Quincy and Susie

Quincy was a ferret. This is the third one we have had over the last twenty years. the sad part of a ferret is the fact of living only around seven to nine  years.  Quincy turned eight years old last August.

Quincy began to show his age a little over a year ago. I noticed the cloudiness in his eyes. As time moved along he began to miss his littler boxes. In recent weeks it was visible to see his hind legs not moving as well.  This morning a trip was made to the vets. Quincy went peaceable and quick.

Quincy was a bad boy in his younger days. He hated closed doors and would scratch the carpet at times in an attempt to open the door. Another trait he had was when play time arrived he may scratch at your feet as to tell you; C’mon let’s play chase. He loved big envelopes and plastic grocery bags. Quincy would crawl into them and push them ahead as he moved across the carpet. He would sometimes do these ferret dances across the floor as he hopped and jumped.

He would run up and down the stairs with ease as a younger fellow. recently we needed to be careful with open stairway doors. he would still try to maneuver them and fall down the steps.

He had two special toys he liked very much. One was a black squirrel. Quincy would carry that squirrel around and curl up to sleep with it. Another toy that drove him wild was a dog puppet that the handler would work to make songs ring true. however, the melody was with barks. he would go after anyone using this toy and carry it away to hide.

Yes, we are going to miss Quincy.  Both of these toys were buried along side of Quincy.


Headin’ Home

As stated from the previous entry I hated to walk away from these backwaters of the George B. Stevenson Dam. I have always loved the area of the   Sinnemahoning. Many years ago my brother-in-law, Bob Hudson. and I and my dad and a couple of friends hunted bear in various hills and hollows.  (Bob died in a work-related accident in 1987.)  Upon his passing the desire to go there left my heart for a long time.

This morning had become quite beautiful. The sun was shining and the air calm. I enjoyed watching the frosty, foggy morning evolved into a blue sky kind of day.

Many varieties of birdlife were active this day.  Canada Geese, Mergansers and Mallards were common and busy. I was hoping, as stated, to see some Bald eagles and I wasn’t disappointed.

My schedule, way to soon, was to leave the area close to noon and head towards Medix Run. I wanted to do some hiking to finish off the day.

As I approached Medix Run I felt the need to drive up dent’s Run to follow through with memories from the past. I saw several deer along the way.

At Medix Run I crossed the bridge to park at the Quehanna Trail. I chose to hike a new area that would circle around what is known as the Haystack   Mountain. I would need to watch my time closely for darkness can overtake one quickly this time of the year. I would need to be at the jeep no later than four o’clock by my plans. I walked the trail and at a certain time head back to insure this arrival, I saw about seven deer on this hike.

I traveled state forest land roads to come out to a small rural community of Tyler. Now homeward bound.



Immature eagle

 Yes, the night was long since the valleys darkened early and the fact I sleep on average six to six and a half hours a night.  I entered the tent at dusk and began to write down some thoughts and read. I discovered, as I always do when I read, that I was becoming tired. I dozed off only to wake up after eight o’clock.

I exited the tent and added more wood to the four hour fire. It wasn’t long the flames were rising high again.  I had some summer sausage and would enjoy a burnt one for a late supper. After I ate I entered the tent again to try for some sleep. I had two sleeping bags and extra clothing so I was quite warm in the cold temperatures.

The next time I woke up the side of the tent was lightened up. The moon had finally risen over the top of the mountain across the Sinnemahoning Creek. I went outside to see better. The woods was bright and the stars shined bright in the clear and crisp conditions. It was beautiful! The clouds within a few hours had dissipated. Frost was going to be the outcome.

I laid in the tent listening to the peacefulness. I could hear the fast moving waters of the creek and the cracking fire. At one point I heard a Barred Owl and not very far off. Towards morning I heard a Great-Horned Owl hooting up the valley.

