Nature Photography

Photo Essay: Westtown School

When I was growing up, Westtown was that hippie-freak Quaker school at the end of the street. The long hair and love beads crowd were quite the contrast to the buttoned down, straight-laced kids in my neighborhood.

I can remember one of the moms making jokes about “Westtown’s finest” whenever she saw students heading away from campus toward the bus stop. They were headed toward Philadelphia, and judging from their expressions, they couldn’t wait to get there.

Then, as now, the Westtown campus was surrounded by farm fields and forests. It’s not a hotbed of excitement for teenagers.

After I left home and went to the University of Michigan, I met a graduate student who’d gone to Westtown during the hippie-freak era. She regaled me with tales of her efforts to end the Vietnam War by doing door-knocking campaigns – in my neighborhood.

Apparently, her antiwar activities ran afoul of what she called the Quaker Vatican, and she was told to tone things down. Me? I was amazed that there was anything conservative on the Westtown campus, much less a Quaker Vatican. And, no, I don’t recall her ever knocking on my family’s front door.

Fast-forward to the present, and Westtown is now a pricey prep school – I’ve heard that the tuition is more than $20,000 a year. Not the sort of school that many of the neighbors can afford, but Westtown is beloved for the fact that it has kept much of its 600-acre campus free of development.

Part of the open space is leased to Pete’s Produce Farm, which does quite a brisk business. Looks like Pete is growing some daikon radish…

Nature photography - daikon radish growing in field, Westtown, Pennsylvania

Care for a hike? Plenty of trails to choose from, and some of them even offer challenges like trees to hurdle and obstacle courses to conquer…

Nature photography - fallen beech tree, Westtown, Pennsylvania

Nature photography - tire swing obstacle course in the woods, Westtown, Pennsylvania

Do be on the lookout for deer and hunters during the annual hunt…

Nature photography - deer hunt marker on beech tree, Westtown, Pennsylvania

And make sure to spend some time hiking around Westtown Lake…

Architectural photography - Westtown Lake boat house, Pennsylvania

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