Wissahickon Valley Park

places - forest
Forbidden Drive, Wissahickon Valley Park

I started my volunteer naturalist training, yesterday. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to learn about the land that I live in. Here in Philadelphia, in school, we don’t extensively study the land that we live in. We make sure our kids learn about Shakespeare and the Ancient Greeks, but not the ground beneath their feet. This I am sure, is because of our arrogance.

Sunday, we learned about the geology of Philadelphia and the surrounding area. We traveled to Wissahickon Valley Park, in the far northwest section of the city. The valley is about 1 billion years old.

In the lush brilliant spring green of the forest, large metamorphic rock outcroppings push up through the soil all over this part of Philadelphia. This is the Piedmont Region of Philadelphia, 300-400 feet above sea level.  This hilly forest is the highest point in Philadelphia, pushing into the sky. It reaches far higher than the center of the city which is a mere 20-30 feet above sea level.

The talk on the region’s geology was fascinating, but I was distracted by the birds that visited the feeders behind the Park’s treehouse. Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Hairy or Downy Woodpeckers, White-Breasted Nuthatches, Cardinals, Blue Jays and Robins landed on a tall Black Walnut tree.

Monday, my naturalist training continues.

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