Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Only in Bucks County: Silver Lake Nature Center

Did you ever go to a new place and it's so new to you that you feel like you might not belong, but then you keep visiting it... and visiting it... and it becomes YOURS? This happens to me a lot!
Most recently with Silver Lake Nature Center. 

While we kayaked there a couple of times this summer (lots of lily pads to navigate through- it was fun!) I hadn't actually walked the trails or visited the Nature Center itself until this past Fall. We took the dog and the grandkids hiking and exploring throughout October and November, always choosing a different trail. The lake is so peaceful (really, it will calm you within seconds), and the winding trails are so pretty.

The trail is about 4 and a half miles long. The half mile closest to the main parking lot by the lake is wheelchair accessible (or stroller accessible). The entire nature reserve is a very family friendly place, with lots of benches, overlooks along the way, and a play area for the kids. They offer fun special events for children and adult nature-lovers, and nature trips to other parks throughout the year.




The Earthship is a really cool building on the premises that was constructed over the past few years. It is totally self sustainable and made of 100 percent recycled materials including sea glass and used tires! It is basically a model of how humans can live with a zero carbon footprint. 
Free public tours are available! If you would like to schedule your own group’s (one-hour) tour of the Earthship & Trails, the cost is $60 for up to 10 people.

The address of Silver Lake Nature Center is:
1306 Bath Road
Bristol, PA 19007 

Make sure you end your hike at the Visitor Center and meet the resident critters!

Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, 
to climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
~ John Muir

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Only in Bucks County: Art Inside Out in Bristol Borough

Pretty soon they'll all be gone.

The thirteen framed reproductions of paintings around Bristol Borough that are on loan from The Philadelphia Museum of Art's Art Inside Out program, a pop up art show which adds beauty and culture to small towns and gives residents a sampling of the Museum's collection.
Since I was practically brand new in Bristol when they were installed in August, I knew I had to find my way and see them all. I was delighted to have them pop up as I went about my day or took my nightly stroll.

This was the first one I spotted:

The next reproduction I found was this, and I'm absolutely crazy about it!
Rousseau's mysteriously beautiful "A Carnival Night." I even Googled it to learn more about it.
Maybe that's the point,

This one, with the Grundy Mill Clock Tower in the background, really took me by surprise. 
It's a Knight in armor from the 1500's, yet it looks sort of modern to me.

Art Inside Out is about finding art in unexpected places, but what I also appreciate about our exhibit is the juxtaposition of the paintings within town. 
A waterfall behind a fountain, paintings of sailboats where real sailboats glide by on the Delaware; a painting of a footbridge next to a footbridge...


Noun: An act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Water Mill," 1892.

After the first few weeks that the paintings were up, I realized a few were eluding me.
I decided to follow a map that I found online and look for the ones I hadn't seen yet.
All thirteen pieces are on display within a two mile radius, which made for a great bicycle ride around the Borough. 

"Sunburst Quilt" at the entrance to Mill Street.

'Portrait of a Roman Lady" in front of our amazing new Centre for the Arts.

                                                 R. poses in front of "Lotus" at the year-old Adams Hollow Community Garden.

A father’s love radiates from this iridescent painting of his daughter.
 "Tanis" by Daniel Garber.

Benjamin Franklin at Bristol Borough Hall.

I outdid myself on this one ;)
It's a Japanese painting of a waterfall behind the fountain on Radcliffe Street.

It's going to be disappointing to see the artwork go, but I understand that they need to move on to another part of the Delaware Valley.
If you live in Bristol and haven't seen the whole exhibit yet, it will be up until November 5th, 2016 and I highly recommend it as a fun family activity.
If you don't live here it's a great excuse to come visit Bristol for the day and check out all of the arts and culture that this historic little town has to offer!

(I've only included 11 of my 13 photos so that you can have some fun finding the rest.)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Only in Bucks County: Bristol's Delaware River

   I am absolutely in awe at the beauty of the Delaware River; even an industrial stretch of it like here in Bristol. Sure, you will see folks fishing from the wharf, recreational kayakers, and people out for a boat ride or on jet skis, but I've also seen HUGE cargo ships originating from places like Holland  and Hong Kong go by. Whether it's for sport, relaxation, or transportation, the river gets good use and the sunrises and sunsets can be spectacular. 

Here are just a few photos that I've taken since I moved in:

As cute of a town as Bristol Borough is, and as calming as the river is every time I see it, I feel completely aware that this town at the southern tip of Bucks County has its ties to an earlier time, and its evolution. When I stepped into the Grundy Library yesterday and saw this poster advertising an event they are having about Bristol during the Industrial Era, I knew I had to go!