Starrucca Viaduct Celebration



NEPA Rail-Trails is having a Starrucca Viaduct celebration & sign unveiling!

The Starrucca Viaduct is an awesome bridge of PA bluestone (not concrete). The Nicholson Bridge often gets all the attention.
It is on the national Registry of Historic Places and is one of 260 worldwide civil engineering landmarks.

“Recognized as one of the most daring feats of stone vault engineering ever attempted in this country”

The history is fascinating (and the sign covers much of its history). NEPA Rail-Trail trail goes underneath this ‘bridge of stone’ and to date there has only been a one-sentence historical sign.

We are also having a patio of bluestone installed (with donor pavers) working with Pa Bluestone Association.

Grifola frondosa

Grifola frondosa
Grifola frondosa

Recently a friend stopped by in my driveway and said “Hey, want a mushroom?”

“Sure!” I replied, knowing that in addition to being a renowned watercolorist and fisherman, he was an avid mushroom hunter.

He must have seen the look of uncertainty on my face when he revealed the hen-of-the-woods from the darkness of his auto trunk.

“Just rinse it as you would any other mushroom, and check the nooks and crannies for any critters that may have taken up residence. Slice, saute, and enjoy!”

The mushroom sat in the fridge for a day. I tried to think of neighbors knowledgeable of such things to whom I could pass on the mushroom. But realizing this as an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone (I had never knowingly eaten a wild mushroom), I followed my friend’s instructions, and gently fried the mushrooms in olive oil, wine, and some lemon juice.

The result? Magnificent! The taste of the mushroom was somewhat like store-boughten mushroom, with a delightful hint of gaminess. The texture made one think they were eating meat – very satisfying.

I enjoyed some of the mushroom immediately after cooking it, added some to a fresh vegetable soup I was making, and put a bit in the freezer hoping that some early winter evening, I’ll bust out the rest of that mushroom from the freezer, and enjoy a taste of a sunny, early autumn day.

Excerpted From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

“Grifola frondosa is a polypore mushroom that grows in clusters at the base of trees, particularly oaks. The mushroom is commonly known among English speakers as hen of the woods, hen-of-the-woods, ram’s head and sheep’s head. It is typically found in late summer to early autumn. In the United States’ supplement market, as well as in Asian grocery stores, the mushroom is known by its Japanese name maitake (舞茸, “dancing mushroom”). Throughout Italian American communities in the northeastern United States, it is commonly known as the signorina mushroom…

The fungus is native to the northeastern part of Japan and North America, and is prized in traditional Chinese and Japanese herbology as a medicinal mushroom, an aid to balance out altered body systems to a normal level. It is widely eaten in Japan, and its popularity in western cuisine is growing, although the mushroom has been alleged to cause allergic reactions in rare cases.”

Forest City may become the first “Trail Town” on the D&H!


NEPA Rail-Trail, Forest City Business Alliance to Present “Forest City – A Trail Town”
September 27, 2016 – The Rail-Trail Council of NEPA in conjunction with the Greater Forest City Business Alliance (GFCBA) will hold a presentation on Wednesday, Oct. 5 exploring the opportunity for Forest City to become the first “Trail Town” along the D & H Rail Trail in Susquehanna County.

The free event is open to the entire Greater Forest City community and will be hosted in the Forest City Regional School District Auditorium from 6 pm to 8 pm.

“Forest City is a small-rural town with many opportunities for revitalization,” states, Erin Debish, President of the Greater Forest City Business Alliance. “Investigating the opportunity for us to become a “trail town” is putting the focus on community and economic development around tourism and outdoor recreation. We’ve already begun collaborating with our Borough Council on identifying priorities for revitalization around the connection between the trail and our Main Street business district.”

The GFCBA, Rail-Trail Council of NEPA, Forest City School District and Forest City Borough Council have been working together to better promote each other and increase community awareness. Earlier this summer, a new student-designed bike rack was installed near the Erie Street trail-head to promote trail users to stop and support the many local Main Street businesses located just a few steps away from the trail. The Rail-Trail hosts a number of events throughout the four seasons that draw tourism from the surrounding Mid-Atlantic states. Their feature annual event, the D & H Distance Run, held each September draws over 400 runners with its start and finish line at the Forest City trail-head.

In an effort to further promote tourism, the GFCBA, Borough Council, Rail-Trail Council of NEPA and the Endless Mountain Heritage Region will soon unveil a new sign that depicts a way-finding map of the GFCBA member businesses as well as capturing the culture of living in Susquehanna County. An unveiling ceremony with local and county representatives will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Zazzera’s Supermarket, where the sign will permanently reside. The GFCBA continued its efforts to promote tourism by producing a visitors brochure highlighting their member businesses including the recreational opportunities along the D & H Rail-Trail and in the greater Forest City area. The brochure was placed at Pennsylvania Visitor’s Welcome Centers, along the major rest-stops along the PA Turnpike and at numerous local establishments that draw visitors and tourists. Additionally, the town is currently undergoing a street-scape project to improve the function and aesthetics of it’s Main Street.

“We have many projects in the works and on the horizon to reignite a sense of pride in our quaint town,” notes Debish. “Our main objectives are to help our small businesses be profitable and to make our community a more desirable place to live and to visit. We couldn’t be more excited about this trail-town presentation and we really hope to gain the support of the entire community.”

The “Trail Town” presentation will be a fun evening filled with entertainment provided by the Forest City Regional High School Band and Chorus. Finger foods will be featured by local GFCBA member businesses with raffles, bake sales and more. The presentation will also include the unveiling of new websites for the Forest City Borough and the Business Alliance with computers available for community members to navigate through these new sites.

Forest City Regional High School is located at 100 Susquehanna Street in Forest City, Pa.

Summer Clouds


This spring, last winter’s unseasonably warm and dry conditions had us wondering if this summer would too, be unseasonable. I braced for fleece in July, shorts and t-shirts left folded in the drawer.

As nearly all are, this worry was unfounded.

If anything, this summer wanted rain. Not so good for growing things, but very agreeable for accomplishing outdoor tasks or pleasurable pursuits.

There were summer storms, some strong. The driveway hosted rivulets at least a couple of times, and lightning so fierce, the sound of it crashing began like a piece of thick paper being violently ripped.

Eighties, and particularly in July, nineties seemed to be the norm. August sped by under hot sun and sultry evenings, slipping nearly unnoticed into September.

And now? This week’s seasonable dip in temperatures is forecasted to give way to eighties again next week. Never ending summers really don’t happen here on the hill.

Soon, there will be an evening, when a deep inhalation brings to the lungs air fresher and cooler than what can be enjoyed from the refrigerator.




Dwarf grey sugar pea blossom


Just recently have the pea seeds, planted on a whim late this summer, grown up to the point that they’ve begun to blossom.

Delicate flowers appeared just around the time average weekly temperatures moderated from the nineties to the mid eighties.

This small but downward temperature shift faces us toward summer’s end, autumn’s start.

A race now: what will come first fruit or frost?


How much different can heaven be?