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Early Walk

Foxtail

Foxtail

July second in the evening the pain began. Two days later I was walking about on all fours followed with crutches and soon a walker. One can’t just call a doctor up and expect to have them see you in short order. I had to wait nine days to see a specialist. He sent me for a MRI which was exactly what I requested on the initial call. A few days later I had the MRI, and had my next appointment five days later. By this time the pain was on the way out.  I made a decision for an operation for meniscus repair. That happened on August 18th.                                                                                                                                                                                                     DSC_0008

This morning, I elected to hit the early morning woods for a brief walk to test the knee a little. By the way, I had two tears on the meniscus with some arthritis  buildup

Bull Thistle

Bull Thistle

The morning was cool, and foggy. I quickly realized the beauty of the pre-autumn woodlands. I saw a nice buck; several fawns, and a couple of does.

The late summer wildflowers are blooming everywhere.  Some of most common were: Joe-Pye; Ironweed; Jewelweed; Boneset, and goldenrod. Yes, frosts could come anytime now, but I expect a killer frost will be awhile into the future. Bees, and butterflies are enjoying the morning, too.

I found it interesting when I observed two fawns together. the one had few spots left for it already had it’s gray-brown winter hair. The other fawn was still orange-red with spots! The buck had about a fourteen inch spread. I found one site where a buck was already pawing the ground. This is known as a scrape.

DSC_0012  To be honest, my leg was feeling tired  before I reached the jeep, but I believe I will be fine…I hope!

 

 

Great Blue Heron

Earlier this summer I completed an acrylic painting of a Greet Blue Heron. The bird is feeding on a minnow in a back-water site. A majestic sycamore tree is in the immediate background. The size is 18 X 24.

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DSC_0003 We were greeted with a dense fog as we started out into the beautiful Allegheny River. My friend, Frank “Muskie” Maus, and I had no idea what this day of muskie fishing might bring. Would we be hauling a ton of the golden, big fish, or would be involved with a luckless day? Only hours of casting, and trolling for many hours would produce the answer.

Boats in the fog

Boats in the fog

DSC_0005 We spent time surface casting before changing over to some trolling lures. The fog lifted rapidly once the atmospheric conditions were met. Still we fished on! The sky became deep blue with big fluffy clouds. A nice breeze followed the course of the river making for a comfortable day. Still we fished on!                                                                                            DSC_0004

The minutes crept into hours, and we eventually turned the trolling lures into underwater lures. We finished out the day using such lures. I snagged onto something, and became worried I would lose the lure. However, after some effort the lure released from the underwater structure.

Another fog pic!

Another fog pic!

One highlight for me was to watch a mature Bald eagle fly over our position on the water. I am always thrilled to see these majestic birds!

Frank has caught around 370 muskies during his career as a muskie fisherman. I am impressed!  As he we tell you, the efforts of many hours fishing for them produced the success. The muskellunge has been called the, “Fish Of A Thousand Casts.”

One of those thousand casts!

One of those thousand casts!

DSC_0006  I decided about mid-morning that a fishing excursion to Crooked Creek was in order. A few moments later I was loading up the waders; rod; camera; fishing vest, and such and was on my way!

The waters of this creek was great. The previous day’s rain colored the water slightly. The humidity level was low this day, and the sky was blue as turquoise. A pleasant breeze ebbed along the hollow.                                                                               DSC_0007

Every time I fish this water source, I visualize Delaware Indians in their canoes using the route for transport. Early settlers would use this water, as well. This time of the year, however, much of the water is wouldn’t be easily traveled due to the water level.DSC_0008Fishing was very good this day. I caught catfish ranging from fifteen inches to about twenty-five inches. I had a bigger one on and I watched the fish swim away once the hook bent from the fight , and weight of the trophy.

I caught some smallmouth bass as well. their sizes ranged from about ten inches to possibly sixteen inches. The biggest one put up quite an acrobatic show!

Blue Vervain

Blue Vervain

The other specie of fish I caught was a bluegill. I missed some fish, and lost some fish.

DSC_0011  While being down, and out for about a month I had little time to be outdoors. However I hobbled around when I was able to spend time in the yard. I found some joy with the many, and varied wildflowers growing well.      My entire yard was landscaped with wildlife in mind. Also, I tried to naturalize my landscaping with many native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. One will see domesticated flowers throughout as well.

