this is why artists are drawn to our area

Yesterday with the storms was also a marvelous day for photographers. Here are some that I took.

This is why we need more open space preservation and fewer fields of ticky tacky plastic mushroom houses.

another apocalyptic spring

I remember when my husband and I were dating and I would make the trek from the Main Line to Chester County on weekends. Sometimes I would come out Route 3 and turn onto Route 352.

Once I hit 352 it would start to get green and lush as I made my way out. I traveled part of that same route today and it is a war zone.

This is what the pipelines give us. There is not anything positive or good about them. They rape the land, scar the landscape and ship out gas and “other hydrocarbons” to places like Scotland to make plastics.

We the residents of Chester County and all of the other counties get to assume all sorts of risk. But these pipeline companies are like an invading army and they just keep marching. It’s all about the money, honey, and we simply don’t matter.

I haven’t written a pipeline post a long time. But today seeing another apocalyptic spring thanks to Energy Transfer or Sunoco Logistic or Sunoco or whatever they may call themselves, the words have come tumbling out.

There is always some problem with the pipelines and residents hold their breath and pray their wells will survive, sinkholes won’t open up, and that nothing will blow up.

Pipeline company told to repair, restore all damaged streams, wetlands

By Paul J. Gough

Reporter, Pittsburgh Business Times

May 15, 2019, 7:35am EDT

A subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners is being ordered by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to restore or repair dozens of streams and wetlands that it said were either eliminated or altered by the construction of the Revolution Pipeline.

DEP said ETC Northeast Pipeline LLC violated Pennsylvania’s Clean Streams Laws, Dam Safety and Encroachments Acts, the Oil & Gas Act of 2012 and regulations over erosion, sediment control, dam safety and waterway management. The order came out of its probe into Sept. 10, 2018, explosion in Center Township, Beaver County.

MAY 21, 2019 | 8:30 AM

Federal pipeline safety regulators issue warning on floods and subsidence

The PHMSA advisory bulletin says pipeline incidents caused by erosion have increased in the eastern U.S.

Susan Phillips

Citing a number of recent incidents, including one in Pennsylvania, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, or PHMSA, sent a warningto natural gas and hazardous liquids pipeline operators earlier this month detailing the dangers of flooding and heavy rain events.

The advisory points to “land movement, severe flooding, river scour, and river channel migration” as causes of the type of damage that can lead to leaks and explosions. It outlines current regulations, and details requirements for insuring safe pipeline construction and continued monitoring once a pipeline is in operation.

APRIL 29, 2019 | 4:33 PM

UPDATED: APRIL 30, 2019 | 11:48 AM

Sunoco buys two homes at Chester County site of Mariner East 2-related sinkhole

State and county documents show company paid $400,000 each for properties

Jon Hurdle

Sunoco Pipeline bought two homes on Lisa Drive, the Chester County development and pipeline construction site where residents have been tormented by sinkholes since late 2017, according to state and county documents obtained on Monday.

The documents said Sunoco agreed to buy the homes and land of John Mattia and his next-door neighbors, T.J. Allen and Carol Ann Allen, for $400,000 each in transactions dated April 18.

A Realty Transfer Tax Statement of Value filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue records a “total consideration” of $400,000 for each of the properties.

The home sold by the Allens is estimated with a market value of about $300,000-$330,000, according to listings by Zillow and Realtor.com. The value of the former Mattia home is estimated at about $340,000, according to Redfin, a real estate brokerage….Two of the Lisa Drive residents, Russell and Mary March, and another nearby homeowner sued Sunoco in March 2018, claiming the company had negligently drilled through porous rock near their homes without recognizing that sinkholes would likely result, and ignoring the results of a geotechnical investigation there. The suit was settled but the terms were not disclosed.

The company’s activities at Lisa Drive have been shut down twice by regulators on the grounds that public safety is endangered by construction of two new pipelines – Mariner East 2 and 2X – plus the operation of an existing natural gas liquids pipeline – Mariner East 1 – on a geologically unstable site.

State Impact PA does a LOT of coverage of the pipeline horror show and you can CLICK HERE to read some of the coverage.

Look at what pipelines has already destroyed and you understand why we don’t want anymore pipeline companies coming to town. This is why we are so uneasy about Adelphia, for example, and can’t figure out why municipalities where Adelphia will be in Chester County don’t appear to be particularly proactive on behalf of their residents.

Yesterday my friend Ginny Kerslake did not prevail in her bid to be a candidate for Chester County Commissioner in the fall. The Democrat party chose to endorse others over her. That is our great loss.

Ginny is a true warrior in this pipeline hell. A courageous, educated and ethical voice. In the fall, the woman the Democrat party decided to back will ask for your vote and tell everyone she is as dedicated as Ginny. She is not. Political opportunism is not community caring. Fortunately Josh Maxwell prevailed and he will get one of my county commissioner votes.

I know I got off on a pipeline/political segue there for a minute, and I am sorry, but it was also on my mind because the pipelines in Pennsylvania have indeed become a political hot button topic. And I think any politician that wants our vote has to prove they support residents a.k.a. people over pipelines. You know, like State Senator Andy Dinniman.

I was so sad traveling part of the pipeline path today. I feel like I am 100 million years old because I can remember where a certain tree one stood or where I used to watch a man mow his lawn when I drove by.

Energy Transfer/Sunoco has bought pain and sorrow and a path of destruction. As Pennsylvanians we deserve better. Our homes are our proverbial castles and all these pipeline companies do is destroy.

