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Posts tagged “carnegie pa

Diner Greeting Committee

sunflowers
sunflowers

Diner Greeting Committee

Especially welcome on a rainy day.

The photo was so dull and underexposed I did major manipulations to color and contrast, and then applied a “poster edges” filter in Photoshop. I photographed it thinking it would make a good watercolor someday but wasn’t sure I could pull it off with all the colors so dull, now I think it will be okay.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Saturday Smiles

yellow sunflower
yellow sunflower

Lemon Smile

I encountered the last of a row of exuberant sunflowers on my way back from the post office this morning. I wish I would have had my DSLR to blur out some of those backgrounds and get even more dramatic closeups, but these are fine. Enjoy!

orange sunflower

Orange Smile

Yellow sunflower in shadow

Shy Smile

russet sunflower

Russet Smile, with a little green bee.

four sunflowers

Smiling Quartet

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Fireworks Over Water

fireworks
fireworks

Fireworks Over Chartiers Creek

Of all the fireworks photos I’ve taken, this is my favorite, and I took it with my first 2MP digital camera and a tall narrow tripod. This camera had no zoom so there was no real focus time, and it caught the action of the fireworks without hesitation.

This is over Chartiers Creek in Carnegie, not on July 4 but at the end of our community festival in 2003. Chartiers Creek flows right through the middle of town and bridges span it in several places, including these two bridges about 100 yards apart. The fireworks are being set off on the Main Street Bridge, I am on the Mansfield Street Bridge. The building to the right is the Husler building with houses the  Historical Society of Carnegie.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Family Outing

Canada Geese on the creek
Canada Geese on the creek

Family Outing

Mom and dad and the kids out for a little practice swim on the creek.

This would have been so nice if I’d had my DSLR, but I’m glad to have seen them nonetheless. They are paddling upstream, and a little farther down was another two adults with a whole bundle of little fuzzballs floating on the water. I couldn’t even count them, way more than two geese typically have, but that explained why the first two only had two.

It’s rare that I don’t have the good camera with me, but when I forget it or leave the house too fast I’m sure to see something like this shot of the great blue heron that would have been fantastic with my good lens.

great blue heron

Great Blue Heron

 

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


White Houses in Spring

pastel sketch of white houses on hill
pastel sketch of white houses on hill

“Houses on the Hill”, Nupastel on multimedia paper, 10″ x 7″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

This is a plein air sketch I did yesterday afternoon from Main Street in Carnegie. The houses, nearly all of them white so I took a little liberty with them, sit on the edge of the bluff for the view, the steep drop below covered with scrappy trees just turning hazy shades of green. In the bright sun of afternoon the shadows and shapes were clearly defined so I drew it pretty much entirely using the side of the square pastel stick so I’d achieve geometric shapes with just a little blending.

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For a print of this or any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Images of Living History

civil war re-enactors waiting around cannon
civil war re-enactors waiting around cannon

Waiting

Each year Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall hosts a living history event in remembrance of the Civil War, guided by the Library & Music Hall’s own Civil War expert, Espy Post Curator Diane Klinefelter, and including the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves in uniform as docents and re-enactors. Other re-enactors also take part as well as historians and vendors of all sorts to share their knowledge of this time in our country’s history. This year’s event is Saturday, April 5, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. I have information about this year’s event below. I’ll be there taking photos as usual, and possibly doing some sketches.

confederate re-enactor drummer boy

Drummer Boy

In April 2011 and April 2012, as part of the commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, ACFL&MH also hosted re-enactment events held in Carnegie Park where re-enactors encamped and staged historic battles. I photographed these two events at the Library & Music Hall and at Carnegie Park, as I have photographed these living history events for years. I was so moved by the solemnity and dignity of the re-enactors. Some of the images have stayed with me since that time and I’ve been wanting to share them in an exhibit since then.

adjutant's tent at civil war event

Adjutant’s Tent

I did my best to capture as many as possible without modern anachronisms such as cars, surrounding homes and electrical wires as well as visitors in street clothes and re-enactors using cell phones. These eight photos reflect just a few memorable sights from those events.

