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Many species of wildflowers have different names. I am including the names I use.

Purple Trillium

Trout Lily

Spring Beauty

Foamflower

Golden Ragwort

Blue Phlox

Cut-leaf Toothwort

Yellow Violet

Round-lobed Hepatica

Jack-In-The- Pulpit
Blue Violet

Unknown

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Baltimore Oriole
Common Grackle

Yellow-throated Warbler

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Non-migratory)

I was walking down a township road with the intent of stopping at the landowner’s son’s place. He has an interesting hobby, and I had a piece to add to it. I was going to place it on his porch and head up over the hill and hopefully be at a good listening post in a handful of minutes. The time was about 5:15. Suddenly I thought I heard a gobble. I listened and indeed I did hear a gobbler. To continue walking down the road was a no-no for I would need to walk below where he was roosted.

I quickly backtracked and moved quietly along the lower side of a field. The gobbler would now be on my left. I set up about a hundred or so yards from the gobbler and called sparingly. The bird seemed interested.

All of a sudden, I heard another muffled gobble, but didn’t determine the distance with accuracy. I waited to hear another to pinpoint the direction.

The spot I chose to set up consisted of a couple of green-outed multiflora rose bramble patches. I was about fifteen feet or son in the woods where I could see the field. I expected, and hoped, the turkey would fly down and approach me in this field.

There they were! Two longbeards were in the field and coming from right to left. When I saw them the one was already past the brambles. I couldn’t effectively move so they walked by my position and upset for they must have seen my glasses shining. they didn’t run, but they watched as they walked away.

After the two toms went out of view I began to call again. In a short time, I could see a gobbler coming towards me. As it approached, I noticed I couldn’t see any beard. Was it a jake? Once it came into the opening, I could see a nice beard seemingly sticking tight to the bird’s breast’s feathers. However, the beard left loose. maybe wet grasses caused the beard to initially hold tight.

The gobbler walked behind the second brambles. I called and the bird strutted and drummed and gobbled. This was my chance to maneuver the shotgun to the right. I laid the gun partially upon a limb but couldn’t get the stock against my shoulder. I elected to hold the gun without that benefit. The shot through my knuckles against my jaw. Ouch…that smarted! It didn’t matter for the gobbler was down.

The shot was about 28-29 steps away.

Upon getting home, I weighed the turkey. he weighed twenty-two pounds. He sported a nine-and-a-half-inch beard and had spurs of one and an eighth and one and a sixteenth.

The time of the shot was 6:05 A.M.

Luckily, I got the bird early for Laurie called around seven-thirty explaining of her involvement in a wreck. That changed my morning plans tremendously. Fortunately, she is Ok, but the car isn’t well at all.

May 3

I should do a short story on the third morning of the 2022 Pennsylvania Spring Gobbler Season. I hunted a different site closer to home for the weather people were talking of rain coming in towards eleven o’clock. I was still having cold symptoms although not too bad…just an occasional cough mostly. But I still thought getting soaked may not be a good idea. The season is young.

I failed to hear a single gobble all day. My buddy, Frank “Muskie” Maus shot early bagging a nice tom. I heard the shot and later texted him. I did see some gobblers way across a huge hollow in the field. This area is posted. I bumped into a turkey of unknown gender…maybe it was a trans turkey anyway.

Later, after calling, I continued a walk only to have a gobbler spot me. He was in a field.

Interestingly, as I left the parking area, I spotted a strutter with two hens along the wood line. They were close to a hundred yards or so from the road. I chose to not try circling around to call for him especially with the closing time not far off and thick multiflora Rose behind the birds and the fact of having two hens with him.

May 4

I didn’t go out early due to rain but once the weather changed, I headed for the woods. I hurried to the back side of the property calling periodically hoping for a response. Once I reached the site, I was originally heading for I called. I spoke to myself, “I think I heard a gobbler far off in posted property.” I called again and he gobbled a couple of more times before becoming silent. I took his silence as being a moving bird, so I set up where a grassy opening was next to the adjacent land.

Now the land between the two properties has lost of multiflora rose brambles. Would the gobbler come through this mess? Maybe. Another obstacle to overcome would be to convince the gobbler to walk off of a grassy gas well road. Typically, they like to strut and gobble on such places.

