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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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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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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Invasion of the Cray – Cray

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 […]

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Nothing Complicated

I sat at the Ihop yesterday wondering whether my blueberry pancake portion would be as large as advertised and scratching new mosquito bites. At 10:30 AM, I’d squeezed in between the breakfast and lunch crowd and found plenty of seats available among the modest brunch crowd of senior citizens with their wide, roving bespectacled eyes. […]

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