18 December 2021
This week’s shorter days and unusually warm weather found me outdoors appreciating sunsets, merlins and Phipps Winter Light Garden.
On Thursday 16 December I visited Phipps Conservatory at 4pm for the Holiday Magic Winter Flower Show and Light Garden. At dusk it was 62oF, so of course no snow, but perfect for strolling in the garden. The show runs through Sunday 9 January 2022 so there’s plenty of time to visit. Click here for tickets.
As night fell songbirds came into the garden to roost. Robins and mourning doves zoomed overhead. White-throated sparrows chirped in the bushes near these blue lights as they settled for the night.
The Cathedral of Learning, framed by decorated trees.
Indoors the flowers were spectacular. These beautiful angel’s trumpets (Brugmansia versicolor) are native to Ecuador but extinct in the wild. You can see them in the Tropical Forest room.
Orchids and poinsettias.
Earlier in the week, on Monday 13 December, I walked Schenley Park’s golf course to watch the merlins come to roost. During my last two visits — 23 Nov and 13 Dec — there have been three merlins that begin arriving at 4:30pm. Each one chooses the top of a bare tree to watch night fall. Eventually they roost in the pines.
The distant photos below show two of the three merlins as dots at the tops of trees. If you can’t see them, click on this photo for a markup with circles.
After I left the merlins that evening, I saw this spectacular sunset on my way home.
So beautiful … it made me glad to be alive.
(photos by Kate St. John)