I visited a friend to drop off some venison prior to heading down the Cherry Run watershed for a hike. I pulled along a wide area at the Crooked Creek property. The Cherry Run stream continues through these lands in route to Crooked Creek. Crooked Creek empties into the Allegheny River.
I hadn’t walked far when mink tracks became obvious. Later I would see fisher tracks too. Other tracks included deer; turkey; ‘coon; coyote; fox; rabbit; skunk; grey and pine squirrels; chipmunks; crow; white-footed mouse and shrews. The mating season is upon the natural world and the animals are out in search of mates for the season.
The creek, an approved trout waters, was beautiful with the whites of the snow often contrasted with hemlocks. Icicles hung solidly from the rocks bordering the creek. We would take a hammer and remove ice from such overhangs to make home-made ice cream. Great memories!
There was plenty of ice along the banks. Tree damage, from the moving ice, was obvious throughout the hike. Large chucks of ice were visible at many sites. Often the ice was approximately three feet above the normal water level of the creek. It appears there was flooding at some point.
Wildlife sightings were sparse today. However, I did see ten deer at three different places. I, also, witnessed a flock of about 12 turkeys flying from one hill top to another. I wondered what had happened to cause their escape.
I have lots of memories from the Cherry Run watershed. Over the years many of my relatives have lived here. Some still do. I have walked from above Route 422 south to Crooked Creek. I have been all over this stretch of stream. Thank you dad for spending time with me and introducing me to the great outdoors.
Posted in Misc. Nature | Leave a Comment »
I had seen eagles yesterday and I was without a camera. I had seen three mature eagles and three immature eagles. This morning as I saw the sun beginning to show through the clouds I knew this would be a great photo day for the eagles. Of course, I hoped the big birds would, also, be present at the same locale.
I wasn’t parked for a minute when I saw an immature eagle. As the n morning evolved I would see two mature and two immature eagles at various opportunities. I wished I could get closer to the areas they were “sticking” too.
I walked across some abandoned railroad tracks on the remnants of a long ago bridge. I stood around watching and trying for pics as any eagle presented a chance for a shot. Occasionally, the roar of ice cracking could be heard. The winds flowing across the ice and open waters quickly chilled my old body despite I had planned for it and dressed for the cold.
Other birds were present all morning as well. I saw crows and gulls sweeping the ice and open waters in search for food. The eagles, too, occasionally would dive towards the open water and grab a small fish.
Unfortunately for me much of the eagle’s fly time remained high in the sky.
Posted in Misc. Nature | Leave a Comment »
I haven’t been out walking much as of late. The few I have completed were recent and not of long duration. A few have asked about the lack of entries. I have been busy on a remodeling project and we have had some very cold temperatures over the last month. The snow has been on ground a long time and I have concerns of aggravating my leg again. The pain has greatly subsided and fears of pushing myself in the deep snow has been on my mind.
Today, however, I decided to do some walking the Allegheny River in search of eagles. I watched the trees as I drove along hoping to spot that dark body and white head. This failed. The walk along the shore where breaks in the ice did provide some shots of an immature eagle. The big bird was curious about my approach.
Male cardinal from an earlier walk.
I did see one deer and lots of mergansers this morning. I was blessed to see another waterfowl specie that is not common in this area. The duck was a male Bufflehead.
Posted in Misc. Nature | 2 Comments »
Looking north towards East Brady
My friend, Frank “Muskie” Maus and I headed to State Game Lands 105 for a few hours of walking, talking and laughing. We walked along a ridge for a time before dropping down over the side of the hill. We walked farther down the hollow until we reached the Allegheny River.
Recent extremes in temperatures caused much ice to build up along the Allegheny River at the various bends and dams. However, warming temps and rain and caused concerns down stream so to speak. As you can see from the photos most of the ice has broken up and moved out. Ice buildup can be viewed along the shores and high onto the land areas surrounding many camps.
Looking south towards Watersonville, PA.
We visited some old haunts afterwards near Huling’s Run and Lock # 9. We saw, only three deer throughout the morning.
Posted in Hikes | Leave a Comment »
Thursday. January 9th, would be my last day to chase deer around for the flintlock season. The 11th is to be the last day here and I had prior issues and the weatherman keeps talking rain.
However, this morning my cousins, Donnie and Bobby Smail, and a friend Keith Baker, were out in hot pursuit. I spotted a doe laying as I prepared to begin the first morning drive. She was behind me and not in the direction I was to go so I knew she was safe. I shortly spotted another doe in the bed. Both Donnie and Keith saw her, but dense brush did not allow for a shot.
Bobby, and I, on the second drive moved deer. I spotted one feeding along the wood’s edge. A number of deer went into the area but the deer were packed close and Donnie couldn’t shoot for fear of taking two deer.
The rest of the morning proved much different. We went across the road into a clear-cut area. For some reason, deer activity was mostly absent. We pushed three areas out only seeing a few deer. That is why we call this hunting and not getting. The next day may have deer all over the hill’s side.
We quit after noon since Bobby needed to meet a man and I needed to do some things too. Also, I am still having leg issues. I did see several squirrels and a red-tailed hawk.
Posted in Flintlock Hunting, Misc. Nature | Leave a Comment »
Saturday, January 4th, my step-father, Bob and I entered the single digit woodlands in search of flintlock deer. My mother said we were “goofy” as we left the house in our pursuits. Maybe she was right.
We immediately began seeing deer tracks from the night before as we walked along. I felt very confident we would see deer. My task at hand was to be a “dog” attempting to move deer along towards Bob allowing for a good shot. Every push I did moved deer out , but they would be moving too fast or be entangled with brush. Bob never was offered a good shot.
We, both, saw many deer throughout the three hour hunt. I had one deer feeding by me. I stopped the walk and managed a few photos. None of which presented a great photo. I saw some nice long bearded gobblers too. I may need to pursue them come spring.
Any hunts would need to be prolonged after this day. The weather was to turn very frigid with temperatures in the negative readings and high winds. these winds and cold temperatures would be brutal to hunt in.
Robin in a single digit morning.
Today, a friend, Larry D. wanted to go for a brief hike to a rock outcropping for some photos. I accepted and off we went to northern Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. We saw a number of deer out feeding as we traveled. The temperatures was still in the single digits, but they were to climb into the low twenty degree range by afternoon. This change in the weather was bringing the deer out to feed.
Posted in Flintlock Hunting, Hikes, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »
Donnie, Bob and Bobby
We finally did it! My two cousins, Donnie and Bobby Smail, Bob (My step father.) and myself were together on a limited but fun hunt. Bobby and myself were acting the “dogs” this day since we have tagged out. Bob and Donnie would be watching with hopes of a deer coming close to their awaiting smokepoles.
A surprise blanket of snow with winds greeted us early in the morning. I, personally, saw eleven deer in the three hours we hunted. I, also, saw three squirrels and a grouse. bobby saw deer and a coyote. the two watchers saw deer, but were not close enough for a shot.
At one point I was closing the gap to the end of the push and I spotted two bedded deer. I was well within flintlock range. I attempted to get closer for a camera shot when the two jumped u. They were heading to where I thought Donnie would be. I turned to go upslope to turn them and walked into Donnie. If he would have walked about fifteen steps farther he would have been on top of the bedded deer. We surprised each other.
Bob was cold, I had plumbing issues still and Bobby had to meet a client so the day ended early.
Posted in Flintlock Hunting, My Family | Leave a Comment »