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!

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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“Fishing and Eating in Saloons”

[Part 4, the last in my Rocky Mountains series for 2020.] The sportswriter Red Smith and his small son were fishing in the north woods long ago and would customarily break for lunch in a local tavern. At one point, … Continue reading

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Yellowstone Getaways

[Part 3 of a 4-part series that reflects a recent Rocky Mountain road trip with my daughter.] Sandhill cranes fed near the roadway to the geyser basins. We took a morning hike to Fairy Falls, a columnar drop of 197 … Continue reading

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Feral Thoughts, Wyoming

[Part 2 in a 4-part series on a Rocky Mountain tour & camp-out with my daughter.] We immersed ourselves for a much needed bath in the cool waters of the Snake River, near our Station Creek campsite. Our next move … Continue reading

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Mountain Times, Colorado

[The first in a 4-part series that reflects a recent road trip, camping with my daughter through the mountains of Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. I hope you enjoy the ride.] Our first Colorado night was spent in Monument at Terry’s … Continue reading

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The Hemlock Grove

Preparing for a long road trip into western places where I like to believe that a fly-fishing spirit can really soar at times like this, it’s good to remind myself that one needn’t go far in order to find a … Continue reading

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