Here are the photos in the exhibit

Flyer for Living History Exhibit civil war

Flyer for Living History Exhibit

Mid-day Meal

Powder Boy

Adjutant’s Tent

Drummer Boy

Waiting

Catching the Cadence

The First Shot

Bucktails

Thanks to Maggie Forbes and Diane Klinefelter for giving me the opportunity and the place to hang this exhibit.
Framed prints are for sale at $75.00 each; $25.00 of each sale is donated to ACFL&MH. Unframed prints are for sale at $25.00 each.

This exhibit joins two other exhibits in the Reception Hall, “Of Harps and Fig Leaves” and “Carnegie Photographed”.

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Schedule for the Living History Event

Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall 2014 Civil War Living History Day – April 5, 2014

Ongoing – 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

 Tours of the Capt. Thomas Espy Post, 2nd Floor

Guns of Gettysburg Display, Studio – “B”

Photo Exhibit – Petersburg & The Crater, Library – 1st Floor

Civil War authors book signings, Reception Hall – 2nd Floor

Sutlers, Studio – “B”

Food Court, Music Hall Lobby – 1st Floor

Civil War Used Book Sale, Studio – “B”

Co. A, 9th PA Reserves drills, Outdoors West Lawn

Touring Stations: Civil War Medicine, Infantry, Artillery, Recruiting, Studio – “B”

11:00 AM
Music Hall– 1st Floor, “The Dead Lay All About – Gettysburg: the Aftermath”, Kristopher D. White

1:00 PM
Reception Hall – 2nd Floor, “Sweet Glory: a novel”, Lisa Y. Potocar

3:00 PM
Music Hall– 1st Floor, Almost Famous Bluegrass Band Steven Moore & Friends

10:30; 12:15; 1:45 PM
Chartiers Cemetery Tours of the GAR Section, Shuttle in front of Library Steps


Little Model Town

small town off of bluff
small town off of bluff

Little Model Town

Standing on my favorite bluff along Library Avenue in Carnegie, the one generations of others stood upon to see into distant areas and distant futures. From here, the neighborhood known as Irishtown, built on a very flat flood plain, looks like a little scale model of a small town.

Below is the view standing back a little to give you an idea of the height. The bluff drops off to a set of railroad tracks that trail along the bottom, then below that is Chartiers Creek.

view off bluff

A distance view of the bluff.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


“In This Valley”, Thanks for Being There

me with my art
me with my art

Me with my art.

Usually I read all new works at my poetry readings, but this event was also part of the celebration of Carnegie’s 120th year so my poems focused specifically on sites and events in Carnegie. I read, as usual, 12 poems, two of which were new, one written specifically for this reading to an audience of about 30 people, friends, family, and others who I’d never met.

I always introduce the theme and give a brief narrative for each poem before reading it, and a summary afterward. My readings also include an exhibit of art and photographs and while this is also mostly new, this exhibit was taken from my collection of photos and sketches from around town in a collection I call “My Home Town” as well as most of the 32 photographs in the collections “Of Harps and Fig Leaves” and “Carnegie Photographed” which are a permanent exhibition in the Reception Hall. This year it included a few new street sketches, paintings and photos and note cards on display from the set “My Home Town” and “Eye on the Sparrow”. Two pieces were borrowed from their owners, all the rest are for sale, both originals and prints.

art exhibit

The full display of art for this exhibit.

Much of what I do is inspired by the place I live as I’ve walked the trails and streets of Carnegie and the surrounding area, watching the land and people change from my childhood. Most of my poems began with something I saw, which often has multiple levels of inspiration for me and can inspire many different works. I photograph everything I possibly can and I may never use that photograph but sometimes it becomes a work in its own right. Then it may immediately or later become a sketch or painting, then possibly a poem and even some times a short story. You’ve seen and read the beginnings of these many times here on Today.

snow falling in old cemetery

Snow in the Cemetery

I ordered the poems according to the time frame they referred to. It’s interesting to see how the context of reading a poem can change my own reading of it and the poem’s reception. For instance, I read August 28, 1941 the first year I wrote it in all seriousness, despite the sometimes comical notices included in the classified ads that made that poem, in the face of the imminent world war. Last night reading the prices and products and comments from that era provided natural humor for everyone in the audience that felt completely appropriate and perhaps the last line referring to the storm on the horizon was even more gripping after our laughter.

