Broken clouds
Broken clouds
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October 24, 2014
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River Talk

The ‘withered tree’

The fast-flying days of flaming fall foliage have held us in thrall lately as the Upper Delaware Region advances toward the cold and inward months of winter. Watching the leaves turn through exuberant expressions of vibrant color is almost dizzying and sets the mind’s eye spinning. It is almost a relief when gusting winds strip the trees of their fiery cloaks, laying bare the artful lines of form and branch.  Read more

A ‘plum’ you don’t want to eat

A few weeks back, a neighbor told me he was finding what looked like berries on the ground, even though he said no berry trees were anywhere in the area. I asked him about the size and color, and he replied that they were around an inch in diameter and had a reddish hue.  Read more

Remembering a River region friend

Following two weeks spent in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park photographing its countless wild splendors for the inaugural Artist in Residence program, I returned to the Upper Delaware River region. My focus (pun intended) had shifted, and although the perspective was freshening, it left me with a sense of disconnection.  Read more

Don’t tread on me (Or run me over either, please)

Some years back, I was riding a motorcycle on a sparsely traveled road in Pike County, PA when I saw what looked like a stick in the middle of the road. There was enough room in the travel lane to avoid the stick, and as I got closer, I took another glance at it. It wasn’t a stick at all, but a medium-sized timber rattlesnake, maybe three feet long or so. Neither snake or rider was the worse for wear, although it did find a quieter place to bask.  Read more

A love of place

For nearly a decade, I’ve had the pleasure of contributing this column to The River Reporter and in the process, have continued to learn about the flora and fauna with which we share the Upper Delaware River region. The practice of interfacing with one’s “place” deepens understanding and fosters a sense of stewardship.  Read more

A precursor to autumn

The days are getting shorter and somewhat cooler with Labor Day come and gone and fall just around the corner. However, even during the warmer days of August, there were signs of the impending seasonal change. During the last couple of weeks in August, common nighthawks were seen over lakes and rivers just around dusk as they circled overhead, looking for insects to fuel their southward migration. Narrowsburg had a good number during several early evenings.  Read more

Celebrating public lands

Fifty years ago, on September 3, 1964, the Wilderness Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, following 60 drafts authored primarily by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society and eight years of diligent effort.  Read more

Bamboozled over bug I.D.’s?

Many people who venture outdoors will recognize the red-winged blackbird for what it is; a black bird with red or yellow shoulder patches. However, if the same people see a streaky brown bird nearby, many will not associate it with a red-winged blackbird. It probably is the same species, but is a female. The dull-colored female has none of the contrasting black-and-red plumage of the male.  Read more

Boardwalk trail opens at Darling Preserve

A new 2.2-mile trail and boardwalk were dedicated earlier this month, providing easy public access to a 2,500-acre tract of special Pennsylvania property known as the Thomas Darling Nature Preserve at Two Mile Run, pieced together over time and through partnerships.  Read more

A purple problem

A few years back, some friends and I went to a seafood restaurant in eastern Long Island for dinner. As we walked through the entrance, I noticed a rectangular planter in which were growing some pretty purple flowers. These flowers caught my eye for a different reason though; they were all of the invasive plant species purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). Perhaps the owner or an unwitting landscaper saw the pretty flowers along a roadside and decided to transplant them, not knowing the undesirable qualities of this plant.  Read more

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