Goats Along the Monongahela

Tuesday morning I met two good friends for brunch. We used to teach together at Greenfield School years ago. Although I’d written it on my calendar, I’m so used to not going out much I had to receive a text from Donna asking if I was on my way. Oooops!

After we ate, Sue and I walked along the River Trail. We had a couple of years to catch up with one another.

Donna, we are so sorry you missed the goats!

We saw this sign first, as Sue had told me it was one of the nations busiest rivers for barge traffic.

As we walked along the trail, (which goes all the way to Washington DC and Sue’s sons have biked it) we saw an electric fence and this sign

Allegheny GoatScape at work

Sue spotted the goats as I was taking photos of the underbelly of the Homestead Grays Bridge

A working goat, consuming pounds of vegetation everyday
Homestead Grays Bridge over the Monongahela River

I’d posted about goats at the tea store in Millvale Landscaping Goats at Knit Night and also at a Rent a Goat at Pittsburgh Botanical Garden in Oakdale a couple of years ago. And you might remember I booked a Goat With a Note for a zoom meeting.

March Coming In

It’s a new month. March. Changeable weather predicted but isn’t it always changing?

Is there truth to “In like a lion, Out like a lamb?”

Here’s a piece in the Farmers Almanac

There have been big snowstorms in March. Blustery winds. Time will tell. According to the Weather Bug “The “official” first day of spring is widely known as the vernal equinox. This year, the vernal equinox will commence on Sunday, March 20th, at 11:33 a.m.

It’s the groundhog who predicts when Spring will arrive.

Sunday Guest Blog from Ottawa

This guest blog is from my friend Joanne’s sister, Mary, in Ottawa, Canada.

“They are little goldfinches in their winter colorings and fluffed up against the minus 18 (Celsius = minus 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit) temperatures….In the spring they start turning yellow and then are really pretty. We get a lot of both gold and purple finches …. and chickadees, redpolls, cardinals of course, big and small woodpeckers, blue jays, and many others. Wild turkeys occasionally, the dreaded grackles and crows. Right now with the deep snow the birds spend more time hiding in the woods somewhere so today was a nice surprise.“

Saturday Morning from the Kitchen Window

Friday in February

It was snow on top of all the rain that froze, crunchy and slick if you had to drive or walk anywhere- the advisory said Stay Home!

Driving in snow is one thing but ice is the worst.

I was out shoveling and salting and saw the city truck clearing and treating our street, coming down a second time. A wonderful sight. Our street was always neglected, the parallel park road always cleared but not our block. That’s not the case now.

We’ve a new mayor. He says they have to do better.

I believe that they are!

Grateful for City of Pittsburgh Public Works

02-02-2022 Ground Hog Day

I really just wanted to write that date with all those twos. Before you know it in three weeks I’ll add another two to the date.

I’m glad I’m not in the dark snowy and muddy frozen woods this year, awaiting the meteorological prognosticator to emerge from his burrow and give us the news about the length of winter. Groundhog Day is here. What will Punsatawney Phil predict? If you’ve seen Bill Murray in the movie you know that Groundhog Day is repeated thousands of times until the main character becomes a better human. Many the compare the two years of the Pandemic to the movie.

Just tonight the weather people say we’re to get freezing rain which will create a sheet of ice and then snow on top of that. Highly motivational for knitting and making a pot of soup.

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This is the Ground Day Compendium today. You’ve seen the pics if you’ve followed the blog for a time. Memories of past Groundhog Days.

PURE PITTSBURGH SKYLINE 1993- BEFORE ALL THE SIGNS- THANKS TO GROUNDHOG DAY MOVIE CAPTURE

Tonight was the annual viewing of the Harold Ramis’classic Groundhog Day movie.  If you follow the blog, you know how much my family enjoys this holiday.  (No gifts required)

I noticed in the opening credits how different the 1993 skyline looks.

The updated version will have to be another post.  And I’ll need a helicopter ride to capture the same angle.

A screen shot of my computer screen shows the old skyline as it appeared before all the advertisements.

Just two years ago there was an article written by Bob Bauder about this issue- Skyline-defiling signs targeted by council chief.  “Harris said the signs, including company names and logos, clutter the city skyline and detract from its aesthetic splendor.”

And author Charles Rosenblum’s blog post Under a Bad Sign–  Pittsburgh Architectual Club weighs in on the issue.

Pittsburgh Skyline 1993
About the only part of Groundhog Day filmed in Pittsburgh
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Flat Ruthie and the Groundhog

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Michael on left and Jack on the right with Baby Groundhog (a family puppet)

TAG: GROUNDHOG DAY

HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY- SHADOW OR NO? CHECK BACK AFTER SUNRISE

Virtual this year @ 7:28 AM EST sunrise
https://www.groundhog.org/

“IF CANDLEMAS DAY IS BRIGHT AND CLEAR,
THERE’LL BE TWO WINTERS IN THE YEAR.”

Groundhog Day Traditions casts a shadow back to Medieval Europe –

Candian Press articleJoanne baked a Groundhog Day cake with Shadow Feb 2020

 

2014 Punxsutawney Me Laura and Mary
2019 Movie with Steve
2020Wiggle Whiskey
2020 Steve and Ruth with Phil
2020 at Wiggle Whiskey
groundhog in glass

My sister photographed a groundhog puppet I gave her

GROUNDHOG DAY MOVIE WAS FILMED IN WOODSTOCK ILLINOIS IN 1993
HERE IS THE LINK TO BLOG POST OF MARY’S AND MY VISIT TO WOODSTOCK IN 2014

and here is a reblog of our February 2014 PUNXSUTAWNEY ADVENTURE

PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL DECLARES 6 MORE WEEKS OF WINTER

Groundhog’s Day 2014-

We were there to see Phil the Groundhog rousted out of his slumber, and taken out from his cozy stump to see his shadow amidst the brotherhood of the Inner Circle of Gobbler’s Knob.  The men were all dressed in top hats and formal attire.

