I’d like to introduce you to Walt. He writes a lovely blog about fishing and the outdoors of northern Pennsylvania and a bit of upstate New York. Then he throws in a bit of Yeats and some birding and I’m in heaven. I don’t know that he was, but I like to think he was named after Walt Whitman, who also knew the joy of just being wherever you are.
I’ve never really learned to fish very well, but I used to backpack and hike quite a bit in the northern tier of Penn’s Woods and his posts always take me to places that feel like home. It’s a reminder that such landscapes, internal and external are really not far away.
Originally posted on Rivertop Rambles:
All three parts of this series were written and published on Rivertop Rambles around the 20th of January each of three consecutive years. I don’t know what this proves, other than the fact that I’m another creature of habit. I should probably be careful with that. Predictability can be lethal, especially if you’re hunted like a deer or a fox.
I hit the Genesee River WAG Trail (former Wellsville-Addison-Galeton railroad bed) late in the morning of a cold winter day, with fresh snow on the ground and the air temp registering 14 or 15 degrees F.. It felt a bit odd to walk northwesterly out of Shongo, NY, heading downstream on this rare northward flowing river. And it felt a little odd to walk this familiar river without a fly rod in hand– with only a camera for a check on the animal tracks and other quiet signs of January life.
In the river valley, just prior to arriving at my starting point, I saw a common raven and an adult bald eagle flying over the highway, signs of promise for the outing to come. Bundled against the cold, tapping at the powdery trail with a walking stick, I thought inexplicably about an old poem by William Butler Yeats, a piece that I reviewed later in the day. The first stanza of “The Song of Wandering Aengus” goes like this: