Monday, November 29, 2010

The Little Engine That.... Is Between Two Rocks

Cheeseman Run - McConnells Mill Near where Cheeseman Run flows into Slippery Rock Creek, you will find this engine wedged inbetween two stones. Hard to notice at first as it blends well into the surroundings, one can only wonder how it arrived to be in such a place.
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Yellow Leaf

Cheeseman Run An image of Cheeseman Run between Breakneck Falls and Slippery Rock Creek.
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Alpha Falls in Autumn

Alpha Falls - McConnells Mill State Park Alpha Falls, sometimes called Gardiner Falls, is on the right side of the photo. McConnells Mill State Park.
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Canadian Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)

Canadian Wild Ginger

The Canadian Wild Ginger, or Canadian Snakeroot, has two large velvety heart shaped leaves and produces one flower close to the ground between March and May. Found in moist woods, it can grow up to 12 inches tall and is sometimes used for groundcover in landscaping.

Its common name is derived from the odor of the stem and roots which is similar to culinary ginger, a different species. The plant has been used as seasoning and as a medicinal herb by Native Americans. Canadian Ginger does contain aristolochic acid, a toxin that can cause cancer and kidney failure. Health Canada advises consumers against using products containing it.

Purdue University lists these other common names for the plant: Asarum, Indian Ginger, Canada Snakeroot, Vermont Snakeroot, Heart Snakeroot, Southern Snakeroot, Black Snakeroot, Coltsfoot Snakeroot, Black Snakeweed, Broad-leaved Asarabacca, False Coltsfoot, Colicroo.

Sources:
Wild Ginger Farm
Easy Wildflowers
University of Texas
Fine Gardening
Purdue University
Alternative Nature Online Herbal
www.associatedcontent.com
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Mud

A fall photo taken near Alpha Falls in McConnells Mill State Park. This pool has a red tinge from water oozing out of the lower portion of the cliff face. It has high iron content and may be due from acid mine drainage.
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Stairs from the Mill

My middle daughter and I managed to visit the Mill last week. It was an exceptionally nice day and the fall foliage was quite colorful. The park is always busy this time of year with tons of people bustling about with cameras.... like me.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Water

Hells Run A shot of Hell's Run in McConnells Mill State Park.
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

McConnells Mill Heritage Festival

McConnells Mill

This weekend is the annual McConnells Mill Heritage Festival. There will be music, tours of the mill, crafts and the usual festival fanfare. Last year they had a hayride from the mill to the parking area which in itself made the trip worthwhile. If you have an opportunity, I suggest you stop by.

No there will not be snow. The forecast calls for high 60s this weekend. :)

For more information: DCNR Calender of Events

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Last Day of Summer

Last Day of Summer

I apologize for the lack of posts. It has been a very busy summer with buying a house, the kids and work. Busy, Busy. The past few months have gotten away from me though things are starting to get back into a little bit of a routine.

Anyway, here is a photo taken in Hell's Hollow a couple of weeks ago. I wish everyone well.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Small Waterfall

Small waterfall near the Slippery Rock Gorge Trail.
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Monday, April 26, 2010

White Trillium

An example of the many Trilliums flowering along Hell's Hollow Trail in McConnells Mill. Most are white, but we did manage to spot some red, yellow and pink ones.
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Little Sun

Hell's Hollow Falls - McConnells Mill All the rain we had made Hell's Hollow Falls all the more dramatic. McConnells Mill State Park.
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tilted

Slippery Rock Creek in McConnells Mill State Park.
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shadow Mark

Alpha Trail in McConnells Mill.
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Sticks And Stones

Cleland Rock Area - McConnells Mill Cleland Rock Area in McConnells Mill.
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Quiet

Cleland Rock Area - McConnells Mill Cleland Rock Area in McConnells Mill.
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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Splash

The base of a waterfall near the Alpha Trail in McConnells Mill.
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Friday, March 26, 2010

New Waterfall

We ran across this waterfall not far from the Alpha Trail in McConnells Mill.
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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hillside

