Hawks and people need green space and water

A Red-tailed Hawk sits patiently waiting for dinner to show itself.One of the many wonderful things about living where I live is I am not required to travel far from my home to see wonderful stuff. Like on the recent afternoon when I went driving with a fellow photographer along a nearby road and found four Red-tail hawks in the space of about a half mile.

Continue reading

The trees are warning us

Hidden in the middle of a state forest, trees are cut down to make room for fossil fuel pipelines to warm the planet.Readers of J.R.R. Tolkein are familiar with Ents, those long-talking, slow-walking ancient creatures of Middle Earth. They are among the few beings to have survived to the current age. It seems they eventually took root, owing to their extreme slowness, and became what we know as trees, those flexible, sometimes giant, beings that wave in the wind.

Continue reading

Antiques and New-tech

Happy New Year to the next generation.Getting old is like keeping an antique car running. It’s a constant effort to replace worn parts, some of which are no longer available, and tinker with the parts you can’t replace, and put up with the creaking and inflexibility of the parts you can’t reach. Someone told me this week ankles are now included in the list of parts that can be replaced. I don’t need one, but its nice to know, along with shock absorbers (knees) and oil pumps (hearts), we now can buy new u-joints (ankles).

Continue reading

Cap-and-Trade could help

Hidden among the trees of PA forests, natural gas transport facilities push gas to export and methane to the air.With the Trump administration bailing on environmental efforts and proceeding with as much haste as possible to dismantle regulations put in place by “the previous administration,” states and industry are having to pick up the load. And they’re doing it, in the same way that Elon Musk is taking over NASA’s space exploration role. Electric cars, reusable rockets and taxpaying jobs may do more about climate change than any amount of political rhetoric.

Continue reading

If not our vote, our respect

Roses drift on the waves carrying respect and love from those left behind.Country music performer Garth Brooks filled Notre Dame stadium in October. The show was carried on CBS Sunday night. It ran until 10 p.m.

Sunday night at 10 is the usual time for “Madame Secretary.” For the non-political TV watchers, Téa Leoni portrays the Secretary of State in a show based on political news, mostly world wide, that occupy presidential work days.

Continue reading

Who will care for the deer?

A foggy morning on the mountain, watching cars go by.My column writing career officially began in 1974, on Adak Island, in the middle of the Aleutian Chain about four hours from Anchorage in a fairly fast turboprop aircraft.

I wrote about mostly outdoorsy issues and about wandering around the tundra in the company of a Bald Eagle named J Edgar, who in turn got his name from one of my favorite Mason Williams ballads. J Edgar and I lived in a hollow log on the back side of the island, which was a puzzlement to many readers because there were no trees large enough to be hollow to be found on the island.

Continue reading

The world’s slowest river

An alligator plays Peek-a-Boo in the Everglades.I’ve visited Florida several times, even lived in the northeastern part of the state about five years in my 20s – but the want-to has been my closest approach to the Everglades. In my younger years, I must admit seeing it as just another tourist attraction, a huge swamp, home for some birds, and maybe a few alligators.

A recent airboat ride in the Everglades showed me it’s way more than a tourist attraction.

Continue reading

No More Tears

George the Seagull pretends to not care while plotting his thievery..Coming up on a year ago, I visited an eye doctor. I was constantly crying. My eyes would not stop with the waterworks.

He told me the problem was I was not making tears, which was irritating my eyes, which was making them water like Marsh Creek after that rain we had at the end of July. He prescribed eye drops that would make me make tears so my eyes wouldn’t be irritated so they would not, well, make tears.

Continue reading

Magic of travel outdoors

The coast of Maine is like very old chocolate, raged where it's broken off.Outside my window, the sky is falling. That’s what we say when the clouds, over-encumbered by wind, temperature and moisture, fall to the ground in large torrents of, usually, vertical rivers.

Meanwhile, flocks of eiders bounce in the waves, drifting upwind and down, occasionally diving, presumably for snacks, much as I dive for a box of Triscuits or a handful of grapes. We’re not so much different, the ducks and me.

Continue reading

Odometers, unpaved roads, and tire wear

Her eight sensors strategically plugged into the web, Ms. Spider awaits the arrival of dinner.Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me. I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren’t paved.” Will Rogers said that, and I agree. I have invested a considerable portion of my travels searching out unpaved roads. Or at least roads less traveled.
Continue reading

Moving “stuff”

I would rather be finding vernal ponds in in late summer.What is it with the female of our species that, when she is overcome with  a special kind of ambition that can only be satisfied by cleaning up piles of “stuff” collected by her mate.

It happened a week or so ago with my spouse. She suddenly decided the garage needed reorganizing. Translation: Seek out piles of stuff of questionable future need. Either it goes to my heirs, the recycling center, or placed on one of those flea-market apps that might get other collectors to pay money for my junk.

Continue reading

What will we leave them?

The iconic trees of northern PA have been removed but their roots, and the pathways between them, remain.While too many of us are focused on the latest Trumpian tweets, there is at least one Election Day contest worthy of note right here at home. There are several of them, actually, but our gubernatorial contest is a good example of the choices we face as we move toward handing the Commonwealth to our grandkids.

Continue reading