A Walk up Plummer’s Hollow

You can also view the slideshow at Flickr, or browse the photoset if you’re on a slow connection. Be sure to click on the four-arrows icon on the bottom right to expand the slideshow to full screen (because otherwise, what’s the point?) and click on “more info” to read titles and captions.

I’ve always wanted to make a slideshow from a single walk up Plummer’s Hollow Road, and today seemed like a good time: the air was as clear as it gets, the leaves are almost fully out, and the late spring wildflowers are at their peak, while some of the earlier ones are still holding on. I was also spurred on by the weather forecast, which is predicting a cold rain tomorrow — the day when a Penn State landscape architecture class is scheduled to visit. I wanted to give them a good idea of what the hollow would’ve looked like had they visited just one day earlier. But I thought it would be fun to share with Via Negativa readers, too, since at least 90 percent of you aren’t within driving distance. (If you are local, the road is open to walkers for most of the distance — you’ll see the “end of public access” sign at the forks.)

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

14 Comments


    1. Glad you enjoyed that. I’ve added anotations to all the photos now, as well, to make it more of a guided tour.

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  1. Lovely. Just lovely. But rightly not leaving out the litter and the car. How fortunate you are to have each other and to have the land. And how fortuntae this bit of land to have the Bonta family as it custodians.

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    1. Thanks. I’m sure many people would say we are in serious dereliction of duty, being so averse to active management.

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  2. Wonderful.

    But I first interpolated a hyphen in “walk up,” and thought that you had opened a beauty concession. Git yer Plummer’s Hollow here, folks!

    Here is the Chicago alternative. I’m driving 45 minutes to visit a friend’s wisteria: a NOLA rescue trellised on a swingset, flowering for first time in five years. Think Giverny, with chain-link fencing.

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    1. Wisteria is a plant we eradicate here, before it takes over and installs its own version of impenetrable fencing. But in the city, sure, every bit of wildness is to be prized, even wisteria and tree-of-heaven.

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  3. I really enjoyed the walk. I still have the sled rides in my head. It’s nice to see an uphill green version.

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    1. Ah yes, the sled ride video. I have links to both that and to this slideshow on the Welcome page of the Plummer’s Holow website now, so people can take their pick: Scary Hollow or Posh Hollow.

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  4. I’ve lived in Birmingham all my life and pass the entrance to Plummer’s Hollow everyday and didn’t know that there was a road up the Hollow. Thanks for the very interesting tour. I’ll have to check it out sometime.
    Lee

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    1. Hi Lee – Please do check it out. We don’t advertise it locally because, as I say in the tour, we already have enough problems with delinquents, including some vandalism, and are trying to keep public access open and keep our heads down at the same time. But if more hikers were on the road, that might give us another line of defense against vandals.

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  5. it brought back memories
    of my own trip up that road
    just three years ago
    in March
    it wasn’t quite as green and bloomin’
    but it turns out
    it was one of the grandest trips
    of my life
    what with the acquisition of
    Bubba (aka Hap, the Bengal cat)
    my screensaver is set
    to slide show
    a folder of photos
    that includes
    the one you took of him
    that compelled my trip
    and I’m hard pressed to say
    second to my own trip
    which of the two
    the sled ride down
    or the walk up
    I loved the more

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    1. Hi Suzanne! I remember that trip with fondness — it was great to meet you, and good to find someone so eager to take a stray cat off our hands. I’m glad you and he have bonded so well.

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  6. Beautiful. Can’t drink up enough of that green at this time. Was that Solomon’s seal? We get that here. Someone told me it was called ‘poor man’s lily-of-the valley, and people gave it to each other when they couldn’t get the real thing.

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    1. Yes, Solomon’s seal. (Click on “Info” to get the titles and captions in the slideshow feature, or (becasue many of the captions are too long), go the set on Flickr and click through one by one.) I hadn’t heard that about it, but it sounds plausible. Ironically, given its name, I see that taxonomists have now assigned lily of the valley to a different family.

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