Outdoors Stories

TRR photos by Sandy Long

Flocks of mallard ducks float on the Lackawaxen River in Hawley, PA.

Place-based explorations

Several years ago I established an annual practice of “gifting” myself with a roving ramble of this place that I love—the Upper Delaware River region—on my birthday, which transpired recently.

TRR photos by Scott Rando

Hoarfrost, in its simplest form, resembles needles on a surface. If there is a light wind, most of the needles will be on the side away from the wind. Leaves, grass, or even a barbed wire fence can all serve as an anchor for needles to form.

Hoarfrost magic

On cold winter days, we usually don’t think on ice or frost except when we have to scrape it off the windshield of our vehicles, or salt the walkway so we don’t slip and fall. Occasionally, especially when it is very humid or foggy and below freezing, or we are right next to a stream or river, we can see a more interesting frost.

TRR photos by Scott Rando

Halfway through winter

We have passed the halfway point of winter, and the busy holiday season is behind us. This is what some people describe as the winter doldrums, and perhaps a few cases of “cabin fever” are setting in. For some of us, spring cannot come soon enough.

TRR photos by Sandy Long

Is there anybody out there?

With the exception of the feathered friends who ply our bird feeders (and the rascal squirrels that rob their share), it’s easy to believe that most other creatures have vanished into thin air at this time of year. Animals we often encounter in warmer months seem to be absent as we hike or drive in the Upper Delaware River region. 

TRR photos by Scott Rando

A good day to fly

Sometime in the early 1970s, I rented the Cessna Skyhawk from our aero club near where I was stationed in Germany. Although it was a little breezy, the weather forecast was good for that Saturday afternoon. I took my camera along, which was a Minolta 35mm film SLR at the time; I was hoping to get some aerial photos of some nearby landmarks.

TRR photos by Sandy Long

Attentive appreciation

“To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again,” wrote 19th-century American poet, philosopher and essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

Photo by Stephen Davis

Eagle-watching bus tours

LACKAWAXEN, PA — The Delaware Highlands Conservancy and its partners will sponsor guided eagle-viewing bus trips on weekends throughout January and February. Learn from an expert guide and take a scenic drive on a heated bus throughout the Upper Delaware River region to look for and learn about bald eagles and their habitat.

TRR photos by Scott Rando

A white Christmas for 2016?

At the writing of this column, the temperature is in the low 20s and the wind is blowing at 20 mph with higher gusts. A winter storm is forecast for the upcoming weekend, with several inches of snow possible before it turns to rain. It is certainly a good time to be indoors writing a River Talk column.

Photo by Peter Kolesar

Hope and renewal

The year 2016 was about as tumultuous a year as most of us care to endure. Not only was it a political year, it was also a year of drought. Our brooks and streams were bone dry and river temperatures soared. For the most part, we were denied the opportunity for a day on the water as a pleasant diversion.

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