Keep An Eye OUT for THIS!

One of my FAVORITE resources for what’s going on outside in PA is the DCNR newsletter! Since we have so many water ways in the Laurel Highlands I thought you would help keep an eye out for this disruptive yellow SPRING invasive plant. It actually crowds out our wild flowers! Watch the video to find out more! https://youtu.be/UwItC-B4cv0

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CLIMBERS, BATS & BIOLOGISTS

In our younger days Wags and I were climbers (he way more advanced than me). So when I saw a Zoom meeting titled, “Climbers for Bat Conservation in PA” I signed in. Dr Shawn K Davis of Parks, Conservation, and Recreational Therapy Department at Slippery Rock University (724-738-2599) lead the meeting.  In a nutshell, climbers are reporting in  when they see bats. Bats in crevices (you won’t believe how far back they can go), bats flying, bats where ever.  Biologist learn so much from these sightings that bats may have a rosier future ahead! Climbers are learning too and together there is now a gathering of information internationally. Find out more at CLIMBERS for Bat Conservation. Here’s a link to the ZOOM meeting!

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40 Years of Resort Experience at Seven Springs & Hidden Valley

This year Abe celebrates 40 years of working the resort markets! From 1982 till 2002 she advanced from agent to Broker of Record for the Villages at Seven Springs. From land development, new construction, marketing, and all of the real estate paper work she has had incredible experiences. One of her favorites was lobbing for the new construction company of Kettler Forlines Inc to open their first real sale division. She shared how life long friendships evolved from many of her 1st time meeting consultations. Here’s a quick review!

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Great Backyard Bird Count Update

The numbers are in! According to the report there were 318,000 participants from 192 countries, identifying 7,091 species, and sharing 120,000 photos! Check out the short video! You may want to visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for more information on birding. And if you LOVE birds as much as I do try the Merlin Bird ID app it is free and very easy to use!! ENJOY!

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Friends of Jurassic Park

As reported by NPR a Pterosaur fossil dating back 170 Million Years was found in Scotland. Imagine the excitement of Ph.D. student Amelia Penny when during a field trip in 2017 she noticed the jaw line of this amazing reptile. Read the story HERE.

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Great Backyard Bird Count Starts TODAY!

This 4 day event (Feb 18-21) has been ongoing since 1998. It has become a worldwide citizen science event sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. It’s simple and fun, count and report the birds in your back yard:) Here’s the link. This helps to identify bird populations around the world! Have Fun!

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The Poma by McCloskey

by patmccloskey
The Moment of Truth
Leslie McKee suggested a post on the iconic Poma lift. She said it would be a good post in and of itself and she is right. How many of you who started skiing battled with the monster of surface lifts as a kid? I can remember moving from the rope tow( which itself burned up many gloves) to the Poma lifts at our local resort. Although we got many comments and instructions on how to ride the Poma, it was always a matter of getting prepared in the track, waiting to grab the right one, and presto……off to the races. As a little kid, they always told me if I fell, not to hold on to the Poma- just let go. But what did most people do? See below. LOL!!!
Don’t hold on………LOL:!!!!!
The other frightening thing as a little kid was if the spring in the Poma was quirky, you would oftentimes be lifted right out of the track, high into the air( or so it seemed) and tried to set your feet down in the track again without falling. You never sat down. You would place the platter between your legs and hang on. Never sit down. The mantra for all of us. Poma lifts became a thing of the past in many areas but still are used to get skiers from place to place in the larger areas out west. There is still a need to connect chair lifts and in a lot of areas the only way is to transport people across a flat via a Poma lift. I have so many memories when I step into the loading zone of a Poma lift these days. I am heavy enough now not to be spring loaded into the stratosphere and I certainly know not to sit down or do what we always did and try to move in and out of the track. We all did that and tried to hang on the pole for as long as we could and launch it at the end of the ride up and laugh when we let it go. We were always the same jagoffs who would jump out of a chairlift if it was low enough and ski away from an operator who was yelling at us threatening to take our passes. Kids!!!!
The T Bar
The cousin to the Poma lift is the T-Bar. More commonly used these days and especially in Europe to transport skiers up the mountain and get them across flats between chairlifts. This lift is ridden by two people and if you were a taller person and you rode with a shorter person, it became a difficult task. The taller person had the part of the bar riding up his or her back while the opposite was true for the shorter person. Constant adjusting and laughing in the case of us youngsters at the time and a little more concerning riding it as an adult. Now for those of you who know me, I am not a confrontational person. However, one time in Austria, I happened to be riding up a T Bar with a shorter French guy. He kept jawing at me in his Gallic dialect and basically was trying to get me to adjust the position of the bar to suit his shorter stature. After a while, and listening to his verbal abuse for longer than one should ever have to, I leaned over to him and said, ” If you keep yelling at me, you are gone.” He either didn’t understand or ignored my warning and he caught my left elbow and was sent careening down the slope never to be seen again. Viva la France!!!!!

