Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Woodpeckers, Herons, Bottles and Bricks

What you won't see here is a woodpecker. They were too high in the greenwood to be seen. But you should have heard them this morning along the Patapsco river between the Daniels dam and the Davis tunnel. They are thriving there. Eight o'clock must be the breakfast hour for pecker heads. They were hammering away all around me on both sides of the river for an entire hour. Then it stopped. Breakfast over. Things got quiet as a church on Tuesday morning.

This Great Blue Heron, which I stalked in both directions of my hike was a slow eater in comparison to the wood knockers. Ol' Blue was just patiently standing, strutting and strolling in the shallow river for at least two and a half hours, with an ocassional short flight to a new spot. The shallow, slow moving Patapsco must be a near perfect habitat for slow, patient, wading herons.

Even slower and more patient than herons are bottles and brick that have waited in the dirt a hundred years for me to find them. I returned today to the spot I wrote about on May 6th.  This time I looked more closely at the old bottles and bricks I noticed on my first visit. I found five antique beer bottles, all with their necks broken off. Three were from the Baltimore brewery, Gottlieb Bauernschmidt Straus (GBS), which existed from 1901 to 1920. The other two were from the Globe Brewery, that both preceded and succeeded GBS. All were embossed bottles. You can see cleaned up examples of them here as, # 11 and # 1. And a history of The Globe Brewing Company here. Based on the company history and the bottle designs I believe my previous guess that they are from circa 1906 is pretty accurate.


At this site I saw plain unmarked red clay building bricks and two kinds of white fire bricks stamped with a name. One was stamped or impressed with SAVAGE and the other with UNION. I believe they were likely manufactured by The Savage Fire Brick Company of Keystone Junction in Somerset County, PA. You can actually see illustrations of these two brick with the embossed names in the company's 1899 catalog. Again confirming my estimated dating of the site to the first decade of the twentieth century.