an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

Posts tagged “rails to trails

Welcome to the Neighborhood

hand-painted bird house
hand-painted birdhouse

The Pink Birdhouse

Hand made birdhouses, created by local kids in school, hang in young maples along the Panhandle Trail in Collier Township. You can’t miss this one! And it looks like the birds have noticed it as well—this one is either showing signs of occupation from last year, or a new resident this year.


In Pieces: 2010

photo of tree branch cut in sections

In Pieces

Time for the annual trail cleanup on the Panhandle Trail in Collier, the trail I use most often since it’s so close. I know especially this section of trail because I’ll stop there on my way to or from other places and have a short walk in the peace and quiet of the valley, walking the smooth trail or moving off into the woods or following Robinson Run. I’ve studied and photographed and sketched and painted, identified wildflowers and birds, found interesting rocks and fossils all along this trail. Even just a quick visit will free my mind, an afternoon brings that transcendant experience that only nature can give me and so much inspiration that I’ve come away with a whole exhibit’s worth of ideas.

This spring it was more than picking up litter and patching and raking the crushed limestone surface—many downed trees and broken limbs lined the trail, including partially bent trees or branches which had fallen over in the snow but were left hanging, still partially attached. Anything unstable had to come down so that later in the year it wouldn’t come down in a summer storm and possibly injure a trail user, or simply come down of its own accord unexpectedly. Once we began I looked up and down the area we were working and realized the extent of what we needed to do…we’ll be out there a few more times before we’re done!

But we’ll have plenty of wood for the bonfires we have at events along the trail, and others who joined us had plenty too. The brush piles we left in the woods and the damaged trees we left standing will allow for new habitat, and the tree canopy along the trail will simply rearrange as the remaining trees grow fuller to fill the space left open.

I’ve been scheduling these images to post around midnight, but when I’ve set them up the past few days I forgot to actually hit “schedule”, so they’ve been sitting as drafts on the blog. I never realized! So “today” there are three photos.

I’ve written before about the Panhandle Trail, and you can choose it in the category drop-down list or use the search box at the top of the right column to collect other images. You can also visit the Panhandle Trail’s website.


The Winter Trail

Trail in winter

Winter Trail, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Despite today’s lovely snowfall, I need to catch up on not only photos but sketches as well. Last Sunday was a perfect sunny winter day, even somewhat warm by winter standards, warm enough that I would take my bike to the trail (I try not to ride below 45 degrees because of windburn), though my ultimate goal was the peace and relaxation of sketching something.

photo of bend in trail

Reference Photo

I know the trail pretty well, where the shadows fall while the sun is still at its winter angle and where the trail itself stays icy until well into May. The Panhandle Trail was once a railroad line and has some deep cuts through limestone walls where it’s actually cool even on a hot summer day.

Of course, I thought I’d get a few sketches done, but only stopped at one area about two miles from the Walker’s Mill trailhead, at the bend where you can look across a little valley, Robinson Run and a flood plain to see one of the oldest cabins in the region, the Ewing-Walker-Glass Cabin, “rebuilt” in about 1750.

I’ll paint that someday, but I did the sketch above, “Winter Trail”, 9 x 12 in pastel—who ever said winter was colorless?—and the 5 x 7 pencil sketch below. Looks like I forgot to sign it…

winter trail in pencil

Winter Trail Sketch, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski


Welcome to the Neighborhood

two colorful birdfeeders

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Hand made birdhouses, created by local kids in school, hang in young maples along the Panhandle Trail in Collier Township. They’re not usually hung this close together, but these two look so neighborly.

Local kids finished their art project and hung their birdhouses at the end of last semester so the colors are still bright. I used one of the photos I’d taken just a few weeks ago on a cold sunny walk along the trail for a design project and the colors stayed with me. Today, bright enough in the morning but overcast by afternoon and without the reflected white light of total snowcover, the bright blues and pinks called to me.

I hope they’re calling to the birds too so I know where to find them when I go photographing later in the spring. But in the meantime I enjoy the bright flashes of color in the scrub along the trail.


In Pieces

photo of tree branch cut in sections

In Pieces

Time for the annual trail cleanup on the Panhandle Trail in Collier, the trail I use most often since it’s so close. I know especially this section of trail because I’ll stop there on my way to or from other places and have a short walk in the peace and quiet of the valley, walking the smooth trail or moving off into the woods or following Robinson Run. I’ve studied and photographed and sketched and painted, identified wildflowers and birds, found interesting rocks and fossils all along this trail. Even just a quick visit will free my mind, an afternoon brings that transcendant experience that only nature can give me and so much inspiration that I’ve come away with a whole exhibit’s worth of ideas.

This spring it was more than picking up litter and patching and raking the crushed limestone surface—many downed trees and broken limbs lined the trail, including partially bent trees or branches which had fallen over in the snow but were left hanging, still partially attached. Anything unstable had to come down so that later in the year it wouldn’t come down in a summer storm and possibly injure a trail user, or simply come down of its own accord unexpectedly. Once we began I looked up and down the area we were working and realized the extent of what we needed to do…we’ll be out there a few more times before we’re done!

But we’ll have plenty of wood for the bonfires we have at events along the trail, and others who joined us had plenty too. The brush piles we left in the woods and the damaged trees we left standing will allow for new habitat, and the tree canopy along the trail will simply rearrange as the remaining trees grow fuller to fill the space left open.

I’ve been scheduling these images to post around midnight, but when I’ve set them up the past few days I forgot to actually hit “schedule”, so they’ve been sitting as drafts on the blog. I never realized! So “today” there are three photos.

I’ve written before about the Panhandle Trail, and you can choose it in the category drop-down list or use the search box at the top of the right column to collect other images. You can also visit the Panhandle Trail’s website.