Down to Earth Romance

Archive for the ‘Historical Sites in Pennsylvania’ Category

Halloween Trick or Tree–t! #Halloween #photography


Saw this weird, spooky tree and thought of Halloween when I took this picture.

Have a fun day!


Photo copyright Adele Downs

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Rapunzel’s Tower by Adele Downs #photography

Photo copyright Adele Downs 2017

This spectacular tower is situated inside Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA and the curved stairs inside can be climbed. The gardens were built by the late Pierre DuPont in the early 20th century.

Colonial Log House Celebrates Independence Day

Happy Independence Day, America!

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This circa 1700 Colonial era log house, still preserved today in Downingtown, Pennsylvania by the Historical Commission, is open to visitors on July Fourth each year during the Good Neighbor Day holiday celebration.

Photo copyright Adele Downs 2016-17

Silent Night by Adele Downs #Foto_Friday


Photo copyright Adele Downs 2016

Ancient Tree by Adele Downs #Foto_Friday


Photo copyright Adele Downs 2016

Layered Flowers by Adele Downs #Foto_Friday


Photo copyright Adele Downs

Independence Day at Colonial Log House

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Happy Independence Day, America!

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This circa 1700 Colonial era log house, still preserved today in Downingtown, Pennsylvania by the Historical Commission, is open to visitors on Memorial Day and July Fourth each year.

Photo copyright Adele Downs 2016

Rose Wall by Adele Downs #Foto_Friday


Photo copyright Adele Downs 2016


Turtle Ear Muffs by Adele Downs #Foto_Friday


Photo copyright Adele Downs

Happy New Year 2016 From Pennsylvania! #Foto_Friday

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to a positive, productive year in 2016. During the holidays, I took some time off from writing new material and spent most of my time enjoying family and friends, taking photographs for fun, and preparing completed novels for submission to publishers. As soon as I sign new book contracts, I’ll let you know. I’m excited about the year ahead!

One of my New Year’s resolution begins today with my first Foto_Friday. Since many of my blog subscribers seem to enjoy my original photographs, I’ve decided to post a picture every Friday through 2016. The only exceptions will be if a guest author visits…or I have a new release… or I forget. Lol. You know how New Year’s resolutions tend to wane…but if you continue to enjoy my pictures, I’ll continue to post them.

Please let me know if you enjoy this new feature. Positive feedback is a great motivator.


Cactus is not native to Pennsylvania, but this holiday cactus “tree” with twinkle lights at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square fits right in. Strange looking, but beautiful.

Photo copyright Adele Downs 2016

Christmas at Longwood Gardens

Friends and I spent the day at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, to enjoy the spectacular Christmas displays for which they’re renowned. I arrived with my digital camera in hand, prepared to take dozens of equally spectacular pictures, and then…after the first shot…my battery died. I’d checked the battery beforehand, and thought it was okay, but I was mistaken. Grrr. Lesson learned. Always carry a spare.

So…I improvised, and spent the afternoon taking pictures with my iPhone 5C. Not ideal, but doable. When I got home, I edited the photos with a picture program. I hope you enjoy them. Longwood Gardens is one of the most beautiful places in the country, and if you visit Pennsylvania, you won’t want to miss it.

I wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas, and a wonderful holiday season.






Photographs copyright Adele Downs 2015

Halloween Tree, Original Photo


One of the weirdest trees I’ve ever seen and the perfect subject for a Halloween photo.

Happy Halloween, all!


Photo copyright Adele Downs

Visit my website at 

Henry David Thoreau Cabin in The Woods @TylerArboretum

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My husband and I spent a beautiful summer day at the Tyler Arboretum in Media, Pennsylvania, and during our walk along the trails, came upon this cabin hidden in the woods.


The arboretum staff recreated an exact replica of American poet Henry David Thoreau‘s tiny home beside Walden Pond in Massachusetts.


Thoreau lived simply for two years and two months (1845-1847) in the one-room cabin he built himself, to write without distractions, on land owned by his good friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. If you look closely at the bottom right of this photo you’ll notice a spot of blue–the pond behind the cabin.

