Friday, August 13, 2010

Bike Ride on the Delaware Canal with My New Eyes

I took a bike ride on the Delaware Canal from Yardley on Sunday to see what my new eyes can gather.
Yardley is an old Ferry Town that became a transit point between the hinterlands and the trade route between Philadelphia and New York City.   Yardley  was founded by William Yardley, who got a land grant from William Penn to buy 500 acres for ten pounds.  The Yardley family started a farm, "Prospect Farm" but unfortunately died of small pox.

A nephew, Thomas Yardley, came to America to settle the estate and opened a ferry line which started operating in 1710 from Letchworth Avenue, the lower boundary of the village, and  New Jersey.   This was an important link between West Jersey and the three roads leading to Philadelphia by way of Falls, Langhorne and Newtown. The Yardley family occupied the land for more than 150 years.  There are a number of families here in Bucks County who have been here since William Penn.  They got their piece of land and have passed it down through the generations.  
Early industries included a spoke and handle factory, sawmill, felloe factory, plate and plaster mill, and two flour mills.  Later on, Coal became more important to Yardley.   The Reading Railroad started a train station here in the 1800's.  Yardley was also a stop on the Underground Railroad.

One thing I noticed is that I have a much wider field of view so that riding on the canal isn't like going down a green tunnel.  I see a lot more things in about a 60 degree field as opposed to a 20 degree field.
I am not always getting the three dimensionality as crisply as I do when I look at architecture and buildings.  I do get 3D when I focus on things specifically.  During the bike ride, I tried explicitly to shut off the verbal and just look.  Sometimes I put on some classical music and sat and watched the world.  

Mentally, I am getting more of a sense of awareness and just "being" as opposed to "thinking" verbal thoughts.  So I decided to capture more of this with a camera.   I took these photos with my iPhone 4 camera... I am still exploring its strengths and limitations, so bear with me.

I am feeling more of a sense of being in the woods and surrounded by living things that I have a connection to.   I can see why the Indians thought the woods have spirits.

 There are a lot of houses that border the canal.  A lot of people have their lives oriented towards the water.  You see a lot of patio furniture, boats, canoes, and water toys in people's back yards.
 A lot of people have a lovely gardens along the canal.
 Wild flower along the canal.  I could see the spires of this flower in space.  Kind of cool.
 Loved the daisies in space.
 A lot of people put out the American flag in the summer.
 A nice little angel guarding the pathway.  Kind of metaphoric for me -- kind of a guardian of the soul.
 Just looking at the neat patterns of algae in the water.
 the reticulation of the trees.
 The roots have dimensionality.
 The bamboo is in space... kind of receeding into the shadows. 
 Spires of swamp grass.  I was keenly aware of the negative space between the stalks much like I was with the bamboo.
 Nice contrast of color and texture. 
 One of the bridges over the Delaware and Raritan canal.
 A Heron on the lake at Washington Crossing.
 Nice impression.
 Very French Provincial scene....Could have seen this in Provence, France.

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