Siren Call

Ponce InletFloridaMarch  2017 Irresistible. Across from Harbour Village Golf and Yacht Club.  Not where I would expect to find her.

Take What You Can Get

PittsburghMarch  2018 1On my way home on an urban walk, minding my own business, looking at the architecture of the houses along the route, I am befallen by feathers.  Suddenly, swirling around me like little clouds as I walk, a flock of small, grayish-white feathers alight on my shoulders, my head, my jacket.  I pretend… Continue reading Take What You Can Get

Four Corners

Arizona / New Mexico / Colorado / UtahJune  2013 There are 61 sites in the United States we call “tri-state points.”  These are places where three states come together at a single locus.  Sixty-one tri-state points, but only one quadripoint, the exact spot where four states touch each other. Four states in one spot at… Continue reading Four Corners

Why the Hell We Do It

the Wildernessalways The fashion show is over.  It is not about how killer awesome the latest gadget performs, how you’ve managed to shave the last ounce off your pack, or how pretty the synthetic fabric shirt is, or what kind of bargain you got when you purchased it.  It is about the fact that if… Continue reading Why the Hell We Do It

Gun Boy

Thunder SwampPennsylvaniaJuly  1998 There is a complex of hiking trails in eastern Pennsylvania at the Stillwater Natural Area, including Thunder Swamp.  Our trail description and map are fifteen years old, but the trail looks easy to follow.  We think. Maybe not.  We find ourselves on private property when the old dirt road that is our… Continue reading Gun Boy

Sit On It

MassachusettsMay  2014 Driving south in western Massachusetts, having summited Mount Greylock, somewhere along the road is this oddity. Yah, it’s a chair.  To see a chair alongside a road is in itself not much of an oddity.  Heck, visit Pittsburgh during snow season and you’ll see chairs in the street all over town.  Folks use… Continue reading Sit On It

Speed Demon

World’s End State ParkPennsylvaniaSeptember  1998 A large tree fell some time ago.  It lies here, moss growing profusely on its surface.  A chipmunk speeds along the fallen, now horizontal trunk, running along on legs that move so fast I can’t see them, looking like a speeded up, bumpy version of a hover craft.  Y’know, the… Continue reading Speed Demon


PittsburghPennsylvaniaalways and forever Most folks never hear this word until they come to Pittsburgh.  Jagoff. Yeah, jagoff. The word jagoff is an ancient word that probably originated with the Shawnee, the native tribe that once resided in western Pennsylvania. No it isn’t.  That’s totally ridiculous. Jagoff is truly a Pittsburgh word, through and through.  We… Continue reading Jagoff

Mistaken Identity

Frick ParkPittsburghOctober  2013 At first I think it might be a Toxicodendron radicans reaction.  You know, a poisoning by urushiol, the histamine-producing substance in poison ivy, or one of those allergy-generating, contact dermatitis plants. Umm, it isn’t. My dermatologist calls it, and these are the exact words she uses, “Itchy Red Bump Disease.”  Guess what… Continue reading Mistaken Identity