May 18, 2014 |
SLIGO, Ireland - "The landscape isn't, strictly speaking, necessary," said Helen Vendler of Harvard University. She has written about and teaches about Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet William Butler Yeats and other great writers and had some advice about the presumed pleasure of combining place with poetry - a lure to which all too many literary junkies fall prey. My librarian wife and I knew the wordy part about Ireland fairly well, and where to find some of its low-land temples.
April 21, 2014 |
LANSFORD, Pa. - "Don't leave me! Don't leave me!" So says the ghostly voice, heard clearly and periodically in the No. 9 Coal Mine here, apparently from the spirit of a miner who didn't get out alive. Whether buried or asphyxiated, the names of killed and injured miners are the starting point of Anthracite Fields , the hour-long choral work to be premiered Saturday and next Sunday by the Mendelssohn Club. Its unlikely composer? The cutting-edge New Yorker Julia Wolfe. Thus this brainy, fiftysomething strawberry blonde, a founding member of downtown Manhattan's experimental Bang on a Can composer collective, found herself heading into a rustic Carbon County coal mine on a recent Sunday.
October 11, 2013 |
"THE SUMMIT" uses reenactment and documentary footage to tell the story of an expedition that killed 11 mountaineers on K2 in August 2008. I found the approach a bit confusing, possibly in poor taste. Is that a real screaming climber hurtling into an abyss, or an actor? The basic facts are these: Twenty-two climbers from separate expeditions and several nations took advantage of a small weather window to make for the summit under perfect conditions. Perfect weather conditions, that is. The condition of the climbers' readiness was another matter.
September 13, 2013 |
WALLAND, Tenn. - In the spring of 1959, young John Coykendall was exploring the abandoned Ebenezer Railroad Station in Knoxville when he came across a "life-altering" treasure: the keys to a 100-year-old garden. Stashed among some old newspapers and magazines was a perfectly preserved 1913 catalog from the William Henry Maule seed company in Philadelphia. Seed catalogs may not be the stuff most 16-year-old boys dream of. But for Coykendall, a future farmer and artist who would earn a master of fine arts degree in printmaking and engraving, the catalog's exquisitely illustrated pages of Noxall beans, Surehead cabbage, and Tennessee sweet potato pumpkins lit a flame that would inspire his career.
August 5, 2013 |
The sign in front of this Poconos property is larger than others on the block, to accommodate the names of two generations of owners and an important message: "Keep It in the Family. " Herb and Martha Ganssloser built the vacation home in Tobyhanna Township in 1974. The wooded quarter-acre lot had a prime location two blocks from Pebble Beach, a strip of coarse sand bordering a picturesque mountain lake. The upper level of the raised ranch features a living area, a kitchen, three bedrooms, and a deck.
July 1, 2013 |
We decided to take a father-son trip into the White Mountains of New Hampshire for day hikes on trails surrounding North Conway, a town in the Mount Washington Valley. The mountains' beauty is breathtaking and places life's priorities in perspective amid life's hurried pace, while providing interesting teaching moments. The first mountain we hiked was 2,800-foot Mount Willard. This three-mile trek was up a rocky trail, with ice near its top. The rising footpath slows hikers down and reminds them to enjoy the beauty.
July 1, 2013
Bob Gilka, 96, who oversaw National Geographic photography for more than two decades and helped establish the publication as one of the world's premier sources of photojournalism, died Tuesday in Arlington County, Va., of complications from pneumonia, said his son Jeff Gilka. As director of photography from 1963 to 1985, Mr. Gilka recruited and deployed field photographers who scaled mountains, plumbed oceans, braved the exotic near and far from home, andsometimes risked their lives to send back an image that would not disappoint.
March 9, 2013 |
After helping to build and rehab homes in Kentucky during spring break, 37 La Salle University students began a traditional hike up Pine Mountain to a place called High Rock about 1 p.m. Thursday. What should have been a fun excursion turned into a frightening ordeal when they got lost as darkness fell. The students and three university staffers endured subfreezing temperatures until they were rescued by authorities early Friday morning. The hikers were taken to a local hospital to be treated for hypothermia and dehydration, and one was kept for observation, said La Salle spokesman Jon Caroulis.
February 11, 2013 |
BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. - All that was left were footprints leading away from Christopher Dorner's burned-out pickup truck, and an enormous, snow-covered mountain where he could be hiding among the skiers, hundreds of cabins and dense woods. More than 100 officers, including SWAT teams, were driven in glass-enclosed snow machines and armored personnel carriers to hunt for the former Los Angeles police officer suspected of going on a deadly rampage to get back at those he blamed for ending his police career.
February 11, 2013 |
The title of the photo album posted that day on Facebook said everything: "massacre on November 19, 2010. " That was the visceral reaction the mountain bikers of Ceres Park in Mantua Township had when they saw the wooden bridges they built had been cut down with chain saws on orders from Gloucester County officials. There was no notification from the county, one biker said. The bridges, which were built over streams, fallen trees, and swampland, not only made biking easier, but the bikers felt they kept the environment safer at the nature preserve.