Simple Pleasures

Brook trout water remains a simple pleasure, as do the trout themselves. I could walk the mountain runs of the Alleghenies for days on end with no rod and remain content. Looking and knowing that the magical little fish are there is enough.     I’ve been away too long. Too much pavement, too much […]

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It’s Still Worth Saving

“Now I ask you: what can be expected of man as a being endowed with such strange qualities? Shower him with all earthly blessings, drown him in happiness completely, over his head, so that only bubbles pop up on the surface of happiness, as on water; give him such economic satisfaction that he no longer […]

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Reishi and the Noble Savage

Alexander seemed shocked to see me when I bumbled into his camp, high in the western Allegheny ridges. And he should have been shocked – I was the first human he’d seen since December. I slowly raised my hand in a universally understood greeting salute and Alexander tentatively returned the gesture,  still unsure whether to […]

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The Element of Surprise

It was good to be out today but I felt I was wasting my time. Alright, this wasn’t really true – I was exploring a new place and getting fresh air and exercise which is never really a waste of time. But I was in search of a special mushroom and it now seemed I’d […]

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Turtle Heaven

On my way out to the running trail after an overnight shift down in Pittsburgh I passed countless roadkill animals, the same as every day – raccoons, opossums, deer, birds and dozens of others no doubt who had pulled themselves off in the bushes to die. Nearing my trailhead, I spotted one more, a mashed […]

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No Need to Starve

At the store there’s no 2% milk or the hotdog bun section is bare or our favorite breakfast cereal has all been consumed by the locust swarm – the shoppers who got here a little earlier than we did. Immediately, the mind turns toward survival snaring, the digging of choice tubers or the use of […]

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Where the Wild Things Are

I need miles today to start my week right and I head for one of Pittsburgh’s major parks to find them. Mine is one of two cars in the gravel lot I choose despite the fact that this is a weekend morning and there’s no shortage of athletes in the vicinity. Covid fears reign in […]

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Parable

Life was good in Woods Dale. Springs fed the forested Appalachian valley, emanating from limestone aquifers that lay just a meter or two below the ample duff. Rain visited frequently as well, leaving sodden wood and leaves in its wake, drops falling with metronomic precision from living leaf tips to last year’s withering leaf blanket. […]

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The Good News

The news told me that this was the end of the world as we know it. But when I went outside, I noticed the sparrows gathering twigs for this spring’s nests. I noticed the skunk cabbage and ramps unfurling a rich green in the floodplain and reaching for the clear sky. I saw the squirrels […]

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Infectious Weakness

  Today’s post is a little different; it doesn’t fit well with my ordinary writing on fish, watery places and living in the wild. But these are extraordinary times. We as a society are suffering now due to the weak minds of our media and politicians. But it’s maybe just a reflection of the weakness […]

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