Sometimes we think Pittsburgh is boring in January but there’s still a lot to see outdoors. On New Years Day I joined the Botanical Society of Western PA for a walk in North Park. Here’s what we found.
Above, black privet berries (Ligustrum genus) stand out against the sky. Privet, an invasive plant, is found at the old farm along Irwin Road. The house and barn no longer stand but ornamental trees and shrubs remain, including the Ozark witchhazel (Hamamelis vernalis) we always trek to see. Our hike leader, Richard Nugent, said it will bloom pink in February. Here’s a bursting bud.
Unusual trees caught our attention, some with burls, others with holes. Two of the best are pictured below.
We also saw and heard red-tailed hawks circling overhead. (example photo below)
In January they claim territory with lots of circling and screaming. Here’s what they sound like. No, that is not the sound of an eagle.
During winter expect the unexpected. There’s more to see than you’d think.
(plant photos by Kate St. John, red-tailed hawk photo by Melissa McMasters via Wikimedia Commons; click on the caption to see the original)