What Makes a Cottage Magical?

#NaBloPoMo #Winterthur#3 #Delawaretrip

The odd-shaped thatched roof?

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Week 46 Roofs

It was morning; through the high window I saw the pure, bright blue of the sky as it hovered cheerfully over the long roofs of the neighboring houses. It too seemed full of joy, as if it had special plans, and had put on its finest clothes for the occasion.                Herman Hesse

On this September day the sky, though blue, filtered through the trees until it became transparent, blending into the enchantment of the forest in the Winterthur Gardens.

I looked for the pictures I remembered taking on that magical day as I strolled with Hal, but they weren’t there. Have you ever had that happen?

You know, you just know, that picture is somewhere, but it’s not.

I am persistent. I found the picture of the medieval English-style roof I wanted to share with you. But it’s a video! Woe is me!

This quick post turned into a two-hour ordeal. I shortened the video (a new skill). Next, I added some beautiful bird sounds chirping after the rain cleared the air that I downloaded for free. Google helped me learn how to erase my own boring intriguing narration which I had already chopped to bits when I cropped the video. Finally, I uploaded it to YouTube.

If you are wondering about the woven branches, I’m not standing on a twig roof shooting this video. Hal and I are standing opposite the enchanted cottage in a gigantic roofless bird’s nest replete with three wooden eggs the shape of king-sized watermelons.

The little box on my YouTube channel tells me that I now have 56 videos. Guess how many followers I have of my YouTube channel?

Back to the thatched roof

Once I finished the video, I learned about thatched roofs. I looked for roof shapes so I could be more precise. After I searched through all the common roof shapes, thatched and cottage finally paired.

Guess what?

Thatched roofs are odd-shaped. Duh! No wonder they are so quaint.

Although they once denoted poverty, the wealthy put thatched roofs on their homes to be more eco-friendly. Did you know that thatched roofs can last up to 50 years? The English used thatched roofs from available resources such as dried vegetation like straw, water reed, sedge, rushes, or heather. Experts contend that thatched roofs do not burn as easily as some roofing materials.

Maybe it’s thatched, and maybe it’s not

This simple Woodlake home looks elegant with a cottage-style roof.

 English cottage style
English cottage style

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So what do you think makes a cottage magical?

Travel theme: Seasonal

#Delaware Trip Winterthur Gardens #2

A Summer Stroll

In Winterthur Garden visit #1, we visited began our tour in the Enchanted Woods. I arrived in Delaware on September 1, too late for spring flowers, and too early for fall trees. Did I enjoy it anyway?

You bet. I hope you will, too.

“Let’s start at the very beginning…A very good place to start.”

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Chandler Farms /Winterthur Gardens

Too Many Choices!

I did not worry about getting lost with all these signs. - I should have!
I did not worry about getting lost with all these signs. – I should have!

Down by the Quarry Garden

On the first day we walked, we headed towards the Quarry Garden. We walked mostly in the shade which meant that we walked for hours in about 75-degree weather. This is heaven for me because it is 75 degrees where I live for about two hours, four days a year.

Down by the quarry
Down by the quarry

We had not walked too far when Hal informed me that when he walked with his young Chinese friends, they took off and left him to take pictures while he checked out the various benches. I was quick to take a hint, and I headed off to the Quarry.

Henry Francis duPont wanted the view kept open forever. It's easy to see why.
Henry Francis duPont wanted the view kept open forever. It’s easy to see why.
Could I be on the yellow brick road? It felt that magical.
Could I be on the yellow brick road? It felt that magical.

As you can see, the gardens were not crowded. We ran into another couple out on their morning walk. A couple of families, thousands of crickets, birds, and other noise makers were there, but other than that we had the entire 1,000 acres to ourselves.

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Stones are everywhere in Delaware: streets, houses, churches, fences, and pathways. The quarry must have done a lucrative business. I could not wait to get closer to the stream.

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I maneuvered myself along the stone path by the water without falling one time. Since I can fall just standing still, this is quite an accomplishment. I never stand near cliffs or on tall bridges without railings.

