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TRR photos by Sandy Long

One bird you won’t find at your backyard feeder is a bald eagle. However, it is eagle watching season in the Upper Delaware River region, as this majestic raptor returns to ply the open waters of our rivers for its sustenance. Seize the opportunity to look for eagles in their habitat by signing up for the Delaware Highlands Conservancy’s Eagle Photo Workshop Bus Tour on February 3, during which I’ll be offering tips on photographing eagles in the context of this special place. The Conservancy has also announced a new juried photo contest, “Sharing Place: Eagles and Their Environs,” open to professional and amateur photographers. Visit https://delawarehighlands.org/photo-contest/ for details.

Birds and bomb cyclones

Now that we’ve added a new term to our vocabularies and weathered the wild winds and brutal temperatures of the past week and its “bomb cyclone,” it’s time to reflect on the awe-inspiring survival strategies of our backyard birds and the role we can play in their welfare.

Cabin time for fly fishermen

The recent polar vortex had its grip on the Upper Delaware River and the entire region. Most of our rivers are now iced in, and fly fishing is out of the question without distant travel. It will be a long time before we wade again and scan the Delaware’s pools for rising trout.

Making the cut

I can’t tell you the name of the show, or the network, or the stars I may have played next to, but I can give you a glimpse inside the day of a background player on a TV series being made on the set of a major studio in New York City.


TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

Knowing that warmer temps will inevitably follow the bone-chilling air that currently presides keeps me going, as I look forward to photographing the endless variety of flowers that dot the landscape of the Upper Delaware River region come spring.

Like sands through the hourglass…

Sitting at my desk trying not to listen to the drip, drip, drip of the kitchen faucet (you all know why) behind me, my mind wanders as I steel myself for the task at hand… cleaning up the desktop files from the previous year and preparing to begin anew.


TRR photos by Scott Rando

A red-tailed hawk, one of the hawk species that can be seen all year in the region, is shown here flying next to a raven. Both birds did some maneuvering and talon displays before breaking off. It appeared that both birds did this in play.

Winter raptor watching

If asked about winter raptor watching, the first thing that would pop into mind is eagles. This region is one of the favorite wintering habitats for Canadian bald eagles in the Northeast, and that’s not counting the ever increasing number of resident bald eagles that stay in the area year-round.

A different view

A recent illness gave me the experience of viewing a different form of transportation from the back of an Ambulet van. My condition was an arthritic infection in my right wrist. Thank goodness for a very astute wife who, in her RN experience, realized it was more than a sprained wrist and insisted we are going to the ER to get it checked out.


TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

Father & son duo Michael and Gabriel Schleifer were among the many entertainers at Dutch’s in Rock Hill last Monday during open-mic night. 

Sing for your supper

The instant that I picked up the phone I knew I was in trouble. “Go out on a Monday?” I barked into the receiver. “What, are you crazy? It’s a school night!” The caller was gal pal Jamee Schleifer and the reason for her inquiry was simple.


TRR photo by Sandy Long

What can you do to support the natural resources of the Upper Delaware River region in 2018? Adopt a spot by regularly removing trash; volunteer for a non-profit conservation organization; redirect time spent on negative news toward fresh perspectives like those offered by DailyGood.org; subscribe to publications that consistently cover local environmental news; keep tabs on environmental agencies like the New York Department of Environmental Conservation or the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; or attend monthly meetings of the Upper Delaware Council. 
 

One small thing

I recently received an email message from The Wilderness Society highlighting the “biggest wilderness milestones in 2017.” Unfortunately, most were the dismal and disturbing actions taken by our nation’s current administration to dismantle or eliminate hard-won environmental policies and protections, beginning in January with “scrubbing” mention

Make a joyful noise

[Peace and Justice Files columnist Skip Mendler is wrapping up a year of travel in Europe, and is returning to the states in January of 2018.]

“Survival is not enough.”

— Station Eleven

Let me share three data points:

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