The next gobble was on that road. He continued walking the road eventually ending up at a strong right and behind me. I adjusted. Directly behind me was thick multiflora rose and the bird came off the gas well road and crossed through the brambles onto the property I was hunting.

A real hen began clucking and I watched her cross the grassy area. The gobbler was closing in on me but seeing him was difficult. Finally, I had the opportunity to adjust the 870 Remington at an opening. He stepped into the opening and the shot was sure. The bird was down. the distance for the shot was seventeen steps. Now the long walk back carrying the gobbler was the task at hand. I could tell he was a bigger than average bird.

Upon returning home the first step was to weigh the gobbler. I have an old brass scale that was my father’s scale. I was very much surprised to see the metal marker go below the 24 number. The scale only went to 24 pounds so how big was the gobbler? Could the weight reach twenty-five???? Possibly!

The beard was ten and half inches long. The spurs were one and a quarter inch on one side and one and three sixteenths’ inches on the other. It was a good day, and the obstacles were overcome. Hunting with obstacles often do not turn out with such success.

APRIL 30

Hen turkey on her nest.

I watched an interesting celestial sighting early in the pre-dawn moments. The planets of Jupiter and Saturn were in close alignment. I had to try to photograph this sighting.

I guess I am getting ahead of this morning’s story. I need to go back another day. Friday, April 29, I began noticing a discomfort in my throat. My wife, Laurie had felt the same beginning the previous Sunday and she developed a cough. Was I getting her illness? It sure seemed so. I felt slightly better in the early moments of the first day of the Pennsylvania Gobbler Season. That feeling wouldn’t last for as the morning progressed, I found myself couching. I would try to suppress any coughs.

I would hear a far-off gobbler deep into leased land. Further waiting failed to hear any oter birds so I began a slow trek of calling and listening. I failed to stir up any birds.

In time I was approaching a field that I walked in on early in the day. I was shocked when I heard a gobbler in the field. I moved ahead and set up and heard him once more. Any calling failed to get another response. Hens? Coyote?

Dogwood blossoms emerging.

By the time I returned home my coughing was getting more severe. Foolishly, I went to play some music with some friends. I left early due to coughing and by 8:30 I was in bed. Sunday and there would be no church for us…in fact I slept off and, on all day, too.

MAY 2

I woke up and decided I was not feeling so bad so off I went to hunt gobblers. I failed to hear any birds during normal roost time. A tour about the area failed to rattle any old gobblers up. As before I approached the field. I was run down and decided to set in the woods near the field and see what might happened.

A little after eight a gobbler sounded off and within moments, I could see three birds entering the field way out of range. My calling would often hear a return gobble. the birds entered the highest point on the field and locked up waiting for the hen they heard (Me) to show in the field. In time they would very slowly move away some but now they had a hen with them.

Foggy morning

I tried circling below the horizon line to get closer but couldn’t get a peep out of them. I made a bold decision. I was going to sneak up and come down onto them and try for a scatter. The birds were not there! I walked a little farther and watched the four turks in the fields towards where I was originally. I backed away and returned to my original post and got some gobbles out of them Something very strange began at that time. A helicopter flying not very high began flying back and forth..at least twelve times. The birds went silent and quickly headed into the woods. I came home for mowing was needed

I continued coughing throughout the morning at times. My chest hurts so bad for the earlier hard coughs. Tomorrow rain is being called for.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Male)
Rainbow trout

Yes, the temperatures never came out of the thirties this morning while I was fishing. Yes, the winds were brisk, but I enjoyed some trout fishing regardless.

The fishing was unsuccessful at first, and I was wondering what had happened. Was it this cold front moving through? I moved along a short distance trying different areas when it happened…a HIT! I would catch and release five or six Rainbow Trout. I lost two and missed one. Around ten o’clock my hands were becoming very cold, and I decided to call it a day.

I was out early to listen for gobbling activity. I wasn’t disappointed for I heard two. However, they were on the recently lost land. This lost land was due to a hunting lease which began last spring. Their gobbling was over by 6:25. Last spring, on the first morning, I called a longbeard and three jakes into the huntable land, but failed to get a shot due to underbrush and/or difficulty getting the longbearded bird away from the other three.

