Autumn In Pennsylvania

My daughters who have moved to California are feeling nostalgic about Autumn in the Northeast. Even Pennsylvania residents are feeling a bit nostalgic about autumn colors, as the leaves have been very late turning yellow and red this year.

On the hunt for autumnal scenes, I made a day trip into Ohiopyle State Park in the Laurel Highlands. This split rail fence set in a zig-zag pattern caught my eye on the property of Kentuck Knob, a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Chalkhill, PA.

#franklloydwright, #fall, #autumn, #fence, #laurelhighlands, #ohiopyle, #nature
The zig-zag lines of this split rail fence draws the eye into this autumnal scene. Kentuck Knob in Chalkhill, PA

 

 

Right Place, Right Time

Three weeks ago, I promised myself that whenever I spotted a great location for a photograph, I would stop the car, even turn the car around if necessary, and get the shot. Today I put my new rule into practice while driving in Sewickley Heights just minutes before sunset.

#sewickley, #rainbow, #scaiferoad, #october, #rain, #fall, #shower, #pennsylvania
My own shadow bisects the golden field in Sewickley Heights below this spectacular double rainbow today.

I got wet in the rain, but that’s okay. You can’t plan these opportunities. You just have to be ready.

#rainbow, #doublerainbow, #sewickley, #nature, #october, #fall, #rain, #stopthecar
The end of the rainbow is here.

Destination, Ohiopyle

Pittsburghers don’t have to travel far to find great places to kayak, bike and hike. The fall foliage, waterfalls and white water of the Youghiogheny River are just 90 minutes from Pittsburgh and can be easily accessed from several directions: approach from I-76 or I-70 and old Route 40.

#kayak, #foliage, #youghiogheny, #laurelhighlands, #ohiopyle, #recreation, #october, #pittsburgh, #pennsylvania
Just downstream from Cucumber Falls, kayakers navigate the white water of the Youghiogheny.

The town of Ohiopyle is a mecca for bike, raft and kayak rentals as well as parking, bike trails and restaurants. This October it is just warm enough, just cool enough and plenty scenic!

Annual Giving: My Portrait Project

If it’s July, it’s time to shoot family portraits for the remarkable families at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children. For the past six years, I have donated my time ┬áto create portraits. This year with my husband assisting, I completed 23.

#portraits, #studio, #portablestudio, #schoolforblind, #pittsburgh, #pennsylvania, #volunteer
The portrait of seven staff members at the Western PA School for Blind Children.

While I protect the confidentiality of the patients at the school by keeping their photographs private, I can share a portrait of a staff member with her family.

#smiles, #family, #portrait, #familyportrait, #volunteer, #blackandwhite, #school, #familyday, #pittsburgh
Smiles were abundant on Family Day for the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children.

Hydrangea Twins

Just outside my back door, I found fraternal twins on my hydrangea bush: a pink and a blue blossom on the same plant. All the rain in the past few weeks are helping the blossoms last. Stay away, hungry deer!

#hydrangea, #july, #pinkandblue, #favoriteflower, #nature, #flowers, #nikon, #sewickley, #pennsylvania
Fresh pink and blue blossoms on my hydrangea bush. Shot with Nikon D800, at 1/500 second, f 2.8 and ISO 100. Shallow depth of field gives the photo an intimate feeling.

The hydrangea may be my favorite flower, thanks to associations with my daughter’s ┬áJune wedding as well as memories of seeing them on Cape Cod.

Vibrant Rhododendron

All year I look forward to that special week in May when the rhododendron bloom around my house, and color my garden shades of pale pink, magenta, lavender and deep purple. Somehow these hearty evergreens survive the bitter cold and snowy winters, and then announce loud and clear in May that they do love the Pennsylvania climate. Oh, if only those delicate blooms could last longer than they do.

#house, #spring, #rhododendron, #rhody, #victorian, #pennsylvania, #sewickley
The rhododendron have bloomed two weeks early this year around my house.

Here is a closer view of the blooms.

#spring, #may, #rhododendron, #nature, #sony
One bouquet of rhododendron, partly opened.
#spring, #may, #Ireland, #pennsylvania, #rhododendron, #bloom, #pink
While these rhododendron are blooming in my garden, I recall seeing lush rhododendron in Ireland, also in May. Who knew?

Pennsylvania cherry blossoms

Americans associate cherry blossoms with the iconic Tidal Basin in Washington D.C., but they are harbingers of Spring in western Pennsylvania too. On this cherry tree in Edgeworth, white and magenta flowers bloom side by side.

#cherryblossoms, #pennsylvania, #spring, #easter, #selectivefocus, #nikon
White and magenta cherry blossoms herald Spring in western Pennsylvania.