Jun 6



One of the hottest topics of conversation at Gettysburg National Military Park are the recent rains, the growth of vegetation, and the proliferation of ticks. This photgraph was taken in the Pickett’s Charge fields near the Virginia State monument. Cemetery Hill is in the background. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 4:00 PM on Friday, June 5, 2009.

Warm weather and the recent rains in our area have made the grass grow at a much greater rate than usual, and the National Park Service admits that they have had a difficult time keeping up with the mowing. The wet weather and long grasses have also brought many ticks to the battlefield, and the undergrowth makes it difficult to see through the woods. The grass on the site of the old Electric Map Visitor Center looks good, however.



If you were thinking about walking the Pickett’s Charge fields recently, there are some challenges you might wish to consider. Near the Virginia State monument are three primary paths to cross the fields. This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:00 PM on Friday, June 5, 2009.



You could choose to take the path on the north side of the monument near the location of the Madison Light Artillery. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:00 PM on Friday, June 5, 2009.



This path is on the northern side of the fence line. As the fence ends in the background, the single tree to the right is on Cemetery Ridge at the famous outer “Angle” of the stone wall. The next group of trees to the right is the “copse” or “clump” of trees. The red Codori Barn is in the right background. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:00 PM on Friday, June 5, 2009.



The path doesn’t look too bad, but the grass on either side is harboring thousands (millions?) of ticks. School groups we took across these fields in the last couple of weeks have had almost everyone having at least one tick on them at the end of the walk. More than a few individuals had multiple ticks. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:00 PM on Friday, June 5, 2009.



The other two paths created to cross the Pickett’s Charge fields are accessed on the right or south side of the Virginia State monument. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, May 19, 2009.



It certainly looks easy at the beginning as one walks on the asphalt pathway. On the way to where the grass pathways begin, something else has caught our eye. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, May 19, 2009.



As we have pointed out in a post about undergrowth last year, this is not the view that the soldiers would have had. The fences look great, and they would have been the same type of fences that would have been in this area in 1863… This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:00 PM on Friday, June 5, 2009.



… but the undergrowth in the woods would not have been here in the 1860s. Farmers built these fences not to fence their animals in, but to fence animals out of their crops. This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:00 PM on Friday, June 5, 2009.



By the way, we are still walking along the asphalt pathway. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, May 19, 2009.



The farmers’ animals would have been roaming through the woods eating all this undergrowth. So with all the recent progress in restoring the battlefield closer to its 1863 appearance, this challenge still remains. The soldiers would have been able to see much farther through the woods than we are today (except, of course, for all the smoke, battle action, and thousands of other soldiers). Too many visitors receive the impression, by looking at scenes like these, that the Battle of Gettysburg was close to jungle warfare in these woods.  It was not. To help present the correct interpretive message about the landscape, the undergrowth needs to be cleared. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, May 19, 2009.



We’re now approaching the wayside exhibit, audio presentation, and the end of the asphalt pathway. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:00 PM on Friday, June 5, 2009.



There is a path straight ahead on the other (east) side of the wayside exhibit. The “Copse of Trees” is in the background directly above the path. Oh yeah, and the recent rains means that there are frequent locations where water is standing in the fields as you can see at the bottom of the path. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:00 PM on Friday, June 5, 2009.



The third Pickett’s Charge path from the Virginia Monument is on the other side of this cannon. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:00 PM on Friday, June 5, 2009.



This path is in need of mowing In the background, when the fence disappears, the path goes to the left, or northeast towards the Codori Barn. The Codori Barn is in the left background. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:00 PM on Friday, June 5, 2009.



The rain has also helped the grass at the location of the old Electric Map Visitor Center on the Taneytown Road. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 30, 2009.



The largest area where the grass is having problems is this straw covered spot near the Taneytown Road. This view was taken facing west at approximately 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 30, 2009.



The Cyclorama parking lot is in the left background. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 30, 2009.



The Cyclorama parking lot is in the background. This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:30 PM on Saturday, May 30, 2009.



This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Saturday, May 30, 2009.



The tree which used to be located beside the restrooms with the outdoor entrances is still standing. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Saturday, May 30, 2009.



The National Cemetery is in the background. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:30 PM on Saturday, May 30, 2009.



The same view from closer to Steinwehr Avenue. The grass in the foreground is much longer than the grass inside the fence. This view was taken facing east at approximately 4:30 PM on Saturday, May 30, 2009.



The length of this grass led to complaints from the National Park Service’s neighbors in the Steinwehr Avenue area. That was last year.  They can probably expect to receive those same complaints this year. This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:30 PM on Saturday, May 30, 2009.



This photograph was taken from the old Cyclorama parking area. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Saturday, May 30, 2009.

See the following related posts:

Old NPS Visitor Center Update, Grass Arrives on May 16, 2009.
Old NPS Visitor Center Update, More Demolition Pictures, Museum Images on May 12, 2009.
Last Showing Electric Map, Electric Map Demolition, Old NPS VC Update on May 4, 2009.
Old Visitor Center Restoration Update and some Demolition “Action” Shots on April 27, 2009.
Old NPS Visitor Center and William Patterson House Updates on April 21, 2009.
William Patterson House and Old National Park Service Visitor Center Updates on April 15, 2009.
Culp’s Hill Part 2 with LBG Charlie Fennel, and Visitor Center Demolition #13 on April 10, 2009.
Demolition of the Old Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center Update #12 on April 8, 2009.
Demolition of the Old Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center Update #11 on April 7, 2009.
Demolition of the Old Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center Update #10 on April 6, 2009.
Demolition of the Old Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center Update #9 on April 4, 2009.
Demolition of the Old Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center Update #8 on April 3, 2009.
Demolition of the Old Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center Update #7 on April 2, 2009.
Demolition of the Old Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center Update #6 on April 1, 2009.
Demolition of the Old Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center Update #5 on March 31, 2009.
Demolition of the Old Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center Update #4 on March 27, 2009.
Demolition of the Old Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center Update #3 on March 26, 2009.
Demolition of the Old Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center Update #2 on March 25, 2009.
Demolition of the Old Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center Begins on March 24, 2009.
Cyclorama Construction Fencing: Completed on North Side, Redone on West Side on March 13, 2009.
A Fence Too Far: Cyclorama Construction Fencing Completed on West Side on March 1, 2009.
Construction Fences Arrive at Old Visitor Centers on February 27, 2009.
Old Visitor Center Lawn in Limbo on May 28, 2008.
Lights Out at the Electric Map on April 13, 2008.
Moving Day at the Gettysburg Visitor Center on April 12, 2008.
An Emptiness at the Visitor Center on March 31, 2008.
Gettysburg Guide Room: The Final Days on March 8, 2008.
A Sunday Afternoon Walk Around the Old Gettysburg Visitor Center on February 24, 2008.


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