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

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

Our Pittsburgh Garden– Columbine

My wife insists we had Columbine in our Pocono Garden and she ought to know. I think we might of had a taller species.

The one in our Pittsburgh Garden in Regent Square is a petite beauty. It is only about 5 inches high with beautiful giant blooms.

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Columbine

Our Pittsburgh Garden– Stalking the Day Lily

A lot of people don’t like day lilies because they grow wild by the road side. I really like them though and over the years we have planted many different colors. The trick is thinning them out and controlling them.

This yellow one is the first we planted in this Pittsburgh garden. This year we will probably add the dark blue or purple variety for next year’s photo shoot. I like this shot. It is unconventional and gives you the felling that this day lily is being stalked,

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Stalking the Day Lily