Local Commentaries

Mike Bleech

The real cool cats of North America

After running about a dozen trail cameras for several years, back to film cameras, finally a couple of years ago I got a photo of a bobcat. This summer I got about four bobcat photos, triggering a renewed interest in the wild cats of North America. All three of the more common native North ...

Jeff Tome
For The Audubon

Nature’s perfect flood

The recent flooding at the Audubon Community Nature Center provided a rare opportunity. With water a foot deep on many parts of the property, wildlife became concentrated on the high parts of the forest. Many animals had nowhere else to go without swimming, so I took advantage of the wet by ...

Gross,-Stacey

I’m in a fight for the title

Who has two thumbs and just started watching Game of Thrones? This girl. I don’t like not being in on memes. That, and I got a free trial of HBO. After episode one I was pretty sure I was going to cancel the next day. I’m not into fantasy or science fiction. Well. Okay, there’s ...

Ann-Swanson-new

Finding another way

Have any of you made fruit soup?  I used to make it quite often as a side dish when I made rice pudding.  This is nothing like the cold soups that they serve on cruises, but it is very good.    I used to buy a pound package of mixed dried fruit for the base.  That contained dried prunes, ...

9-20-lester-new

The beat goes on

I had a “medical adventure” recently. After a strenuous two-day, manual labor-oriented project, my left shoulder ached. It felt like a muscular issue and I had had shoulder issues in the past. Usually, over-worked muscles hurt for several days. But this time it went away. It went away too ...

Afterthoughts

Low iron During a recent proclamation for School Choice Week, a county official repeatedly referred to the abundance of public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, and non-public schools available in the county. While we have no problem with most of that statement, we are ...

Hornburg,-Debby

Home alone

Between the long work hours and the holiday preparations, the traveling to, the traveling from, Cara being home, Cara being gone...well. It’s just been hectic and an emotional past few months. I’m plainly burned out. This is probably why Tim’s plans to go to Texas for 2-3 weeks made me a ...

Stacey Gross

You’ve seen Pete Pitts

Pete Pitts. Bet you five dollars I can connect him to Warren by six degrees of separation: 1. I have a cousin named Amanda. 2. Amanda has a boyfriend named Neill. 3. Neill has a brother named Skylar Felton. 4. Skylar is on The Walking Dead with Pete Pitts. Check it out. I did it in ...

Mike Bleech
Outdoors Columnist

Christmas bird count surprisingly normal

Warren Christmas Bird Count data manager Mike Toole said that he was surprised by the lack of bird activity for the December 17 event. Then he was surprised again by the number of bird species seen. Weather for this bird count in Warren was not unusual. A cold blast drove many local birds ...

ann-swanson-new

The sewing box

When I was growing up my grandmother had a sewing box where she kept her buttons, thread, scissors, and assorted sewing supplies such as hooks and eyes and snaps.  I remember that box being all over the house.  Sometimes it was near her sewing machine in the upstairs bedroom.  Sometimes it ...

obrien-new-9-15

Cold chills

It’s Wednesday night, the first Wednesday in 2017, and surprise, surprise . . . it’s bitter cold. This morning began as just another winter morning but as the day progressed the temperature plummeted and the wind picked up, blowing fiercely outside and pushing drafts around our offices. ...

Ron Keeney
For The Audubon

‘Get out of jail free’

Winter is of the season when many prefer to hibernate and stay indoors for long periods of time, due to the cold, snowy weather. Seldom do many of us even think about venturing outside for a winter hike or walk in the woods. So we prefer to lock ourselves in to our warm homes and watch the ...

9-20-lester-new

Remotely interesting

Who remembers the time before TV remote controls? I sure do. I can remember sitting two feet away from a small black and white set, turning the knob through 12 channels. I actually wore out one of the tuners. It didn't help that I worked second shift and watched late at night. Many of the ...

Tom Schultz
City Editor

‘Bye, everybody’

It was a dark and stormy night. Yes, I know, that is the trite-ist (if there is such a word) of all opening sentences, and that bland variations of it have been used by countless wannabe novelists – including Snoopy – for many years. But in this case it’s true because it became a dark ...

gross-stacey

Behaviorally, neurologically — all of the above

I stopped into the gas station with June the other day. As we were walking in the door she asked me, “mom, do you need more Camel Crush?” She knew my freaking brand, dude. Listen. I know they know I smoke. I know that’s bad. I know smoking is bad, and that I need to stop. But ...

hornburg-debby

Enough

'Twas a couple weeks before Christmas, and I had not done jack. The tree was not up. There were no cookies. For yet another year, no cards were sent. My Christmas shopping was majorly incomplete, and I had no time to do these things. I said to Tim, “I know that you're busy, but Tim, I ...

Mike Bleech

Forest changes only normal

Vegetation on the Allegheny National forest is dynamic. Changes happen oh so gradually, and they happen almost overnight, of so it seems. Change is inevitable. Preservationists often identify as pristine one particular stage of forest evolution. Typically in this supposedly pristine state ...

9-20-lester-new

Take a sip

We go grocery shopping every Saturday morning. Right inside the door of the store, there’s a coffee bar. We typically get an iced tea and a coffee. The coffee is for me, the tea for Penny. The store has these neat cup holders that fit on the shopping cart. My coffee goes in the one on left, ...

sarah-hatfield-color_2016

On aging and time and the end of this particular trip around the sun

Today you are as old as you have ever been. Today, you are as young as you will ever be again. Those of a classic optimistic mindset will likely choose the latter sentiment. For those that carry with them the haze of pessimism the former will ring more true. Or perhaps vice versa. Both are ...

ann-swanson-new

There is a National Toy Hall of Fame?

Years ago I remember reading about some toys added to a list of special toys.  At that time I remembered the toys that were being selected.  I had kind of forgotten about this, but once again I heard about the 2016 additions to this list as I listened to my favorite radio station. When I ...