Aunt Bea's 1939 Plymouth

Aunt Bea's 1939 Plymouth

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Two Books on Pennsylvania's Trees

The hardbound book pictured is the well-respected work by Ann Fowler Rhoads and Timothy A. Block with drawings by Anna Anis'ko. Published by the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005. 

Excellent reference material showing the distribution, bark, leaf, and nut or fruit, with short and thorough (pithy?) descriptions of its form, bark, twigs, pith, buds, leaves, fall color, stipules, leaf scars, flowers, seeds, plus rating the value of its wood. I especially like the notation where the largest P. A. specimen may be found: what county and the height and diameter of the monarch. Range across the continent is also given. 

Trees of Pennsylvania is the authoritative companion to Stan Tekiela's Trees of Pennsylvania, a field guide and paperback one can slip into a jacket pocket easily and find equally useful. "Stan's notes" are also "pithy" and lend perspective and understanding. 

Cousin Joyce said the big book was a great source for those school projects her children were assigned, those that sent them trekking through the woods, collecting leaves, and identifying the wonderful trees surrounding us. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Seen in Titusville

Touring Titusville's impressive array of oil-era mansions. we found this fellow harvesting the rhododendrons in full bloom. Churchyards too were blessed with color from these faithful shrubs that survived a long and deep winter. Like this photo? More scenes at Jim Cotton's Rural Photography

Well worth it

If you're not subscribing to Pennsylvania Magazine, you're really missing some of the best information about the state's attractions to be found anywhere. It's reasonable, well written, and contains compelling, high-caliber photographs and features. Great source of tourist ideas for P. A. folks and visitors alike.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Remodeled Birdhouse

Continuing our bird housing theme, . . . here's one along a country road with a fresh roofing job. How many of the country's birdhouses can boast an asphalt shingle roof? Like this photo?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Rentals Available

Did you clean out your Purple Martin House? Better do so. Mosquito season is just around the corner.  Like this photo? More like it at The Photography of Jim Cotton.

Monday, April 27, 2015

"The Girls with the Grandma Faces"

“The Girls with the Grandma Faces” were known to travel around and about in their “machines.” Only three drove, however.
My Aunt Bea’s 1939 Plymouth did not qualify as a suitable “machine.” It was but a three-passenger coupe and too old to stretch its tether from Pennsylvania to Montana in that autumn of 1966. Besides, it had no radio, a deficiency Aunt Bea considered correcting. 
“I talked to Mister Lamb about it and he’ll see if he can fit one in. Now that Erie might get an NPR station, I think I’ll try it.” Two other machines were enlisted for the trip west. 
Gladys Teasdale volunteered her pea-soup green Dodge. “The trunk’s big enough to fit eight two-suiters side-by-side.” Irene Waterhouse offered her new Olds, a Suitably Gray ’65 Eighty Eight with front seats that reclined.  
And so with transportation secured, “The Sisters of Sacajewea” set off for Yellowstone, Glacier, and Mount Rushmore on the return. United by the First Presbyterian Church, the Bird-and-Tree Club, the college, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and arthritis, they bundled into the “machines,” four apiece, silently acknowledging this might be their most ambitious and perhaps their last and grandest effort yet. Together.
They’d known each other for decades, some from girlhood. While most were amused by one honest young nephew’s label, the “girls” shared more than grandma faces. Bound by family ties, career and community, hope and disappointment, retirement, resignation, they decided a little folly might do them all “a world of good.” Fanylla Harper, Rebecca Cooper, and my Aunt Beatrice were cousins. Pearl and Gladys Teasdale, sisters. Irene Waterhouse and Virginia Carelton were fixtures at the college. Virginia Fendershot recently retired as the area’s Red Cross Administrator.
Yellowstone entertained them as predictably as Old Faithful. The Mission Range was mistaken for Glacier by one of the girls. They marveled and toured the birding sights as described by the guidebooks, rode the “Jammers,” luxuriated in the lodges, and pledged to paint the vistas of Russell Country when back home.
The arrivals and departures were captured largely by Irene Waterhouse and her “kodak.” Postcard memories were framed by “pleasant weather, though nippy . . . not an anxious moment . . . wonderful colors and wildlife . . . drove there and back, 4,000 miles and more, and not a hint of car trouble.” And, later, whenever my Aunt Bea shared her highlights, no account failed to mention what she called “the Missoula morning.”
“We’d left very early, wanting to reach our Glacier stop before nightfall,” she would say, “and the sunlight was just wonderful, with the sun following us along the river. The trees––we learned they were Cottonwoods––were turning nicely and led us right to Missoula where we tuned in and heard Mozart . . . Mozart in the morning on their national public station there! Oh my. It just set the tone. Both cars stopped for gas and then up the road for breakfast and we made sure everyone found the station.
“And we all agreed: if there’s an NPR station on the frontier of Montana, why can’t we have one back home?”
“The Sisters of Sacajewea” and the grandma-faced girls coasted back to old lives and some to new. Over the years that followed, a couple left the area to be closer to family. Another moved in with a daughter nearby. My Aunt Bea’s “machine”––the black 1939 Plymouth Road King Coupe––was sold to Mister Lamb who had maintained it faithfully all its years, and Aunt Bea settled in to what we call assisted living today. 

Erie did indeed acquire a National Public Radio station much to her pleasure back then. She became a faithful listener and supporter. “One of my treasures,” she’d say, then repeating Missoula’s magic morning from the grand tour. “We were escorted by Mozart one morning and drove to the sun, the next.”

From our recurring series published across our family of blogs and titled, "Aunt Bea's Plymouth." This vignette, an entry in Montana Public Radio's recent short story contest, was written to comply with the station's rule to celebrate its 50th anniversary. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Here's Route 6 from VISIT PENNSYLVANIA

U.S. Route 6, which stretches for more than 420 miles in Pennsylvania, is lined with vast forests, fertile farmland and understated small towns.

View how local photographers interpret Pennsylvania’s natural landscape at The Potter County Artisan Center in Coudersport, which displays images of the PA Wilds by award-winning photographer Curt Weinhold and other local shutterbugs. Visitors can also shop for jewelry, books, treats and handicrafts created by other Potter County artisans.

Christian Dorflinger’s elegantly cut lead crystal adorned the tables of U.S. presidents, including Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson. See the largest collection of his work at the Dorflinger Glass Museum in the tiny village of White Mills and meander the walking trails within the serene 600-acre wildlife sanctuary that surrounds the museum.

Pick up some special stationery at Laughing Owl Press’ gift shop in Kane. The old-fashioned letterpress printing company ships its creations all over the world.

Sweet-smelling natural soaps are made at Sea Hag Soaps & Art Mercantile in Brackney (located in Susquehanna County). Locals love their natural formulas, commitment to local ingredients and delightfully named concoctions like “Plumeria — I Wanna Marry Ya” and “Prudish Potpourri.”

The Endless Mountains’ fiber artisans are the stars at The Home Textile Tool Museum in Rome — where you can try out old-fashioned spinning wheels, looms, and tools — and at Quilter Corners of Wyalusing, a self-guided driving tour of barns, businesses, homes and historic sites festooned with handmade quilts.

Artists at Pine Creek Pottery near Wellsboro incorporate local creek clay, wood ash, and cornstalk ash into wheel-thrown pottery pieces.

Many culinary craftsmen, who are using locally farmed materials and introducing new techniques and products, have set up shop on Route 6. Sample the sweet Allegheny Gold wine at Conneaut Cellars Winery and Distillery, the handmade Pennsylvania Jack at LeRaysville Cheese Factory or the aptly named Route 6 Red Ale at River Barge Brewing Company in Wyalusing