Category Archives: Environment

Water Sculpture

Look at the water falling down across the stones of Heinz Hall Plaza. Look and listen. Whom do I thank? The architect? The builder? The stones? The falling water, loudly plashing? The water itself? Gravity? And the green trees, of … Continue reading

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Riverfront Park on Southside

Even before this place was discovered and made into a fine parklet, it was attractive. A few decades ago the obscure street was a path with pavement. ending at the river. Then you could park your car and walk beneath … Continue reading

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The Last Word in Matadors

“Death is the last word in matadors.” observed cartoonist Robert Osborne. You enter the plaza de toros, the bullring, involuntarily. The crowd cheers. They are on your side – your family and friends. Death needs no supporters. The picaderos, the … Continue reading


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Fluffy White Clouds

Summer air doesn’t seem to move the crisp, hard edges of the clouds. The bottom of the cloudbank is blacker, softer. But it still seems unmoving. Just watch long enough, the clouds will surely drift, like continents.

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From the Train

See through the windows the bare branches from the rolling train. The stream alongside the tracks flows towards the river: Giving soil. taking soil, gathering smaller waters, Seeming unchanged, … The sun has broken through the clouds, although we still … Continue reading

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Geology, Sociology, and Impermanence

The Vermont dirt road is not as new as the meditation center where I began this walk. The road is not nearly as old as the stone walls, half tumbled down and overgrown, more green than grey. The road depends … Continue reading

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Herr’s Island Perspectives

This is Washington’s Landing, formerly known as Herr’ Island. In the 1900’s stockyards and slaughterhouses were served by the Pennsylvania Railroad and by barges. Herr’s Island helped feed hungry steelworkers here and in other growing cities of the Northeast. Now … Continue reading

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Immigrant Trees

One of the trees in my front yard is not from around here It, or rather its ancestors, came here a seed or a seedling, Perhaps it was transported deliberately, with some farmer or landowner’s plans for a yard or … Continue reading

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Green on Green

Green. Green on green. The green is trees, thick and crowded, and behind one another, climbing up slopes, up to a shiny blue sky, up to white clouds. The bright morning sun has not yet baked and faded the brightness. … Continue reading

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Why Do Leaves Fall? Two Explanations.

One: from an exhibit at Phipps Conservatory: ”A tree’s roots, branches and twigs can survive freezing temperatures, but most leaves are not so tough. “On a broadleaf tree, like a maple or a birch, the tender thin leaves are made … Continue reading

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