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One room with a fireplace, a bench to sit on, and a loft above him to sleep. This single room was re-recreated in the exact dimensions and style of the original home on Walden Pond. I imagine there was a table inside too, but little room for anything else. When I took this photo, I was standing inside the open doorway.

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Sleeping loft after a day of writing.

I think all writers look for a sanctuary in which to write. Though my romance novels couldn’t be more different from the writings of Thoreau, I felt a connection to his cabin and its surroundings because I understood his need for solitude. The cabin in the woods at Walden Pond was the highlight of my visit to the Tyler Arboretum and a place I’ll always remember.


Thoreau wrote:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Colonial Era Log Cabin–Downingtown’s Treasure

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Happy Independence Day, America!

One of the treasures of Downingtown, PA, the oldest town in Chester County, is the circa 1701 log house faithfully preserved by the borough. The Downingtown Log House opens to the public a few times a year–usually on Memorial Day, July 4, and at Christmas to allow visitors a glimpse of life during the Colonial era. Also pictured is a docent dressed in period costume.

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The structure is preserved with historically accurate whitewash typical of that period. The doors and windows of the cabin were cut small to keep the heat inside for the family that lived there. Pennsylvania winters can be bitterly cold.

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The log cabin’s centerpiece–the enormous walk-in fireplace used for cooking and heating.

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The far corner of the main level.

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Bottles, dishes, and pots from the 1700’s and 1800’s.

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Pottery from the era.

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Items found in and around the cabin’s foundation. The log house was moved to higher ground in 1988 from its original location by a stream when floodwaters threatened to destroy the structure.

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The original floor and the walls of a second floor bedroom as they looked in 1701.

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Another bedroom on the cabin’s second floor. There is a weight limit on the upstairs level, due to the age of the wood flooring. After stooping to climb a steep, low, narrow, and sharply angled set of stairs, four of us stood on the top floor, each taking a different area so as not to stress the boards.

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The original wood flooring and wall beams circa 1701.

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Copy of the petition by Thomas Moore for a tavern license, 1717.


I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon at the Downingtown Log House and recommend visiting this piece of American history.

For more information: Log House

Orchids, Original Photographs

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Original photographs taken with my Fuji digital camera at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA.

Photos copyright Adele Downs.

What Gunnar’s Old Norse Alfheim Might Look Like, Photos

Gunnar, the hero of HER IMMORTAL VIKING, comes from Alfheim, the place in Norse mythology between heaven and earth, in the west beyond the seas. Though my story is contemporary and written wholly from my imagination, the gods, Light Elves, Dwarves, and demi-gods in the tale were inspired by ancient lore.

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As I wrote my novella, I imagined what Alfheim (Elf Land) might look like and painted word images on the pages. On one of my trips to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, I photographed scenes that brought my setting to life.

Enjoy my vision of Alfheim.

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Coming Tuesday, February 24, 2015!

SUMMERTIME Photos To Brighten Your Winter

Snow has blanketed Pennsylvania, making me long to see greenery. If you’re like me, you’re not a fan of winter and count the days until spring arrives.

Until the warm weather returns, these original summertime pictures taken with my Fuji digital camera might brighten your winter blues. Enjoy!

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Chocolate and Wine Tasting at Chaddsford Winery

OMG, I had no idea wine tasted great with chocolate! All my life I thought wine was meant for salty foods like cheese and crackers or as a delicious beverage with dinner. Boy, was I missing out! I need a subscription to Wine Spectator.

I took a day off from writing to celebrate the completion of another manuscript (Yay!) and visited the Chaddsford Winery in Chadds Ford, PA. Hubby and I did something completely new and fun with the winery’s “Wine and Chocolate Tasting” event. It’s not every day we give ourselves permission to drink seven kinds of wine, each paired with a specific piece of chocolate to complement the flavors, so on this day we were all in!



Who knew a light, crisp white wine paired well with dark chocolate butter creams; that sweet and spicy apple wine tasted great with milk chocolate maple creams; or a semi-sweet red needed milk chocolate caramel? Mmmm.

