Welcome to Rivertop Rambles. This is my blog about the headwaters country– far afield or close to home. I’ve been a fly-fisher, hiker, birder, and naturalist for most of my life. I’ve written poetry (since college days) and natural history books for many years. In Rivertop Rambles I’ll reflect mostly on the backcountry of my Allegheny foothills in the northern tier of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York State. I’ll write occasionally about the wilderness in distant places, or reflect on the wildness found within the human heart. The journey of a life outdoors, domestic or wild, will be shared with passion, poetry and photos. Your thoughts are always welcome, and I’ll try to answer any questions you might have. So, happy trails, good fishing, and enjoy your world!
About the Books:
WINGS OVER WATER, The Late Notes of a Naturalist, is now available (Feb. 2020) from Wood Thrush Books (see link at blogroll) and from Amazon Books in book and Kindle formats (see link below, for a preview and ordering information).
Of Wings Over Water, Wood Thrush Books has said, “In this collection of personal essays, the author describes the flora and fauna he encounters while plying some of his favorite trout streams in the Mid-Atlantic states, New England and the American West. Walt Franklin is as much a bird watcher and amateur naturalist as he is an avid fly fisherman, with a strong desire to protect the lands he has walked and the waters he has fished for decades. Wings Over Water is a blend of fishing tales, folklore, natural history, and riverine ecology. It is also a lighthearted narrative that turns poetic whenever the wild comes into full view.”
STREAMWALKER’S JOURNEY, Fishing the Triple Divide. My publisher (Wood Thrush Books) has written: “The essays in Streamwalker’s Journey are a celebration of the fly-fishing life, with a focus on the triple divide of watersheds in north-central Pennsylvania and upstate New York: the Genesee River, the Allegheny River, and Pine Creek. These are among the author’s favorite trout streams, plied over decades so he knows them well. As he walks these waters with fly rod in hand, he delves into their natural history, local lore, and conservation efforts to protect them. He shares the methods and fly patterns he uses to tease trout into striking, while occasionally telling tales of anglers past and present. But most of all, Walt Franklin writes with skill, passion, and a touch of humor about his experiences on these streams as well as his interactions with the natural world at large.”
WINGS OVER WATER, STREAMWALKER’S JOURNEY, BEAUTIFUL LIKE A MAYFLY, and RIVER’S EDGE are Wood Thrush Books selections available, along with other Franklin publications, at Amazon Books, from select stores and fly shops, as well as from me (email@example.com). While you’re at it, have a look at the new Amazon Author’s Page for Walt Franklin. Many of the books are pictured and described there, and it’s looking pretty good!
A RIVERTOP JOURNAL, by Walt Franklin
246 pages with photos & artwork, from Writers Publishing Cooperative,
Warner, New Hampshire
The linked essays of A RIVERTOP JOURNAL form a personal narrative developing a natural sense of place amid the dehumanizing elements of the modern world. Walt’s subject matter in this beautifully produced book includes birding, hiking, wildlife studies, rural living, and the natural and cultural history of his rivertop home in upstate NY.
Walt’s intimacy with the land drives a poetic prose and sustains him in his efforts as an environmental activist—plus forms a strong link to community, uniting people of varied backgrounds, abilities and interests.
“I consider (his) work to be some of the most vital and important being done in our efforts to at last become friends with the ancient mountains.”
—Robert Stough, writer and conservationist
“The sense of discovery and personal odyssey is both intense and reassuring.”
—Frederick Moe, editor, COLOR WHEEL
To order: Available at Amazon, but also available through the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in any of the books listed on this page, simply contact me via email (above). I’ll ask for your mailing address, send the book to you, after which you can send me a check for the postpaid amount that’s indicated. Thank you!
EARTHSTARS, CHANTERELLES, DESTROYING ANGELS (from FootHills Publishing, 2016) is Franklin’s first full-length book of poetry since “Uplands…” in 1992. With this collection of previously published poems, the author has returned to his poetic roots, revealing, once again, the spirit of nature burning brightly in our lives. For ordering information, see the blog roll on the home page and click on “FootHills Publishing.”
Also Available: FROM THE HIGH HILLS TO THE BAY was published by FootHills Publishing (2020) and is available there as well as from Amazon and Wood Thrush Books. Reviewer W. McLaughlin has said, “New poetry by the naturalist and writer Walt Franklin, set in upstate New York. Appalachian Dawn, The Waterthrush, In Jewelweed, Eastern Coyote Poem, Swamp Magic-– straightforward, well-crafted, nature-related verse from one of the region’s passionate stewards.”
UPLANDS HAUNTED BY THE SEA. Poems by Walt Franklin. Great Elm Press, 1992. 90 pages. Illustrations by Jane Lavendar. $7.50 ppd.
“Walt, a master of the long poem.” Tony Cosier, poet, novelist.
“… A fine radical conservative book, and you should be well pleased with it… I suggest you send a copy of your book to Wendell Berry.”– Hayden Carruth.
“If I was stranded on a desert isle and could have only one book, I’d want it to be Uplands Haunted by the Sea.” F. Moe, in a letter to W. McLaughlin.
SAND & SAGE, The Trails Beyond. Great Elm Press, 2010. 74 pgs., $12, ppd. Illustrations by Tim Shoales and Alyssa Franklin.
The Sand & Sage narratives reflect small journeys into places as diverse as the Greek Islands, the American West, the Rocky Mountains, and the coast of North Carolina. Franklin has examined these far-flung locales and explored them beyond the usual boundaries as a hiker, birder, and fly fisherman… The narratives form a travelogue of simple living, with all the drama and mystique that a world in balance can reveal. They tell a story of our human probing of the world for meaning and identification.