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I have failed to keep up with my entries as of late. However, I have

Coltsfoot

Coltsfoot

still been busy. I have been on  hikes on roads; game land trails and such enjoying the days. I have been active with music too. I have filled in with a gospel band in Butler on a couple of events and am beginning to organize with some fellows in Dayton for a music event on May 3rd. THAT IS THE FIRST DAY OF GOBBLER SEASON AND I WILL MISS IT!!!!

Doe and last year's fawn

Doe and last year’s fawn

Cooper's hawk

Cooper’s hawk

DSC_0001Hope you enjoy some recent photos.

Red squirrel

Red squirrel

Hepatica

Hepatica

Sunrise!

DSC_0014  I walked the field’s edge to watch the golden hues of the morning’s sun. I, also, wanted to listen for gobbling and see what adventures I could be part of this morning.     DSC_0018

The colors of the A.M. sunrise didn’t disappoint me as I snapped photos the next thirty minutes or so.  Later, while circling back towards my homestead I would see a total of 18 different deer. All of the deer were feeding except one doe my step-father, Bob and I would see on my second walk of the day. I spotted the ears and eyes through the brush as the deer hoped we would walk by.

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I watched a flock of turkeys. The number od birds in the flock would total around 25 turkeys with, at least, eight strutting gobblers.                                                                         DSC_0024

Later, my mom, sister, Bob and I filled up with a bacon and egg breakfast.

IMG_1654 If you enjoy the beauty of flowers and plant-life then the Phipps’ Conservatory is a place you may wish to visit. One can visit this site when in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.                                        IMG_1668

This building in the original state was a gift to Pittsburgh from henry W. Phipps and opened in 1893. I was just a young fellow then.

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A few of the exhibits to be viewed are: Palm Court and the Tropical Forest Conservatory  depicting a tropical forest environment; Desert Room featuring plants     and cacti from the desert regions; the Orchid Room show casing the beautiful colored orchids and bromeliads and the Fern Room. Many other exhibits are present and some, of course, changing throughout the seasons. Outdoor gardens can be walked through as well.

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The web site is: http://www.phipps.conserve.org

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Freeport, Pennsylvania

Freeport, Pennsylvania

I had time to kill since a local car dealership was having unbelievable computer issues to deal with. I spent approximately three hours hiking trails at Harrison Hills Park. The wooded park borders the Allegheny River between Freeport and Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania.                                             DSC_0002

The two trails I traveled were a  little over three and half miles in length winding hills and hollows. the diversity was obvious. Some areas consisted of maturing oaks. Other sites had a mixture on multiflora rose and wild cherry. Some areas could see sycamore and aspen or locust woodlands.

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I elected to walk the Wetland Trail first since the freezing temperatures would allow for frozen ground. For the most part this held true. Some sites were muddy and wet too. The second trail was called Spicebush Trail. This trail winded along more mature woods.

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Wildlife was present. I saw many small birds common to the area. I, also, saw a mockingbird. This was the first one this season. I saw seven deer and three squirrels too.

Mockingbird

Mockingbird

  DSC_0042  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.                                                                                                                DSC_0048

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.

DSC_0058    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!       DSC_0052

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.

DSC_0050   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.                                                                                                       DSC_0053

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.                                                   DSC_0067

DSC_0001 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.                                                   DSC_0009

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.

DSC_0013  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.                                                    DSC_0017

Unfortunately for me much of the eagle’s fly time remained high in the sky.

Along the River

      

Female cardinal

Female cardinal

 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.                                                         

Immature eagle

Immature eagle

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.

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Male cardinal from an earlier walk.

Male cardinal from an earlier walk.

Male merganser

Male merganser

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.

Bufflehead drake

Bufflehead drake

 

 

 

 

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