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Minuit’s Giant Tulip Tree

There is an apocryphal story that in May of 1626, Dutch trader, Peter Minuit met with the Lenape Indians of Manhattan in the shade of a huge tulip tree (Liriodendron Tulipera) and traded them about $20 worth of beads and trinkets for all of Manhattan Island. Last time […]

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Scouts turn back time

“Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold.” So says Irish poet, W.B. Yeats. That seems to be one of the major lessons in life – nothing will ever get better unless someone puts some energy and effort into making it better. Last summer I was chatting with my […]

Lavender spiders

This year the wildflowers have been spectacular already – and it is just barely past Easter. Roadsides are covered with purple, red, and white clover. if you miss a spot in your yard while mowing, you are liable to see tiny veronica, bright oxalis, and the everpresent crowpoison. […]

Fort Vancouver

Starting in the late 1600’s, the Hudson Bay Company was commissioned by King Charles II to explore, administer, and find ways to exploit much of North America.  Their domain was defined to be the entire drainage basin of the Hudson Bay (most of eastern and central present-day Canada) but […]

Battle of Fort Washington

At the top of Inwood Hill in north Manhattan, situated right over the Hutson River sat Fort Cockhill (or Cox’s Hill, as General Washington called it.) Cockhill was the northernmost of a series of outposts and forts that were constructed on Manhattan Island (then known as York Island) […]

Shiloh vet first to canoe the Colorado

One role of a Scoutmaster is to tell short, funny stories to the kids.  Often these stories have a moral but usually, their main virtues are that they are funny and short.  They call these stories, “Scoutmaster Minutes” because the Founder of Scouting said if the adults drone […]

Revolution in Manhattan

When you think of Manhattan, you might think of the bright lights of Times Square or the solemnity of the 9/11 Memorial, the crush and bustle of the Metro subway or the glorious promise of Lady Liberty. You probably don’t think about hiking and soaking in Revolutionary War […]

How to see more when you hike

Famous baseball player and coach, Yogi Berra, said, “You can see a lot just by observing!” Like most of his Yogi-isms, this applies to a lot of life besides just baseball. Take hiking, for instance. It is easy to get into a sort of fugue state while you […]