Friday, May 30, 2008

Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days...

Roses, backyard, Blue Bell Hill.With apologies to Mr. Yeats, here's hoping that your weekend is proud and red (whatever that might mean), but certainly not sad.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Heading home on the 62, part 3

Falls Bridge, East Falls.That nearest bridge is the Falls Bridge, and I am looking south toward the neighborhood of East Falls. Just to the north of me, on the other side, the Wissahickon ends its journey by pouring itself into the Schuylkill. Catch the 65 at the Wissahickon Transfer Center, and I'm almost home.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Heading home on the 62, part 2

Girad Avenue bridge.Girard Avenue bridge, Schuylkill River.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Heading home on the 62

Boat House Row, Philadelphia.Boat House Row along the Schuylkill River, as seen from the 62 bus.

Monday, May 26, 2008


American flags, Kowalski Post, Manayunk.Kowalski Post, Number 1, Shur's Lane, Manayunk.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Relax (but don't steal!)

Roxborough, Monday evening.

Have a great weekend! See you Monday.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Faraway, so close!

Blue Bell Hill traffic circle on Google Maps.Blue Bell Hill traffic circle, Google Maps.

Blue Bell Hill traffic circle, rush hour, Monday evening.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

There she is!

Wissahickon valley.The Wissahickon gorge, from the Walnut Lane Bridge, Monday evening.

With apologies to Cormac McCarthy, if that ain't summer, it'll do 'till summer gets here.

Wissahickon Valley.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Self portrait

Walnut Lane Bridge.Walnut Lane Bridge, Monday evening.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Yellow fellow

Gold finch on feeder.Gold finch, my backyard, Friday, May 16.

I was home sick on Friday with a sinus infection (I'm much better now, thank you), and was able to snap a photo of this guy on the nyjer seed feeder.

Gold finches are skittish by nature. This guy was nervous, I think, because he sensed that I was close by. My guess is this attitude comes from the way they feed. They like to come in and hang on the feeder a good while and get their fill. This makes them more vulnerable to predators.

Chickadees and hummingbirds are much smaller, but also much braver around people. Probably because their method of feeding is more hit and run -- they come in, grab what they want, and leave.

When it gets warmer, and I spend more time out in the backyard, the finches gather in the tree above the feeder and implore me to leave. I try not to take it personally.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Wherever I see them, whenever I see them, poppies always remind me of the old woodshed at the back of the yard, and the patch of flowers my grandmother had planted at one corner.

Here's hoping you fond memories and a peaceful weekend. See you Monday.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Take a gander...

Geese along the canal path, New Hope, Pennsylvania....please!

Annoying hissing geese (even the little ones were hissing), along the canal path near New Hope.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Tourists taking photo of a train, New Hope Pennsylvania.New Hope, Pennsylvania, Saturday evening.

A tourist taking a picture of tourists taking a picture of a train.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Hippo sculpture, New Hope, Pennsylvania.
Behold the hippopotamus!
We laugh at how he looks to us,
And yet in moments dank and grim,
I wonder how we look to him.

Peace, peace, thou hippopotamus!
We really look all right to us,
As you no doubt delight the eye
Of other hippopotami.
-- Ogden Nash

Hippopotamus sculpture.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Horses not permitted

Bridge from New Hope to Lambertville.But we were.

A much needed vacation this weekend, to New Hope, Pennsylvania. Crossing over the Delaware to Lambertville, New Jersey, early Saturday morning.

The Delaware River as seen from the bridge between New Hope and lambertville.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I will see you Monday

Blue Bell Hill Meadow.Blue Bell Hill Meadow, a favorite of orioles.

Yesterday morning I walked down to the end of my street to wait for the bus to take me to work and heard for the first time this season the unmistakable song of the Baltimore oriole. Unmistakable because it is at the same time both mournful and hopeful and nearly as beautiful as the bird itself.

They love the tall trees over in Blue Bell Hill Meadow, and that's where his music was coming from. If this year is like other years, I'll see them once or twice at best (they are elusive, liking the tops of very tall trees), but I'll hear the song throughout most of the summer.

I have decided to start taking weekends off on Wissahickon Diary. Too much going on these days. So I will see you on Monday. Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Not an ancient hieroglyphic

Detail from a Wissahickon trail marker: man on horse.Detail from a trail marker, common throughout the Wissahickon.

Trail marker, Wissahickon Park.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Gravity sewer

Gravity sewer, Wissahickon Park.This old gravity sewer runs parallel to the east side of the Wissahickon for much of the length of the park.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

One gentleman

Man on bike heading toward Blue Stone Bridge.Blue Stone Bridge, early Saturday morning, looking west.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Four gentlemen

For men crossing Blue Stone Bridge.Blue Stone Bridge, early Saturday morning, looking east.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Dan Allen crossing the finish line, Broad Street Run.A new personal best, by over 10 minutes. Now what am I going to do for next year?

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Milepost five, along Forbidden Drive.Milepost 5, Forbidden Drive, Saturday morning.

Tomorrow will be the 100th posting to Wissahickon Diary.

Tomorrow is also when Philadelphia holds its annual Broad Street Run. I first participated in the 10 mile event in 2001, at the age of 39. I finished in one hour, twenty eight minutes, and fifteen seconds (1:28:15) -- for those of you who aren't runners, that's not a very impressive time. But I was happy enough with it.

I have done the run a number of times since then, however, and each year my time has gotten a little slower. Last year I finished at 1:32:50. This I have not been happy about. In fact, I've complained no end to my friends, or anyone else who would listen. "Well, you know, your getting older," is the usual response, made, I suspect, more to shut me up than to comfort me. It doesn't do either.

So this year I made up my mind to achieve a new personal best. Toward that end, I've dropped about30 pounds, and, of course, I've been running a lot. Tomorrow I'll find out if determination can overcome age.

And I'll let you know here, in my 100th post. It'll be later, after the official results are in.

Friday, May 2, 2008

But dandelions are okay

Outside The Ugly Moose, Roxborough, Sunday evening.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Roxborough sidewalk

Walnut Lane, heading toward Ridge Avenue, Sunday evening.