The Remains of Ardrossan Farms

Adrossan Farms and the Ardrossan Estate were once part of a 800 plus acre estate in Radnor Township, Delaware County. The estate was built by banker Robert Leaming Montgomery and features 50 room Georgian revival mansion designed by architect Horace Trombauer in 1911. Parts of Ardrossan have been subdivided over the years, and now the bulk of the estate is in the process of succumbing to this fate. The play and film The Philadelphia Story was inspired by the stories of the Montgomerys.

Part of the estate was, and still is for now, a working farm with cattle and hay and corn fields. The farm was also was set this section of Radnor Township apart from surrounding suburbia. It made travel along Darby Paoli Road a treat, rather than a chore.

One of the barns on the property.
Still harvesting hay.
“Progress”
Afternoon light on harvested hay.
A woodpile left to dry.
A pair of redtail hawks enjoys the view.
A small shed nestled against the woods.
Very traditional looking farm equipment.
Corn not yet harvested in November.
Cattle call along Darby Paoli Road.
Grazing peacefully.
Sunset glow on the cattle.
This is a beautiful little pond.

People and Animals

Here are some outtakes of my recent photography tour of Chenoa Manor in Avondale, Pennsylvania.

I really love the relationship between the woman and goat here.
Now, hold that pose.
This donkey is quite the cheeky little girl. Hoping for mints, perhaps?
That does not look comfortable.
I think this one is self explanatory.

What a Black Vulture Infestation Looks Like

Black vultures have been making their way north in recent years and appear to be here to stay in Pennsylvania. Primarily a resident of the American south and parts of the southwest down into South America, they have been slowly extending their range north. Similar to the larger turkey vulture, they have a black, rather than red, head, and distinctive white patches at the tips of their wings.

They are a species of concern because they are more aggressive than the turkey vulture. They eat carrion, but they will also attack young or infirm live animals. They also can be quite destructive, pulling the seals off of car windows, for example. I witnessed this behavior at the Conowingo Dam Fisherman’s Park a few years ago. A hapless SUV parked off by itself was never going to be the same.

Southerners have learned to adapt and live with this bird, so expect we can too. I would hate to see the turkey vulture displaced, as they are now such a common sight, especially in rural areas. A flock of black vultures can also drive the native turkey vulture off carrion. The vultures photographed here were in southern Chester County.

Here’s the gang lined up in a row. Black vultures are gregarious, at least with each other.
Keeping an “eagle” eye out.
This cow looks more quizzical than concerned.
It’s not Santa trying to get down the chimney.

A Photo Tour of Chenoa Manor

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in a photo tour of Chenoa Manor in Avondale, Pennsylvania and visit with its many wonderful animal residents. Chenoa is an accredited animal sanctuary taking in the neediest of animals with a focus on farm and exotic animals. You can visit the sanctuary by becoming a volunteer, intern or benefactor or by participating in a scheduled workshop or event.

With the help of a guide, our small group was able to enter the pastures for some up close and personal time with the animals. It is clear from the atmosphere that the animals and their welfare are the focus here. You can read more about Chenoa at their website.

An overview of Chenoa Manor.
A pasture with grazing animals.
Grazing pony and donkeys.

It was great to meet some of the animals.

Donkey Felicetta. She was rescued on her way to slaughter.
This handsome guy looked me right in the eye.
This pig was ready for bed time.
A very thoughtful expression from this goat.
A beautiful white goat.
I wonder what this duck is saying?
I think this is a goose, not a duck. I need to brush up on this.

The property is available for events a has some lovely gardens.

A lovely rustic garden at the base of the barn.
A view of the flower garden.
Blessings on those coming and going.

It’s That Time of Year

I love Fall. Not just because I hate hot weather but because I love all the other things that go with the season – colorful leaves, cozy fabrics, hot beverages, and fairs. I had to check out the Unionville Community Fair in Chester County. The fair was set on a old farm property adjacent to the high school.

Well kept barn on the property.
A view of the farmstead.
I’m not sure what this platform is but I think it has to do with steeplechase or jumping horses.

It was well worth a visit. It is rare in this area to find a festival with livestock. This aspect makes this fair unique. The lamas and goats were adorable. There was an opportunity for kids to get to milk a goat. I just wish there had been more dairy cows in the large tent.

An inquisitive goat.
Three lone cows in the big tent.
Llamas are so cute.

There were the usual fair food trucks, vendors, and activities for the kids. Polish food followed by funnel cake is a win in my book any day. While I was eating, the kids participated in a sing a long with Elsa from “Frozen.” I also bought some awesome local honey at one of the vendors. I don’t don’t normally love honey, but this stuff was great.

Time to “Let it Go” with Elsa.
The Vendors
Yummy, hot funnel cake on a rainy day.
I really liked the look of this old mill building on the way home.

Columbia County Beyond the Covered Bridges

Although Columbia County likes to tout their 23 covered bridges, it has much to offer the visitor.

 

The countryside near the Creasyville covered bridge. Note the pumpkins on the hillside.

 

Merry October. Christmas trees “on the hoof.”

 

This clever sculpture immediately caught my eye.

 

Cattle grazing near my family’s farm.

 

The side entrance to my grandparent’s old farmhouse. This is door people used most often.

 

The graveyard down the road from the house my grandparents built after they sold the farm. It’s small patch surrounded by fields. No church in sight. My brother, cousin and I used to walk up here often as kids.