Before the Morels

And maybe it’s also all about learning to appreciate the things that aren’t morels – aren’t the most glamorous, desirable, well-publicized organisms out there, the stuff that’s often walked right past, crushed into the ground below our heels as we keep up a good pace to the morel patch, checking again today for first signs of disturbance in the thin leaf litter.

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The Catfish of Affirmation

Catfish were simply the most likely fish that were in season, were probably waking now from winter semi-dormancy and could be found close to home. I knew the kinds of places one would set up for catfish on a typical summer night but these weren’t likely the right venues for tonight.

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Wide-Ranging Rewards on the Road

Cross-posted from the blog at MarchOfLiberty.com. Early next week I’ll be looking out across the wide plains of the American West from the vantage point of the Continental Divide. Needless to say, it’s been a long walk to get here, to Kalispell, Montana, this morning, but there’s no other way I’d rather have seen the […]

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Gratuitous Nature

The whole valley of Turtle Creek – my polluted little brook – is manifestly greener than it was a hundred years ago, a time when much of the surrounding hillsides would have been strip mines or tailing piles and the trees would have been almost all cut for firewood or simply to clear pasture land to feed cows and horses.

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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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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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Excursia

It was a near disaster – a blizzard of epic proportions. My little hometown just east of the Pittsburgh metro area was covered in over two inches of snow! There were school cancellations and a lot of grown-ups calling in to work, I’m sure. There hasn’t been a lot of snow this year so two […]

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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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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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