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!

The Gnats

I parked 20 feet from an old black truck at a pull-off by the river. I began to pull on my waders when I saw two fishermen with rods and nets returning to their vehicle. Before I knew it, I … Continue reading

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The Far and Fine, from Home

1. The sun on rusted rails extending through a chain of ponds. Sun that softens the edge of ice; walkin’ blues colored by a smile. Sun reflecting from an eagle; thermals of the western ridge. The sun on a leaning … Continue reading

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Getting My Green Back

I’d like to say that when the going gets tough, the tough go fishing, but I wasn’t feeling all that confident of late. With the world changing so rapidly in recent hours, though, I did go fishing. Yes. The sky … Continue reading

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Irish Hill

“What’s your name, boy? Look at me! I’ll say it once more, and that’s it!” Saturday night. Years ago. Driving home from a four-day workweek, needing to unwind. The Cold Beer Tavern, corner bar, small town USA. “Truth boy, look … Continue reading

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An Excuse To Be…

The arrival of March is always an exciting time for me, no matter what the weather’s like. It can be cold and snowy, wet and windy, or warm enough by day to get the sap flowing skyward through the maple … Continue reading

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Taking Flight

Many of you who have followed this blog for a while understand that I seldom honk my horn, attempting to promote the books I write. Occasionally, though, a new work is issued and I’m justly proud to release it like … Continue reading

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A Letort Original

[ Although I introduced the following subject in a post about a year ago, I’d like to present it once more, this time from a somewhat difficult angle, accompanied by recent photos from the New York home water. Thanks, as … Continue reading

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Winter Spring

Mid-February, and I track through the snow toward a big spring in the hills. I’d follow the deer prints but it’s easier to step inside the wheel ruts of an ATV. I read new promise in the strengthening light. Grouse … Continue reading

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Where the Owl Lives

The gentle snowstorm slowed my uphill walk. The wet, accumulating snow felt cool but comfortable. The whiteness was a blanket for a dark interior, a surface for the place where the owl lived high on Dryden Hill. The snow accentuated … Continue reading

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Winter Woods

Mild temperatures following a fresh deposit of snow provided all the inspiration needed for a hill walk. Grabbing my walking stick, I left the house and climbed slowly through the woods. I paused at an old abandoned car and noted … Continue reading

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