Thursday, February 7, 2019

Maryland - Day 6 - Salisbury

Pocomoke River State Park
Wednesday, 6 February 2019
today's route
I went back through Snow Hill as being the most direct route to the town of Salisbury, today's sight to see.  Salisbury is the largest town in the Maryland part of the Delmarva Peninsula - all of 30,000 people.

The Pocomoke River that runs through this state park also runs through Snow Hill.  The state of Maryland has designated it "wild and scenic," and maybe you can see it is scenic, even during winter when there isn't much green.

The park ranger here told me there're a lot of oak and sweet gum trees, in addition to cypress and pine.  The river runs through the Great Cypress Swamp in this part of Maryland, and I have actually been seeing plenty of cypress here and there.  I'm guessing, though, that much of the swamp got drained long ago for farmland.

Maryland license plates

I found all of these in the same parking lot in about equal proportions.  As far as I've been able to see, they're all in current use, though it may be that some are getting phased out over time.

Historic Salisbury
The town's been around for 150 years or more and still has quite a few old houses and other buildings.  I didn't take any photos because I found this website that has some nice ones.  I saw many of the houses the website shows.  Note especially the Perry-Cooper House - it's stunning in real life - a photo doesn't do it justice.

I passed the county courthouse and hoped there'd be a photo online because I couldn't stop anywhere and it's an amazing old building.  Fortunately, I found one.  You can tell the photo is downright ancient, but the building still looks like this.  It's surrounded by other buildings now, but it's still a showstopper.

Many of Salisbury's intersections - actually, many of them in this whole area - have left turn lanes that are set back from the intersection quite a way.  It's obviously to allow more room for the oncoming left turning traffic on these narrow streets and such a simple solution, though I haven't seen it much in other states.

I think Salisbury is undergoing some updating because I saw an area of at least one block long that had been blocked off as a pedestrian mall.  Very attractive.

Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art
Lemuel (1896-1984) and Stephen (1895-1976) Ward lived their entire lives in Crisfield (where I was 2 days ago).  They were barbers, also members of a barbershop quartet (Sons of the Bay), and woodcarvers.  At first they carved duck decoys to help catch food for the family to eat, but as time went on they turned more and more to decorative carving.  After the advent of plastic in 1950, that's what they did exclusively.

Considering they both quit school in the elementary grades to help put food on the table, it may be remarkable that they both eventually received honorary college degrees and were written about in National Geographic three times, among other publications.  This museum is one of the many honors accorded them, and it's a remarkable place.

There's one room devoted to the 2 brothers, with items from their workshop and their lives as well as many samples of their carvings.  But mostly the museum showcases the carvings of others, and the quality of that work is stunning.  Many times I had to look very very closely to see that these weren't made of feathers but were actually painted wood.
Dusting Bobwhite - 1974

Blue Jays - 1987 Best in the World

Kestrel - 1996 Best in the World

Eider Hen and Chick - 1998 Best in the World

Marvelous Spatuletail Hummingbird
The carver of the hummingbird was in the 16-17 year old range.

The Eider chick looks fuzzy and I found it impossible to believe it had been carved of wood.  So I asked and learned that it hadn't: it was made of wire bristle.  Reassuring, actually, because wood seemed impossible.

And, on the lighter side:

And to end my trip to the museum:

No comments:

Post a Comment