Monday, March 27, 2017

Kittatiny's Frozen Cascade ...



“Music comes from an icicle as it melts, to live again as spring water.”
                         ~ Henry Williamson
                             ~  1895-1977
       ~ English army officer, naturalist, farmer & ruralist writer
              
Cascading waters along the Kittatiny Ridge, also called Blue Mountain, are frozen in harmony in midwinter beauty at Lehigh Gap along the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L Trail).

The Lehigh Gap in Slatington, Pennsylvania, is a crossroads where the Lehigh Gap Nature Center’s trails connect two historic trails – the Appalachian Trail and the D&L Trail.

The Appalachian Trail, a foot path, follows the ridge on both sides of the Lehigh Gap, running 1,245 miles south to Georgia and 930 miles north to Maine. Running from Wilkes-Barre to Bristol, the D&L Trail passes through the Lehigh and Delaware rivers and their canals in Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Pennsylvania German Country ...



“It is not easy to walk alone in the country without musing upon something.”
                         ~ Charles Dickens
                            ~ 1812-1870 
                                  
This picturesque 19th century barn is the cornerstone of this peaceful, rural winterscape in Egypt, Pennsylvania.

I shot this on the first day of spring, though the remaining snow from a late winter blizzard belied the season.

The barn is part of the historic 1756 Troxell-Steckel Farm Museum.

The Coplay Creek runs through this 31 acre property, which was once part of a 400 acre farm. The centerpiece of the property is a stone farmhouse, built in 1756. A spring house and the barn are also on the property. The farmhouse is an authentic Pennsylvania German farmhouse and offers an example of Lehigh County agricultural history. The Troxell-Steckel house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

It is the region’s only authentically complete Pennsylvania German farm house, resembling its medieval ancestors and giving a captivating glimpse of the area’s farm history.

The Pennsylvania German farmhouse was constructed in 1756 by John Peter Troxell, an immigrant from Germany in search of a better life. When the structure was built, twenty years before the Declaration of Independence was signed, this farm sat on the edge of wilderness. George Washington was only 24 years old, and America was ruled by the King of England. At the time, the house was reported to be the largest residence on the Pennsylvania frontier. The fortress-like masonry walls of this structure are more than two feet thick.

In 1768, John Peter Troxell sold this farm to Peter Steckel, another immigrant from Germany. Pennsylvania Germans were one of the largest immigrant groups in Eastern Pennsylvania. Their traditions enriched American culture.

As someone of Irish-German heritage, I love getting a glimpse into Pennsylvania German history in the area.

This historic site is owned and operated by the Lehigh County Historical Society and is open for seasonal tours and events.

The Troxell-Steckel Farm Museum may also be accessed from the Ironton Rail Trail, which loops more than nine miles through Whitehall Township, the Borough of Coplay and North Whitehall Township.

Monday, March 20, 2017

It's A Great Day For The Irish ...



“It’s a great day for the Irish, it’s a great day for fair …
It’s a great day for the Shamrock, for the flags in full array
We’re feeling so inspirish, shure because for all the Irish
It’s a great, great day …

And as we go a-swinging, every Irish heart is singing
It’s a great, great day.”

               ~ “It’s A Great Day For The Irish”
                          ~ Irish-American song
             Written by Roger Edens in 1940
              for inclusion in the film version of the
                 George M. Cohan 1922 
     Broadway show “Little Nellie Kelly”

The Irish flag waves proudly on a windy St. Patrick’s Day under bright blue skies in Allentown, Pennsylvania after the flag of the Republic of Ireland was raised March 17, 2017 at City Hall Plaza.

The flag raising event was to commemorate the contributions of those of Irish heritage who helped form and grow Allentown and the greater Allentown area. 

As someone of Irish-German heritage, my green Irish eyes were smiling seeing the flag billowing downtown in the late winter breeze.