Pictorial, Hikes in Shadow Land

Winter hikes in Shadowland often begin near home. I don’t live in a barn but I have friends who do.

Winter winds have blown down the old phoebe nest.

The dark Greenwood vales. I actually saw my shadow here on Groundhog Day.

This deer stand has eyes like Old Man Winter’s.

No one said it was gonna be easy.

From an earlier walk along the Genesee…

Porcupine sleeping it off along the Allegheny.

A popular Allegheny roadhouse for the four-legged ramblers.

The highest trout pool on the Allegheny-Ohio-Mississippi watershed…

Allegheny headwaters…

Pine Creek Gorge, the Shadowland…

Owassee Rapids, Pine Creek…

from Pine Creek meditations…

Skunk cabbage cranking out olfactory dreams…

Pine Creek’s Mt. Tom, a popular hiking destination…

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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32 Responses to Pictorial, Hikes in Shadow Land

  1. Seated here beside the wood stove, with the snow and sleet coming down, it is such a pleasure to accompany you on your ramble. Extraordinary photographs!! How I’d love to spend an afternoon casting my flies upon Pine Creek in the heart of Shadowland.

    • Thank you, Robert. Yes, the Pine Creek watershed has many fly-fishing opportunities in season, and I, too, sit here with the snow & sleet in action, dreaming toward the warmer weeks. I’m glad you enjoyed the ramble!

  2. Les Kish says:

    Snowy country roads and old barns just go together. I can hear a James Taylor tune playing in the background…….

  3. plaidcamper says:

    Sat home, unwell and feeling a touch sorry for myself, when this landed – thanks, Walt! Tremendous pictures, particularly the rapids shot, and the rib cage in the snow. In fact, I feel better already, no one said it was gonna be easy… (this is now playing over and over in my fevered brain – is it a song lyric, or am I making that up?)

  4. Bob Stanton says:

    Nice photo journal, Walt. It helps to chase away some of the winter doldrums, especially on a day like today. As February progresses, my thoughts are increasingly turning to daydreams of hatching bugs, rising trout and the pull of a good fish on the line. Soon, soon…

    • Bob, Thank you for that, and let the daydreams do their thing. Since the winter doldrums have clobbered me this season, I’m doing just about the same… Due to the current storm, I’ve got a day off from work, so it gets a little easier.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Trout streams, I remember fishing them! Its been awhile since January on a windy whipped day at that. I wonder how my brooks have been faring Walt, seeing lows hitting rock bottom for so long in areas I frequent. Your pictures despite the snow have brought warmth, knowing that March is on its way and BWO will once again bring rising fish on Spring. Brooks will have to wait, till snow clears off trails and ice becomes manageable. Thanks for posting something we all miss Walt and cant wait to get back too. Cold clear water, mountains and our beloved trout. God, country, family and trout.

    • Remembering is what it’s all about for many of us northerners who’ve been kept away too long. I think I remember it, too, my friend, although it’s been, well, hey let’s just look ahead at this point. Streams have taken a hit with heavy ice but hopefully they were ready, given all the rain we’ve had, as well. Soon we’ll be looking for the first stoneflies, BWOs, and all. Hang in there, and thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comments!

  6. Brent says:

    Some familiar scenes and less familiar perspectives! I heard you got to enjoy an unexpected day home, the result of which seems to be this nice (chilly-looking) photo collection. I’d sure like to revisit that roadless section of the gorge this spring or summer.

  7. loydtruss says:

    Some of the most beautiful outdoors scenery is seen during the winter months. I’m a big fan of old barns. I still remember our old barn on our small farm in rural Mississippi. The Pine Creek image is worth viewing on someone’s den wall. Thanks for sharing

    • And thank you, Bill. The old barns are special. Lots of them still have a practical value, but all too many, although charming with a sense of rural nostalgia, are collapsing and abandoned. Glad you liked those Pine Creek images, too.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I love your photos so much! Makes me remember and miss the kind of country I was born in, my mother’s homeland. And oh the skunk cabbage! Thank you for a visit to the North.

  9. Anonymous said, Often wondered what the headwaters looked like. Thanks!

  10. I remember a barn. My Mother grew up with a ‘Foster’ family of sorts. The barn down and away from the house – I’ll never forget. The exterior looked like it was burnt. Growing up I could never figure out why it looked this way. I think I’ve heard somewhere along this long journey of my life – that they used to burn the wood to provide it with some sort of protection from insects and thus preserving it. Old barns…… indeed…. worthy of our remembrance and respect. Just my opinion.

    • Thanks UB! The old barns are definitely worthy of remembrance and respect. They symbolize a time when family, community and small agriculture were the backbone of rural living. I don’t think I’ve heard that the exterior wood was often burnt. To temper the wood with flame to protect it makes sense… Will have to check into that.

  11. Something I found about it. UB

  12. Sorry – I didn’t know the link would put all that in the response. I really do NOT know what I’m doing with this blogging stuff quite yet. I must say though that the barn I remember was so charred that it was literally black with very little of the softer ‘in between’ grain showing through.

    • Thanks UB. No problem. In fact I found the article on Shou sugi ban quite interesting. Readers take note. And as an angler, I’m reminded of the flaming process that some cane rod builders use to treat their bamboo products.

  13. Jet Eliot says:

    Really enjoyed this gallery, Walt, thanks so much. Frigid living there. But such beautiful photos, scenes, all with a peaceful quality. I especially liked seeing the barn by the road (1st one), the skeletal ribcage with your funny words underneath, the porcupine sleeping and the Allegheny “roadhouse,” and the several fierce water shots. The one I just loved was the third from the end with the house on the river, the bracing, moving waters and the surrounding landscape. Thanks for this refreshing visit, my friend.

  14. Looking forward to the return of the Phoebe on Fall Creek in the Finger Lakes.

    • Hi Michael,
      Didn’t realize you were from this region on the Finger Lakes, or had a home connection to the area in Ithaca, but yes– the phoebe is due to return pretty soon! We always look forward to it, later this month when the flies become obvious, too. Hopefully the bird welcomes in the spring at Fall Creek without too much delay.

  15. I know I’m late to the game here, but only now had the chance to say how much I enjoyed the photos. Spring is coming!

    • Thanks ForgottenTrout! The only thing late around here is the sense of solid springtime, but the sunshine and the flocks of robins say that it will come. I’m glad you could drop by!

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