Evolution ’21/’22

Although much of 2021 was spent toning up Greenwood’s “Owl Farm,” we were able to refresh our views at year’s end with a visit to Brent and Catherine’s new house in metro-Pittsburgh. Son and daughter-in-law were excellent hosts as country dwellers and urban folk alike enjoyed celebratory hours and received some eye-opening views of the rejuvenated city. One of the highlights was an afternoon spent at the impressive Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History where daughter Alyssa and my wife and I (along with our hosts) enjoyed a river-bottom ramble through time. Yes, our beloved Allegheny River joins the Monongahela to form the mighty Ohio River just outside these hallowed corridors. For the purpose of this short narrative, I have chosen a handful of museum pics to brighten the display of 22 images.

A happy & healthy New Year to all!

three of ’em, actually, plus bridges & the steepest streets in all the land (SF included)
Greenwood domicile…
3 river skyline from Mt. Washington…
Steelers’ stadium…
we had fun on the Funicular, one of 2 remaining old transports in the city (Ohio River forming from Allegheny on left, Monongahela on right)
top of the hill, maybe, but a taste unlike anything since college days…
inside the museum’s mineral hall
and the reptiles
in a sense we all live on Turtle’s back…
Sinosauropteryx @ Carnegie… found in China, 1990s, first dinosaur to be discovered with feathers preserved– a sure sign that birds evolved from reptiles…
mankind DEVOlved when causing mass extinctions… Here, a pair of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, from 1912…
illustration of pre-colonial Pittsburgh…
a rise form…
stained glass window at B./C.’s new/old house…
Bob Stanton’s gift of hope for ’22!
a t-shirt gift from B.&C. sez it all!

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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31 Responses to Evolution ’21/’22

  1. Brent says:

    Amazing pictures, including the zoomed-in skyline! Also, I have no idea how I missed that giant sea-dwelling monster in the blue room. Oh well, I guess I’ll need to go back soon. Thanks again for coming and having an unusual, but fun, Christmas!

  2. Mark S says:

    Love the last photo of the t-shirt! Looks like the perfect gift.

  3. Don T says:


    Love the T shirt!
    Thanks for sharing your trip.

  4. Jet Eliot says:

    Thanks for taking us to Pittsburgh with you, Walt, I really enjoyed it. Great to see the snow at your family’s serene house, the three rivers and sights of Pittsburgh, and the interesting displays at the Natural History museum. I liked seeing the three rivers site in current and past times. I liked seeing the stadium, too, could almost see those “terrible towels.” Interesting to see the ivory-billed woodpeckers of long ago. Smiled at the last photo of the perfect t-shirt for you. Happy New Year, dear Walt, great to have had a year of pleasant exchanges with you.

    • Happy New Year to you, Jet! I’m glad that you enjoyed the post in all its various images & I look forward to sharing more words & insights with you in friendship thru the coming months.

  5. hillfarmblog says:

    Pittsburgh is the least scary city I’ve ever been in, but only briefly so thanks for the great pics.
    Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • Thank you, Hill Farm, and Happy New Year! Pittsburgh may just be the “least scary city” from my perspective, as well. I’ve been introduced only this past month but have been impressed with the relative ease of getting around the “burgh”… It seems less intimidating than many large cities, including metro D.C., where my son lived prior to this move.

  6. Bob Matuzak says:

    As you probably know I reside in Mars, just outside of Pittsburgh. Welcome to “Da Burgh”!
    It sounds like you may be here often. Pittsburgh has tons to offer. We have some great local craft beers I’m sure you’ll take pleasure in learning all about. If you’re looking for any info on the local fishing please don’t hesitate to reach out. A very happy and healthy new year to you and yours!

    • Bob, I knew your place was nearby but I didn’t know of Mars… with a name like that you know I’ll have to check it out sometime, and I see that it isn’t far from our approach to the city. I’ve already got a sense that the area has much to offer, with breweries & points of interest galore, and I’m scoping out the fishing possibilities in the region which, no doubt, you’ll be able to help me with as time goes on. So yeah– thanks for the welcome, and all the best to you & yours as a big new year unfolds!

