Pittsburgh’s PNC Park is beautiful.
Great city-scape, great park, and nice partisan people.
The park is easy to get to from outside the city: parking not a problem.
Gerrit Cole pitched well with the exception of a couple of pitches:
One of them was to Brewer slugger Carlos Gomez which ended up off the center field wall. In my estimation Gomez’ hit should have been caught by ‘pretty boy’ McCutcheon. After having to hustle in to third Gomez physically responded to sharp commentary from Cole. A huge brouhaha at third base emptied the bull pens and dug-outs and then moved into the outfield.
Big-to-do: words and fisticuffs.
Another mistake which ended up being significant was served up to Ryan Braun. The partisan crowd was way mouthy with Braun; not allowing him to get near the plate without loudly voiced blue-collar steroid and morality commentary. Braun did not visibly respond to the crowd’s taunts with the exception of whenever he had the opportunity to toss a baseball into the crowd; he choose to toss it into the Brewer’s dugout.
That and a well timed and well hit home run: Late in the game Ryan Braun hit an errant Gerrit Cole pitch out of the park to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
The Pirates would go on top again only to see the game tied once more and later won by the Brewers with home runs off the Pirate’s closer and bull pen.
Life Is Good
December 2011 (post link) saw us through Butler, Pennsylvania and the Barns of Butler County Barn Trail : Three years ago and heading out, early Winter, as opposed to heading home, early Spring.
Four of five chosen sites this trip proved worthy of photographing. Only one was a repeated from 12/2011.
The Fairfield Farm barn at 725 Three Degree Road in Butler measures out at 40′ X 70′ and was built in 1914.
A ‘bank barn’ located on a piece of flat land forced the builder to construct a dirt ‘bank’ to provide access to the second level. A cistern is built into the ‘bank’. Gutters collect rain water from the roof and downspouts carry the water to the cistern. A valve on the lower level allows the water to flow directly to a watering trough.
The adjoining fields were manured but not yet turned.
Built in 1864 the barn measures out at 36′ X 90′. The siloed-barn and outbuildings on this working farm are well kept and maintained. The original building materials came off the surrounding lands.
The Powell Farm fields were partially turned.
Originally a dairy farm of 120 acres it has grown to 200 acres and is currently farmed only for grain.
Since 1834, five generations of the Wimer Family have lived on this farm.
The Miller Farm of West Liberty Road in Slippery Rock built in the late 1800’s is the site of the Miller Esker behind and beyond the barn.
The Miller Esker is a long, high ridge covered with grass that is recognized as the largest and best-preserved esker in Pennsylvania. The esker was formed millions of years ago by a glacier that melted and left a line of sand, gravel and stones (called a moraine). Violet Miller the owner of the land from 1970 until recently, had the foresight and wisdom to protect and preserve nearly 32 acres of an untouched portion of the esker and wetlands behind it by selling the land to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The Miller Esker is a half-mile long, 360-foot wide and 40-foot high portion of this geological phenomenon that winds through northern Butler County.
Portions of the text and much of the information in this post are directly from the 09-2012 Butler County Tourism brochure Bulter County, PA ~ Barn Trail.
The Athletic Dance That Is Baseball
Fort Davis NHS, Fort Davis, Texas
Glenn Moreland ~ Texan
Great Food, Good People, a Wonderful Place
First Light on CCC Built Overlook Pavilion at the far end of the Skyline Drive, Davis Mountains SP, Texas.
Blue Mountain and Indian Lodge from up top on the Skyline Drive, Davis Mountains SP, Texas.
The Davis Mountains Texas
Texican High Country Desert, Grasslands and Sky Islands
Great base camp from which to access the area: the community of Fort Davis, Fort Davis NHS, the Davis Mountains Scenic Loop, Indian Lodge, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Gardens, and the McDonald Observatory.
Seems to get busy on the weekends but not so much during the week. Interpretive Center, a couple of feeding stations and viewing blinds, Skyline Drive up high, the expectation of Montezuma Quail, sunrise and sunset, lots of atmospherics and a ‘Mexican Pig’ (Javelina) or two.
The Chihuahuan Desert in bloom from the Rio Grande to the High Country Desert and Sky Islands of the Chisos and Davis Mountains. The mountain ranges are very discreet from one another here in the desert.