Several poems were about or referred to things that I’d…found in the trash, and why they were found in the trash was part of the reason I included them and wrote a new poem. Many homes around town had been owned and occupied by only one family from the 1930s or 1940s to today, and contain a lot of things people kept for various reasons, things that tell a story about life in that house, and the eras the house was occupied, typical of Carnegie and towns like it. August 28, 1941 was one of those poems, and a new one entitled The Cabinet for a cabinet made in 1946 which I’d found during the time my mother was critically ill, and because WWII was “her” era the carefully handmade cabinet had touched me deeply, thinking of someone returning from overseas with all the pain and trauma and trying to get back to “normal” life.

belted kingfisher

Kingfisher on a branch watching the water for fish.

The kingfisher I saw the other day, though, was what brought it together for me, and I wrote a poem focused on the changes that have been and those to come for Carnegie, and gave a narrative about what the kingfisher means in ecology and how our change from industry to small businesses had made a positive change in our landscape we probably hadn’t realized, cleaning up the very creek that was the reason Carnegie had been founded where it was so long ago, and that the kingfisher symbolizes the rebirth from winter to spring, transition and adventure, and hope that Carnegie is in for some positive change after all we’ve done to build and rebuild our town in this valley.

As I have done with past poetry readings, I will post the poems and images in a virtual reading on my website. The artwork will remain in the Reception Hall until the end of March. And hopefully I’ll finally have my newly-printed poetry books!

I was so excited and comfortable at this reading that I felt it was my best yet of all six. Thanks to Maggie Forbes, executive director of the ACFL&MH for hosting me.

I read these poems, those that appear here are linked and you can read many others at allpoetry:

Snow in the Cemetery

Vintage

Bridal Wreath

August 28, 1941

The Cabinet

My First Decision

Memorial Day Parade

After the Flood

Dogwoods

Flocks of Children

The Kingfisher

tables of art and cards

Detail of what’s on the tables.

And here’s a slideshow of some of the art that’s there:


Self-portrait in Reflection

shadow of person and tree on water
shadow of person and tree on water

Self-portrait in Reflection

I caught my shadow silhouetted on the water the other day as I was photographing the kingfisher, then intentionally took a few with all the reflections and shadows of a sunny winter day, seeing myself and the tree and the dried wildflowers all equally represented by silhouettes on the impermanence of moving water; it was also the day before my birthday, a good day for reflection.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


The Belted Kingfisher

belted kingfisher
kingfisher watching water

Fishing for dinner.

This bird has been teasing me for two years as I walk along this section of the creek on my way to and from Main Street. He blends in with just about any backdrop and waits until I just about stumble over him, makes his chittering little noise and flies off before I have a chance to even get my camera in position!

kingfisher

Closeup of kingfisher.

Of course, he’s protecting his territory, holding fast until the last moment, then leading me away. He’s still been impossible to photograph as I either haven’t had my good camera with me or changing lenses took too long, but in the process I’ve had a chance to observe more of his habits, which saplings he flies to, when he skims down to the water, and even dives in. And he is a male; the female has a band of copper on her chest below the gray band that both sexes wear.

belted kingfisher

View of the kingfisher from the side.

So today I followed this bird along one bank of the creek, then back, across a bridge and down the other bank for a ways, and across a second bridge. To explain, two bridges span the creek maybe 100 yards apart, and the creek itself is about 40 feet wide though the banks are high. The light can be tricky, but I finally got the photo I wanted along with a few extras, and two I didn’t expect to get!

kingfisher

Taking flight.

The temperature was about 20 degrees, about 4:30 pm, and this kingfisher was looking for a dinner of fresh fish, really remarkable for our creek which had once been so polluted algae wouldn’t even grow in it. I didn’t want to bother him too much, but I really couldn’t imagine voluntarily diving into that frigid water for my dinner, but this time he wasn’t concerned about me—and I think he got his dinner!

kingfisher lands in water

Splash!

Perhaps the kingfisher is a more accurate predictor than Phil the groundhog. Kingfishers symbolize sunshine, warmth, love and prosperity and presage new adventures.

belted kingfisher

Kingfisher on a branch watching the water for fish.

