Owls, Prowls, and Stomach Growls

By Maria

I brought my headlamp since it was a night hike, but I never needed it. Light reflected off the newly fallen snow and seemed to glow all around us as we quietly crunched up a hill into the trees. We were in search of owls, and embracing the winter night was all part of the fun.

We had met up with staff and members of the Hollow Oak Land Trust for one of their winter events—the Owl Prowl! Hollow Oak protects and maintains greenspaces generally between the city and the Airport. We were on Hollow Oak’s Trout Run Conservation Area, a property somewhat between Robinson and the airport. Though surrounded by development, all of Hollow Oak’s properties are well maintained as gems of habitat for local wildlife—little oases. The owls in our area aren’t migratory, so quite literally any time of the year is a good time to listen for owls. We were on the look-out for three species in particular that are known to be on the Hollow Oak Land Trust properties: the Eastern Screech Owl, the Barred Owl, and the Great Horned Owl. Continue reading

More Than a Walk in the Snow

By Rob and Maria

Pittsburgh woke up to a beautiful snow this morning! It seems like we haven’t really had winter since Thanksgiving, and while no one particularly enjoys cleaning icy remnants off their cars before heading to work Monday morning, there is something reassuring about the familiar seasons. Plus there is something ethereal about the muffled quiet of a city when it’s blanketed in snow, and something wildly fun about trompsing about outdoors in winter weather! Since nature has a lot more going on out there in the snow than you would expect or imagine, we went on a mini adventure through a city park this afternoon to explore it all. Check out what we found! Continue reading

New Year, New Ways to Think About Trash and Plastic

By Rob and Maria

Our trash never goes away. It just goes somewhere else.

That mantra is important to keep in mind for this post. We’re all very good at generating trash, and then we bundle it up and place it bins for either trash or recycling…and it rolls away. Theoretically, the trash goes to a landfill and the recycling goes to be made into something else—another generation of plastic or aluminum. Continue reading