People over pipelines. Pass it on.

dear duracell, thanks for the exploding battery

Your eyes do not deceive you, that is indeed a partially melted down AAA battery by Duracell. It was taken out of a new pack of batteries recently purchased by my husband.

Sometimes I succumb to cooking gadgets and I had bought us a pair of electronic salt and pepper shakers. I had taken the housing apart on the salt and pepper shakers to insert the batteries. Each shaker takes six AAA batteries.

I had just put the batteries in one of the shakers and was going to close up the housing of the unit and I accidentally touched the side of the battery and burnt the side of my hand a little. It wasn’t a bad burn by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not what you expect when you put fresh batteries into something. I am just grateful that the damn thing didn’t explode and get battery acid in my eyes.

Duracell likes to advertise they are the most trusted brand of battery. Not so much for me anymore.

new life for an old structure and other thoughts

Life is a juxtaposition of experiences. Last night, while I was at a supervisors’ meeting at my township building, the app on my phone went off telling me there was a house on fire on the road on which I live.

In that moment my phone which was on airplane silent exploded anyway with people messaging and texting were we OK. Yes, my house was OK, but neighbors of mine didn’t fare so well. They had a fire.

It was in that moment last night as I’m first just seeing on my emergency app that there is a “structure fire” on my street with no house number that I realized how lucky we all are for our volunteer fire companies.

I literally watched firefighters leave the meeting and heard the trucks pull out and knew exactly where they were going. And that’s the thing of it, you just don’t know what it feels like until it hits a little close to home like this.

Thank goodness none of my neighbors were hurt in the home that had the fire. I can’t even begin to imagine how they are feeling and it’s a definite process to rebuild part of their home. And a lot of that process will be deeply emotional I am sure.

So after what we all experienced in my little neighborhood last night I decided today that I was going to do something happy so I decided to go to the Herb Society of America Philadelphia Unit herb sale at Historic Yellow Springs Village. It’s a bit of a rainy and yucky day but I had a wonderful time. I love Historic Yellow Springs, and the village was so alive today between the art show and sale and the plant sale.

At the herb sale I saw a friend of mine’s mother that I have not seen in years. I am such a dork I got a literally all verklempt I was so glad to see her. I also saw several members of the Chester County Ramblings Gardening Group! I also saw my friend Catherine from Yellow Springs Farm. (They have an open farm weekend this weekend!)

At the herbs sale I bought nasturtiums, and several wonderful salvias and some other things.

From the herb sale I wandered in and out of the art show and down to the Jenny Lind House. I was so excited to see the restoration in progress at the Jenny Lind. The wonderful folks at Life’s Patina have taken on Jenny Lind as their next project.

So as I said, life is a juxtaposition of experiences. From the awful to the sublime to the just happy experiences of every day life.

One of the other things that made today so special is it was so nice and enjoyable to be around so many happy pleasant people. Those herb society ladies are among the nicest women I’ve met.

Thanks for stopping by!

shades of green

Hostas and Heuchera

I have to giggle when people are talking about their gardens and complaining and saying that their garden is “too green.”

Why? Because it begs the question of is your garden too green or just too one shade of green?

Tonality. They need tonality.

There are so many shades and tones and variations of green in the garden that even in the shade garden you get color and contrast. You just have to work for it a little bit.

This beautiful red Japanese Maple is glorious now!

I have spent years looking at other people’s gardens and going through gardening books and even saving things on Pinterest, but there are so many shades of green, like there is a rainbow of other colors.

I have had to get creative with my greens because a good portion of our property is woodland and shade gardens. Along the way I have also discovered plants with other kinds of leaves – reds, variegated green and white, variegated yellow and green and so on. For example there is nothing better than the deep crazy red of a Japanese maple.

This week all of my azaleas have basically popped except for some of the deciduous and native azaleas which will bloom in a couple of weeks. The azaleas are providing quite the show this year, and it’s lovely.

My new and bare root roses are also doing well. The one in the photo with a little pink bud is a found rose that came from the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas. It’s called Caldwell Pink after the town it was discovered in. The other rose pictured is one of my new David Austins.

Not something that I have found puzzling since spring began is the die back on my dogwood shrubs. I have a lot of them. Variegated green and white red twig, red twig with solid green leaves, yellow twig, variegated yellow and green leaves and so on.

Every single one of my dogwood shrubs lost a lot of branches over the winter. They do not seem to have a pest, there are no borer holes, so I just cut off the dead stuff and will hope for the best.

Now one thing I’m really happy about is the fig tree I planted on a whim last year I thought was a goner. Today when I checked, it was sending up nice strong shoots from the base. The photo is right above this paragraph. The fig is Chicago Hardy.

Today I was also forced to give my Miss Kim lilacs a trim around the stems which are budding and flowering. I had to. These lilacs have turned into monsters this year. It’s like I never trimmed them ever before and they were so out of control I had to shape them a little.

Of course when I was doing that I found poison ivy. I am really getting sick of poison ivy this spring.

Today was a close call because I didn’t have gardening gloves on. And yes I will spray poison ivy with a poison ivy herbicide. I’m very allergic to it so I don’t screw around. And poison ivy, annoyingly enough, is popping up in places where it has never been before.

OK I am going back to look at my garden again. I’m really enjoying it this year so far. It’s nice to see where the fruits of my labor are starting to really come through. That is the thing about gardening— it’s your creation, and it is so rewarding when you have an idea and a couple years down the road you can see how your idea is literally coming to life!

My garden is my artistic canvas! Thanks for stopping by!

Poison Ivy “Rat Bastardous” (I named it)