Saturday, September 1, 2012

Downstream, Part 2

Krewstown Road Bridge (1800)
...Welcome to the second half of Mary's and my walk along the creek downstream of the Pennypack Preserve last weekend (August 25).  We had begun our walk by exploring the dirt footpath paralleling the east bank of the creek in Pennypack Park. When we reached Krewstown Road, we crossed to the west bank and returned upstream on the paved recreation path.  The historic Krewstown Road bridge was built in 1800.
Just a few hundred feet upstream of the Krewstown Road bridge, a freight railroad line crosses high above the creek on what is known locally as Ninety-foot Bridge, a concrete structure of indeterminate age that looks to me like it could use some repairs.

Ninety-foot Bridge
While the wide, paved recreation path is often very heavily used, last Saturday there was only moderate bicycle and pedestrian traffic, so the walking was pleasant.

Bicyclists crossing tiny Slater's Run on the recreation path bridge
Invasive exotic Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) has become established in many places along the creek.  It has just begun to flower.

Japanese knotweed
One of the well-known landmarks midway along the creek are these two huge midstream rocks.  The official Friends of Pennypack Park map identifies them with the prosaic designation "Big Rocks."  They are very popular as fishing platforms when trout season opens in April.

Big Rocks
 Here's another view of "The Falls" (i.e., Verree Road Dame) from the recreation path.

"The Falls" dam
I spotted some Beech-drops (Epifagus americana) growing on the dry American beech woodland slope above the creek.  Beech-drops, in the Broom-rape family (Orobanchaceae), have no chlorophyll and parasitize the roots of their host beeches.
As we approached the end of our walk back in Montgomery County's Lorimer Park, we came across a meadow full of thistles - and butterflies!
 Submitted by David Robertson, Executive Director, Pennypack Trust

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