Friday, April 19 — Patapsco Valley State Park revisited

by Cam Miller. 0 Comments

(Click any photo to enlarge.) Cascade Falls Fiddlehead Ferns Thanks to my photographer friend Gary, I got to see a lot more of the Patapsco Valley State Park today.  We drove to the section of the park near the historic town of Relay (another place I will walk) and he showed me various sections of the park, explaining the history of the train viaduct, the evolution of the mill industry, and the importance of the defense of this area during the Civil War. The Swinging Bridge It was threatening rain the entire time we were there, and occasionally the moisture on the trees would drop on us, simulating rain.  Nevertheless, we parked near the swinging bridge at Orange Grove and explored there.  This area was once a town that housed families of the workers at the grist mill across the river.  I pointed out to Gary the trout lilies (just past season), spring beauties, violets, and lesser celandines (either just done or not done yet -- it was hard to tell).  Wild dogwoods were beginning to bloom, too.  New leaves were emerging, hairy and wrinkled, on trees. May Apple Gary took off across the bridge, but I only made it about 1/4 of the way across.  It doesn't really swing (unless of course there is a class of middle school kids on it, I assume), but I felt motion on the bridge from my own weight, and I knew that as soon as someone else stepped on it, I would be uncomfortable.  Heights are not my thing.  On the side of the falls I chose instead to do my walk along the trail to Cascade Falls.  Along the way uphill, I found lots of fiddlehead ferns, curled in their snail-like forms.  There were also purple and yellow violets, along with spring beauty.  New Leaves I could hear the waterfall to my left, so when the trail split, I took the left portion, which led me up the gorge and directly to the waterfall.  The trail was wet but not difficult, and I was surprised to see that I could get right up on the falls, without branches or trees blocking my view.  What a treat!  I spent a lot of time hand-holding my little camera with a slow shutter speed to blur the water, and I was pleased with the results. Fern It was a perfect day to visit the park.  Few people were there, the light was not harsh, and the air was humid but not uncomfortable.  The park dates from 1907, making it one of Maryland's first state parks.  I can see why people enjoy this place so much.  There is plenty to see and do, and I will be back again!  ****************** Visit my photography show, "My Maryland," at the public library in Urbana, Maryland, on the lower level of the building.  It is there until the end of April. Hurricane Sandy Relief: Donate to the Red Cross, and I will mail you a 5 x 7 print from any of the photos I have posted on my blog OR any photo on my website. Forward to me via email a receipt for donating to the Red Cross. Tell me whether the photo is from the blog or the website, and Include its title along with a mailing address. The name on the receipt to the Red Cross must match the name of the mailing recipient. Send the receipt and the photo request to Click on any photo to enlarge it. ************************************************* Visit my web site: Follow me on Twitter: @camscamerashots Email: Cam's rules for the Daily Photo Walk: walk every day the walk must be in addition to any other planned activity for the day post a photo every day use whatever camera is easy and convenient for walking comfortably; always have a backup camera at the ready in case of mishaps (I use the Nikon Coolpix P7700) no weather excuses walk only where it is safe to do so

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