Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sky-blue or robin's-egg blue?

I've been seeing pictures of this sky-blue grist mill for years and decided today to visit and see if the building really is that blue. Pretty, isn't it? Not quite the color of the sky, but close. More like robin's-egg blue.

The grist mill is located at Historic Walnford and is now part of the county park system. The site has been recently renovated and includes a Georgian-style mansion, carriage house, and other farm buidlings like a corn crib and cow shed.

The mill, situated on Crosswicks Creek, still operates for demonstration purposes and is powered by a turbine rather than an external water wheel as I expected to find. The creek is shallow and slow and could no longer carry goods by boat from Walnford to Philadelphia as it did during the 18th and 19th centuries. It is, however, still a popular spot for fishing and canoeing.

The communities surrounding Walnford are some of the most rural in our county. The only time I usually get to this area is when I visit the rescue that I adopt my bunnies from, but I really enjoy the little backroads that travel past horse farms and a winery or two. That's another NJ surprise - we grow grapes here.

Traveling a bit further west today I came across a picturesque old town that I would like to revisit if I ever get in the mood for holiday shopping. What interested me most there today was the old mill pond filled with hundreds of snow geese. Quite a sight and a surprise this far north as I usually drive an hour or more south to see them in the winter at the wildlife refuge near Atlantic City. The only explanation I can imagine for their presence here are the many sod farms in the area. I would love to have a pic to share, but my camera battery died after taking pics at Walnford. Hopefully I'll find the snow geese again on my next visit. There are more pics of some of the other buildings at the Walnford link above and I may post a few from the interiors on another day.

13 comments:

Susan Gets Native said...

Snow geese!!!?
*jumping up and down here*
I wanna see one!

bunnygirl said...

I love things like this! What a shame we don't have anything comparable around here!

samtzmom said...

Just a beautiful spot, and I'd love to see the snow geese as well. :c)

Mary said...

Robin's Egg blue, so pretty! It's nice to know that NJ has some nicely preserved places like that. DE was running out of them before we left.

pablo said...

I do like that blue!

NatureWoman said...

I love old buildings. What a pretty color for a mill!
Snow geese - I have to go look that up.

Sandy said...

That is a beautiful old building. I wonder if it was always blue? I really love that bottom shot!
We saw lots of snow geese in Oregon, sure didn't know they were on the east coast, too.

Dave said...

Must be robins egg blue. Nice shots. Where's the snow?

Lynne said...

What beautiful pictures! Sounds like a wonderful day.

LauraHinNJ said...

Susan: Really? You've never seen a snow goose? Do they come your way?

Bunnygirl: Pretty place, but I think it's probably even prettier in the springtime.

Samtzmom: I think there may be another road trip in my future for the snow geese!

Mary: Our county park system is really great and includes quite a few historic places like this.

Pablo: Do you now?

Naturewoman: It was a pretty spot for a walk. Lots of robins around too.

Sandy: I wondered the same thing about it always being blue!

Dave: No snow here yet - not even a flurry! I'm disappointed.

Lynne: Thanks - it was a nice walk.

Madcap said...

I vote robin's egg blue, too. I love the stonework.

lené said...

I'm always delighted to see pictures like these on your blog. My associations with New Jersey are all urban, so grist mills, cranberry bogs, and beaches catch me by surprise.

LauraHinNJ said...

Madcap: Each pic I took seems to show a different shade of blue - or maybe it's the sky that's changing?

Lene: I'm delighted to find them myself! I see too many shopping malls and new housing developments - and they're creeping in to the rural parts of the state too. ;-(

My county is often mentioned by those magazines that rank the *best* places to live in the nation, but places are changing so quickly that I can't imagine we'll be so great for very long. We do have a great park system though!