Siegfried and Roy

Afternoon Pastoral.Several years ago I was lucky enough to be visiting Las Vegas with in-laws who were able to score tickets to the Siegfried and Roy magic show. As though that were not enough, we had seats right up against the stage, as in my left arm could rest upon the stage. The show was as good as its reputation. Maybe even better. Continue reading Siegfried and Roy

Be social, from a distance

A pair of Mallard drakes wandering a stream.In some ways, this “stay home” situation has not been terrible. It’s been a couple weeks since I had to buy gas (which is almost a shame with prices so low).

On the other hand, keeping track of time is a bit more difficult. It is weird, for instance, when Friday I think of something I must do Sunday, and when I wake up Saturday morning, I spend the first hour reminding myself it’s not time yet. Continue reading Be social, from a distance

50 years, yesterday to an Ent

A resting place for a tired bird, a library for the rest of us.I think I started noticing trees when I lived in Alaska. I wrote a weekly column which my faithful companion, a Bald Eagle named “J Edgar,” delivered from our home in a hollow log to the editor of the community newspaper. Readers were not surprised “The Ol’ Tundra Stomper” (“Tundra Stomping” being Alaskan for “back country hiking”) had an eagle partner.

Continue reading 50 years, yesterday to an Ent

Thoughts on a new normal

A web of pipes direct natural gas from beneath Pennsylvania, cutting  webs into state and private land.The manager of a 24-hour grocery was faced with a reality of calculations. Some people shopped late at night, but not nearly enough of them to pay the bills.

“I am about to change the hours,” he said. “We will open at 8 a.m. and close at 10 p.m.”

Some of his customers would complain for a short period, he said, then they would adjust to the new hours. Continue reading Thoughts on a new normal

History of development is in the waste piles

Long after the gas is sucked dry, the pipes will remain, rusting away in the woodlands.I learned about recycling from my mother. Dad was the inventor of the family, who bought what he needed to build what he wanted and then threw away the scraps. Mom just wanted the place to look clean so she could find the scraps she had saved in hopes that one day a thing once destined for the town dump would find usefulness in some new endeavor.

Continue reading History of development is in the waste piles

Winter is springing, already

A lone mockingbird daily stops to say hello.So far, the snowthrower is safely near the shed door. I suppose I should bring it out and see whether it will start. I gave my snowshoes to my nephew for Christmas. It’s weird in the middle of January to be thinking Spring! already, two months in advance.

Continue reading Winter is springing, already

Of Kudzu and poison ivy

Poison ivy is becoming more potent in warming climate.One weekend a few years ago, a friend needed some brush cut behind his house and I had a gas-powered weedwacker that needed exercise. I three-bladed through two-inch vines like a scythe through a hay field, working up a sweat scattering poison ivy chips all over that part of York County. Continue reading Of Kudzu and poison ivy

Neighborhoods and straight lines

Everything we think we know is in a book.Christmas brought me a book store gift card, and I had half of one left over from last year, and now I’ve got three new books and $4 remaining on one gift card. The young woman who tallied my purchase said I could use the money in the snack bar. She didn’t mention, but I’m pretty certain, there is about enough on the card for one cup of coffee. Continue reading Neighborhoods and straight lines

A thrilling ride, and it ain’t over

Willoughby Run wanders between woodlands and pastures on its way to Marsh Creek.This is the time of year for taking stock of experiences and places, and for celebrating having survived some of the riskier events.

Such as the time we left a four-engine airplane lying beside the runway halfway home from a U.S. Navy deployment to the Philippines. Continue reading A thrilling ride, and it ain’t over

Christmas memories

Wishing everyone could see Christmas the way that guy kneeling on the floor sees it.A dark-skinned angel with golden wings and a billowing white gown looks down on our living room from atop the fir. She Who Must Be Loved elevated the angel in honor of her – our – granddaughters, hers because they were here when I got here, ours because, well, they’re ours now.

Christmas is like that – a time for traditions. Continue reading Christmas memories