Ramblings of a "New American" Gardener

A hike in the snow

January 26, 2013

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Our friend Judy Mann is from Wisconsin (though a fast New Yorker now), so she’s quite a snow girl. When she visited at Federal Twist at the end of December, we took a hike in the snow along Locktong Creek. These are all Judy’s photos.

Lockatong Creek

Various conservation organizations and the State of New Jersey recognize the Lockatong watershed as a valuable natural resource, so hundreds of acres are preserved along the creek. New hiking trails are being created throughout this small valley and pristine tributary to the Delaware River. We’re fortunate to have a garden and house in the middle of this area.


We made our trek a couple of months after Hurricane Sandy had done its work, so we had to detour around several blocked trails. Not bad, because it kept us near the creek, which was the star of the day. These are views (above and below) of the ornate iron bridge on Rosemont-Raven Rock Road. The bridge was made at the Lambertville Iron Works in 1878. It’s important to remember this was a center of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries.

winter bridge with yellow signs

Me, taking my own photo of the same bridge.


The creek tumbles down from a height of about 340 feet, where it passes our house,  to this low elevation just a few feet above the Delaware. Before consolidating into this channel, it spreads across a wide wetland area full of flood debris from centuries past.


Across the road, an old farm with a stone house, probably dating back to the 18th century, carries memories of that past to us. And in the name of the creek–Lockatong–is a reminder of the native people who once lived here, named this creek, thrived for centuries, but are no more.


To me this area’s landscape and history are important for more than reasons of simple preservation–though that would be enough. They mark a place and time that still inhabits my garden and makes real the spirit of the place.



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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Janet/Plantaliscious January 27, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Good to see you safely on Wordpress James, love the banner. These snowy photos capture a beautiful, if chilly walk, there always seems to be something magical about water and snow. I love the squirts of colour from the red of the buildings and the yellow of the bridge signs. I’m still evolving my sense of place for my new home and garden, trying to work out how to relate my gardening to my surroundings without falling in to cliché. “Federal Twist”, though in a totally different environment, is an inspiration.


James Golden January 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm

You live in an extraordinarily beautiful area. I imagine the winds and exposure will take a while to get used to, and require some experimentation. I look forward to seeing what you do.


Michael B. Gordon February 2, 2013 at 1:45 pm

That bridge shot is an amazing composition–the yellow against what appears to be black and white–very nice.


James Golden February 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Judy Mann has a wonderful eye for photography. I took photos too, but her’s were much better.


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