Allegheny Goatscape at The Waterfront

The other day we decided to walk along the Monongahela River on the trail at the Waterfront in Homestead. We have not been there for a while. We knew that last year they got rid of the feral cat preserve they had along the river. I think insurance had closed that down.

WE were surprised to see goats and and a donkey roaming the trail along the river. They were being used to maintain the vegetation by the river behind Mitchell’s and other restaurants along the river. Improving the view and providing entertainment seemed to be the goals. It definitely made our walk more entertaining.

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The Cathedral of Learning

We live in Regent Square so we see this building regularly. It is easy to take it for granted. The Cathedral of Learning, a Pittsburgh landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places

It is 42 stories high and was construction was finished in 1934 although classes were first held their in 1931. It is the second tallest gothic style building in the world that is not a church. A proud symbol of the University of Pittsburgh and the city it represents.

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Cathedral of Learning

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

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

Our Pittsburgh Garden– White Iris

White flowers are the hardest to photograph. Iris especially are difficult because they reflect so much light but are thin enough to also refract a fair amount of light and light therefore transmits through the leaves.

To compensate for this, you must use a tripod so that you can use a low ISO setting and achieve enough depth of field to capture the transmitted light as well as the reflected light. During editing in post production it will be necessary to reduce the highlights by at least one and a half f-stops to be able to see the texture of the bloom in the white area.

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White Iris

Our Pittsburgh Garden– Purple Iris

Regent Square is overrun with rabbits. Fortunately our dog raises the alarm
every time she spots one. However she is in an enclosed area and can’t lay chase. I can’t use my pellet gun like I did when we lived in the mountains so we try to control them with dried blood and pepper spray.

The have destroyed most of our tulips and some other flowers but they don’t like daffodils and they don’t eat Iris. I expect we will be adding more Iris in the future. This purple beauty is in our front garden.

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Purple Iris