Woodland Sunflower

Woodland Sunflower

Phlox

Phlox

I have a nice stream flowing through my property. The waters yield

Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflower

minnows; crayfish, bullfrogs, water striders (skippers) and water snakes. All are very welcome. Along the natural vegetation damselflies are common darting from leaf to leaf. their brilliant colors are a welcome sight to watch. The flowers along the waterway are common to bottomland growth. Bee balms, woodland sunflower, blue irises, button bush, cardinal flower, and others are scattered around in a natural habitat.

Back yard gazebo

Back yard gazebo

It is not uncommon to see Great Blue Herons, and Green Herons sneaking around searching for minnows to eat.

I have native phlox, and purple coneflowers growing all about the yard as well. these flowers attract bees; Hummingbird moths, many butterflies, and other nectar loving insects. Joe Pye stalks reach close to eight feet.

Moth Mullein

Moth Mullein

 

Kittanning Citizen's bridge

Kittanning Citizen’s bridge

I have spent a few hours, here, and there along the beautiful Allegheny River. These photos are from three different jaunts of fishing, or hiking. My fishing excursions along this waterways haven’t produce much action, but that is alright by me. I still enjoy seeing what adventure may be in store along the banks.

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

 

Looking north to Kittanning, PA.

Looking north to Kittanning, PA.

 

Great Blue Heron track

Great Blue Heron track

This time of the year many species of wildflowers exist to view. One of my favorite is the Cardinal Flower. The color is a vivid red. This is a native wildflower.

The leaves of the Coltsfoot. Their yellow flowers are often the first to bloom in late winter.

The leaves of the Coltsfoot. Their yellow flowers are often the first to bloom in late winter.

The islands across from Manorville, PA

The islands across from Manorville, PA

Some of the critters I have seen on these water trips include mallards, Canada geese, and Great Blue Herons.

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Button Bush

Button Bush

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

DSC_0001The past week I had been involved in a number of outdoor interests as usual.  One morning I packed up my fishing gear and headed north of Dayton, Pennsylvania for a few hours of fishing. I visited the back waters of the Mahoning Dam. I used to love fishing here in my earlier days, so I try to get back occasionally to fish and enjoy the solitude of the area.  DSC_0005

Mahoning Creek is the actual waterways flowing through the deep, and steep surrounding hills. The dam was built years ago as a flood control measure for Pittsburgh miles away.

 

Yellow Flag

Yellow Flag

The water is deep, and green. The shoreline is brushy with very big rocks scattered about. As for the fishing, I caught some Pumpkinseed Sunfish; bluegills and smallmouth bass. I was entertained by, at least, three water snakes all morning. they were moving about among the rocks and floating limbs.

Mahoning

Mahoning

 

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

I, also, spent some time along the Allegheny River north of Kittanning. On this morning, a change in the weather became the norm. The winds increased, and the temperatures were chilling. However, I did catch a nice Channel catfish, and a Smallmouth Bass.

I saw a mature Bald eagle this morning flying across the river. I saw a huge carp at about six feet from the shore. I would estimate the behemoth to be around 40 inches in length. I, also, saw a big muskie  along shore.

Bob, and I hunted gobblers on Thursday morning. We closed in to about 80 yards from the gobbling bird. Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of a gulley, but we had to play the hand we were dealt. A second bird gobbled with the first when  all went quiet. The humidity and temps were rapidly climbing, so we went to the homestead to do prep work for the coming garage.

 

Buffalo Creek

Buffalo Creek

I enjoyed a cool morning hiking along Buffalo Creek near Worthington, Pennsylvania. I enjoy walking here for exercise. Sometimes, I fish for carp in these waters, too.     DSC_0003

DSC_0005  I traveled to Moraine State Park to do some hiking on Tuesday, June 3. We were experiencing some cool comfortable hiking weather. I explored the Sunken garden Trail and walked on another trail as well.

I hiked Crooked Creek area one morning. Here I saw several deer, including a doe and her fawn.                                      DSC_0013

 

 

I saw a 5-6 rabbits and squirrels. Later, after the hike, I fished a little. I caught a number of bluegills. Here I watched a wood duck family; mallards; lots of geese, and a beaver.

Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-Winged Blackbird

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Later today the garage will be arriving. Anxious to put this behind, and see this task completed.

 

The little Screech Owls left the owl box this week, too.

The little Screech Owls left the owl box this week, too.

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