SEPTEMBER 28, 2012

Page 1: wandering where the French & Indian War began

(Page 2 is the wedding)

As I have dealt with the history of 22 year old George Washington and the

events in the woods just beyond where these ponds now are that led to the

beginning of the French & Indian War in another photo album, rather than

repeat that, I'm going to put a link HERE to that album so if you're interested

you can check it out.


The Green Cathedral is a wedding site situated in a bowl of land surrounded on all sides by dense woods. To get to it you must

leave the road (Old Braddock Road off the Jumonville Road atop Chestnut Ridge) and either walk or be driven down a narrow

gravel path to this area, where there is no parking, and so the small cars must be taken back up to the top 1/5 of a mile away.

At the bottom of the path, you are facing this scene above.

It was too early for much of autumn but near the largest of the series of ponds a couple of yellow trees contrasted nicely with the green behind them.

As we had well over an hour before the wedding began, I walked across that farther bridge above because I wanted to explore where

George Washington's camp had been on May 27, 1754 after he and 40 of his men marched there during a rainy night.

Partway across the bridge, you immediately see the difference in the landscape on either side of the bridge. Smooth lawn behind me and

this ahead of me, but this is the natural look of the land before man comes and makes his lawns.

Still on the bridge I turned and looked back to see Carl carrying his microphone equipment to set up to the left of that thick planting of

rhododendrons.  The wooden benches have been covered in white plastic.

But for now I'm heading away from all that peace and quiet landscaped beauty into an area where Indians roamed and where Frenchmen

were massacred. If you're not familiar with the story, do follow that link to the photo page where I relate it.  It's quite interesting.

George's camp was up the hill just below that large grey rock that somehow comes out looking like a stone house in this shot.

I have my short ankle brace on and I'm standing here wisely (for a change) deciding NOT to head up THIS way.  I have my moments of sanity,

rare though they be and, of course, not at all in evidence on the Gettysburg battlefield a mere two weeks ago.

Off to my left the ground is flatter and more open but leads only back to the largest pond.

So I explore around a little, taking time to appreciate little things like ferns finding a home in the forks of old trees.

And I wander...very carefully...through here. I am, after all, alone but, as on battlefields, I have my trusty cell in my trusty pocket.

Looking back up at the rocks below which was the camp. Being almost 70 and broken, I refrain from going up. Sigh.

But there is much where I am to delight the eye. I love this shot with the placement of the tree and the curving branch and the rocks beyond.

One might expect Evangeline to pass by at any moment, saying something soft and profound about the forest primeval.

I have for the moment curved back and am looking at the bridge which has known my footsteps.

I deliberately left this blurry shot in because it was just as I pressed the shutter button that a dead tree crashed down with a loud noise.

I didn't know what it was at first as I was standing here contemplating how much I wanted to go this way to the bridge just beyond and

in my second attack of wisdom of the day had decided against it. I have a thing about bears in the woods dating from a magazine article

I read long ago in the days of my early youth while waiting in a doctor's office.  It was a most graphic description of a woman being

attacked by a bear and at the top was a big picture of a bear with its mouth open and a very unpleasant expression on its face. The

dratted thing just always stuck with me and every time I am out in a forest where bears are known also to be, I tend to think about it.

So when I heard this huge crashing sound and I couldn't immediately tell from whence it came, I thought it might be a bear in a big

hurry to have a white-haired snack, and I hurried in a most untoward and probably unladylike fashion back closer to the proximity of

the ponds.

Ah, pond! With civilization of a sort not all that far beyond. And did I LEAVE the forest entirely? Well, not yet. I still had photographs to take!

Water trickling down from a little spring waaaay up the slope.  I wondered if George might have drunk from it. One never knows.

I thought this was neat...the blue/green rhododendron leaves so clearly reflected in the pond.

There was a nice path leading off into the forest but I didn't have time for such pursuits and wasn't truly inclined after the crashing sound.

Playing with reflections again.

It almost looks like a light green shrub there at the edge of the pond but it's all reflection of the branches above.

I've taken a number of pictures over the years with the contrast of the edge of a dark forest and the brightly lit water beyond. I like them a lot.

Reflections again.

And another of my favorite things are the patterns in nature, like these scarred roots and their hugging bright green mosses.



BACK TO JO'S OTHER PLACE (You can even hear Carl sing here if you like)