Cleland Rock - McConnells Mill Cleland Rock Area in McConnells Mill.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Peace

Cleland Rock - McConnells Mill Cleland Rock at McConnells Mill State Park.
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Roots

Cleland Rock - McConnells Mill Two trees near Cleland Rock in McConnells Mill.
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Return of Ryan

Kildoo Falls The first day of spring turned out to be warm and sunny. With the nice weather, the park was filled with people. My middle daughter and I did manage to find a few quiet spots, one of which was around Kildoo Falls pictured here.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Look Upstream

It was finally warm enough for my middle daughter and I to hike along Hell's Hollow Trail on Saturday. She was preoccupied collecting walking sticks on the trip back to the car. So fun.
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Melting

My middle daughter and I finally managed to hike down to Hell's Hollow Falls today. It is finally starting to warm up enough that some of the snow is melting.
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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rocky Overhang

The view up on the path to Alpha Falls in McConnells Mill.
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Along the Trail

Alpha Trail in McConnells Mill State Park in Pennsylvania. Sorry I have not posted in awhile; my job is starting to consume more and more of my free time.
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Friday, February 12, 2010

Tree Covered Mushroom(s)

Well at least it appears that way. The tree is covered with hundreds of little fungi pictured above.
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snowed In

Alpha Falls We received around 19 inches of snow this weekend and our driveway will finally be plowed later this afternoon. This has been the largest snow fall here in 17 years. I hope everyone is keeping warm as there have been widespread power outages in the area. We have been lucky in this regard and we wish everyone well.

The above image was taken in December when there was a few inches of snow. Hopefully sometime soon we will make it to the parks.
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Sunday, January 31, 2010

McConnells Mill

History
Daniel Kennedy constructed the first gristmill along Slippery Rock Creek in 1852. Several years later it was destroyed by a fire and rebuilt in 1868. In 1875 Captain Thomas McConnell purchased the mill and replaced the water wheel and grinding stones with more modern water turbines and rolling mills. According to the DCNR website, it processed corn, oats, wheat and buckwheat for local customers. Eventually it closed in 1928.

When Captain Thomas McConnell died, the mill was passed to his son James McConnell. Since James had no children at the time of his death years later, the property was given to the grandson of Captain McConnell, Thomas H. Hartman. Wishing the area to be preserved for future generations, Thomas H. Hartman transferred ownership of the mill and land to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in either 1942 or 1946. McConnells Mill State Park was formally dedicated in October of 1957 and in May 1974 the U.S. Department of the Interior designated it a National Natural Landmark. Currently the park covers around 2546 acres and is considered one of the "Twenty Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks." The land is also designated as an Audubon Important Bird Area for its outstanding value to bird conservation.

Source and More Info:
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Wikipedia, Great Natural Areas in Western Pennsylvania, National Registry of Natural Landmarks (PDF), Slippery Rock University - Online Rocket, Audubon Pennsylvania
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Red Fishing Bobber

Lake Arthur I did not notice when I took the photo, but the red dot near the top right corner is a fishing bobber. I bet that frustrated someone when it happened.
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dog Tracks

Alpha Trail This image was taken last Sunday in McConnells Mill during a walk with my wife. We then headed over to Moraine and happened upon a woman who had spent the last five hours looking for her two lost St. Bernards. I hope she found them.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fern in the Snow

Fern along Alpha Trail A fern popping out of the snow along the Alpha Trail in McConnells Mill.
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Frozen

Two trees guarding a portion of Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Frozen Pond

Moraine State Park This was taken from a small bridge not far from Moraine's bicycle path.
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Little Stream

Moraine State Park After the family went sled riding, my oldest daughter and I headed out to Moraine. Due to the cold, it was a short hike but an enjoyable one.

The above image is a small stream we crossed on the snowy bicycle trail. My daughter was off camera pushing snow off the bridge railing into the icy stream below.
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bench

Kildoo Trail - McConnells Mill This is an image of one of the many benches along Kildoo Trail in McConnells Mill.
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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

Alpha Falls - McConnells Mill Alpha Falls in McConnells Mill.
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