All this while two mallards were floating around on a date. More about the two of them and their shenanigans another time. Ah, spring.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


In This Valley Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

In This Valley Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit
In This Valley Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

In This Valley Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

In This Valley

Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

Thursday, March 6, 2014, 7:00 PM

Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Reception Hall, 2nd Floor

Library Avenue, ink sketch

Library Avenue, ink sketch

As a part of the celebration of Carnegie’s 120th year, I will share poetry and art inspired by my home town. The program is free and a reception follows the reading.

West Main Street, original pastel

West Main Street, August Afternoon, original pastel

Much of what I do is inspired by the place I live as I’ve walked the trails and streets of Carnegie and the surrounding area, watching the land and people change from my childhood. I’ll be reading about a dozen poems, some of which I’ve presented in prior poetry readings, and a selection of new works.

View from Beechwood, acrylic painting

View from Beechwood, acrylic painting

I’ll also have some familiar paintings and prints as well as recent sketches, paintings and photographs and I’ll have a selection of note cards on display from the set “My Home Town”. In addition, a selection of my photographs from the collections “Of Harps and Fig Leaves” and “Carnegie Photographed” will also be part of the exhibit.

Table of Glass, original pastel

Table of Glass, original pastel

You can see samples of poetry and art from my prior poetry readings at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall by visiting the poetry page on my website.

If you’re local, I hope to see you there!

main street carnegie

Main Street at Twilight, photo


Red-breasted Mergansers

merganser on creek
merganser on creek

Which way?

Even from a distance as I took my shortcut from Main Street under the bridge along the creek I knew these three water fowl were neither the common mallards I’m accustomed to nor the geese I’d seen earlier. Being able to look through a telephoto lens is almost as good as having binoculars sometimes—the crunchy snow and ice on the ground made quite a bit of noise and the birds, whatever they were, might easily be startled and take off before I was close enough to get a good photo.

merganser on creek

Cruising along.

These are taken at 300mm, and from a distance of about 50 yards, but I knew those mohawks were something special! And the long thin beaks and red eyes. I took as many photos as I could and looked them up in my bird guide as soon as I got home and found they looked like the entry for red-breasted mergansers. A cross-check with a wildlife biologist confirmed it.

mergansers on the creek

Through the rapids

They are far more common on larger or deeper bodies of water like lakes and rivers, not 18″ deep Chartiers Creek, but I was glad to welcome them here and actually get photos of their visit.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


The Winter’s Tale

morning glory vines in winter
morning glory vines in winter

The Winter’s Tale

Chide me, dear stone, that I may say indeed
Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art she
In thy not chiding; for she was as tender
As infancy and grace. But yet, Paulina,
Hermione was not so much wrinkled, nothing
So aged as this seems.

The Winter’s Tale, V. ii., Leontes, at seeing his queen, gone sixteen years, a statue come to life

I happened to walk past the white barn in the alley and saw the grizzled morning glory vines, seed pods pressed open, dangling icicles, and thought of the summer morning I’d found them lushly blooming against the weathered white boards; in those sere muted vines Leontes still sees his queen in her infancy and grace.

morning glories

The morning glories, tender in their infancy and grace.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Main Street Autumn Evening

sunset on main street carnegie
sunset on main street carnegie

Main Street Autumn Sunset

This camera didn’t quite catch the tangerine sky on the horizon, but it did catch the glow of that color on the buildings, the gradated blue sky with wispy clouds, and the evening star are all there to wish us well on a quiet autumn evening on Carnegie’s Main Street.


Different Opinions

broken windows in building
broken windows in building

Different Opinions

Each of these windows has something different to say about the condition of this building.

I’ve been watching the Thepitt Building in Carnegie slowly fall to pieces for years. The brick walls are sound for the most part, but each of the classic old 6/6 wooden-frame double-hung windows has weathered the time in its own fashion, from broken panes to missing panes to those remaining reflecting its own little section of the sky, some windows with dilapidated blinds still hanging and others with chairs and desks visible and even views of the sky through the roof, or where the roof should be. It’s just fantastic in its downfall, though only a few years ago there were still businesses in this building.

Interesting how different it looks in color, less stark, possibly more details, yet it’s the same message.

broken windows in old building

Different Opinions

 

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.

 


Main Street at Twilight

main street in carnegie at twilight
main street in carnegie at twilight

Main Street at Twilight

The first block of East Main Street in Carnegie, PA at dusk.