I walked about on the land I was planning to hunt and would see four gobblers and a hen.

Seeing this bedded doe was a reminder of fawning season.

I would see lots of squirrels while tramping around along with about six deer sightings including the bedded doe in the above photo. I would see a few more turkeys while traveling back roads while heading home.

I stopped and visited the landowner and later, her son. We have become good friends over the many years.

Where hickory nuts go to die.

A field of Leeks. (Ramps)

A hen turkey in the field.

Succop Nature Park

Laurie the tree hugger.

Laurie found out about this nature park and suggested we visit and hike the trails and explore. The park is called the Succop Nature Park and is located south of Butler, Pennsylvania.

We noticed a lot of children standing around in preparation for some guided tour. We had forgotten about this day being the annual Earth Day. We went in the opposite direction on a hike. We quickly learned of what lots of rain can do… create muddy areas. This fact would dampen the hiking for we continued but via different routes looking for dry trails.

The walking would bring us along two ponds. Here we would see bluegills, large koi fish, Wood Ducks and turtles. I saw some deer and squirrels, as well, but obviously not on the ponds…haha.

Lots of birch trees in the area.

The park, although small in acres, has a hundred-and seventy-year-old historic mansion on it. The site is used for events, such as weddings. The park is owned by the Audobon Society of Western Pennsylvania. Their web site is: http://www.aswp.org

The Maridon Museum

Carved out of ivory

As our twenty-seventh wedding anniversary was approaching, Laurie began to look for some things of interest for the two of us to do once the day arrived. One possible visit that interested her was a potential stop at the Maridon Museum in Butler.

I did a search for details and with a nice April 22 day some plans were placed. Another area we visited is a nature park. This site will be on a separate entry.

This laughing Buddha was carved out of a solid piece of Rosewood.

This museum became reality once a woman named, Mrs. Phillips decided she needed a place to house her collectables. The museum was born. Mrs. Phillips had been an ardent collector of Asian art and sculptures. The museum is now home for her many forms of Oriental arts.

Jade and ivory sculptures were abundant within the museum walls. the craftsmanship was unbelievable to behold. Intricate detail work is always present to see. Some of the art was very, very old from various Chinese Dynasties and other works were more recent, but all were exceptional.

Other arts consisted of figurines out of porcelain. There were many on display.

Art and the required needs for creating the art were on display. These people were known as scholars and the art on display was of the Chinese “scholarly” traditions. These people would, also, excel with calligraphy and poetry.

A “scholarly” table with instruments to create.

Tours are welcome by calling: 724-282-0123. The web site is: http://www.maridon.org

Oriental warrior attire replicas.

Laurie looking over a display.

Carved egret.

Incense burner

There is only one way for salvation in the dispensation of time we are living in. Paul, the Apostle for the Gentiles, wrote of this gospel of Grace. One example is found in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4. the apostle wrote to the believers in Corinth:

MOREOVER BRETHREN, I DECLARE TO YOU THE GOSPEL WHICH I PREACHED UNTO YOU, WHICH YOU HAVE ALSO RECEIVED, AND WHEREIN YE CONTINUE, AND WHEREBY YOU ARE SAVED, IF YE KEEP IN MEMORY, AFTER WHAT MANNER I PREACHED TO YOU, EXCEPT YE HAVE BELIEVED IN VAIN. FOR FIRST OF ALL, I DELIEVERED UNTO YOU THAT WHICH I RECEIVED, HOW THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS, ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS BURIED AND THAT HE AROSE THE THIRD DAY, ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES.”

In simple terms, one has to believe in faith that Jesus died for your sins, was buried and on the third day rose again. This is the gospel of salvation.

The apostle wrote in Galatians 1: 12 he had received this Grace message from the revelation of Jesus Christ…or the Risen Christ. This change in direction towards Paul dispensation occurred because the nation of Israel had rejected Christ again through the murder of the Jewish, law-keeping, yet believer, Stephen.

Also see, Romans 10: 9-10.

Thanks to my friend, Dana Gould for taking my ink image above and adding the neon glow to enhance.