Monday, June 27, 2011

Scenic Saturday: Leakin Park, Baltimore City, MD

Welcome to my first Scenic Saturday!

"Time together as a family" seems to be our theme lately. We've been working hard in our family to cut down on our spending, our clutter, and our screen time (the irony of being on a computer to type this notwithstanding). In the process, we've made our time together count for so much more. Saturdays on my blog are dedicated to increasing our attention to seeing and sharing new and interesting things throughout the week as a way to slow down and enjoy the ride of life! 

Saturday, we walked down to Leakin Park at the end of our street. There is a trailhead there and we wanted to take it out to the old Crimea Estate House, which is about 1.5 miles from our house, by foot. Here are the scenes of the day...

The crew at the beginning of the hike: Smeagol at right, then Bruiser, Maestro, Buttercup and Pop (Mr. Magoo was in the sling and behind the camera with me!)

Pretty early in the walk, Smeagol found a lovely yellow flower to share

Maestro waited alongside Pop while Pop gathered a few "wild raspberries" for everyone.

Sorry that this fellow got stomped but decided to show it anyway because it was neat to see it "glowing" there on the dark earth floor

Pop waiting for Buttercup and me to catch up. We were taking in the sights and so we slowed things down a bit...

I don't know what kind of bush this was but it was so neat! The new leaves came in purple and then darkened over time to a rich green (you can see the lighter green just under the purple leaves and then under that the dark green.) I made this shot bigger so you can see it better.

These little berries were everywhere! We thought they were wild raspberries because of their color, thorny plant stalks and texture. We found out later that they're not native to Maryland, but China, and they're called "Wineberries." Their flavor is somewhat sweeter than a a raspberry and the berries are smaller than a "regular" raspberry. We commented on how we could make jam with these and not add any sugar and it would still taste great!

This structure was apparently made in the 1930's by the park services workers - we saw a couple of others on our walk too. It's a fire pit and located next to a picnic table that you can just see to the right in the foreground. I am not certain that it's legal to use them any more because of fire safety concerns but it's neat to think of the people who came before us and stopped here for a bit to eat!

We followed most of the Gwynns Falls Trail, but veered off for a short path called the Old Wagon Road to see....

This old waterwheel! 
It was huge and apparently provided the estate with hot and cold running water well before indoor plumbing was commonly seen.

Bruiser is waiting on a ledge on the way to the "Mystery House" in which there is a spring head and cooler air - so it could have been used as a Spring House (early refrigeration house) - but there were also fireplace-like structures inside the house, so it could have been a caretaker's house - but who can say what the purpose really was?
Here is the Mystery House - Bruiser is looking through a window there on the left, Buttercup is mounting the steps to the door and Jeff, Maestro and Smeagol are to the right, standing in the front door.

<-------   On a tree just a few yards from the Mystery House you can see the remnant of an old telephone or telegraph wiring system... In this picture on the left it is mid-way up the trunk.

On the right -------->
 is a downed log we passed a bit later - completely hollow-core after being on the ground for so long...

Mr. Magoo is getting a break from being in the sling and enjoying a minute with Big Brother Maestro - I love that he knows how much he is loved even at only two months!

We've passed the half-way point now, eaten lunch and rounded a corner to see this guy in the tree. Apparently they did some kind of "Art in the Park" thing, so stuff like this were displayed hanging from trees all through the path between the Old Mansion and the Nature Center

On the way back now, we've walked right around 2 miles of trail and are back at Winans Meadow. The Meadow has a big hill that the kids decided to run and roll down, in spite of having walked for a good three hours at that point! Where do they get the energy?? 

Here we see Bruiser to the left, Smeagol rolling to the right and Buttercup rolling to the front left.

This is a walking bridge we crossed on the way to and from the Meadow - a bridge on the path to adventure! I can't wait for next time!

If these pictures aren't enough to help get you outside and moving, check out this Art of Manliness Blog post about the benefits of being outside in the open air (it's a good one for Women and girls too!)

I've never done a "linky" thing but would love to have folks who would be interested in sharing their "Scenic" views post links in the comments below. If I get enough interest, I'll figure out how to create a "Linky" page to put up each Saturday!

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  1. I believe the bush you photographed is a rose. The leaves are always dark wine colored when they first come out, then they turn green as they get bigger.

    I see those wineberries all up and down 295, when I'm stuck in traffic in the mornings. Tomorrow maybe I'll swerve over and pick a few out the window ...

  2. I didn't know that about rose bushes! It was a really striking contrast. The wineberries were like little snack points all along the way and really a treat. Want to come along next time? I'll let you know if we're planning another walk!

  3. Thanks for coming by the blog! I sent you an email with (hopefully) the answer to your question. I didn't realize we were so close - I'm in Harford County.


I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


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