The most perfect blooms were to be found in the greenhouse/hothouse of the Chihuahuan Nature Center & Botanical Gardens.
… and the Jeff Davis County Court House on a grey and threatening afternoon in the high country town of Fort Davis.
The grounds surrounded at the street by wrought iron fencing with four entrances.
Original 1910 turnstiles at the street level entrances to the walkways.
One turnstile removed in order to be handicapped accessible.
The Chihuahuan Desert, a rugged place of snakes, cacti, ragged geology, heat, & thirst. Some years it has looked burnt over. Those were drought years.
This year at this time the predominantly brown-orange-yellow-red paletted desert has a lot of green and multi-hued blooms, small and big.
Apparently it is all about timing (and water).
North America has four deserts: Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran and the Chihuahuan, which extends deep into Mexico. Big Bend National Park lies in its northern third. Mountains that block rain border the Chihuahuan Desert on three sides. Its other side abuts vast semi-arid plains. This young desert is about 8,000 years old. Green and fairly lush, its rainfall comes mostly in the July to October monsoon. Its rain and clouds can mean far cooler temperatures than one might expect in a desert. Heat and seasonal winds increase aridity. Summer ground temperatures may be 180 degrees F at mid-day – or freezing in winter as northern storms sweep through.
An Jacal ( \hə-ˈkäl\ ) a hut in Mexico and southwestern United States with a thatched roof and walls made of upright poles or sticks covered and chinked with mud or clay.
Out on the Old Maverick Road.
Big Bend has lots of high-clearance back roads, ranch roads. Great way to access the history and culture of the Chihuahuan Desert.Sunrise light on the Chisos Mountains through the hoodoos out in the Chihuahuan Desert.
Big Bend NP Brochure, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Riparian ecosystems : green fingers of dense vegetation stand out against the sparse greenish brown-yellow-red-orange vegetation of the desert.
The Rio Grande is no longer that. Some but very little moving water graces it channel. The Mexicans who lay claim to its tributary waters upstream recognize it not as the Rio Grande but as the Rio Bravo.
Big Bend refers to the great southwest Texas U-turn the Rio Grande makes here – defining the Park boundary, the State of Texas, and the Mexican-US boundary for 118 miles. The river is an arcing linear oasis, a ribbon of green that cuts across the dry desert and carves deep canyons. Like all rivers surviving desert passages, it has its headwaters outside this desert, in Colorado. Irrigation, dams, agriculture, manufacturing, exotic plants and evaporation sap most of the Rio Grande’s water before it gets to the Park. In the Park the river’s water mostly comes from Mexico’s Rio Conchos.
The river creates an oasis for species not adapted to arid desert life, adding to the Park’s biological diversity. Its thin flood plain looks like a green belt in the desert. River sand and gravel bars and cliff banks host creatures not expected in the Chihuahian Desert. Sunset captures looking west over the Rio Grande from outside Boquillas Canyon towards the Chisos Mountain Range.
Big Bend NP Brochure, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Big Bend National Park
A vast and rugged place: Chihuahuan Desert. Rio Grande River Valley, and the Chisos Mountains.
Also the ubiquitous US Customs and Border Patrol: Coming out of the park on State HWY 385 at the Border Patrol stop outside of Marathon, TX we met a young Border Patrol guy who recognized the license plate and shared that he was from New Hampshire as well: Dover, NH. Exchanged smiles and had a nice chat amid all the necessary questions. An ice hockey player on the fringes of the Chihuahuan Desert courtesy of the US Border Patrol. Finally a sense of humor and a touch of genuineness.
Like all of Texas be prepared to drive distances but the destinations are worth the effort.
Line you bicycle wheels with old inner tubes with the nozzle cut out and the tube split down the middle. Tires and tubes are no match for the spikes and prickers found everywhere in the desert.
For the RVers following this photoblog: Cottonwoods Campround down the Castolon Road near the Rio Grande has no hook-ups and does not allow generators, the Chisos Basin Campground in the Chisos Mountains has no hook-ups as well and limits the RV size to 24′ and generator hours to an AM and PM window in only one row of the campground, Rio Grande Village which I saw the least of does have a limited number of hook-up sites and no size limitations.
… and Again!!
Alpine Fightin’ Bucks Baseball