Flamingo at The National Aviary

Its a good time to visit The National Aviary. Although I was just there a couple of weeks ago I plan to return next week. They will reopen their remodeled Tropical Room and for the first time in decades the waterfall will be operational again.

Thanks to visitors and members they have also replaced all the glass in the room with new environmentally friendly glass.

In the wetlands room this flamingo and roseate spoonbill are friendly neighbors.

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Flamingo and Roseate Spoonbill

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Roseate Spoonbill at The National Aviary

In 2014 while visiting the Ding Darling Preserve in Florida I photographed a flock of spoonbills which you can see here,

In our winter visit to the National Aviary I was pleased to see the pair of spoonbills were nesting. I couldn’t get a clear shot then but on our visit last week they were quite active and I managed to get a closeup image.

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Roseate Spoonbill

Happy Independence Day at the National Aviary

I love my country and Independence Day. I don’t really like fireworks though. I worry to much about our veterans with PTSD and the dogs hiding under the bed. I like cookouts and barbecue and am not going to let the current political climate detract from celebrating our independence from Great Britain.

So what better way to celebrate than by visiting our national symbol at The National Aviary. Pittsburgh should be proud of having the largest aviary in the United States and it is currently having the tropical room refurbished but still worth visiting if only to see this nesting pair.

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Our National Symbol

Labor Day 2017

When I was a kid hardly anything was open on Labor Day. Gas Stations, movie theaters and a few restaurants. People used to give their staff and actual day off. Now it is just another commercial holiday targeted to get us to consume.

Now that I am retired, I think I have a deeper appreciation of those who labor. Of course I worked for a long time and still do creative work every day, but there is work and then there is labor. I have also done some labor in my time. I worked in a commercial bakery. I worked in supermarkets. I was a cab driver. I have done photography inside nuclear reactors, steel mills and paper mills. I understand what labor is and to all of you who labor…thanks and enjoy your day!

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Labor Day 2017

Strasbourg France

I have always kinda had a secret love affair with France. As a history student I always respected the role they played in securing our freedom from Britain. Yet Americans seem to love Britain and hate France. Go figure! I mean one of the symbols of our freedom was a gift from France.

Personally I married a French Teacher and 45 years later she still makes me melt when she speaks French to me. We have been to France together a couple of times but on this years junket through Europe we would only be in France for one day.

That day would be in Strasbourg which is a place we always wanted to visit. It is interesting because it is on the border between France and Germany and sovereignty has flipped back and forth many times over the centuries. It is a beautiful city and sits on an island between tributaries of the Rhine river.

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Strasbourg France

Strasbourg France

Capitol Door

To me it seemed like everything in The US Capitol was special and had some unique thought behind it. Everywhere there is art. Even the tunnels leading from the office buildings to the Capitol have art from high school seniors across America. There are huge painting and many sculptures. Even some of the doors are artistic displays like this one outside the Speaker’s Balcony.

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A Capitol Door

A Capitol Door

The U.S. Capitol

I can think of many political things to say today but in the spirit of this blog I will say none. Instead here is a lovely picture of a symbol of freedom. That’s it. Carry on.

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Storm Clouds over D.C.

Storm Clouds over D.C.