December 9, 2008

The Pequea Silver Mine

Despite the chilly weather, I got out for a hike at the site of the Pequea Silver Mine.  The site is  a township park, with easy walking trails through woods, open areas, and along the Pequea Creek. (You can see where the Pequea Creek meets the Susquehanna River in my previous post here.)

Here's an old lime kiln on the property, where limestone was burned to make quicklime for mortar:

The stonework is gorgeous:

Here's the entrance to the actual mine, now bricked over and gated for safety reasons. There's a shot of it before it was gated, along with all a wealth of geological and historical information, here.

Even in winter, there's lots of interesting things to be seen if you keep a sharp eye out. I found this mullein rosette covered with tiny ice crystals, probably from dew freezing on the fine hairs covering the leaves:

Here's the distinctive seed pod of Jimson weed:

I came across something I'd never seen before. A huge tree burl was weeping sap, and the sap had formed a large icicle. I love this picture, with the burl, the sap-cicle, the blue lichen on the lower part of the tree trunk, and the creek in the background:

Here's a closer view:

And the extreme closeup, where it looks a bit like pulled taffy. It was slightly sticky to the touch.

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