Sports & Outdoors

Wild Bones

My daughter brings home bones and piles them on the driveway: femur, rib, jawbone with a few flat teeth attached, dozens of thin arced parts. —from “My Daughter Brings Home Bones” by Jennifer Richter The American photographer Sally Mann, controversial in the 1990s for the photos she took of her naked children, has a fascination …

Wild Bones Read More »

Patterns at the Reservoir

With winter’s storms and frigid temperatures come delicate specimens of nature’s beauty, for those attentive enough to notice. Over several years, photographer David Aschkenas captured the natural art of ice patterns on the surface of the Highland Park Reservoir. Enjoy the beauty of freezing temperatures—without needing to bundle up—in this photo collection by Aschkenas. View …

Patterns at the Reservoir Read More »

The Flying Dutchman Once More

It all began when my car caught fire. I smelled something burning as I approached the intersection of Penn and North Negley Avenue. I scanned my surroundings to see which building was ablaze. Nothing. Just then, it dawned on me the smoke was inside my car while all the windows were closed. A few days …

The Flying Dutchman Once More Read More »

Painting Pittsburgh’s Ice

This is how it all begins: a man, a stencil, a crayon, and of course a bed of ice. Total time for the crew to paint the ice: about 8 hours. Follow the mesmerizing process of decorating the ice of the Pittsburgh Penguins in this photo collection by David Aschkenas. View more of David Aschkenas’s …

Painting Pittsburgh’s Ice Read More »

Highland Park: When Ordinary Becomes Dramatic

Photographer David Aschkenas has been walking through East End’s Highland Park for many years. When visiting the same area on a daily basis, you begin to see dramatic changes in the same landscape due to the changing of the seasons and weather changes. As Aschkenas shows in this hauntingly beautiful photo collection, something that looks …

Highland Park: When Ordinary Becomes Dramatic Read More »

A Century of Protecting Birds

My great-grandfather Samuel Feins emigrated from the Old Country, in his case, Russia, in 1899. He came through Ellis Island and then quickly made his way to Massachusetts. Fifteen years later he was firmly established as the proprietor of the New Hat Frame Company of 55-63 Summer Street, Boston. He was a milliner, a hat …

A Century of Protecting Birds Read More »

The Brush Hog: Thoughts on a Fall Field Cutting

Twice a year, in June and October, I cut the long grass and other species of plants, named derisively as weeds, in my fields. It’s a bit like cutting grass with a huge lawnmower. I use a Kubota tractor with a twin-bladed brush hog attached. The cutter is about eight feet wide. For most, no …

The Brush Hog: Thoughts on a Fall Field Cutting Read More »

Ageless Wisdom: Dick Groat, 87

Dick Groat, 87, shares his path to becoming a professional athlete, golf course operator and broadcaster. My family made me whatever I might be. I had great parents and two sisters that were school teachers and two brothers who were athletes at Pitt. I was a very fortunate person to have grown up, as the …

Ageless Wisdom: Dick Groat, 87 Read More »

Saving Bats and Great Fishing Along Spruce Creek

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has recently acquired a unique property in northern Huntingdon County that does two unusual things—provides public access for world-class trout fishing on Spruce Creek and helps save struggling bats with desperately needed habitat. In addition to the exceptional fishing, this 13-acre property includes a major limestone cave network that may provide …

Saving Bats and Great Fishing Along Spruce Creek Read More »

Know when to hold ’em: Le’Veon Bell stares down the Steelers

In poker, a player holding cards that he or she knows cannot be beaten is deemed to have “the nuts.” It’s the best possible position—without question, you cannot lose. You can, however, not win—an opponent may be holding equivalent cards to yours. Both the Steelers’ front office and their star running back Le’Veon Bell find …

Know when to hold ’em: Le’Veon Bell stares down the Steelers Read More »

The Mysteries of Feral Bees

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery, The revery alone will do, If bees are few. —Emily Dickinson I am a failed beekeeper. I had two hives. One died the first year and the other lasted about five, from which I got beautiful honey, …

The Mysteries of Feral Bees Read More »

