On The Trail

On The Trail: Splashback

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Do rivers speak? Well, if you listen. Cool, sunny Sunday morning, 10-ish, variable wind gusting to stir small, random oak-leave tornados out in the open along the north wood line of a closed, two-acre meadow. A splendid day for a walk with the dogs — nose-dominant beasts that rely on winds to deliver information that can quickly accelerate their pace. Descending the earthen ramp down into Sunken Meadow’s north end … 0

On The Trail: Springtime buzz

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Illuminated in a high, bright morning sun, it and a refreshing south breeze in my face, there it lay, clear as day: my trodden trail carved into a short March-brown hayfield, the thin, angled depression still easily discernible after a long, cold, snowy winter freeze, no foot-traffic I’m aware of in quite a while. I myself hadn’t taken that familiar route for months, … 0

On The Trail: Lessons learned

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

There’s something about flowing water that I find liberating, metaphorical to human thought and emotion — be it the rattle or roar, foaming riffles descending into roily runs and step pools, the gentle swirl of frothy eddies. All of the above are likely spots for lurking trout when you understand water and know how to use the natural flow to trigger aggressive strikes … 0

On The Trail: Whims & whispers

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I should know better than to read Henry Miller. The bad-boy American novelist disrupts a guarded spot in me that likes to be roiled, ignited to a tumultuous boil, furious bubbles bursting through the surface into a belching, … 0

On the Trail: Twists and turns

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It wasn’t the oh-so familiar yet faded scene — a dark, dingy basement classroom in the bowels of UMass’ Bartlett Hall — that left an impression on me. No, no, no! It was the Coppertone man, a long, … 0

On The Trail: Divine intervention, plus

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cabin fever? Nope, not me. It’s true the dead of winter is upon us, the temperatures frigid indeed. Yet for some reason, it doesn’t seem to matter this year, news swarming like black flies, the brittle carcasses piling … 0

On The Trail: Thought splash

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Yeah, yeah, I know. We’ve all cleaned up from one storm, with another looming large, so the early-week slate’s been wiped clean, the stage reset, so to speak. Yet still, sometimes a man who does what I do … 0

On The Trail: Oxbow island

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The task now confronting me appears at first glance as a steep hill to climb on many levels. Where to start? That’s my first dilemma, because you must understand we’re dealing with a complex subject in a place familiar to few, except maybe by distant observation out the … 0

On the Trail: Fearmongering

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Gripped by the cold, I blinked Wednesday morning. Well, sort of. Nothing serious, mind you. Just that I foolishly decided before testing the elements that I’d feed the dogs, humor them briefly out by the brook, put them in the box stall with fresh water, and forego our … 0

On the Trail: Faraway feedback

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It’s Wednesday morning, sunny and warm. I’m returning from a splendid riverside walk with the dogs when I spot the approach of a young fella I often pass and seldom address, he pushing a covered stroller eastward on … 0

On the Trail: Dire Wolf

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

That cold, sly, crescent sliver of the New Year’s first moon wore the mischievous grin of a city slicker peering down from the deep, twinkling, southern weekend sky. To me, the ominous message was clear: beware the Wolf Moon. Who knew, the wind a howling, that developments were … 0

On The Trail: Debunking myths

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

OK, it’s time to correct the record. Well, let’s just say set it straight as can be expected, because, well, you know, hypotheses can always change. I’m not here to apologize, and have no regrets. No, it’s just that, having read and pondered and listened and spoken to … 0

On The Trail: Lucifer’s loop

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I’m coming down the homestretch toward my annual December vacation, scurrying to tie up loose ends and button down fall chores on the home front before Thanksgiving while joyously following the dogs daily through alders, cattails and thorny clumps that’ll put a careless man flat on his face … 0

On the Trail: Adjustments

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The grandsons were in town over the weekend and they brought with them a nasty, highly contagious, Vermont elementary school virus my immune system couldn’t fight off. Thus I’m a little under the weather yet maintaining my regular routine, sort of, with the help of Alka-Seltzer Plus cocktails … 0

On The Trail: Deer friend

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Old friend Tom White of Northfield says the time is now for deer hunters to get in the woods, and the man has meat in the freezer to prove it. He took care of the familiar butchering chores Tuesday, intending when I spoke to him on the phone … 0