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Local Commentaries

Dragonflies: They do what?!

“Does anyone want to go outside to see a Black Saddlebag?” Statements of this kind are frequently heard around the offices at Audubon. We stop work at our desks, jump up with our cameras, and head outside. Being aware of what is going on outside is a major part of our jobs, so it is ...

Which trip was best? Part II

The trips I took with the grandchildren were some of my favorites. I went to New York City two years in a row. First, I took the granddaughter, then I took the boys. When you see the wonder of the children experiencing something for the first time it is really an awesome experience. We got ...

The last day of summer

Times Observer photo by Lorri Drumm A lone tiny yellow flower pokes out of the grass among red, yellow and brown leaves on a September morn’ in Warren. Do you remember the 21st night of September? Wait, that’s tonight. In that case, do you intend to dance in the night while the stars ...

I succumbed to a tattoo

We crossed one more off the bucket list this month – the dream that had bubbled to the top of my desires in the past few decades. It involved a return trip last month to my beloved Scotland for the Tattoo. No, not that kind of Tattoo. From Wikipedia: “A tattoo is a military ...

September 28 is Public Lands Day

Hopefully you found time this week to get onto the Allegheny National Forest. Hiking has been great. The small trout streams are low, or at least they were until recently, so stealth is needed to flip a bait or a fly near relaxed trout. One of our favorite pastimes during the past several years ...

Which trip was best?

People often ask, "What was your favorite trip.?" It is difficult to pick just one. There are parts of many of them I would classify as favorites. When I travel with people, they always want to know if I am going to write about the trip. My answer is always the same. It depends what I see ...

If you love Baseball…

It’s a long way to October, but my baseball season is over. It’s not because of my chosen Major League Baseball team’s record. No, I mean the baseball team I play on — the Jamestown Old Timers. There were 10 dates on our calendar this season, with most of those being scheduled for ...

Then and now

Another school year has begun. My grandson is a senior. It hardly seems possible! Just a few short years ago he was starting school. Once children start school the years just roll by, one after the other. I suppose it was the same in my day only because I was the one involved, I did not ...

Myths and facts

Last week, in lieu of September being Suicide Prevention Month, I discussed the different factors that can attribute to a person’s struggle with suicidal thoughts and the eventual taking of one’s life. These are important things for a person to be aware of when he/she is going through a ...

Take a few photos for me

“Have you ever been to Lake Tahoe,” was the leading question my son, James, asked me recently. I replied in the affirmative and briefly described my brief stay at the lake many years ago. It seems that James, who works in administration at Youngstown State University, is planning to ...

Build a better mousetrap

The washing machine bit the dust a few days ago.  Actually it was more like it choked, drowned and broke the dam.  I knew there was something different about the laundry room almost immediately after stepping into the inch of water.  I'm a quick study. To be honest, it had leaked a few ...

Being informed

September is Suicide Prevention Month. As you drive around Warren County please be on the lookout for 5 billboards that CORE (Choosing Openness Regarding Experiences) has designed for Suicide Prevention Month. They will be up the entire month of September and are in Youngsville, Sugar Grove, ...

I know What That Is!

Last week I was a resident at Chautauqua Institution for the week. One of the speakers spoke about focusing attention on the ordinary things of life. Recently I have received posts on Facebook showing many old-fashioned items asking “Who used one of these? What is it?” Thankfully, I ...

Snails: More interesting than you think

Of all the flora and fauna in the region, snails are not one I think about very often. On hikes, they fall into the “just” category. Oh, it’s just a snail. Oh, it’s just a crow. Oh, it’s just a dandelion. They are so easy to overlook because they appear commonplace. Ordinary. Mundane. ...

Is 6.5 MM the deer rifle answer?

In 1966 during my first drive through the Western States, I saw pronghorn for the first time. What an eye-opening experience. Part of my fascination with the second-fastest land animal on the planet was the dry plains habitat where from a little rise you can see many miles. I knew I had to hunt ...

A human, please!

While I realize that businesses are attempting to save money, I am sorry but one size does not fit all! When I call a business, it is because I need some sort of service. All I get these days are automated services. This is very frustrating because when they give the choices often, they do ...

Becoming an artifact

When my mother was in her 90’s I used to kid that she was not old enough yet to be an antique. Antiques, by definition, are 100 years old. But because she had a formidable, archival memory of almost ten decades I kiddingly called her an artifact. Now that Mom has passed, I guess I have ...

Once upon a time in the summer

An angler could do no better on a balmy summer evening than hitting one of the area creeks with light smallmouth bass tackle. The intense heat of midday gone, water cooling your feet and legs. And, hopefully, several smallmouth basses jumping at the end of your fishing line. This is a pretty ...

One memorable trip — in Guam

For one of the truly memorable canoe excursions I have ever taken, I must go back many years when I was a freshly-minted Navy ensign on Guam, the southernmost of the Mariana Islands located some 3,500 miles west of Hawaii. But this is not just the story of a canoe ride, since the locale of ...

‘We did mud camp today’

Barefoot children climbing trees. Muddy hands, skinned up knees. Berry stained faces and bright, wild eyes. Catching jars of fireflies. Pockets of fungus and acorns and rocks. Running with joy through a million raindrops. This is what childhood is made of. A text: “We did mud camp today, ...