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.Read more "Gratuitous Nature"
During the months of coronavirus lockdown, I’ve been eating more from the wild. I haven’t been working as much, there have been shortages of things I want to eat and I simply won’t wear the mandatory mask to the grocery store. Things haven’t been dire though and I certainly haven’t gone hungry. I just did […]Read more "Wealth is Good for Us and Our Environment"
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 […]Read more "Simple Pleasures"
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"
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 […]Read more "Excursia"
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 spent much of 2019 at my workplace in the middle of Pittsburgh and in driving back and forth from across the county line. I spent a lot more time getting my new business, WikiparX.com off the ground. I’m sure I had more wasted time than I’d like to admit, I did quite a bit […]Read more "2019 – A Year of Exploration, Adventure and Learning"
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"