Author Archives: rivertoprambles

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!

Pine Creek Anticipation

Suddenly the sky was clear, and the temperature rose well above the freezing mark. Although the ice on local streams and rivers was only now beginning to crack and drift away, I drove to Pennsylvania eager to prepare for a … Continue reading

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Winter Break

The nasally, low-pitched notes of the nuthatch enter through my bedroom window (open even in winter and appreciated from beneath the comforters) and I sense my own reawakening. The white-breasted’s wha-wha-wha notes enter non-committedly, sliding in softly from the maples … Continue reading

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The Phantom Bus and Other Observations

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left with…  From the stunning piece, “The Hill We Climb,” by Inaugural Poet, Amanda Gorman, 1/20/21. Amen. Walking slowly up the hill, I had the best chance … Continue reading

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Two Ravens (Twa Corbies)

The first days of the new year were an icy mess, although I still had a pleasant walk on the trail developed near the house. It’s been years since I’ve kept a feeder in the yard, but I still need … Continue reading

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A Glance at the Rearview Mirror

As 2020 drives itself into the ground, a lot of us would say, Just let ‘er rip. Most would agree that the past year has been odd, to say the least, and, in some cases, down right tragic. From this … Continue reading

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Looking for Survivors

No, I wasn’t out investigating a local tragedy or searching the rubble in some post-apocalyptic nightmare, thankfully enough. I was simply on my autumn trout streams looking for survivors of a brutally hot and dry summer season that, reportedly, took … Continue reading

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Ruminations (Salmon River)

I had sworn off October visits to the Salmon River long ago, but when a friend invites me to go fishing with him I do not decline unless I’m sick, already anchored to a schedule by divine authority, or dying. … Continue reading

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Thoreau’s Cape Cod

The kids arranged a pleasant cottage rental for us on Cape Cod. The large pitch pines and pin oaks standing by the roadside in the Town of Dennis caught the pre-dawn hooting of a great horned owl and staged the … Continue reading

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Owl Farm (Redux)

This will be a short post that reflects a busy time here in the shire. I’ve been working feverishly on a new book (Covid-free!), helping with the house improvement projects where I’m able, prepping for a short visit to Cape … Continue reading

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