Walk the run

Well over a year ago I wrote about John Chatham and the feed mill he constructed (circa 1800) not far from the farm. That post included an image of a beautiful stone wall which formed part of an extensive series of locks which ran from the mill to the Susquehanna and allowed Chatham to move and receive material via that water course. Chatham’s Run originates high in the mountains of the Tiadaghton State Forest and just north of where it passes the town of Woolrich there is a reservoir which serves that small community. Because it is isolated and quite pretty, Joanna and I have visited the reservoir on several occasions. Our Pennsylvania weather is still horrid. Cold, wet, and all the while with little sun to lighten the heart. I was out with the camera today and thought I might try my luck at the reservoir. Gates had been secured for the weekend so I parked the truck (ducked the fence) and walked the half mile to the water. As I rounded the final bend in the access road I could see that the Reservoir was iced over. Not to be thwarted I turned and walked the Run where it emerged from below the dam. Because November and December were especially wet and because January has been a little less so, the water level has fallen and this has resulted in the formation of ice islands atop rocks and boulders which lay exposed within the stream bed. We had flurries overnight which blanketed the irregularly shaped formations. We woke to a bit of blue sky and sun, but clouds began to gather just as I arrived. I had high hopes for brilliantly illuminated shots but as I look over the number that I took, the one below is the only one which proves that the sun did shine, however briefly. I enjoyed my time at the Run, however dark it might have been. I was alone with only the sound of the rushing water for company. The stillness was interrupted by light gusts which set adrift snow which had fetched high up in the trees overnight. The ice was, mostly, thick enough to bear my weight and I was happy to walk from island-to-island looking for points which would afford good vantage. It wasn’t only for lack of sun that there was little color showing, for the riparian wood was, in large part, deciduous. A few evergreens added what muted color they could. The rushing water was mesmerizing. I particularly enjoyed watching as it would lap against the undersides of the islands, for when it did their crystal fringes would, instantaneously, disappear … and then, as if by magic, reappear when the water subsided. Although I was careful to look where I placed each step, I knew Joanna would worry if she knew that I was island hopping, alone, in such a secluded place. I had walked up stream for fifteen minutes and then turned and retraced my steps to the point where I had entered the stream bed. I climbed the bank, walked the trail, and ducked the gate. I stepped into the truck which had solar heated a bit in the fading sunlight. I like this image of Chatham’s Run. I hope you do too. You may click the image for a larger view.


26 thoughts on “Walk the run

  1. You know how people ask: if you didn’t have to work or earn money and could do whatever you wanted, what would you do? My answer for today is: go for a walk in this scene right here.

  2. Was this the actual color of the water? The snow covered ice blocks remind me of a scene in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer when he runs away!! Love how you capture the movement in the water. Be careful out there on your own in the wilderness!! Joanna is right to worry!!

    • My biggest concern is always … getting my camera wet! We were in the single digits again last night … and are hoping to be doing lots of digging early next week. I wish it would warm up … even a bit would be much appreciated.

  3. A good walk in the outdoors is one of the greatest pleasures I can experience. Of course not everyone feels that way – to each his/her own. It’s not hard to tell, though, that on this matter we are of one mind. I like the way you narrated it. I truly felt like I was experiencing the walk too. Still in the deep freeze, eh. It left us for a few weeks and we lost most of the snow that had fallen – and that was a lot. We’re back there again, though. It was -11 this morning when I went to work and by then a thin film of ice had formed over normally ice-free St. John’s harbour. It won’t last, though. Later today we are expecting 25 cm of snow and a return to a more “normal” winter. The last two images in the album link were taken this morning: http://imgur.com/a/3Fien

  4. It is again one of those photos of yours that look like a painting … or better a drawing? Looking only at the water and ice – so devoid of color – it resembles a charcoal drawing (?). The green leaves are so … unexpected 🙂

      • It is still untypically warm over here. We had about 2cm of snow this week – that melted away quickly. So we still wait for that first yearly “unexpected chaos” when drivers with summer tires encounter “first snow”.

      • Yes, we’ve had the overnight temperature drop below freezing more often than I remember in any recent winter here. Yesterday morning we had ice on the roads but not on the trees or plants, where it would have been photo-worthy.

        • Careful on those roads! I’ve been reading, on the web, lots of reports of accidents in parts of the country where folks aren’t used to wintery road conditions. D

  5. It’s beautiful David, and full of drama. I love the silky effect of the rushing water contrasting with the stillness of the frozen ice islands. As I look I fear they might be about to be swept away in the flow. Great composition, and it’s really rather arty 🙂

    • Thanks, as always, Seonaid. I had a tough time trying to translate what I was seeing and experiencing into an image that might convey the experience. I’m glad you’ve been able to relate. D

    • Is it Narella? Thank you so much for looking and reading, and especially for taking the time to respond. It seems a simple thing but means quite a lot to me that you should do so. I took a quick look at magpielark … you seem like an interesting person and one with whom I share sentiments. I hope you will keep touch with the Farm. D

  6. Glorious! It’s to your credit that you seek out and discover these pristine scenes which would ordinarily go unseen. I love the perspective of the shot and the crispness of the images. It is beautiful.

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