Surface lifts were intimidating, frightening, and most of all loads of fun growing up as a kid. I don’t even give them a thought today but when Leslie reminded me of all the fun times we had as kids battling the Poma lifts, I had to jot down some memories. One last one was the Poma lift at our smaller municipal ski area where I was trying to get one of our blind skiers up the hill. Regis Sullivan was a heavy guy and I put the Poma between his legs and mine and we rode up together. I screamed ” stand up Regis” because if he sat down, I am sure the ski patrol would have been involved. Another time I had a nun with a colostomy in the same position with me on the Poma. I laughingly suggested that she stand up and don’t fall. I told her I didn’t want the fallout from that one. LOL!!!! She was very open about her colostomy and I was very open about me not wanting to face the consequences.

So, thanks Leslie. I am sure I will have a few laughs like all of you reading this. Think snow and ………..don’t sit down!!!!!

patmccloskey | January 31, 2022 at 6:38 pm | Tags: Poma Lift | Categories: Humoroutdoor activitiesoutdoor sportsOutdoorsSkiingWinterwinter sports | URL: https://wp.me/p31Q99-1vi

 

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Nothern Light Show

Capture the Atlas has announced the Nothern Lights Photographer of 2021. In the preamble to our REALTOR Code of Ethics the very first line states, “Underneath all is the land.” I think that it should include, and above the skies… As the majority of us don’t have the pleasure of seeing the Northern Lights I hope you will enjoy these captured moments of time.

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Loving Pittsburgh McCloskey

Why I like Pittsburgh

From the best of http://www.chroniclesofmccloskey.com

IMG00035IMG00012-20091025-1208Giant Rubber Duck's American Debut Goes Swimmingly - Wired Scienceneil_walker.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxphoto Imagine if you will coming into the airport in Pittsburgh,Pa. and not knowing much about our fair city. The first two guys you see are shown above. One is George and one is Franco. Now George made a big splash here in 1753 as a surveyor and almost literally drowned in a big splash in the Allegheny River. But he went on to great notoriety as a British officer and helped to secure the cornerstone of our city’s early existence -Fort Pitt. He later made many trips to our region and Pittsburgh was near and dear to his heart. The other guy, Franco made a great catch in a football game against the hated Oakland Raiders that went down in gridiron history. If you ask most older Pittsburgers today, they will all tell you, in a friendly way, that they were at the game and saw the “Immaculate Reception.” Now if that were true, I would estimate that there were 600,000 people at that game. Wow- that must have been crowded. I don’t remember it being THAT crowded because I was there. ( Yea – sure you were Pat). But I was.

As you make your way through the tunnels, you are treated to a spectacular collage of buildings and 3 rivers that form the “Point”. You can see the most beautiful baseball field in the country( PNC Park), as well as Heinz Field that is the home of the Pitt Panthers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. But as you make your way to the Strip District and perhaps the South Side, you will begin to notice what makes Pittsburgh so special- the people. Pittsburghers are a friendly lot and will be glad to help you find your way even take you there if they have the time. In many larger cities, folks are in survivor mode and will hip check you to get a cab, or they will do whatever they can to get over on you just because there are so many people. It is survival in the bigger cities, but Pittsburgh is just small enough that the pressure of urban civilization has been lost a little bit on our community.