Hits and Hugs: The Evolution of Roller Derby

Cheswick, May 12, 2018: It happens about 10 minutes into the first half of the game between the Steel Hurtin’—the A-team of the Steel City Roller Derby—and the Chattanooga Roller Girls. Three big Chattanooga blockers, arms locked firmly together, are just about to smack Zorra, the tall jammer for the Steel Hurtin’, when she makes …

Hits and Hugs: The Evolution of Roller Derby Read More »

Tryon-Weber Woods Natural Area

There are many forests to enjoy in Penn’s Woods, but one of the best examples of a mature beech-maple forest can be found in Tryon-Weber Woods, in western Crawford County about 90 miles north of Pittsburgh. This 100-acre property was originally protected by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in 1976, and was just expanded last year. …

Tryon-Weber Woods Natural Area Read More »

Steelers Start Your Engines

As summer moves along, the big NFL machine quietly starts its engine. Training camps kick off across the league this week, with the Steelers setting up shop for their 53rd season at St. Vincent College in Latrobe. Most starting positions on the offense are set, but there are a few intriguing competitions worth monitoring. Planning …

Steelers Start Your Engines Read More »

Getaway to the Pennsylvania Wilds

Sometimes a person just needs to get away—from work, from people, from everything in the city. For me that means heading up to the hills and waters of upstate Pennsylvania. On one particular occasion, however, not even my hunting/fishing cabin would do. So I packed a one-man tent and planned to sleep out under the …

Getaway to the Pennsylvania Wilds Read More »

Play Ball! Faster Please

Major League Baseball’s department of Faster Play, fearing that people will think the game has become sluggish and dull and will quit watching, has devised yet another new rule to perk things up, as Pirates fans might note this season. This one’s about mound visits. Like when the catcher goes out to the pitcher and …

Play Ball! Faster Please Read More »

The Secret to Finding Morels

“I can’t seem to give ’em up I just like morels too much I like other ’shrooms and such But I just like morels too much Oyster mushrooms mighty fine Seafood and some nice white wine Chanterelles’re tasty too In a wild mushroom ragout Storebought shrooms can be a crutch but I just like morels …

The Secret to Finding Morels Read More »

The Elusive and Beautiful Green Heron

The green heron lay cradled in the crook of Bob Mulvihill’s arm like a baby, or at least that’s how I remember it. He blew on the bird’s belly and a cloud of powder down swirled forth, an adaptation that in all likelihood adds some moisture-shedding resistance to the wing feathers of this water-loving species. …

The Elusive and Beautiful Green Heron Read More »

Fleeting Blossoms of the ’Burgh

April showers bring May flowers, but May showers can quickly destroy the delicate blossoms on flowering trees. Sometimes the blooms only last a few days before a sudden downpour—of which Pittsburgh has been experiencing often these days—washes them away. In this collection of images, Pittsburgh photographer David Aschkenas captures the fleeting beauty by lighting the …

Fleeting Blossoms of the ’Burgh Read More »

Steelers Add Key Players Who Should See Playing Time

The 2018 NFL draft is in the books. The league again elected to feature a number of former NFL players to make team selections, perhaps to quell the booing of Commissioner Roger Goodell. It didn’t make a difference. It did, however, produce a very emotional draft moment. To a roaring crowd, linebacker Ryan Shazier walked …

Steelers Add Key Players Who Should See Playing Time Read More »

The Allegheny River

In many ways, the Allegheny River is the centerpiece of our region. It traverses landscapes from wilderness to urban and provides recreational opportunities in many different places along its course. One of the most spectacular parts of the river is the free-flowing 125 miles of the middle Allegheny from the Kinzua Dam in Warren County …

The Allegheny River Read More »

Our Changing Pastime

On a snowy night, I’m tossing winter batting practice in a gym to nine-year-old boys who play for Steel City Select, an elite Pittsburgh travel baseball club. We’re getting ready for the 2018 season, another chapter in the history of a game invented by Americans almost two centuries ago, and which has deep roots in …

Our Changing Pastime Read More »

Top