Twenty four years ago (before the 1993 movie)  my sister Mary and I drove in the middle of  a foggy night to see the groundhog. I can tell you that it was a much different this trip.  Last time we just parked on the side of the road and walked up the hill to Gobbler’s Knob.  The whole event was well orchestrated and incredibly efficient, especially with the number of people coming to town.   Lots of dedicated people making a concerted effort to insure everyone’s safe and happy experience! Everyone pleasant and a festive atmosphere.  We had fun and were really glad it was rain rain and more rain instead of ice and snow snow snow!

Laura thought she’d like to go last year since it was on a weekend but it was super cold and I had an photography show opening  that weekend and it didn’t work out.  “Next year”, I said.  “Next year.”   Laura wanted to cross it off her Bucket List.

Mary came out from NYC on the train  Thursday night and Laura drove in Saturday morning from Columbus OH.

We went to bed at 8:30 PM Saturday night  and got up at 2:40 AM.

Pulled out of the driveway around 3:20AM and drove the 74 miles to Punxsutawney PA.  Not to0 much traffic but when we got there the Wal-Mart parking lot was already filled up. We were able to find a spot behind the County Market in Groundhog Plaza and walked two blocks to a McDonald’s where we got $5 round trip tickets for the bus to Gobbler’s Knob.

Just like Shuey had told us (he went last year in the bitter cold, driving his MOTORCYCLE from Niceville, Florida) it was “easy peasy.”  The crowd was estimated at 30,000 and yes, it rained on us the entire time but the temp was about 37 so no ice, no snow and none of us felt cold or miserable.  I’d wrapped the camera in a couple of plastic bags and rubber bands on the end of the lens.  At one point we were asked to all pull out our cell phones an light the place like a concert with a lighter. A fellow art teacher plays the bass fiddle in a band The Beagle Brothers and they played a few sets starting at 3AM.  Oh, the Star Spangled Banner, too.

County Market

We stopped in at County Market to buy a couple of magnets and use their nice restroom. The clerk had been there since the night before at 10:30 and her shift ended at 6AM.

School Buses Waiting to Take Groundhog Fans

School buses lined up to take Groundhog Fans to Gobbler’s Knob

Groundhog Bride

On our way to the buses we saw this Groundhog Bride.  Groundhog Weddings were available but no “walk-ins”

Laura at Gobbler'sKnob

Laura at Gobbler’s Knob

cell phones light Gobbler's Knob

Cell phones light Gobbler’s Knob

Zambelli Fireworks

Thirty minutes of Zambelli Fireworks in the woods was an unexpected delight.

The Beagle Boys

The Beagle Brothers band

The Beagle Boys entertain the crowd

The Beagle Brothers played a few sets and the National Anthem.  Fellow art teacher Kyle on the Bass Fiddle.  Nice job!

Weather Channel Trucks

Piles of snow and Television Trucks

Phil Sees His Shadow

Phil’s handlers belong to the Inner Circle.

The Inner Circle

Uh oh. He saw his shadow.   SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER!!!

After the Prediction

Six more weeks of winter, he predicts.  The crowd let out a collective groan.

Ruth Laura and MAry at Gobbler's Knob

A fellow groundhog fan took our photo on Gobbler’s Knob

Josh dogmatic liveart

Josh  (dogmatic liveart) painted Groundhog Day right on the spot!

palette

his palette

Checking their photos

Groundhog fans checking their photos and messages.

Buses at Gobbler's Knob

Headed for the buses at Gobbler’s Knob

Groundhog Hat

Groundhog Fan with Groundhog Hat

Laura

Another shot as the light increases in the sky- Laura at Gobbler’s Knob

photographer at Gobbler's Knob

Photographer on Gobbler’s Knob

lawn chair

After the Prognostication

Buses on Gobbler's Knob

Getting on the bus for downtown

Gobbler's Knob Arch
Kids playing on Snowpile

Kids playing on piles of dirty snow

porta potties

Necessary facilities

Groundhog Statue

Groundhog Statues all over town!

Celebration Tent

Celebration Tent

Giant Wood Groundhog

Downtown Punxsutawney

Inner Circle Tom Uberti

Mr. Tom Uberti shook  my hand and welcomed me to Punxsutawney.  AKA Big Windmaker.  He graciously allowed me to “shoot him.”

2019

GROUNDHOG DAY AT THE OAKS THEATER

Happy Groundhog Day.

My granddaughter Maura has predicted six more weeks of winter prior to Punxsutawney Phil the Groundhog.

We’ll know at sunrise if she’s right.

The movie starts at 7:30 PM at The Oaks Theater in Oakmont PA

Laura and Charlie called earlier to wish me a Happy Groundhog Eve.

You might remember my post of Woodstock Illinois where the movie was filmed or the post where Mary Laura and I ventured to Punxsutawney to see Phil at sunrise.

City Snow

Right after a snow storm, the trees branches are outlined, city sounds are muffled and as the snowfall accumulates, everything looks clean and beautiful.

Time passes and the pretty snow doesn’t look so pristine.

Parking lots have piles of dirty snow where the plows have cleared the snow