To go along with the friendliness of the city are the neighborhoods.  Everyone thinks that Pittsburgh is all about Primanti sandwiches, but as good as they are (late at night), there are so many more eateries and establishments in Pittsburgh’s many neighborhoods that can be enjoyed.

Pittsburgh is an enthusiastic town. When the steel industry went in the tank in the 80s, Pittsburgh was resilient and vowed not to be a “rust belt” city. The city fathers welcomed construction of new residence communities to encourage surburbanites to think about living and working along the rivers and supporting the new life that was sprouting up out of the coal and dust of the industrial evacuation. Pittsburgh quickly became a white collar community with the UPMC Medical Facility expansion and the rise of the financial markets in town. Along with this entrepreneurial excitement and resiliency, was the spirit of our community in it’s tireless support of it’s sports teams. The Steelers are having a rough start, but that does not stop the Black and Gold faithful from attending in sell out conditions and having their beloved tailgates at every home game.  The Penguins opened their season this week and Stanley Cup fever is in the air and Pittsburgh fans hang on every word that comes out of Sidney Crosby’s mouth.

We even had a 40 foot rubber duckie moored in the water!! Pittsburgh was the innaugural bathtub for the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s duck and Pittsburghers lined the rivers and the point by the thousands welcoming this piece of inflated art that was here for a month. Shaundra Miles of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust says it best when she remarked that the duck was a “reminder with all that is going on in the world, that there is joy, and joy in simple things.” That is what defines a person living in the ‘burg. We have joy in our communities, our city, our sports teams, and in our lives in general. There is a spirit in Pittsburgh that is most evident in the happiness that a kielbassa sandwich brings at a football game, the micro-brews that are enjoyed at the many local establishments, the thrill of a home run in the post season, the visual bonus of fireworks over our three rivers, the colorful buildings, and the fellowship in the streets during a game or in the work place in anticipation of a win on the ice, field, or gridiron. That spirit is alive in me because of the many nights I sat up and listened to Bob Prince (The Gunner) broadcast a Pirate game and announcing after a victory that ” we had then alllllllll the way!!!” That red plaid sportcoat is etched forever in my memory.

Pittsburgh also has a vibrant outdoor community. Visit http://www.ventureoutdoors.org to see the many hikes, beer tasting hikes, bike rides, snowshoe events, and other outdoor instructional outings that this organization so aptly make available to visitors and locals alike. Janet and I like to use the many bike paths that wind their way through the city. You can park up river and ride to the games, leave your bike in the racks at Kayak Pittsburgh on the Allegheny River, and then return without having to worry about parking. Ride to the Red Fin on Herr’s Island and take in a good lunch while looking at folks enjoying the river on their boats and jet skis. Get involved with the rowing clubs on the island and get instruction on how to take part in a great activity on the river. You don’t have to go to an Ivy League school to learn to row. You can do it on the Allegheny River with a local club.

Well, I may have exhausted that visitor who first stepped off the plane and met George and Franco in the airport. But there sure is enough for him or her to do and maybe, just maybe, they will begin to have that great Pittsburgh spirit as they enjoy dahntahhn with a chipped ham sandwich and some Blend an at. Be glad that you have experienced the “Most Liveable City in America” Thanks for reading.

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Haunted Houses

Thanks to GO LAUREL HIGHLANDS for this compilation of scary places to visit for Halloween festivities. Some are family fun and some are for those with strong hearts! Enjoy! Image from Haunted Hollow

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TREES

Who doesn’t love trees and what they offer us! One of our favorite places to enjoy Mother Nature is Hemlock Trail in Laurel Hill State Park.   Six acres of old growth natural hemocks run along Laurel Hill Creek, 1.2 miles.  Here’s a link for some other eye cathing trees around the world.

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Organizing the MTB Ride Mc Closkey

HSD- High Speed Dirt

by patmccloskey

John Palmieri – the man behind HSD.