I’d like to know whose job it is to sip wine and nibble chocolate and pair them for wine tasting events. Sign me up for that job, please!


My favorite wines were the chilled Proprietors Reserve White (light, crisp, and clean. Perfect for sipping while cooking dinner) and the Spiced Apple, served warm. We bought bottles of  both and will serve the Spiced Apple at our Thanksgiving table. I think it will be the best wine we’ve ever offered our holiday guests.



We enjoyed our afternoon wine tasting event and will definitely visit again.

I love my home state of Pennsylvania. There’s so much to see and do here!


We had a wonderful visit to Highland Orchards in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

I took a break after a busy release week for my new book NATURALLY YOURS and relaxed with my husband at Highland Orchards, a crown jewel of Chester County, Pennsylvania. People travel from around the state to pick their own apples and other fruits or to buy them direct from the Highland market. The staff bakes pies, cakes, breads, and their signature apple cider donuts every day. (I especially like to eat the apple cider donuts while they’re still warm.) They offer a wide variety of homemade jams, preserves, butters, relishes and more. Take a hay ride, visit the children’s zoo, or walk the corn maze. Well worth the stop. I gotta’ say; I love living in my home state.

These photos were taken with my little Fuji FinePix digital camera. Am I making you hungry?



 Hungry yet?

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  Is your mouth watering?

Photos of Beautiful Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA was the perfect place to spend a day to celebrate. After turning in my latest manuscript HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY for November 2014 release, my husband and I took a drive to enjoy a relaxing day of beauty and sunshine. We strolled through miles of gardens, ate lunch in the conservatory, and took hundreds of photographs. Here are some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them.


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Photographs by author Adele Downs and may not be copied or otherwise used without permission.

Firehouse Lunch at Molly Maguires

Since two of my books, Santa To The Rescue and the upcoming Naturally Yours, feature firefighter and paramedic heroes from the fictional Appleton Fire Station, I thought it would be fun to have lunch at Molly Maguire’s Irish Pub in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. The restaurant was built in 2013 inside the original location of the Minquas Fire Company, established in 1908. I’m pleased to say that hubby and I enjoyed our visit.

The most striking features of Molly Maguire’s are the beautiful handcrafted bar and the storefront imported from Ireland. Inside the restaurant, firehouse mementoes grace original walls made of stone or plaster. Gleaming hardwood floors lead to dining rooms or semi-private alcoves where guests can relax in relative solitude. Hubby and I sat at a table in the main area by the bar. Our food was delicious and the service was excellent. Our server, Jessica, was pleasant and attentive. We will definitely return.

As I’ve shown many times on this blog, there’s always something fun to see and do in Pennsylvania. Here are pictures I took during our visit to Molly’s.















Pennsylvania Walking Trails–Photos

Pennsylvania is known for its mountains, rivers, forests and rich Colonial history. I was born and raised here, and am constantly amazed by all there is to see and do. I’ve posted many pictures of places and events in my home state and neighboring Delaware on this blog, which, in addition to my published books, seem to be emerging as its themes.

The harsh Pennsylvania winter weather and significant snowstorms of 2013-2014 have sometimes been followed by 50 degree days. During the most recent warm up, my husband and I took advantage of the sunshine and decided to take our routine walk along the Brandywine River trails. To our surprise, the most beautiful paths we’ve ever found were only 1.5 miles from our house! It must be true that sometimes the best things in life can be found in our own backyard.

Here are some of the pictures I shot along the way. I hope you enjoy them.

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1701 Log House in The Oldest Town

Downingtown is the oldest town in Chester County, Pennsylvania. I thought you might enjoy seeing photographs of a historical site there, built in 1701. The Log House has been lovingly maintained through the centuries and is currently dressed for Christmas. Imagine living in these tiny quarters with your family.

I took these photographs on my travels. Enjoy!

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(Photos are the property of author Adele Downs and may not be copied, reposted, or reproduced without permission.)

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