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. […]Read more "Parable"
As I write, Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Commission rushes to dispense over 4.4 million trout into the waters of the state. Many of us have seen the ads run on social media and elsewhere touting additional trophy-class trout this year that are to be included in the mix. The busy trucks and net men portend […]Read more "Welcome to the State Hatchery!"
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 […]Read more "Rise of the Elk"
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 […]Read more "Utopia in the Marshes (Waters of the United States Rule slips below the surface.)"
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 […]Read more "The Land of the Living"
I took a hike with a couple of friends several years ago along Slippery Rock Creek here in Western Pennsylvania. He was a long time friend and a native-born American. She was a native of the former Soviet Union as one might have guessed from either her appearance or accent. She clearly loved to not […]Read more "How We Know Our Woods are Healthy – a Plethora of Critters"
Recently, I kayaked with friends through the upper reaches of a gentle riverine reservoir – an impoundment that still looks like a river but with greater depth and less current. Wood abounded in the watercourse and I wished for fishing tackle, maybe catfish tackle. Giant sycamores leaned precariously out over the inscrutable water – still […]Read more "Get Ready, Your Woods and Waters are About to Change"
I’m not a climatologist but I do think about the climate. Climate is a regulator of the biome and all the fungi, plants and animals in the woods that surrounds me. And, really, I can hardly help but think about climate. It has been forced on me by an American media who would have me […]Read more "Climate of Fear (Part 2)"
Environmental debates go so very wrong today because we listen to “environmentalists” who think politically, not ecologically. But, of course, this has been the case for a very long time. I’ve grown increasingly concerned this year as I’ve watched the evolution of the climate dialogue, though there’s little that could really be described […]Read more "Climate of Fear (Part 1)"
Susan and I walked around a community park in Pittsburgh’s north suburbs one evening a few weeks ago, circling the little pond and looking for things that might be living there. Suddenly, we were confronted by a thug, a ruddy fellow with two upraised weapons pointed in our direction. He meant business and he wanted […]Read more "Invasion of the Cray – Cray"