Category: Peters Township

First Drive on the Southern Beltway

Pittsburgh’s long awaited Southern Beltway toll road opened yesterday, easing the trip to and from the Pittsburgh International Airport for many travelers. For those living south of Pittsburgh, this route will eliminate battling the traffic snarls that have become far more common in the… Continue Reading “First Drive on the Southern Beltway”

Tesla Energy Production Exceeds Needs (Again)

September brought more positive results, with our solar panels producing enough energy to power our home and charge our electric vehicle, while also “banking” an excess that will be carried forward through net metering. Solar energy production for September = 844.2 kWh Home usage… Continue Reading “Tesla Energy Production Exceeds Needs (Again)”

First Frost

After years of observing the weather in our Pittsburgh area, October 10th became the average date for our first frost, marking the end of the growing season for frost-sensitive plants. It also marks the date to bring houseplants indoors. Recently, when I mentioned this… Continue Reading “First Frost”

Don’t Expect Protection

Pennsylvania Senator Katie Muth hosted a hearing last week, CLOSING THE HAZARDOUS WASTE LOOPHOLE IN PA, where we learned once again why citizens jokingly say the initials D.E.P. (short for Department of Environmental Protection) stand for “Don’t Expect Protection.” Of course it’s no laughing… Continue Reading “Don’t Expect Protection”

National Solar Tour this weekend

The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) national tour, both in-person and virtual, takes place Saturday and Sunday. Learn more here. US map of locations Established in 1954, ASES is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that advocates for sustainable living and 100% renewable energy by sharing information,… Continue Reading “National Solar Tour this weekend”

Clean Energy Week

Looking at our regional electric grid, we have a lot of work to do if we are going to wean ourselves off fossil fuels by 2030, or even 2035! The PJM Interconnection grid, that delivers electricity to WV, PA, OH, NJ and parts of… Continue Reading “Clean Energy Week”

Winter Weather Forecast

A woolly bear caterpillar crossed our path Sunday… The caterpillar was our annual reminder of folklore surrounding winter weather forecasting. Pennsylvania PrognosticatorsThe Woolly Bear is nearly as famous for its winter forecast, as Punxsutawney Phil is for his spring forecast. It’s also known as… Continue Reading “Winter Weather Forecast”

Natural Gas Widowmaker

With an increasing dependence on natural gas for electricity generation, one has to ask what this will mean to future consumer prices. Simon Casey of Bloomberg posted a story and chart yesterday, ‘Widowmaker’ Natural Gas Spread Doubles as Traders Eye Winter – “Natural gas… Continue Reading “Natural Gas Widowmaker”

O Deer!

One important job in the home landscape should never wait. Over the years, I’ve seen whitetail deer cause severe, life threatening damage to young trees. Damage to the main trunk of a tree occurs during deer mating season, which is commonly known as “the… Continue Reading “O Deer!”

Love Your Lawn… Now!

My web page title says it best, “SEPTEMBER IS LAWN MONTH” See all the reasons why: https://bobscaping.com/september-is-lawn-month/ There are two seasons of the year in the midwest and northeastern United States (and similar climate zones) when your odds of lawn seeding success greatly improve:… Continue Reading “Love Your Lawn… Now!”

Barium, Chloride and Strontium, Oh My!

A study published in SCIENCE (PDF) last week is said to be the first linking surface water contamination to fracking, the layman’s term for hydraulic fracturing, which is used to produce oil and gas from shale, like the Marcellus Shale which underlies a large… Continue Reading “Barium, Chloride and Strontium, Oh My!”

Finches Return

The “all clear” was sounded at the end of last week for putting birdfeeders back up, so the first to go up was the thistle seed feeder that Finches favor so much, as well as the occasional Chickadee. Last update I read indicated that… Continue Reading “Finches Return”

Skunk Assist

In my battle against a yellowjacket nest that was dangerously close to our front sidewalk, a skunk (or raccoon) intervened to help clean-out the nest. I waited until well after dark the first night to spray the area under this ‘Little Gem’ Spruce with… Continue Reading “Skunk Assist”

Fungicide Fish Kill

This headline appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on July 17, 2021: Fish and Boat officials investigate ‘significant fish kill’ in Chartiers Creek “Waterways conservation officers were dispatched and were on scene that evening and Friday. They found dead fish on banks and floating in the… Continue Reading “Fungicide Fish Kill”

Brown Foam

When the frackers began to ramp- up their fracking activities in our county, just over a decade ago, my greatest pollution concerns were for our streams, rivers and lakes. It made perfect sense then, and even more sense now, as we have seen repeated… Continue Reading “Brown Foam”

Household Battery Backup

When we added the first eleven solar panels to our roof three years ago, we also added a Tesla Powerwall 2 (lithium- ion) backup battery (rated at 14 kWh) to the mix. The greatest advantage to me, is the ability of our house to… Continue Reading “Household Battery Backup”

Solar Energy In The Rain

It’s hard to believe that you can get a sunburn on a cloudy day, even though it’s true. Even harder to believe, is that you can produce solar energy on a rainy morning, but that’s also true! That’s right, even though it rained all… Continue Reading “Solar Energy In The Rain”

Lightning Bugs Are Back

While some call them Fireflies or Glowworms, we’ve always called them Lightning Bugs. Here in southwestern Pennsylvania they seem synonymous with the 4th of July, for the timing of their annual nocturnal appearance. True to form, it was nice to see their blinking yellow… Continue Reading “Lightning Bugs Are Back”

Hardening Off

When we schedule outdoor plant maintenance activities, using certain annual holidays as reminders really helps. For the 4th of July, Independence Day holiday, two things come to mind. The first regards daffodils and narcissus Following the Spring blossoms of these hardy bulbs, gardeners are… Continue Reading “Hardening Off”

Birdbath Down

About three weeks ago, we added a new birdbath to our backyard landscape, to help complement the three birdfeeders we added in late winter, when it seemed like the birds deserved some additional food sources, on the tail end of a nasty winter. The… Continue Reading “Birdbath Down”

Long Gone

Paul Urquhart of McMurray, Pennsylvania, volunteered for a second tour of duty in Vietnam, and while he is believed to have perished in his Loach helicopter crash, 50 years ago this Memorial Day, his body has never been recovered, so he technically remains “Missing… Continue Reading “Long Gone”

Honoring Tom

It was a local high school student, Brian Hottel, at Peters Township High School, who first raised my awareness of Tom Shipe. A newspaper story said that Brian wanted to create a memorial at the high school to honor Tom, who had never returned… Continue Reading “Honoring Tom”