Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Antietam Morning

My favorite time of day at the battlefield is early morning. The visitors are still having breakfast back at their motels, rangers are still on their first cup of coffee or starting the long commute, and the farmers who lease acreage on the battlefield have already been at it for three hours or so, their tractors and wagons chugging and lumbering down the roads and lanes.
When the sun comes over the mountain, at least this time of year, you'll see a park truck making the rounds to unlock the observation tower gate, open Dunker Church, empty trash bins and start the daily routine of keeping the park looking beautiful.
Some mornings we have living history groups who have been invited to spend the night on the field to provide a weekend of programming for park visitors. Those are the mornings when you can smell breakfast fires, coffee, and sizzling ham (which they always offer).

In the cool air the earlybirds of the neighborhood can be seen walking or jogging the park roads. Everybody waves.

The roulette farm pond turns all gold.

To look at this field today one can hardly believe what happened here not all that long ago.

Good morning.

Ranger Mannie

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