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Broken clouds
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August 20, 2014
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I am not a gardener but every spring when I lived in suburbia
I purchased flats of pansies, marigolds and impatiens.
Impatiens thrived through the entire season,
had little luck with pansies, but I loved
how they twisted and turned toward the sun.
I was good about picking off dead blooms,
enjoyed the gold and orange marigolds long into fall.

The Buzz

Weeding wet gardens,
sweat pours from pores, drips from tips,
and calls mosquitoes.

My Fingers

My fingers dig deep.
The moist earth yields.
Once separate, now united.
We are one.

My First Garden

It would be nice to say that I began gardening as a little girl, pushing sunflower seeds into the dirt under the tutelage of a sun-weathered grandmother who’d been practicing the garden arts passed down from her mother, and her mother. But, this is not the case. I was raised in suburban New Jersey, just across Sandy Hook Bay from New York City, where it was against code to hang clothing on an outdoor line, much less roto-till your lawn for food.  Read more

The gentleman farmer; Nice outfit!

I woke up thinking about mowing. Again. This happens a lot between May through October. In my dreams, I find myself having spent what feels like several hours of mowing only to find that I have etched into the field in front of my house what looks like a UFO crop circle. Other times I have an out-of-body experience, and like a Bugs Bunny cartoon I do a “snap focus” high above my property to realize that I have spelled out “Eat at Joe’s” in the meadow in some crazy Etch-a-Sketch pattern.  Read more

Camping in the backyard

When I was little, I would pack up a backpack, grab a flashlight, pillow and blanket and go camping—in my front yard. I had a tiny tent. Each panel was one of the primary colors: yellow, red and blue. I would sleep in my purple sleeping bag, which was pink and fuzzy on the inside. I always brought a book and read it by flashlight way past my bedtime. These are the things I remember.  Read more

Man caves, Backwoods style

[Author’s Note: The men who agreed to be interviewed for this article insisted on anonymity and a promise not to disclose the locations of their blinds. My appreciation and thanks to The Old Man, The Soldier and The Cowboy for allowing a sneak peek into the male mystique.]  Read more

The joys of foraging

I am generally happiest when foraging. By modern standards foraging is an eccentric pleasure based on an unusual, specialized knowledge. It is a loners’ sport for those who enjoy the quiet sounds of wind in the leaves and birds singing along. But it is not just the wildlife that keeps one company in the woods. When we pick wild plants, we do so alongside countless generations who have survived through just that practice. The knowledge of wild foods is one of the oldest continuous threads of human experience.  Read more

Tips from a professional: Plan, plant, persist & be pleased with yourself

Landscaper Ed Gavalla of Jesse G’s Nursery in Glen Spey, NY is in the business of helping people create special outdoor spaces. His eyes twinkle and his passion for his line of work shows when he talks about the pleasure of creating a backyard dream oasis—a peaceful zone where a person can sit quietly and appreciate the birds, the bees, the flowers and the endless palette of nature’s colors, no matter what the season. In Gavalla’s world, spring should pop with color, summer should be lush and green, and autumn should be awesome.  Read more

Horses in our river valley

Horses! They transport us, through our eyes, imaginations, bodies and souls. They abound in our river valley, with varied opportunities to know them.  Read more

Shad fishing with Len Caputi

An interview with Andy Boyar

If you want to learn a great deal about shad, you could read John McPhee’s splendid book “The Founding Fish.” If you simply want to know how to catch a shad in the Upper Delaware River, just ask Len Caputi. How does he know when the shad run is on? Len replies with a twinkle in his eye, “I smell ‘em!”  Read more

‘Don’t worry, be happy’

Have fun relaxing and floating in your life jacket as you enjoy the river this summer. It’s a safe way to float around and have fun. We hope you and your family have a great time while visiting the beautiful Upper Delaware River!  Read more

A BioBlitz comes to Ten Mile River Scout Camp

[Editor’s note: Jack Barnett and Mary Anne Carletta, summertime residents of Hawley, PA, were among dozens of scientists and volunteers who participated in the 2013 Upper Delaware BioBlitz (UDBB) last June, a species census conducted on a riverfront property along the Delaware near Starlight, PA. This year, they will again join the UDBB to be held June 28 and 29 at the Ten Mile River Scout Camp in the Town of Tusten, NY. The River Reporter asked Jack and Mary Anne to explain a bioblitz by recalling their experiences of last year’s science and environmental event.]  Read more

Where birds of prey stay

Bill Streeter and his small team are on a mission of passion—to rehabilitate and educate about raptors in the Delaware River Valley region. When asked why he does it, Bill simply says, “Raptors have an energy, a presence, there’s just something about them that taps into my soul.” In other words, “I am just bonkers about raptors.”  Read more

Fifty shades of green

CALLICOON, NY —The 2014 first annual Green Tourism Conference, held earlier this spring at Villa Roma Resort, showcased green technologies, materials, products and practices that are breathing new life into an old industry.  Read more

Why we fish

The most captivating way I know to embrace nature and immerse yourself in another reality is to slip into a river or to jump in a boat and go fishin’. Just going fishing is its own reward.  Read more

Learning to Tie a Fly; ‘Up’ your game

When I first moved here in 2001, I’d never picked up a fly rod, let alone knew what fly fishing was, or what “matching the hatch” meant or other fly fishing lingo. Fast forward 13 years. I now know a lot more, but still felt I was missing a piece of fly fishing—tying my own flies. The Beaverkill Angler’s spring fly-tying class was the perfect opportunity to learn. What better place to learn how to tie your own flies than in the official Trout Town USA—Roscoe, NY?  Read more

Hidden Treasures of the Delaware

Whether floating or wading the Delaware River, swimming in or just gazing at its waters, the most compelling scenery, for me, has always been the view beneath the surface. The riverbed itself and all the engaging aquatic life there and within the flow have been what’s held my attention. And the picture is usually clear and captivating.  Read more

Muddy Waters; Fish sing the blues

Natural habitats like our forests and native meadows hold valuable soil in place. But when these habitats are disturbed and removed, leaving bare soils, as they are during construction activities, that soil poses a major threat to our local streams and the aquatic life that lives there. Erosion and sediment transport in streams is a natural process, but with so much disturbance (via habitat fragmentation, conversion of natural habitat to housing developments, shopping malls and other human activity), sedimentation in our streams and rivers has become the number one pollutant by volume, nationwide.  Read more

How to Successfully Land & Release Fish

You’ve hooked a nice fish. Line is peeling off your reel, adrenaline is flowing, and you start to fear you’ll lose the fish, a big one no less. If you want to increase your odds of landing a good fish, stop thinking you might lose it. It’s only a fish. Relax.  Read more

Wild vs. Stocked Trout: There’s a difference

The Upper Delaware River has become synonymous with the phrase “wild trout,” a term that may seem unimportant to the general public, but is of vital consequence to trout fishermen. Not only is a river filled with only wild trout in the northeastern United States a rarity; it is a major draw as well. But what is it that makes such a fishery superior to another? What is the allure of these wild fish?  Read more