Glade

Sylvan Sunset

Sylvan Glade, Big Mantrap Lake, Minnesota

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Backroads America: Submerged

Returned to the Wild

Section of the C&O Canal in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, along Berm Road, near Hancock, Maryland

Trees growing in the historic Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, along Berm Road, near Hancock, Maryland. By design, the 19th-century canal ran parallel to the Potomac River in the states of Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. The 185 mile canal moved coal, lumber, and agricultural products down from Cumberland, Maryland to markets in Georgetown, Virginia. Built between 1828 and 1850, plans originally called for the canal to connect to the Ohio River; exorbitant costs and construction issue resulted in the canal terminating in Cumberland. Goods began moving down the lower section of the canal in 1831. But even as canal construction continued, the newly expanding railroad system brought competition to the waterway. The canal’s best years in the early 1870s were followed by an economic depression and several devastating floods. After another flood in 1924, canal operations ceased and no further repairs undertaken. By then, the railroad had captured most of the regions trade.

In a way, though, the railroads  are responsible for the preservation of  the historic and natural features of the canal. In 1889, a flood forced the canal company into receivership, and the B&O Railroad bought the majority of the canal’s bonds. In 1938 the railroad sold the entire canal to the U.S. Government for $2 million, and it was placed under the supervision of the National Park Service. In 1961 President Eisenhower designated it a national monument, and  in 1971 Congress authorized the C & O Canal a National Historical Park. Check out the Park’s website for information  walking and biking trails, information centers, and other activities in the park.  The Western Maryland Rail Trail runs along the canal in this area.

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Quinta da Aveleda-A Garden Fantasy

Records from as early as 1671 document wine production on what is now Quinta da Aveleda. For over 300 years the Guedes family has tended the land, developing beautiful gardens as well as vinho verde and other wines. Aveleda first bottled wine in 1870.

While the family no longer lives in the 17th-century house full-time, it is used for family events.

The gardens wind through a lush forest with follies, water features, and even a goat tower, with goats. A 200- year-old eucalyptus towers over the garden.

Roses, azaleas, rhododendrans, camelias, and other flowering trees paint streaks of color against the lush greens.

Aveleda uses only grapes native to Portugal in its wine production. It is one of the three major Portuguese labels, making a variety of wines including aguardent, a type of brandy.

The Quinta is located near Penafiel, about 40 km from Porto. Guided tours of the gardens and wine tastings are available. The beautiful peacock will greet you at the tasting room.

CFFC: Trees

Plane Trees Are Not Plain

Plane trees, Courtyard of Hotel Le Cloitre St Louis, Avignon, France

Plane Trees and fountain in the Courtyard of the Hotel Le Cloitre St Louis, Avignon, France. This charming hotel is housed in a 16th century Jesuit seminary.

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K’lee & Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge: Autumn

Autumn in Austria

Castle outside of Salzburg, Austria

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OWPC: Foreground

Spruce

OWPC: Foreground

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