Saturday, May 14, 2011

Nature's Wonders in Philly.

Exploring an island of green on Philly's western border.

Last Saturday the country boy in me ventured into a beautiful and magical forest, on the very western edge of Philadelphia.

The Schuylkill Center was founded in 1965. It is a natural setting high above the Schuylkill river, with six miles of trails, a stream, big and small ponds, meadows and wetlands. I felt right at home.

Here are Jenny Laden, Associate Director of the Environmental Arts Program, and two of her colleagues, at the edge of the Pine Plantation.

A truly magical space amidst giant evergreens, with school children darting in and out of the sunlight and shadows.

I was reminded of my brothers and me building forts in the woods, on our farm.

But none as sheltering and secretive as this rustic log structure.

Another structure; a boat made of twigs, created by a Chinese artist.

Mother Nature contributed her own art forms. I will return to paint this giant.

In contrast are these gently colored flowers, meandering along the banks of  "Smith Run", a stream flowing down through the forest to the Schuylkill river.

Here, deep into the woods, is "Wind Dance Pond."

A still-life, left in the night by Wood Sprites?

Not being a "Birder," I don't know what beauty left this feather in the middle of the trail.

A lizard frozen in time, eyeing the darting snake, on stones...

surrounding this mysterious pool. Steps leading up to...

the darkened interior of an abandoned Well House. Do Fairies dance within at night?

Hurrying up the trail at the end of the day...did I see a flicker of movement in this old stump?
Perhaps an impatient "Shape-Shifter," awaiting nightfall...?

Only in my dreams.


  1. Truly a magical jaunt in the woods...
    Did you take a picnic along?

  2. Nancy and PB; we three should go there, and paint, and have that picnic. Just as the Impressionists must have done!
    Waa'd' ya' say?

  3. The random structures built in the woods remind me of the Haystack woods.
    Where is this place? On the east or west bank of the river? How do you get there? It is really beautiful.
    Looking forward to seeing some beautiful paintings from there!

  4. OK Amy, you'll make four.
    Pat, the center is on the west side of the river, up just off Ridge Ave. near Bells Mill.
    The address is 8480 Hagy's Mill Rd, Phila., PA
    19128. And yes, Pat, it reminds me also of the woods at Haystack.

  5. Lovely visit...and your imagination is fantastically supported by your photoshop skills! LOVE that monster!