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Focus on Flowers

Age is not the reason I struggle with names of plants, in fact, names of almost anything. Details escape me. I’m too busy taking in the vista. I hope you’ll forgive me and just enjoy these summer flowers also.

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The delicate purple tips fit perfectly on the mild summer day. I traveled light on this trip so I took all these pictures with my iPhone.

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The garden was more natural, not groomed like Longwood Gardens. Hal said he would rather have a job here.

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The water trickled down the rocks into a larger stream eventually winding down to the quarry lake. As a child, I would have dipped my feet into the water and squished muddy sand in between my toes. I contented myself with admiring flowers.

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Time slipped by quickly. I did not worry about Hal. What I really mean is that I forgot about him, but eventually I came back to reality and headed up the hill towards the Enchanted Woods where he waited on a bench watching the kids playing. As I ambled back, every flower along the path called out like a child, “Look at me, Marsha. Take my picture.” So I did.

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They did not stay segregated like they were at Longwood Gardens but mingled freely together.

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Some of them looked large in the picture but do not be fooled. They were tiny.

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If these were children you would rumple their heads, they’re so tiny and sweet. Since they are flowers, I let them be.

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As I approached the top of the knoll, I could see Hal enjoying a bench, but I still did not hurry. He seemed to enjoy the fact that it took me so long to get back. We came back for another walk two days later.

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Thanks for joining us on our seasonal stroll. Thank you, Hal for such a wonderful day.

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Be sure to visit Alisa at “Where’s my backpack?” if you have some seasonal pictures you would like to post.

 

WP Photo Challenge: Edge

#Delaware trip #Winterthur Gardens#1

Hi, I’m Marsha, sitting on the edge of my seat at the edge of the Enchanted Woods at Winterthur Gardens near Hockessin, DE.

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I asked Cousin Hal to snap a picture of me. He got 139 bursts of me. Too many hehehe! Not a bad picture for someone who is nearly blind. 

More than one of the du Pont boys who owned DuPont Chemical Company, where my mother’s cousin Hal worked, loved gardens. We were so glad he did as we meandered the broad path around the gardens for about three hours. Yes, we were lost at times. This map did not help. 🙂

winterthur-map

Winterthur’s 1,000 acres encompass rolling hills, streams, meadows, and forests. Founder Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) developed an appreciation of nature as a boy that served as the basis for his life’s work in the garden.”

Off the edge of the pathway at a middle point in the 1,000 acres of Winterthur was an Enchanted Woods.

 

Do you dare to cross the troll bridge?
Do you dare to cross the troll bridge?

Come on chickens. We crossed the troll bridge into the Enchanted Woods. First, let me introduce you to Hal. As some of you already know he’s 91. In his day he engineered hard plastics like you would find in car engines. Although now he is at the losing edge of blindness, he walked three hours guiding me through the gardens at Winterthur. (The blind leading the blind at times)

As we entered the Woods Hal could not resist the first hands-on activity for us kids.

I felt like a kid here. At one edge was a fairy ring. Hal told me not to get too close. But, Hal is blind. What does he know, right?  Who can resist advice like that?

Along the edge of the path was Fairy Ring.
Nothing happened. Did I dare?

I was clearly standing on the edge. What would you do with a sign like that? You can’t read it either, can you? hahaha

Uh oh!
NEVER STEP INSIDE A FAIRY RING! Uh oh!

Soon I was covered in a mist that spread through the gardens. Everyone passing by knew I had disobeyed the sign. I hoped these were good fairies.

What happened here. Did the fairies cut down the trees? Maybe the trolls did it.
What happened here. Did the fairies cut down the trees? Maybe the trolls did it.

Here are a few more pictures of the fairy ring. These giant concrete mushrooms trapped several gleeful young children. We could hear laughter and see mist filtering through the trees as we walked around.

Like magic the mist started.
Like magic, the mist started.
Watch out!
Watch out!
Whew! I escaped unharmed.
Whew! I escaped unharmed, but those little spirits chased me for a while.

Lucky for me I run fast! 🙂 That’s it for now. More later.

Did you enjoy your short tour? Did I keep you on the edge of your seat?

For more edgy stories click below.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016