Trout Flies Don’t Buzz

Someone typed in the search term “i heard a fly buzz when i died” and managed to arrive at Rivertop Rambles. Somehow. I’m still relatively new at blogging and I don’t know too much about the “dashboard” goings-on behind a blog site, but I thought the search phrase was amusing. Other bloggers have occasionally found their leading search terms to be funny or inspiring; I’m not the first one to be drawn to inexact addresses typed on a computer window and then stored up on the dashboard of a site.  I’ve forgotten most of the terms I’ve ever noted, but several of the recent ones merit special attention, especially “fly buzz” since the famous opening line to Emily Dickenson’s poem “Dying” leads the reader into one of the poet’s most profound and horrific pieces.   

Whether my top search terms are “i heard…” or “tale of Norway spruce” or “great elm restaurants” or something less mysterious, I want to clarify one point: I don’t care how the hell a visitor arrives at Rivertop Rambles, be it by direct address, by typing error, by foot or snowmobile, by teleportation, or by the evening stage, I’m just glad that somebody arrives here in one piece. Whether you’re a first-timer or a regular reader, I appreciate the patronage, and you’re always welcome to comment here or open up a dialogue.

Some of my visitors must be disappointed when they get to RR and discover that it’s not what they expected. Unwitting cybernauts must think,  “WTF– another Nature blog!” Though I usually make no excuses for the subject of my writings, I am sorry for explorers who arrive here down-heartedly, and would like to offer an appeasement. The next time someone types in “tale of Norway spruce,” because I once discussed the weed-like growth of these non-native trees, or “great elm restaurants,” because I once mentioned Great Elm as the publishing outfit that I operated,  I’d like to at least have a photo on the subject for the visitor to take home as a souvenir.

For “tale of Norway spruce” I offer an illustration of artist Marc Chagall’s “Time is a River without Banks.” Images of a fish, clock, violin, and lovers fly out from the arms and branches of one of my thousand spruce trees. Indeed, time is a river, and at RR we’re right at the headwaters of it. For “great elm restaurants,” which I’ve learned are dining spots somewhere off the hub of the Ohio midlands, I can offer only a quick shot of my breakfast chambers, not delectable dining by any means, but tastier than southern grits.

For Emily’s introductory line to “Dying” I offer the first and final stanzas of the poem, plus an image of a fly buzz that you might hear when your number’s up at the end of the dusty trail.

I heard a fly buzz when I died/ The stillness round my form/ Was like the stillness in the air/ Between the heaves of storm/…

With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz/ Between the light and me;/ And then the windows failed, and then/ I could not see to see.

A lot of us fly fishers spend an inordinate amount of time on our beloved waters. Aren’t we lucky that a trout fly doesn’t buzz?

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About rivertoprambles

Welcome to Rivertop Rambles. This is my blog about the headwaters country-far afield or close to home. I've been a fly-fisher, birder, and naturalist for most of my adult life. I've also written poetry and natural history books for thirty years. In Rambles I will mostly reflect on the backcountry of my Allegheny foothills in the northern tier of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York State. Sometimes I'll write about the wilderness in distant states, or of the wild places in the human soul. Other times I'll just reflect on the domestic life outdoors. In any case, I hope you enjoy. Let's ramble!
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4 Responses to Trout Flies Don’t Buzz

  1. Ken G says:

    First off, I would hardly consider RR just another Nature blog.

    I too don’t care how people get to my site, as long as they get there. But the search terms to do that have all been fairly legit searches on something to do with the outdoors. Even “mature nude fishing” though I can’t recall ever doing that.

    Leaving tidbits for viewers to take with them can be a daunting task. Even though you did a good job by ending with a buzzless fly.

  2. Ken, Yup, the tidbits for viewers idea is kind of tongue in cheek. I think the searches are legit; life’s too short to be governed by chance, or wasted time. Appreciatively…

  3. Erin Block says:

    Fun post! I get a hoot about search terms…..I’ve been getting “frog biting” directed to me lately. No idea what that’s about! 😉 Cheers.

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