Nature

Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

The origin of spring

My benchmark for the onset of spring follows neither the facts of planetary motion, nor the predictions of a rodent. In my mind, spring starts when the daily average high temperature begins to increase after bottoming out in late January. By using this ruler, my favorite part of the year, spring,…
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

The perfect snow

I’m both amused and dismayed by media weatherspeak. I’m amused by the hyperbole of Storm Watcher Central and Severe Weather Tracker. You’ve seen the flashing alerts across the screen.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

A view of nature

Winter slows the primal routines of nature. Trees shed delicate, food-​factory leaves before they freeze. Forests subsist on sugar hived in roots protected from the cold by the consistently above-​freezing deep soils.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

August meadow

August afternoons resemble the blazing passion of new love: intense and torrid. August evenings are the antithesis: gentle and serene. They are a mature experience that is like a long, tender embrace.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

The dead of winter

I have often tried to find the beauty in a frigid day. I have frequently searched for loveliness in a meadow swept bare and brown by icy winds. I have repeatedly tried to uncover elegance in snow-​wrapped woodlands.
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