Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bridges Between - Utica Mills Covered Bridge

This is the third covered bridge still in use on public roads in Frederick County. (Loy's Station and Roddy are the other two.) Utica Mills bridge was built in the 1850's over the Monocacy River. It was washed out during the storm of 1889 (famous for flooding Johnstown, PA). Local residents salavged the bridge and move it to its current location over Fishing Creek. Originally, it was a 100-foot Burr arch truss bridge, based on a 1804 design by Thedodore Burr. In the 1930's it was reinforced with steel beams and a concrete pier added. It underwent a major restoration in 1997.

The combination of the arch and truss makes for a more rigid structure than abridge with only one method of support.

The road to the east. When I first crossed this bridge years ago, the road was gravel. It has been recently paved.

Fishing Creek runs gently under the bridge. It appears that the pier was restored in 1997.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

PhotoHunt - Beautiful nature

There are few things more beautiful than flowers and butterflies. More pics on my other blog.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sky Watch Friday - Through the rigging

Three years ago we took our grandsons to Baltimore's Inner Harbor for sight seeing. I took this picture of the sky looking up through the rigging of the USS Constellation. (Captain Michael was at the helm.) The sailing ship launched in 1854, became a National Historic Landmark in 1955.

Friday, August 22, 2008

PhotoHunt - Wrinkled

The hibiscus blooms have a wrinkled appearance, but at the end of the day they really curl up into a wrinkled tube. Another picture of the hibiscus is in my July 14 post.

Friday, August 15, 2008

PhotoHunt - Colorful flag

This flag greets people at our front door.

Sky Watch Friday - Birds in the sky

Last Sunday, the sky was filled with birds at a shopping center near us. I posted one picture as my daily photo. Her are a couple more for Sky Watch Friday. The building is a bank next to the shopping center.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

PhotoHunt - Dark of winter

I hunted back through my digital archive and found this winter photo from February 2005.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sky Watch Friday - Storm clouds passing by

We had stormy weather today with damage and power outages closer to DC. No problems for us though. After dinner, I went out take some shots of the clouds, even as I heard thunder about 2 miles away. The clouds here drifted by to the south, but eventually more passed overhead and we got a little more rain.

Liberty and Independence

Independence National Historic Park occupies several city blocks in the old part of Philadelphia near the Delaware River. The Liberty Bell is now on display in its own building, room for information displays like in the photo above. The bell is at the end of the building with a view of Independence Hall through a glass wall. The picture below shows the bell from the glass wall.

Independence Hall, completed in 1756, was originally the State House of the Province of Pennsylvania. The building contained a room for the judiciary, assembly meetings and an office, meeting room and space for official business by the governor.

The tower features clocks on each side, still keeping time after all these years

The judges sat in the chairs shown below. The jury sat in seats along the walls to the left and right, The witnesses sat on a raised platform to the left of the judges and the defendant stood in the dock in front of the judges.

In this room, representatives for the colonies met to draft, revise and adopt three of the most significant documents in our history: the Declaration of Independence in 1776; the Articles of Confederation in 1781; and the Constitution in 1787. The Constitution was not ratified by the states until amended to add the Bill of Rights. Although the furniture is from theat period, the only original item is the chair where George Washington sat as he presided over the meetings (facing the other tables and chairs).

For more photos of our trip to Philadelphia see Marianne's blog and my other blog.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bridge between north and south

On September 17, 1862 the Union and Confederate armies fought the bloodiest one day battle in US history. Robert E. Lee had led his Army into Maryland with the intent of moving into Pennsylvania and isolating Washington, DC from the northern states. General George McClellan moved his Army from Washington to engage Lee. The armies met in the quiet, rural valley along Antietam Creek. The battle started before dawn in a cornfield, continued on a lane along the creek, and ended with the battle for this bridge over the creek. Southern forces held the high ground at the bridge, while the northern forces attacked across open field to the bridge, eventually capturing the bridge. At the end of the day, 23,000 soldiers of both armies were killed, wounded or missing. Lee's army retreated to the safety of Virginia and the war continued for another 2 years. The battle at Antietam had a significant political impact, as President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation after the Union victory.

The grounds where this battle was fought are a national park and contain a national cemetery and remain much as they were in 1862. The cemetery continued in use for US servicemen until 1953. In 2000, one local resident who was killed in the attack on the USS Cole was buried here.

Confederates defended from here

Union attacked from this side

Among the many plaques around the battlefield is this one near the bridge. Note the photograph in the lower left taken 4 days after the battle. And in the painting of the battle by a union officer, note the size of sycamore tree just to the right of the bridge.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

PhotoHunt - Clouds

Clouds, sunrise, December 28, 2006
Blue sky, white clouds, February 2, 2008
Storm clouds coming, sunset, June 29, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

Sky Watch Friday - Reflected sky

This time of the year we get hazy, hot days and not too many photogenic skies. Last Sunday was a little better and we took our grandsons into town. Carroll Creek runs through the Frederick business district. After a major flood in 1976, the city build a flood control system to carry the excess water under the brick walk ways on either side of the creek. The area along the creek was redeveloped with new housing on the right and offices, restaurants and shops on the left. The creek provides some nice reflections of the buildings and skies. The lights along the creek also make a nice photo subject. You can see more of our day at the creek and Baker Park on Marianne's blog and my other blog.