Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Orange Hue Sunset

DSC_0005 Last week I had a meeting to attend near Elderton, Pennsylvania.  I decided to go early to look for wildlife and photo-taking opportunities. I was blessed in both ways. I saw approximately thirty deer feeding at various places.                                                                                                         DSC_0006

The sun was sinking low granting me some beautiful scenery shots.

DSC_0008                                                   DSC_0029

Winter’s Over (Sorta)

I asked Laurie about walking this day and she said yes! The snow had been falling and continued to fall during the Valentine hike. We chose to hike at a local state game lands.

DSC_0007 The temperatures were comfortable for walking, however, the winds were increasing as the temperatures slowly heading south to a predicted zero degree night. Wish I had three dogs!

 Thistles blanketed in snow.

Thistles blanketed in snow.

The approximate three mike venture produced  lots of natural beauty. One of my favorite times to hike, or hunt, is during snow storms. I find a special type of solitude during such events. The quiet can be deafening.

DSC_0011  We saw various birdlife including a thrush. I believe the little bird may have been a Wood thrush. This bird shouldn’t be local at this time of the year. Early spring??

A Thrush in February???

A Thrush in February???

I, also, heard a male cardinal singing his early mating call today. Another sign for early spring. Actually this  happens every year around this time, but the observant nature lover will hear it and smile knowing that before long the wildflowers will be blooming and the turkey season will be here.                                                                                                        DSC_0013

DSC_0002  We, also, saw two deer and a flock of turkeys numbering around 22- 25 birds. They were in a stupor state and just standing around. I have witnessed this before. The birds feed and all of a sudden they all stop and stand around and rest.

Cold Time

 

The sign. Letters are straight, but a slight bow makes them look off center.

The sign. Letters are straight, but a slight bow makes them look off center.

Yes, it was cold out. Yes, it was windy out. yes, I had a great hike!

I took a notion today to go for a hike despite the wintry weather. I needed to check an old sign at the Cherry Run Gun, Rod and Reel Club. I painted a new sign for the organization and need to see how the old was erected and my needs to erect the new sign.

Cherry Run

Cherry Run

That completed, I began a walk along Cherry Run located in Plumcreek Township. That is in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania for my readers from other states.

The creek was beautiful with vibrant greens and blue hues. Ice was everywhere varying in thickness and types. However, the walk in the   snow was almost like work! The seven or eight inches of snow had formed a slight crust. I placed my foot down and the snow felt as if it would support my weight some. This was a false sensation for as soon as I lifted my second foot my weight would force foot number one to sink through the crust. This type of walking can be a little tiring.                                                                              DSC_0005

Eventually, I came upon a township road and went up a hill to the top. I then walked across fields and wood lands.  the circle I made was about four miles in length.     DSC_0001

DSC_0013 All told I saw eighteen deer. (Some of this count was while traveling back home.) I saw a gray squirrel, a great-horned owl and lots of small birds. I found gobbler tracks, but I never saw the birds.

DSC_0002

A Winter Wonderland

DSC_0001  Yesterday, January 26, the snow fell on western Pennsylvania all day. Locally we must have received, at least, six inches. The fresh snow covered everything making for a beautiful day for a hike. My friend, Frank “Muskie” Maus and I headed onto a state game lands  to pursue our passion of hiking.

We spotted three deer bedded. I managed to find some openings for several shots. The deer never got up from their beds as we continued our travel.

As you might expect, the hike was a catching up time for the two of us. Much of the conversation pertained to our past deer hunting adventures. We talked, so much, that I neglected with taking many photos.                                                                               DSC_0004

We completed the tour in about two and a half hours. We hope to plan another hike soon.

Cattail at a small pond.

Cattail at a small pond.

I had morning business near Freeport, Pennsylvania on January 21. I coordinated a hiking adventure at Harrison Hills Park to “kill two birds”, so to speak.                                                                                                                            DSC_0001

The snow began prior to eight o’clock and the snow engulfed my walk the entire time making for a beautiful sight to behold. One of my finest times to hike in winter is when the wind is absent and big flakes drift lazily through the forest. Absolutely, beautiful!

DSC_0012

DSC_0007       I chose a five mile trail to trek. I wondered how the knee would fair since that “good ole” tear in my meniscus has flared up in recent weeks. The cortisone shot from last September has already worn off apparently. The constant pinch with every step was easily felt, but I managed to complete the five miles.                                                DSC_0016

The trail meanders around the perimeter of the park allowing for many varied types of woodland diversity to be viewed, as well as, terrain. Big timber; crabapple thicket; areas covered with multiflora rose, as well as, goldenrod fields are present.                            DSC_0022

 

Steep terrain

Steep terrain

Terrain consists of rolling hills to very steep and rocky river hills. In fact, one can walk along the ridge and look down upon the mighty Allegheny River at spots. Freeport can be viewed. Also, one can look across the river to the site where the Massey Harbison abduction, by Indians, took place in 1792.  DSC_0023

A only saw two deer and several squirrels on the three hour walk. I did see plenty of small woodland birds and a pileated woodpecker.            DSC_0005

The web site of the park is:  http://www.alleghenycounty.us/park

DSC_0002

Mahoning Creek

           Mahoning Creek

Tuesday, January 20, my friend Frank and I tentatively planned a hike. However, upon discussing our plans I discovered he had injured himself. We decided to postpone the hike.

I  elected to do a mini-hike  in the area along Mahoning Creek near Eddyville, Pennsylvania, as well as, the actual dam on the waters.  DSC_0003

I hiked along the shoreline where possible. Mahoning is such a beautiful waterways and I was elated to see a bald eagle perched in a tree. the bird was way upstream so I couldn’t get any photos.  I saw a couple of  mergansers on the calmer water.

DSC_0006

 

Barn near dam entrance.

Barn near dam entrance.

I did see five deer and managed one quick photo of a young deer.

And the snow came!

And the snow came!

The snow came quickly covering the roads. The effect was beautiful. I saw two ring-neck pheasants while traveling home.

 

Bye-bye!

Bye-bye!

DSC_0001 I decided to check out the Allegheny River hoping for photos of Bald Eagles. I was somewhat surprised to see over ninety point nine percent of the waters north of Kittanning, Pennsylvania covered with ice. The ice varied in thickness and color. Much of the ice was white and thick, but some areas were thin for one could see the water color underneath. DSC_0009

I knew eagles would, most likely, be near Kittanning where the water was mostly open. However, I decided to hike along the shore of the river to see whatever I could see of interest prior to descending south.

 

Beaver sign

Beaver sign

I quickly, noticed coyote tracks as the animal searched for things to eat. I found where a beaver was using a hole to emerge under the ice and brush along the bank. Trails were well used, but, the critter didn’t venture very far on the excursions.                                                   DSC_0016

I traveled about a mile north before returning along a railroad track.

I watched two fishermen fish in some open water at a dam. I didn’t see any trophies being hauled in.

Sycamore Tree

Sycamore Tree

Cooper's hawk

Cooper’s hawk

I began to head south to the Kittanning area where lots of open water was present. I knew any eagles in the area would be around this site. I pulled in a wide area seeing a man with a spotting scope watching waterfowl. I exited my jeep and started towards him when a shadow flowed along the surface to my right. I immediately looked up to see a mature bald eagle approximately thirty yards away. The big bird flew south not allowing for any photo.

Homemade ice cream ice!

Homemade ice cream ice!

Gulls; mergansers; mallards; canvasbacks; Goldeneye, at least, were visible. other species may have been out in the water, but unidentifiable at the range. I later spotted a Cooper’s Hawk perched among some limbs.

DSC_0005

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 58 other followers