An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

August 10, 2010

Along the Delaware

When money is tight, it is a good thing to have family you can vacation with, especially if they live in a nice place. After spending a fair portion of our savings on AC repairs, plumbing emergencies, electricians and vet bills, we were glad we could invite ourselves to my brother's house. Our accommodations were in an 1830's field stone farmhouse, complete with pool, stables, gardens and included an excellent cook staff (my brother), plus they took dogs as well. His house is in a small town along the Delaware River in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Right across the river is New Jersey, and if you think you know what Jersey looks like, make sure you have visited this area before you form your opinion. Both sides of the river are unexpectedly wild, lush and green, dotted with small riverside towns that are full of unusual shops, galleries, B&B's and great places to eat. All of it looks like a photo shoot for Town and Country magazine.

On the first morning I woke up to heavy fog, and the photographer in me made quick haste to the river. The ominous looking power plant once belched pollutants, but now the area is remarkably clean.

Delaware River Sunrise (5)

Delaware River Sunrise (3)

The Delaware Canal at Indian Rocks

Delaware Canal at Indian Rock

Nockamixon Cliffs

Nockamixon Cliffs

Frenchtown, New Jersey


Near Kintnersville, Pennsylvania

Behind the Store (2)

Behind the Store

One of the bridges that links Pennsylvania to New Jersey is the Riegelsville Bridge. It is a beautiful piece of engineering, and that drew me to it, but when I began walking across, I noticed equally remarkable constuctions. Nearly every available space was covered with spider webs, built by enterprising arachnids taking advantage of the natural flyway above the river to snag a meal.

Riegelsville Bridge (2)

Riegelsville Bridge (5)

Riegelsville Bridge

The bridge was built in 1904 by John A. Roebling's Sons, Co. You might know that John Augustus Roebling was the man who designed the Brooklyn Bridge, and in a few posts I will share my photos from that incredible landmark. We headed to Manhattan for a few days during our vacation, but it is going to take me a while to sort through all the pictures. It will also take me a while to read the posts my fellow bloggers put up while I was vacationing - I had 377 unread posts on my Google subscription list waiting for me when I got home. So please don't think I have skipped over something wonderful you posted.


  1. Lovely photos, especially the spiders web. Glad you had a beautiful vacation, and got to see family as well. That's a bonus! I keep hoping to enjoy the free lodging at my brothers home in Arizona sometime soon...but it's the getting there that can be expensive!

  2. That is rich country (and a fabulous place to stay!) The leg of the Delaware that runs south of here is always full of fisherpeople, and they are always dressed for a Cabela's shoot. Thanks for your comment on sustainable cities--one thing about Manhattan and the boroughs is that they know & love CSAs and greenmarkets, and there are many many small farms that benefit from the city's need.

  3. I've never been to NJ before so thanks for sharing your vacation photos. It looks like a beautiful place to visit or live. :)

  4. Thanks for showcasing the beauty of NJ (DE and PA)! Gorgeous shots of the fog.

    Did you walk the High Line?

  5. Your photos are just beautiful. And could you let me know where I can find these places, coming from Maryland. These places look beautiful. And it good to take vacations like this. Off the beaten path :) My kind of vaction!!

  6. Loree,
    Fortunately we were able to drive and in my ├╝ber fuel effecient VW on less than a tank. The only draw back is the time spent driving. Good music makes it bareable.

    We spent most of our time in Penn., but did drive to Jersy for ice cream after dinner one night.

    I did, I did, and had a great time, we practically had it to ourselves. I am still working on the photos and will definately get a post out.

    These places are about 30-45 minutes north of Philly. Perhaps the best known towns are New Hope in Pa. and Lambertville in Jersey. Depending on where you are in Maryland, you could be there fairly quickly.


  7. Lynn,
    We got to see the products of some of those farms first hand. We had a great time at the Union Sq. farmer's market. I got a ton of pics and will post as soon as get them sorted.


  8. Incredibly beautiful pictures. I want to be there.

  9. Oh my, those are wonderful shots, especially the ones capturing the moods of the water.

  10. Well, I was wondering why Les hadn't stopped by my plot lately. I've been so upset. But a nice trip looks like it was had yet again--gorgeous pics.

  11. les, your photos are always remarkable, but these photos are just amazing, wow, fantastic! i've heard new jersey is not just newark, but have never seen anything but, nor any of pennsylvania. you've convinced me it would be worth a look. gorgeous! i'm glad you had a nice vacation.

  12. Ah, beautiful. I did recognize his name because my husband is a paving contractor and builder. We've watched a lot of PBS about bridges and other landmarks over the years. Thanks Les.~~Dee

  13. Excellent photos! I am posting a few of them on my tumblr with a link to you.

  14. The image that really caught my eye was the one taken near Kintnersville, Pennsylvania. Gorgeous.

  15. Wow - love that spider web photo! Thanks for the tour.

  16. Joan,
    Thanks for the compliment.

    Thank you, I tend to be drawn to water.

    Sorry you were so upset, maybe my next post will smooth things over.

    You should go, there is a lot for gardeners to look at in the area.

    Well stay tuned. I hope to get another post written that will include the more famous bridge.

    Thank you for the link, I appreciate it.


    That was taken behind an antique store and I could not believe how green it was.

    I was proud of that photo as well.


  17. This all looks rather lovely. My American step-mum-in-law comes from Maryland, and is very keen for us to visit her family in that area. You've given extra impetus to saving up for that holiday through your photos.