What I’ve learned about dogs

Grady the Golden tastes the running water.One thing I’ve learned about dogs is, “don’t buy one.” The only dog to ever live with me that I paid for didn’t stay long.

Actually, I think someone stole him to hunt deer – you could use dogs in Virginia when I lived there. I bet he didn’t object when the dognapper promised a life in the woods. In a way, I don’t blame him.

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Party time on Marsh Creek

Common merganser wonders ...LBelow and in front of the porch rail, the surface of Marsh Creek is smooth like a 200-year-old farmhouse window pane, smoothly rippled as the flow wanders and eddies its way to lower elevations. Reflections of creekside oaks and sycamores decorate the translucent surface of the flow, itself browned from nearby mountains’ muddied runoff – poor man’s fertilizer, some farmers call it –in rounded jaggies across the stream. A short way up the creek, mated Red-tailed hawks and a few Bald eagles prepare for their new families.

Across the glassine stage at the foot of the hill there pass pairs of Canada Geese, a few mallards and their current loves – Canada geese mate for life, mallards for convenience – and a clan of mergansers.

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Pairing up

It's your turn to grab dinner.Red-tailed hawks are warming to togetherness, indicating, more accurately than that four-legged critter from Punxsutawney, that the weather also is soon to warm. Of course, most Red-tailed hawks do not have television cameras staring at them to record whether they see their shadow while swooping down on an unsuspecting breakfast.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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