You know, it takes a special kind of giving person to organize anything these days. People are so busy that they hardly have time for anything and to organize a weekly mountain bike ride schedule is almost unthinkable. Enter John Palmieri. The man behind what is probably the most organized mountain bike group in Western Pa, West Virginia and Eastern Ohio. High Speed Dirt or HSDMTB as it is known on Facebook, is an amazing juggernaut of cycling activity. With at least 4 organized rides per week advertised on FB, John has assembled an amazing group of kids, parents, women, and generally a diverse group of riders all displaying his reasons- to get people together by riding mountain bikes. It is not so much the organizing of rides that fuels John’s passions, but the mantra of seeing to it that people meet people and make friends for life.

Rides with 50 or more people are not uncommon for HSD.

By profession, John is a 33 year employee of Allegheny Technologies Incorporated serving as their Senior Director of Ethics and Compliance. He and his wife Dana, who shares his passion for people, are busy people. What started out as an email group of 20 people who wanted to get together to ride, HSD has grown to a Facebook Group of 3000 riders in the tri-state area. John is amazed at the growth and interest and it is all because of his infectious enthusiasm for people…….via mountain biking. He laughingly calls himself the ” deputy weather man” because he is always checking the weather before posting a ride which he usually always attends. That is commitment. From family rides, to women’s only rides, to beginner rides, the schedule usually allows for at least 3 groups to form based on ability and speed.

The next generation of riders.
The Women’s Ride

John claims that he is most proud of the women’s rides because the turnout has been great with at least 12-15 scheduled rides so far this year, all led by women of all abilities. Mountain biking tends to be more male involved and it is encouraging to see the participation of the ladies on the HSD schedule. The other popular rides are the family rides where parents bring their kids to enjoy the trails introducing the next generation of riders to the great sport of mountain biking.

John not only organizes rides but also the popular apre’ ride which includes the grill, beverages and the ever popular “Send It Sausage” an adaptation of the popular hot sausage sandwich which always brings out the crowds when advertised.

Send It Sausage
The ladies sending it in North Carolina

John says the ever popular Chili Ride is coming up soon with the coveted Chili Trophy presented to the winning entree. HSD now has apparel including jersies, socks, and now fleece hats for apre’ ride merriment. This guy thinks of everything. I wish I had half his energy!!

Riding recently with John down in West Virginia where we attended the UCI World Cup Final at Snowshoe, I found a very engaging and friendly captain of the HSD squad. John always says he likes to ride with the new people so that they feel welcome and not intimidated on any rides. He loves the family rides and has said that people have come up to him and stated that the ” the impact on their lives has been very personal.” This fuels John in his mission to get people to meet people as first and foremost. As he expands his “mission” he is now including some “road trips” to places like Sedona, Asheville, Jake’s Rocks and Raystown and coming up next spring or summer, he will include Bentonville, Arkansas to the mix. John says these trips are basically his vacation which he and Dana enjoy together. Not many people would dedicate their vacation to see that people meet people- John and Dana do. That is what I find most endearing about these two as they ride though life on their knobby tires. Through HSD and it’s now 3000 strong membership, the rides are scheduled all year to include the popular snow rides. HSD has fun all year long and it is all due to an enthusiastic normal guy and his wife who put others first instead of their own wants and needs. Isn’t that what we need today more than anything? Someone who is willing to give up their time so that other people can come together? Not many people like John Palmieri. HSD is a fortunate organization and growing. Go to Facebook Groups and look up HSDMTB and join up if you are interested. John is the moderator who approves applications and he will do it with a smile as he sees another person joining up to ride and eat some Send it Sausage and enjoy a post ride beer. . Thanks for reading.

 

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Connecting PA Trails

Did you know, “One of the seven major recommendations of the State Outdoor Recreation Plan is to “Close priority trail gaps in Pennsylvania’s statewide land and water trail network with the overall goal of having a trail within 10 minutes of every Pennsylvanian.” Inside the  Pennsylvania Land and Water Trail Network Strategic Plan (PDF). You’ll find a ” blueprint for state and local governments, trail providers, and other stakeholders to guide Pennsylvania’s trail stewardship and expansion for the next five years.” Read more

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Beauty is Everywhere

Check out the Drone 2021 Awards just make sure you open up when you have some time to enjoy the 9 catagories! They each have 19-20 photos within the catagory! ENJOY!

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