Marshing on

My playtime is limited on my international working trips. If I want to see a little bit of the environment, I have to be inventive and time-efficient.

Bird house in marsh

My forced visit to Philadelphia airport while waiting for a connection flight provided an ideal occasion for a photography trip.

Female finch drinking

On a nice, sunny afternoon, while my baggage was safely deposited at the baggage drop, I took the airport shuttle to its first stop: a peaceful bunch of houses called Eastwick. A short walk brought me to the entrance of the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, an area of marshland for which I had very humble expectations.

John Heinz national wildlife refuge

These expectations had to be adjusted upward immediately. While the sun slowly gained heat, I was dropped in a world full of birds, deer, squirrels and butterflies.

Deer in the wildlife refuge

The swamp was in its full summer glory, preceded by the flourishing swamp rose mallow.

Close-up of swamp rose mallow

It was an unprecedentedly easy acces to all nature’s beauty: wooden boardwalks, watch-towers, viewpoints on the lakes, everything was there.

Boardwalk at John Heinz national wildlife refuge

I do not know if all USA’s suburban nature has this high standards, but this random peace of marsh bordering the international airport was definitely a jewel.


For those stuck at Philadelphia airport: I do recommend the trip, but only from a 5 hour wait onwards, as you do not want to be stressed out. The train rides every half an hour and makes the trip in 4 minutes. The refuge is on a 20 minutes walk at most from the train station. It gets nice as soon as you pass the information center.

American robin in the bath Heron on the lake at John Heinz   Swamp rose mallow Squirrel

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4 Responses to Marshing on

  1. stappersjos says:

    Nice pictures. I will remember the suggestion if I ever get stuck at Philadelphia Airport.

  2. There are a lot of great suburban nature trails across the country. What a perfect way to spend a layover! Nice shots.

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