I have no idea how my little hand-held digital metered the colors like this, but I heartily approve! Honestly, this is not touched up in any way, even though the sky looks as if I either added from another photo, I adjusted the color in that area or I just painted in another sky. The whole thing looks like a movie set.

The time of day was twilight, after the sun dropped below the horizon but still reflected on the sky and the thin overcast of clouds. I know I pointed my focus spot on the darkest area in the scene, way down at the other end of Main Street, the building that is actually on a hill in the next community, and that would have influenced the internal metering especially since the scene looks very bright although it’s only the street lights that provide illumination. I can assure you they are not that bright.

And likely the yellow lights also pushed the complementary blue of the sky a little brighter than it actually was. However it happened, I approve.

This was taken with my little Lumix point and shoot where I have very little control, but the other settings that would have influenced this outcome are two I’ve always set on these little cameras. First, I turn the stabilizer mode, which will help to eliminate blurriness in low-light conditions, to “off” because in these small cameras it simply changes the ASA setting to a higher number. This results in a photo that looks great in your view screen, but when you open it up on your computer it’s completely grainy. I use a tripod, or, as in this case, I find something to set the camera on or press it against and set the shutter for a 2-second timed delay so that everything is as still as it’s going to get when the shutter finally opens.

Second, I set the EV, or exposure value, setting two or three steps below the middle. Most cameras shoot light so that as much light as possible gets into the lens, but you also lose detail in the highlights and I find it doesn’t meter well for images with a lot of contrast, which is usually what attracts me.

So, I guess that’s how this one turned out like this.

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Purchase a canvas or a print of this image

canvas print of main street

Canvas print of “Main Street at Twilight”

Canvas print

This 16″ x 32″ canvas print is beautifully printed in archival inks on artist canvas and gallery wrapped around 1″ stretchers. Sides are finished in black. You can find it in my Etsy shop.

I can also prepare a print in a variety of styles and sizes.

This photo is also available as a print in my gallery on Fine Art America.


Antique and Vintage

violin on an oak table
violin on an oak table

Antique and Vintage

A violinist laid down her antique instrument on a vintage oak table just long enough for me to get at least one interesting photo. She was performing in the orchestra for the Pittsburgh Savoyards’s production of Princess Ida in the Music Hall at at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie. The performance was excellent, such incredible voices and such an intimate Hall, and Gilbert & Sullivan may seem silly and frilly but hear live they never cease to amaze me with the depth of their lyrics and themes. The table is one of the original tables installed when the Library & Music Hall opened in 1901.

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On a related note, literally, I watched a brief video about people in Paraguay who live on and make their living from a garbage dump who create musical instruments from garbage and formed an orchestra.

“The world generates about a billion tons of garbage a year. Those who live with it and from it are the poor – like the people of Cateura, Paraguay. And here they are transforming it into beauty. Landfill Harmonic follows the orchestra as it takes its inspiring spectacle of trash-into-music around the world….”

Please visit the website for Landfillharmonic, watch the video and read about these amazing people making beauty with garbage.

I will never complain about lacking materials or creative space again.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Tashlich, 2010

photo of tashlich ceremony
photo of tashlich ceremony

Congregation Ahavath Achim in Carnegie, PA, Tashlich

Members of Congregation Ahavath Achim in Carnegie, PA toss bread off the bridge at Tashlich at the Chestnut Street Bridge over Chartiers Creek, as they have for apparently many years on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. I was honored to observe and photograph the event, albeit from afar to make sure I could get the entire shot.

If you look closely you can see little blurred specks of white against the greenery in the background.

For as much as I know about my home town, Carnegie, and as much as I know about my home creek, Chartiers Creek, I never knew they performed this ceremony here in Carnegie, on this bridge over the creek.  I know the president of the Shul, Rick D’Loss, and when he sent out the notice about events during the High Holidays at the Shul I noticed this and asked about it. Even though it was the first night of our festival I wanted to photograph it if I would be permitted. Rick welcomed me to do so.

Rick is also a photographer, and while I usually try to get a few photos of our community festival I’m usually pretty busy, so as soon as his holiday events are under control he’ll be photographing our festival, this Saturday afternoon and evening.

You can find many resources to read about Tashlich on the internet, but maybe I’ll see if I can get Rick to write something eventually about the ceremony at our local congregation. You can read about the Carnegie Shul on the site that Rick maintains.


