Rise of the Elk

I think we often underestimate how early environmental devastation came to the eastern states. Around 1800, the Connecticut River had been dammed and one of the inestimable runs of shad and Atlantic Salmon halted. Maine lost most of its evergreens (and hardwoods too) in the early 1800’s. It’s tall pines had gone for ship masts […]

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Plunge of the Polar Bear (Do it with good form and you too could stay alive this winter!)

Maybe it’s the solitude. Maybe it’s the adventure. Maybe it’s the stark simplicity. Maybe it’s because of all of these but it’s certain that I love to drop baited lines through holes in the ice. I do so as much as winter temperatures allow, frozen lakes remaining always a prerequisite. In southwestern Pennsylvania there are […]

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Utopia in the Marshes (Waters of the United States Rule slips below the surface.)

Well, here it is: the most controversial thing I will write this year. Let’s get on with it.     The response to rescission of the Obama-era Waters of the U.S. rule seems nearly uniform among outdoor and conservation minded individuals, something akin to a scowling Thunberg reprimanding, “How dare you!” Now what stands between […]

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2020 – Just Getting Warmed Up

Early January outings portend well for the year ahead. My best guess is that this year will be a good one for finding new places to pursue fish, an excellent 12 months of finding flourishing wildlife and an unprecedented period of learning about the fungi of the Pennsylvania forest. Anyone who’s read this ongoing account […]

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The Land of the Living

I can look around the forest and field of Westmoreland County and I can see environmental devastation. I can see fragmented forest that’s a dim reflection of the primeval Seventeenth Century canopy. I can see bright orange streams, tainted for decades by the arteries of acidic water ruptured during the heyday of deep bituminous coal […]

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Trail Life

    The trails of the world be countless, and most of the trails be tried; You tread on the heels of the many, till you come where the ways divide; And one lies safe in the sunlight, and the other is dreary and wan, Yet you look aslant at the Lone Trail, and the […]

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When Elephants Run Wild

“You libtards need to go get jobs, grow up and quit whining about global warming!,” expressed one veteran Facebooker succinctly. “Maybe you need to grow a brain, quit denying science and move out of Kentucky,” replied his equally irate interlocutor, hollering from just across the ideological rift and winding down a rapid–fire IM fusillade. It […]

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Fish Feature: The Alewife

I’m starting something new today: “Fish Features.” The purpose is to showcase the variety of Pennsylvania’s fishes and to offer some education. This is how I’ve spent most of my life: studying fish and I’d like to share some of that experience and knowledge. In the months ahead, I’m going to feature as many Pennsylvania […]

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Spinning the Fish Wheel

Some people deal well with the unplanned and serendipitous, others do not at all. Some people enjoy randomness while others detest it. Some people need to control and try to dictate outcomes while others are excited to see what new possibilities fate sends their way.     My time in the wild between 2007 and […]

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