Around four in the morning I woke up to an extremely dry throat and mouth and a thickening sensation . The cold weather must have activated my   sinus issues. I drank some carbonated pop to lesson this issue. Since I had been laying fairly prone, too. I went to sleep the in the jeep with a slight incline. Sleep didn’t come well for I was wide awake. Eventually, I began packing up my things. At 6:30 A.M. I actually began to walk to await the dawn. I would walk for a few hours along the bottomlands parallel to the Sinnemahoning Creek.

The deer were moving and I saw several bucks and some does.

A frosty fog covered the mountain tops. the trees across the creek had that gray-white frost covering them.

The bottomlands had plenty of Sycamore trees to contrast the White Pines. Occasionally, the brilliant reds of Winterberries would be contrasting everything.

Midmorning found me close to the dam again. This was where I saw the eagle yesterday. I was bird-watching this time. I wasn’t disappointed. I saw a flock of Mergansers again busily diving into the cold waters searching for breakfast. Mallards were quacking and swimming on the opposite side. the drakes were brilliant with their green heads. A small flock of Canada geese landed and would, for some reason, fly downstream past me.

Two mature Bald Eagles flew to my side of the dam. They were always outside of good camera range. They landed for a time only to fly back across the dam. before I left I saw an immature Bald Eagle  fly over close enough for some shots. Other birdlife included: Belted Kingfisher; Bluebirds; Crows; Ravens and a Killdeer. I hated to leave, but I had a schedule to keep so I continued on towards Medix Run area to do an afternoon hike before heading home.

I saw more deer and elk as I moved along. I drove up along Dents Run since I hadn’t been there for sometime. Soon I would be hiking near Medix Run.



Native Brook Trout








Lick Island Run

I continued heading towards my destination of the First Fork of the Sinnemahoning Creek of Cameron and Potter Counties, Pennsylvania. Immediately as I first glimpsed the Sinnemahoning I could see the waters were swift and high. very heavy rains occurred recently across much of the state.I knew I wouldn’t be fishing these waters. I pondered how fast and what the tributaries would be.

Upon reaching the George B. Stevenson Dam I stopped to walk along the top of the dam. Here one can see far up the watershed hollow surrounded by  high, steep majestic hills and deep hollows. This is very peaceful scene to reflect. The dam was releasing water.

I ventured upstream of a creek named Lick Island Run to search out some native Brook Trout. The waters of this stream were running fast and hill, too. The water was over most of the rocks embedded in the stream. I knew fishing would be tough under these circumstances. I did catch native trout, but I had to find rocks that were not covered with water. The run  under the lee side of the rocks was a sheltered spot yielding trout. However, these conditions needed to be sought out. I walked over a mile upstream enjoying an occasional trout and the natural beauty. Later, I would fish Brooks Run in the same manner. I caught some beautiful trout on this stream, as well.

Brooks Run



Pumpkinseed Sunfish with mesh

I stopped by an area of back waters of the dam. The water was high, but not as fast as the Sinnemahoning. This was water being held back. Normally, this  is a section of the watercourse considered  great as a warm water fishery. I walked along the mouth of Brooks Run and noticed a two and half inch

George B. Stevenson Dam

Pumpkinseed Sunfish near the water line.  It’s colors were vivid so I knew whatever happened to this little fish was very recent. Upon touching the little feller I noticed movement. The sunfish was alive! I immediately realized what the issue was. Recently, workers used a very fine green mesh to help stabilize the creek’s bank due to construction. This sunfish became entangled in the mesh when the creek was higher. I used a knife and cut the mesh and placed the sunfish in the water. It swam away! I wondered just how long it had survived in that situation. I am a hero!

In this area I saw a flock of mergansers and a Bald eagle. The next day I would spend time here again as a bird-watcher.

The rains began prior to noon. A few snowflakes fell, as well. The rain continued until about three-thirty, however, mostly the rain was light.

I erected the tent just as the rain was abating.  I had gathered firewood and now had my home secured.  By four o’clock I had a roaring fire going well. I might need this fire since the temperature was to drop into the lower twenties.  Hoping for a good night to sleep.