Reading the Paper on the Bridge

old man reading paper with platners of flowers
old man reading newspaper on bridge

Reading the Paper on the Bridge

Just an interesting shot on a sunny summer afternoon in Carnegie, and quite colorful.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


A Handful of Painters

painters palette
painters palette

Phil’s Palette

On my walk to the post office today I saw a painter with his easel set up along the little path. It was Phil Salvato, painting Main Street across the creek. I stopped to talk for a bit, photographed him and his palette (I love palettes in use), then proceeded on to where he’d told me the next to painters were stationed, Sandy and Keith, below.

phil salvato painting

Phil Salvato

To give you an idea where they are, Phil is standing just about where I encountered the gray catbird last week, and Sandy and Keith are standing where I often visit the ducks and geese in the winter.

woman painting at easel

Sandy

man painting at easel

Keith

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Goose Herders

geese
geese

Geese in the rain.

Just a nice photo of our flock of Canada geese walking on wet pavement as they headed for higher ground this morning. The creek was high after heavy rainfall and they normally nest on the creek banks, now under water.

Below, they walk in a somewhat orderly fashion between the bank and the creek, but couldn’t cross the street for the traffic.

The geese head out between the bank and the creek.

The geese head out between the bank and the creek.

Mark Cantley and I helped them cross the street—he parked his truck to block traffic from one directly and I stepped out to block it from the other and we both herded the geese across Main Street.

geese

We herd the geese across the street.

Here they are in the empty lot.

geese

Geese safely in the empty lot.


Not Out of the Woods Yet

chartiers creek
chartiers creek

The geese don’t know what to do.

An early morning storm dumped at least three inches of rain on our region and many low-lying roads were inundated and are closed already while more heavy storms are on their way. Above, the geese are concerned because their nests along the creek bank are under water; most of their babies are nearly as large as their parents so hopefully none were caught in the flash flooding as the creek rose.

chartiers creek

View from Main Street Bridge to Mansfield Street Bridge today.

In Carnegie, we still remember the flood from Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and whenever heavy rains start to fall and the creek rises many of us run out to watch it. Because runoff comes from storm drains and runs off of hillsides long after the storm has left the area the creek continued rising until about 10:00 a.m. then crested and began to fall.

chartiers creek

Nearly at the top of the floodwall near Main Street.

Comparison Images

Below is what the creek looks like normally in photos I took in June along with photos from this morning about 10:30 a.m. The fishing spot—check where the smaller outflow pipe is on the left in both photos:

chartiers creek

The fishing spot today.

chartiers creek

The fishing spot at the typical height and flow of the creek on June 9, 2013.

View from Hammond Street Bridge—note in the bottom photo from June, near the bottom of the photo, a horizontal line in the water in the creek. This is the weir that corresponds to the USGS gauge mentioned below, while the building that houses the gauge and transmits the data is the small pale structure you see about half-way down the left side of the photo:

chartiers creek

View from Hammond Street today.

chartiers creek

View from Hammond Street Bridge June 9, 2013.

I’m pretty fearless around Chartiers Creek, but these raging waters are nothing to fool with. Not only is the current strong and unpredictable, but the water is full of floating debris from basketballs to tree trunks. In addition to the dangers of the rushing water, are the dangers of contamination from runoff from streets as well as the part none of us likes to think about—overflow from our combined street and sanitary sewers. Don’t toss a canoe in and have a ride, it’s far too dangerous.

The USGS Gauge

Chartiers Creek used to flood several times a year until the Fulton Flood Control Project was finished in 1972 which dredged the creek to make it deeper, widened the banks to carry a higher flow and straightened out turns so a raging flood could discharge without backing up or tearing out the banks. You will often see the waters rise during summer storms or spring snowmelt when storm sewers and tributaries are discharging into the creek all at once, and the water rises quickly, but crests before it reaches the top of the banks, then slowly recedes. Only once since then has the creek flooded, during Hurricane Ivan in 2004, but with heavy storms repeatedly moving through it’s time to keep watch.

The USGS has a gauge at Hammond Street in Carnegie to measure the height and flow of the creek along with a gauge for rainfall that shows results in real time—pretty much up to the minute. Here is a screen shot of what it looks like at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday. You can see how precipitously the water rose at certain points, coordinating with the rainfall.

