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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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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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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Signs of Life

Winter is certainly here now in western Pennsylvania, though the season took a long time making up its mind this year. We ice fishermen are still waiting (most of us, at least). The woods has taken on the stillness and quiet that accompanies shorter days and long and frigid nights.     The forest takes […]

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A Fertile Fungal Forest

From April through October, mushrooms brightened my 2019. Within a few weeks of stowing the ice-fishing gear, I was cutting pheasant backs and hoping for morels. In retrospect, it’s striking that I’ve wandered around the woods of eastern North America for 35 years or so, hardly taking notice of the bracket fungi, cap-and-stems and puffballs […]

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Climate of Fear (Part 2)

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 […]

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