White Orchid

I am starting to edit my backlog of images and found this white orchid that I took in January at The Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. Orchids are appreciated anytime but in the dead of Winter when it is seven degrees they are even more beautiful.

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Winter Joy

Winter Joy

Big Bird

When I think about large birds I think of condors, pelicans, eagles and the albatross. I forget about the ostrich. Yes it is a bird but it does not fly. Thank god! They can weigh up to 400 pounds and be up to 9 feet tall. Can you image a sky full of these?

They can also sprint at almost 45 miles per hour according to the National Geographic. They are weird but fun to watch. They have a strange gait and when they sprint they make your jaw drop. They share a large habitat in the Highland Park Zoo of Pittsburgh where this picture was taken.

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Big Bird

Big Bird

King of the Hill

As I posted earlier this week, “I was kind of nervous about seeing the Pittsburgh Zoo remembering the cages where animals would just pace. I remember the caged Gorillas would spit at the people and throw their scat at the crowds.”

Now the Gorilla Family ranges over a whole hillside and can be seen from multiple locations. I saw at least five gorillas included this guy who followed me with his eyes as we walked around the hill.

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King of the Hill

King of the Hill

Flamingo Fight!

At the Pittsburgh Zoo in Highland Park I was struck about how fierce the Flamingos were when they squabbled. I was also struck at how little they looked like the plastic ones that adorn people’s lawns. I did not alter the color on this images but can honestly say I remembered Flamingos as being less vibrant in color. It may have something to do with what their diet is but I honestly don’t know. Maybe its because I had cataract surgery.

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Flamingo Fight!

Flamingo Fight!

The Highland Park Zoo

Our rediscovery of Pittsburgh continues as we ventured to the Highland Park Zoo for our first visit since the 1970’s. This is the Zoo we grew up with. We both remember walking up the ramps and steps before the giant escalator was built.

I kind of soured to Zoos as an adult. We took our daughter to zoos as a child but I ultimately would become depressed after seeing neurotic animal behavior from being in captivity. As adults we went to the San Diego Zoo and The San Antonio Zoo which are both world class in construction of animal habitats that are more nurturing to the captive animals.

I was kind of nervous about seeing the Pittsburgh Zoo remembering the cages where animals would just pace. I remember the caged Gorillas would spit at the people and throw their scat at the crowds. Who could blame them. However they have done wonders with this zoo and Pittsburgh can be proud of this space.

They still need to do some work on enlarging some of the habitats like the Sea Lion and Otter exhibits. However the new habitats and the Aquarium are really wonderful! For a small city Zoo it is worth the visit.

This is a baby gorilla in the new habitat for these animals. A far cry from the old smelly gages.

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The Pittsburgh Zoo

The Pittsburgh Zoo

Storm Clouds Over The Capitol

The U.S.Capitol is currently being renovated inside and out. They are working hard to have it ready for the inauguration next January. Too bad few inside the building are working at anything except making themselves richer and being errand boys for the lobbyists that own them. Sigh. Sorry, I really do try to keep politics off this blog.

The building is beautiful and so is its history. This is an HDR merge photo of the exterior front.

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Storm Clouds over the Capitol

Storm Clouds over the Capitol

The Washington Monument

Washington D.C. has a lot of wonderful monuments. The Lincoln and Jefferson are fantastic and so are the newer monuments. However, The Washington Monument is our Eiffel Tower and iconic of our democracy. It is also fitting since George Washington was the father of our country. Not just because he was the first President.

People wanted George Washington to be King but he said we had just worked to overthrow a King and we didn’t need another. People wanted him to rule the country as a General but he resigned his commission and insisted that the Military and The Government had to be separate. Along with Jefferson and many others he developed our Constitution and resigned his Army commission to become our first President. In his final speech he warned us about political parties and oligarchy. Too bad we didn’t listen.

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The Washington Monument

The Washington Monument