071013-GageHeight

071013-Discharge

071013-Precipitation

Click this link to go to the page and bookmark it as well as sign up for an automated notice via text or e-mail ( http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/pa/nwis/uv/?site_no=03085500&agency_cd=USGS ).

Communities along Robinson Run—Collier Township, Sturgeon, Oakdale, McDonald as well as others—need to be especially careful as the stream has been overflowing as the streets discharge into it. Oakdale was reported to have four feet of water on the streets with many flooded basements, and Collier Township has reports of washed out or collapsing roadways along ravines and ridges. The community of North Fayette has declared a disaster emergency from excessive flooding and flood damage and many communities have roads closed due to flooded or damaged roads and structures. If you are in Allegheny County, PA, the county’s Twitter account  ( https://twitter.com/Allegheny_Co ) has been up to the minute with reports of flooding and damage in all communities in the county.

More storms are on their way, predicted to drop another two inches this afternoon and again tonight as a cold front comes through. Until it’s over, be aware of the dangers of flooding as well as landslides and falling trees from rain and saturated soil, and possible lengthy power outages. Make sure you have an evacuation and communication plan with family or friends preparing for potentially three days or more without power or completely evacuating, and make sure that includes any pets in your household; for more information on how to prepare for an emergency with your pets, please read “Emergency Preparedness for You and Your Pets” on The Creative Cat.

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As I was photographing this morning the geese were trying to get to safety, so Mark Cantley and I helped them cross the street—he parked his truck to block traffic from one directly and I stepped out to block it from the other and we both herded the geese across Main Street. See the post here.


Fireworks Over Water

fireworks over water
fireworks over water

Fireworks Over the Creek.

Of all the fireworks photos I’ve taken, this is my favorite, and I took it with my first 2MP digital camera and a tall narrow tripod. This camera had no zoom so there was no real focus time, and it caught the action of the fireworks without hesitation.

This is over Chartiers Creek in Carnegie, not on July 4 but at the end of our community festival in 2003. Chartiers Creek flows right through the middle of town and bridges span it in several places, including these two bridges about 100 yards apart. The fireworks are being set off on the Main Street Bridge, I am on the Mansfield Street Bridge. The building to the right is the Husler building with houses the  Historical Society of Carnegie.


Sketch: Main Street Sunday

pastel painting of main street in carnegie
pastel painting of main street in carnegie

“Main Street Sunday”, pastel on sanded paper, 9″ x 12″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

This is one more sketch from my art and photo extravaganza Sunday a week ago, and this is what happens when you try to do six sketches in one day—they are finished at a later time.

This sketch I had not had the chance to begin that day, only took photos with intention. It was near noon and I’d already been out in the sun for about two hours, and the only place to stand to get this sketch was in direct sun. I don’t mind the sun, but I knew that would have been too much.

As I always do when I photograph people where they might be recognizable, I went to the nice young couple with the baby sitting at the table by Papa J’s and told them I was only photographing for reference for a painting I’d like to do but I would likely never use the photograph unless I had a release since they were recognizable. That was fine with them. I took several photos and packed things up on my bike to continue on my journey to a shadier spot for mid-day.

So I began this sketch entirely from a photo, and sometimes that’s okay, but there’s a lot going on here and something just didn’t feel authentic with the sketch I’d finished a day or two after. I had to let it sit…and sit…and sit until I decided I just had to find the time around noon on a sunny day to go back to that spot and look at it again, and work on the painting for a bit if I could. Then I had to wait several rainy days for a sunny day. And so today I did. It seems I needed deeper shadows and sharper highlights. If I’d been able to I would have removed the two cars, but that wasn’t possible so I toned them down. The street’s a little out of proportion…oh, well.

So here we are, Main Street in Carnegie on a Sunday in June, just about noon! It was June 9, to be exact.

(If you see a couple of stripes about 1/3 of the way from each edge, that’s my scanner, still unhappy and not getting any better. I really have to look for a new one.)

Main Street is a frequent subject of mine:

West Main Street August Afternoon

Memorial Day Parade: A Pencil Sketch

Evening Lights: Painting

And an exhibit entitled “My Home Town”