The Garden Worm blog Digging up the best dirt on gardening!

October 26, 2011

Fall visit to Phipps – Part 1

Filed under: Fall,Travel — Judy @ 11:21 am

Recently, we took another trip to Pittsburgh to visit our daughter. After the initial driving, windy rainstorm on the way down, the weekend was bright and beautiful with lovely Fall weather. One of the highlights of the trip, besides seeing our daughter who is now a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, visiting with my sister, great food, love, and laughter, was another visit to the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

At the entrance to Phipps

You may recall that I visited there last January when the Winter Show was on. You can go back to read that post and compare pictures here. Right now the Fall Flower Show is in progress until November 6 with over 5000 mums on display. Since one of my daughter’s favorite flowers is the chrysanthemum, the visit was a must-do.

Main entrance to Phipps

We took lots of pictures so this will be a two-part series. Click to view the first part of the slideshows.

Phipps Fall 2011 part 1 slideshow

Stay tuned for part 2 of our Fall visit to the Phipps Conservatory!

October 25, 2011

Filling the Frame?

Filed under: Contests,Fall,Flowers,Travel — Judy @ 5:40 pm

A new photo contest over on the Gardening Gone Wild blog site has captured my interest. I always find them intriguing. So many beautiful photos are posted to the contest and it is fun to see how others interpret the various themes. I wasn’t quite sure (and still am not) what the theme “Filling the Frame” by Saxon Holt meant. He offered more explanation in his post a few days ago and so I am going to venture to enter the contest.

I have two pictures in mind that I recently took on our trip to the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. The first one is an interesting one of different stripey leaves right next to each other in the Tropical Forest Conservatory. All the different colors of green were beautiful by themselves, but I liked the way they were juxtaposed against the red-browns of the blocky wall.

Foliage Stripes

The second one is the one that I have decided to enter in the contest. These Strelitzia flowers (aka Bird of Paradise) remind me of a mama and her baby. The sun was streaming through the conservatory roof at just the right angle and really lit up those wonderful colors. How do you like the little bugs crawling around on the mama? Never saw them when I was taking the picture!


The contest’s theme has certainly made me more aware of how I compose a picture. Not sure I have done this very effectively in cropping these two pictures, but I really enjoyed the journey.

October 9, 2011


Filed under: Fall,Parks,Travel — Judy @ 9:41 pm

With the promise of a great weekend weather-wise in the making, an adventure outing was called for. My sister and sister-in-law were rounded up, lunches were packed, and we were off to Letchworth State Park last Saturday. About an hour south of Rochester, this 17 mile long park is known as the “Grand Canyon of the East.”

Letchworth rim

Genesee River gorge at Big Bend area in Letchworth State Park

The park covers over 14,000 acres of land along both sides of the Genesee River. The walls of the gorge rise up to about 550 feet and expose shale, sandstone, and limestone layers mostly from the Devonian era.

Letchworth gorge

Genesee River gorge near the Big Bend area in Letchworth

The fall colors were not at peak, but you could get a sense of how spectacular they would become in the next week.

Red maple

There are three major waterfalls (the Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls) of the Genesee River that cascade down the gorge, many smaller tributaries along the gorge walls, and many miles of hiking trails. Our family has been going to the Lower Falls area for many decades – for birthdays, reunions, parties, swimming, rafting, hiking, whatever – so we chose to make that our starting point. (more…)

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