Posted by: Sally Ingraham | March 2, 2015

Riding the Tail End of Winter

I ventured out in sketchy weather yesterday to catch the last of the Winter Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show at the Phipps. It was slushing outside, but cozy among the plants – even steamy, in the new Tropical Forest Conservatory done over as a Congo jungle.

It felt good to make a conscious move toward spring in my mind and heart on the first day of March, even if the skies were grey and pouting. What could be cheerier than a tree of orchids?

Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show - March 1st 2015

I filled my eyes with pink things and felt better for it.

Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show - March 1st 2015

These funny beaded folks can’t replace the glass Longfellows (up to their secret ways in the Orchid room) as my favorite art insulation, but they are a nice addition to the Congo jungle.

Tropical Forest Congo - March 1st 2015

And for all the glitz and glamour of the rest of the conservatory, the Desert Room always provides me with the most consistently fascinating visual displays.

Desert Room - March 1st 2015

The bonsai’s were the same little trees as last year – I plan to spend some time drawing their roots, but once again I wasn’t blown away by them. Although it’s hard not to smile when faced with this bit of lovely:

Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show - March 1st 2015

Soon enough the dogwoods and magnolias on the streets of Pittsburgh will be just as heavy with blooms, and I can’t wait! This will tide me over until then though. This, and the gradual warming and lightening of the days.

I left school today at 5:30 and it was bright out and above freezing, so I sat in the nearby park in a patchily sunny bench, surrounded by fragments of snow, and for a few moments just…basked. Then, energetic from even those few drops of sunlight, I walked through Homestead and over the Homestead Grays Bridge to catch sight of the sun setting over the Monongahela River.


(The 12 smokestacks in this picture are remnants from the famous Homestead Steelworks, which once spread all along the bank of the river in both directions. Now there’s a mall covering much of the same ground.)


You can vaguely see the Glenwood B&O Railroad Bridge and the Glenwood Bridge in this picture, the 8th and 9th crossings of the Mon, with the bridge I’m standing on – Homestead Grays – being the 10th. Not sure where my bridge count lies these days… Once it’s properly warm out again, I have some bridge hunting to get back to!

So much to look forward to in the days ahead – but I keep plenty busy as it is. I hope you can find some pleasure in the tail end of winter, and that spring finds us all soon!



Last time I saw the Winter Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show I was obsessed with the cacti

All the times I’ve talked about Pittsburgh bridges

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