Solace at The Phipps

Another week and spring is three weeks old with freezing temperatures and snow once again on the way. There is only one place in Pittsburgh you can really see Spring today and that is at the Phipps Conservatory Spring Flower Show.

This plant has always amazed me because of its texture and the way it refracts light waves. At certain times of day it is almost as if you can see into the leaf structure. So if like me you find the current Spring weather depressing head over to the Phipps to take shelter from the storm.

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Fan Palm at The Phipps

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Global Warming Cactus

We have had this Cactus for at least ten years. It use to bloom every December like clockwork. You know when it use to snow in December. Last few years it began to bloom around Thanksgiving. This year is the first year in bloomed in October. I figure if global warming continues it will soon be a Memorial Day Cactus.

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Global Warming Cactus

Death in The Desert

The saguaro cactus species is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, and the Mexican State of Sonora. It can grow to be over 40 feet and can live up to 150 years. They grow their first “arm” at 50 years of age

In 1994, Saguaro National Park, near Tucson, Arizona you can see thousands of these. Every now an then you will see a dead one. Wind, insects, lightning and old age are the natural enemy of the desert monolith. This one looks like it was struck by lightning and suffered a tragic death.

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gallery.

Death in the Desert

Phipps Spring Flower Show Part Two

Last week I posted some images form the Spring Flower Show at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. Here are a couple of more views from our visit.

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Phipps Spring Flower Show Part Two

Phipps Spring Flower Show Part Two

Phipps Spring Flower Show Part Two

Cathedral of Learning from Phipps Conservatory

The Phipps Conservatory has a sophisticated power system using solar, passive solar, hydroelectric and wind to power their state of the art Conservatory. This view is from the roof area adjacent to the solar farm and shows their new wind turbine. In the back is the beautiful Gothic Cathedral of Learning of the University of Pittsburgh.

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Cathedral of Learning from Phipps Conservatory

Phipps Spring Flower Show

In Pittsburgh we have one of the best conservatories in the world. The Phipps Conservatory has fourteen different green house rooms connected with walkways. Waterfalls, glass sculptures and benches are scattered throughout and volunteers and employees are there to answer your questions while they maintain the beauty of the environment.

The Spring Flower Show is an excellent time to visit and you still have until the middle of May to catch it in full bloom. Here are a few images form our latest visit.

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Phipps Spring Flower Show

Phipps Spring Flower Show

Phipps Spring Flower Show

Cactus Pyramid

The Tucson Botanical Garden is known for their Butterfly Garden but has much more to offer. Although it is not large, its has an excellent collection of cactus and succulents and many interesting presentations.

I found this cactus pyramid to be an excellent way to present these desert beauties.

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Cactus Pyramid