From Wikipedia, "The hydrosphere in physical geography describes the combined mass of water found on, under, and over the surface of a planet."

Winter 2015 has had its share of days with below freezing temperatures, ice, snow, and freezing rain.  But some of the moments in the early morning sun show the beauty of this season.  This photo was taken on the historic Davis Estate along Rocky Run in Media, PA.

Winter scene at a stream

Glen Providence Park, the oldest park in Delaware County, PA, engages in streamside buffer plantings on Earth Day every year. These native trees, shrubs, ferns, and perennials, along with limestone blocks brought in from outside the area, help to stabilize the stream bank and control serious erosion. This project also creates a riparian buffer, improving wildlife habitat and water quality.

Glen Providence Park, Dealware County, PA

A view across the Monongahela River of exposed rock and soil on the slope of Mt. Washington.  Also visible are tracks for the incline, a mass-transit mode for the mountains.

Pittsburgh's Mt. Washington

Breakwater boulders near the beaches of Presque Isle in Erie.

Lake Erie Breakwaters

Antes Fort was once a colonial outpost in Lycoming County, near Williamsport. William Penn's agents had bought the land from Andaste Tribal Chief King Wi-daagh.  Wi-daagh realized that for the few trinkets he received in exchange for this sacred site, he had been swindled by the Englishmen. Many report that Wi-daagh's spirit still roams the Nippenose Valley as a form of eternal protest.

A granite column from the Pennsylvania State Capitol was placed here to honor King Wi-daagh along the banks of Antes Creek in 1900, commemorating the treaty.  The column was originally part of the State Capitol building in Harrisburg that burned in 1897 and was transported to this location by the property's owner.

The back side of the column is engraved with the following:





SEPT., 13. 1700




ERECTED SEPT. 13. 1900

A granite column for King Wi-Daagh

From Nippenose Spring, the headwaters of Antes Creek, the water flows three miles out of the valley through Bald Eagle Mountain and into the West Branch near the New Jersey shore.

Headwaters of Antes Creek at Nippenose Spring

An karst feature in Nippenose Valley, called a karst window.

"A karst window is a special type of sinkhole that gives us a view, or window, into the karst aquifer. A karst window has a spring on one end, a surface-flowing stream across its bottom, and a swallow hole at the other end. The stream is typically at the top of the water table. Karst windows develop by both dissolution and collapse of the bedrock. Many karst windows originated as collapse sinkholes." (from James C. Currens, Kentucky Geological Survey)

A Karst Window in Nippenose Valley

The month of February is maple sugaring time, and Tyler Arboretum in Media, PA, has this sugar maple tree (Acer saccharum) tapped and ready to collect the sap to make their own maple syrup.

Maple Sugaring at Tyler Arboretum

Pine Creek Gorge, sometimes called The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, is a 47-mile (76 km) gorge carved by Pine Creek in Pennsylvania. It sits in about 160,000 acres (650 km2) of the Tioga State Forest and is ~1,280 ft (427 m) from the rim to its deepest point. The brown pathway to the right and parallel to Pine Creek is a Rail Trail. TrailLink information on the Pine Creek Rail Trail.

For additional information, read this excellent article in Geotimes titled Pine Creek Gorge: The other Grand Canyon. The article contains a description of how the glacial history of the region changed the direction of flow in Pine Creek.

Pine Creek Gorge, The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania

Rattlesnake Rock is a recreational stop along the Pine Creek Rail Trail. This spot has an excellent view of some fluvial features, such as these sand bars that have accumulated in Pine Creek.

Sand Bars Viewed from Rattlesnake Rock