   I was in “Elk country” prior to daylight. I was in route to the Sinnemahoning area of Pennsylvania and planned to spend a couple of hours listening  and  taking photos of elk. The pre-dawn lighting allowed my eyes to focus in on elk feeding and bedding at a few spots. I parked at the top of a hill and could see additional elk at various places. I heard several bugling off in the distance. Of course, as the light intensified I could see elk far off in several directions and some closer.

I looked east and the early sky was brilliant in colors. The colors and cloud patterns reminded me off videos I saw of recent California wildfires. The colors were intense. The deep reds; yellows, gold and purples were vivid in color. However, I realized the,probable, outcome of such beauty and that was rain.

Elk were not my priority with this trip although I do enjoy seeing them about the management areas and forests of Pennsylvania. My goals were to fish the tributaries of the Sinnemahoning Creek for native Brook trout. I find having elk  running all over a good thing to be part of. Pennsylvania has a stable enough population that controlled hunting by licenses is reality.

Beech leaves

At one point I saw thirteen bull Elk running and feeding together. Some of the racks were impressive. On the way home I would spot a big bull sleeping at one point with eight cows and calves. I managed to get close enough for some decent photos. This was on state forest lands.

I would see a number of deer this morning feeding as well. This told me they were feeding because of the change coming in the weather. I saw one grouse, too. That is a very rare sight  anymore.

I continued to the George Stevenson dam controlling the First Fork of the Sinnemahoning Creek. The beauty of this area leaves me spellbound. The area is often called God’s Country. High steep mountains border the watershed area. Most of the leaves were already off the trees, but enough yellows and oranges of the oaks and Beech made for a great contrast of the “naked” trees and the big White Pines.


I realized the waterways would be high and swift from recent heavy rains. I didn’t try to fish the Sinnemahoning, but I would fish for native trout in a couple of tributaries. I will be adding more entries on my hiking; fishing and camping experiences.; bird watching


Windy Morning Turkey

  My step father, Bob and I met at the predetermined place. Bob came to the window and said he wasn’t dressed well enough to hunt this morning and was going to bow out. The temperature was in the thirty degree area and the winds were howling. I told him I was going to check around here and see what may happen.

Another hunter had parked nearby and was already in the pre-dawn woods. I didn’t want to interfere with him so I went in another direction. I walked a gas line and notice far off across a big-basin hollow a flashlight moving down the slope in the woods. I returned to the jeep debating to drive to another place.

I decided to walk back a ridge and listen and call. The woods stayed gloomy as 7:30 appeared on my watch. Ten minutes later I gave out some yelping calls and was immediately answered by a turkey not fifty yards away. I moved to set up better. The turkey talk continued off and on between the two of us.

Just prior to eight o’clock I saw several birds fly down and begin moving about. The 870 Remington was up prepared to shoot. In minutes one bird was close. Brush and dead limbs made finding an opening tough. Finally, the moment came and the eighteen yard shot was complete. At the shot a number of birds took to the air.

Later I saw some bedded deer and managed a few photos.

Notice the second deer.

New Country

  Finding new country in Armstrong County is becoming more difficult each year. I have known of this particular property for quite some time. In fact, I have walked about in a couple  sections in the past. Years ago, while active in the Pennsylvania State Chapter of the National Wild turkey Federation, I represented the group at a major event with the property owner and the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Other wildlife groups were present as well within the big tent erected for this gathering.. Local politicians spent time giving their speeches, too.

The section I visited this morning was a first time for me. I enjoy exploring new lands and seeing what habitat is present and the natural world within.

The early morning venture featured a hard frost whitening so much.  The winds were calm. I hoped to find good bear sign or turkeys. I did see two bucks and two does.

I heard  and watched a flock of Canada Geese heading south. I, also, heard a Ringnecked Pheasant crowing in the early moments of the day.

The temperatures had reached about 43 degrees by 10:30 and I was heading out of the woods to head home.

Skunk Cabbage waiting for spring