  7. Here’s to a fish-filled 2022!

  8. bohemianflyfish@aol.com says:

    Like your blog.  We are mutual friends with Tim Didas and you were planning to visit me in Caledonia but was out of town.  Hoping you can try again and say hello to Tim for me.  PS.  The 900 has been fishing well.  Will be sending you a pic.   Bob Herson 585 857 1704

    Sent from the all new AOL app for iOS

  9. UB says:

    Looks like a great trip. Really nice pics of Pittsburgh. That stained glass was outstanding. Did Bret or family make that?! I guess it doesn’t matter who did, that is beautiful! The ‘Owl Farm’ is looking really good too! Maybe Mr. Duck needs snowshoes? The trip to the museum/s looked like that was a lot of fun. Stanton’s flies…. well what can I say, they are magnificent. You should have a lot of fun with those soon. Now that last pic of the T-Shirt…. are you on the right or…. Hahaahahaa… I didn’t say it! :0 Happy New Year to RTR and Family. When is L going to retire (or is she already? – that’ll increase the trips eh?)? Take care… UB

    • Bob Stanton says:

      UB, you, Walt and myself will have to get together and fish next time we make it down that way together.

      • UB says:

        Mr. Stanton, That sounds like a great idea. I need to loosen my self-imposed restrictions on driving up RTR’s way too though and ‘get out’ more – explore I suppose and fish. I’ve gotten just so comfortable with the home waters, but I see the need to expand. That wouldn’t be such a bad thing. We’ll have to try to make this happen this spring/summer. Maybe I’d give those Bleeding Hearts a try, no doubt I’d get a hit on those! (you have supplied the recipe for them that I tied a year or so ago – Walt tested them and ‘almost’ had one to hand out west!) UB

    • Hey UB,
      Yes, Pitts seems really interesting for a big town, and we’re glad that Brent & C. found a nice house on the south side with a stellar window on the stairs… glad it caught your eye, as with some of the other pics. Mr. Duck will need snowshoes if we ever get some snow this winter! L., being a youngster in comparison to me (the guy on the LEFT of that t-shirt image before someone stuck a fly rod in his hand) has a few years to go before retirement, methinks. A Happy New Year to all in your Fam!

  10. Bob Stanton says:

    Pittsburgh is as idiosyncratic as any city in the country. It started as a Scots Irish settlement, then evolved into a haven for eastern European immigrants, thus the very old world feel of the city, in my opinion. My dad‘s mother was a Yinzer (“Yinz,”Pittsburgh’s most notorious slang, a contraction for “you ones,” or ‘uns, or…) from a little town up the Allegheny. The Burgh’s culture is palpable; you can feel it everywhere you go in the city. Plus, I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere where the fate of the cities sports teams is so interwoven into people’s daily lives. I’m sure Brent and C will enjoy exploring their new home.

    • Thank you for the P’burgh insights, Bob. Idiosyncracy rules!

    • UB says:

      Every time I hear someone say something to the effect – ‘…yous going to (somewhere)…’ I think of Pittsburgh and Northern PA. It reminds me of the lingo that I associate with that region of the state. It brings a smile to my face for certain. So if ‘youinz’ are ever down SR way Mr. Stanton, …. hahaa… you get the idea! Happy New Year Mr. Stanton and good health. UB

  11. loydtruss says:

    What a perfect classroom tour for any age group—got to know where I can order those two t-shirts? Those are attention getters for sure—I hope you guys have a Happy New Year—-thanks for sharing

    • Bill,
      Indeed, a perfect classroom tour for any group, but the youngsters surely get excited. As for the t-shirt faves, I’m not sure where they originated but maybe we can find out. And all the best to you & yours for ’22!

  12. loydtruss says:

    I found the website Cafepress, which has a lot of items relating to fly fishing.

  13. plaidcamper says:

    Enjoyed reading about your trip, sounds like an interesting little city! Glad your visit went well, love the last t shirt, and here’s wishing you and your family all the best in 2022 – Happy New Year!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Love it Walt! Thanks for sharing. Happy 2022!

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