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Walkabout Talk About  
Stick Project Stories 

The Story Of Stick #1 (not yet released)
"Schuylkill River Highway and Flyway"

Located on the Schuylkill River Trail (SRT) in Spring City, PA
near the large wetland pond

The ribbon of blue spiraling down this walking stick symbolizes nature’s geographic route for the passage the headwaters of the Schuylkill River that flow into the Delaware River and, eventually, the Delaware Bay and finally,  into the Atlantic Ocean. The Schuylkill River is  both a highway and a flyway for the people and animals that navigate within the river or above it on a daily basis or migrate seasonally, to and from the region. Water boatmen (which are cool aquatic insects), brown trout, and an occasional River Otter have graced the Schuylkill  in our area of southeastern PA.  Great Blue Herons, Kingfishers and the magnificent return of Bald Eagles has been witnessed in this special corridor as well. The recent restoration pioneered by several watershed partners and the subsequent healing of this watershed is a sentinel example showing that community awareness can lead to action and ultimately restoration of one of our most essential natural resources. This restoration strengthens the broader ecological web of which we are all a part .

 

Does this river inspire you too? Make your submission here!

The Story Of Stick #2 (not yet released)
"Arboreal Lighthouses Along the Schuylkill River"

Located along the lower river trail at Upper Schuylkill Valley Parl in Royersford, PA

Depicting various botanical features (its seeds, fruits, leaves, branching pattern, etc.) this walking stick seeks to equate the tree with the valuable light it extends both physically and environmentally in the Schuylkill River habitat. Legend has it that Indigenous Lenape would navigate their way to a streamside water resource by simply gazing up from their forested habitats looking for the beacon-like white bark of the tall sycamore trees. Requiring fertile, moist and well-drained soil,  these tall trees line the riparian perimeters of many waterways here in the east; particular to this project, the Schuylkill River, all the way from the headwaters in Schuylkill Haven down to the city of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. Sycamores are the tallest trees growing in this part of the United States and their environmental and cultural value cannot be overstated. With roots that stabilize the banks helping to protect them during high-water events, these trees stand as erosion guards. The canopy of an older sycamore is often immense. General Washington and his troops were reported to have sought shelter under one during the Battle at Brandywine. And, of course, the shade they provide to people and streamside aquatic animals is environmentally of high value. Furthermore, this steward tree breaks down airborne toxins and pollutants in the environment.  A hike along the Schuylkill River Trail to see the bright, shining , lighthouse-esque sycamores lining both banks will leave a visitor in awe not only for their beauty but for their natural history as well.

Did this hike  inspire you too? Make your submission here!

The Story of Stick #3 (not yet released)
“Come Away!”

(to see tree swallows, sycamores, and the meadows)
Located on the meadow path at Black Rock Sanctuary in Phoenixville, PA

If you are in need of a “slice of heaven” hike the field trail at Black Rock Sanctuary. It is serene. It is full of color in every season. It’s just a great nature spot. American sycamore trees  line the ridge of this trail…Look up! They are the tall trees with white bark (especially near their tops) that line the ridge of this trail, standing like giants.  If you are running along the trail during summer or  fall months just reach your hand out to the tall meadow grasses – they’ll give you the “high five” and the lift you need to run another lap! About three quarters of the way through you’ll start noticing bluebird boxes.  One day my son and I were surprised to see a mother bird circling her box. She was a bit agitated that we were running by and even chased us a little. It was kind of fun! She would swoop down and at the last moment retreat up high!  We knew she was not a bluebird and with her long swallow tail we were not surprised to find that tree swallows do commonly overtake  bluebird boxes. We learned the way to tell if a tree swallow has moved in is to inspect the box (once the chicks have left). If the original grassy nest has been lined with feathers a tree swallow has moved on in.  I named this stick “Come Away” because of a lovely animated movie called the “Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde. It’s about the amazing bond between a swallow and a gilded statue of the Happy Prince. Watch the movie for yourself…if only for the gorgeous watercolor animation. And please, “come away” on this trail with this tree swallow stick. I can’t wait to hear about the artful things you find on your journey here!

The Story Of Stick #4 (not yet released)
"Let's Take a Hike!"

Located on the trails at Reservoir Park Phoenixville, PA

Hi there fellow hiker! Thanks for noticing me! How about we go for a hike together! According to the National Park Service spending time in nature can make you smarter, stronger, healthier, happier, and more productive. This stick was created during the pandemic with many thanks from the artist who created it. She was grateful that our outdoor world was not lockeddown and the adventures there would be endless. How about taking me on your hike? Try to notice all that is around you with your senses of smell, touch, sight and hearing. Was there anything cool or thought provoking that nature taught you?

 

Did it inspire your artful side to take a picture, make a drawing or painting, write a poem, story or song? If so, we’d love to know! Please be in touch!