleated pants.

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