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 Don’t Hurry Isle

I’m pretending that I’m there right now. With a cup of morning coffee at my side, with brain and keyboard fingers operating with reptilian slowness, I imagine just relaxing on a tiny tropical island. What does it matter that a classic Nor’easter whitens … Continue reading

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Roots ‘n’ Boots

For most citizens living in a modern world, to talk about the “home place” is an unfamiliar exercise. Most of us today are socially mobile and often move from place to place for economic or recreational reasons. Today, we rarely live in one … Continue reading

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The Ragged Edge

The weather and our wishes for a small retreat from winter seemed to coincide or to conspire neatly for several days. We headed south toward Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, not far from Gettysburg, and settled at the Inn at Ragged Edge where old-timers … Continue reading

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Brook Land Tonic

A long fine weekend with the family set things moving in the right direction. We made our annual visit to the Maple Tree Inn (unlimited pancakes with maple syrup manufactured on the premises), hit the summit of Alma Hill (the … Continue reading

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The News from Fisher Brook

There’s an old fellow coming down from the forest trail this afternoon to fish for an hour or two. He claims to be suffering from a serious cold, but to cast here for brook trout won’t be detrimental since the air … Continue reading

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Winter Hike, Mt. Tom

Like many of us these days, I was feeling the tension that resulted from a sense that our country was bursting at the seams. I didn’t feel above the moral degradation that seemed to be plaguing the land, but I … Continue reading

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Within/Without, the Wild

This weekend, while managing to get in some hiking on the Buckseller Trail in Pennsylvania and on Dryden Hill behind my house, I also finished reading a new book by Walt McLaughlin called Cultivating the Wildness Within. This 173 page work (offered … Continue reading

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In the Deep Woods

Pennsylvania has 88 waterways managed as “Wilderness Trout Streams.” Seven of those are located in nearby Potter County, and on Saturday I fished one of them that was on my bucket list to explore while I still had a chance to do so. … Continue reading

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Alternative Programming

It was a pleasant January weekend. Although the air temperature on Sunday rose no higher than the freezing point, the Morning Star lent a blue dome overhead and even managed to push some brightness into the Pine Creek Gorge where my wife and I enjoyed a … Continue reading

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On the Rim of the Year

With the air temp registering 16 degrees F., and with a mountain breeze cutting the day to a chilled clarity, it was too cold to fly-fish, but the prospect of an upriver hike seemed appealing.   An afternoon sun broke sporadically … Continue reading

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