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The Deer Are Moving!

Yes, one thing I noticed over the last two morning hikes is the fact of moving deer. I saw four buck and many doe and fawns. I lost count. The velvet has been removed and the antlers are strong ready to face the rigors of this upcoming rutting season. I haven’t seen any buck scrapes yet.

Does and her fawns are fattening up and will be soon finding the need to run from aggression in the males. Truth be known I suspect this is already happening but will increase in intensity very soon.

The deer all have their winter hair.

I managed a few photos of deer over these last two mornings.

Full speed ahead!

White Snakeroot

Garden Spider on a dewy web out for a quick breakfast.

Chestnuts

Some More Time Afield

Jack-in -the- Pulpit berries

I have managed to get in some walking despite encountering many demands on my being. A few photos from a couple of morning hikes are within this entry.

I have been playing lead guitar at a church for a few months now. The regular player developed an illness to be found out of his bladder cancer. he is taking treatments and has had some setbacks with infections and such. I am hoping Ray gets well enough to resume his position soon. Some Monday evenings I pay guitar at an event known as God’s Choice. This event is catered towards those with various handicaps. It is a rewarding venture to see them smile and sing along. Thursday evening, I have a Bible study class with ten to fourteen individuals interested in studying the Word. Other issues play a part in my life with serious health issues within the family.

Doe with her winter coat.

Button Bush Seed Pods

Monarch Butterfly

Spotted Jewelweed

Ironweed

Books on the Alamo

As a boy I had many influences on numerous on many subjects. One such influence was the three-night series of Davy Crocket. the series featured Fess Parker as Mr. Crockett. Another Alamo related movie featured John “the Duke” Wayne as the Tennessee frontiersman. Of course, much of both versions was strictly hollywood exaggerations. the latter shows Wayne as Crockett on the fort’s ledge swinging his flintlock rifle to take out as many Mexicans as he could before succumbing to his death. There was a report that David Crockett may have been executed, but there is no solid evidence to lead to that conclusion.

In recent months I have read two books about the Alamo and events leading up to the battle and some of men participating in the conflict. Three of which were, David Crockett, of course, William Travis and legendary man with the big knife, James Bowie.

I have heard a few various stories as to how these men died at the Alamo. The books dig deep into words of some of those survivors of the battle, and written accounts by the very same. I must clarify that last sentence. There were no survivors of those doing the fighting within the walls, but there were a few women and children and one slave named Joe who were allowed to leave.

The account of David Crockett states he was killed very early in the hour-long battle. Travis was killed by a shot to the head at the first onslaught of the push to enter the fort. Bowie was killed in his bed, but not the in the way most film depicts with flintlock pistols firing before using his famous Bowie knife. Bowie was so sick he couldn’t move to fight and was shot and bayoneted in his bed. All the fighters were burned after their deaths in huge fires.

How these men died is not the important issue, but the fact they did die for a cause they truly believed in… Texas! The legends live even to this day.

Carp

The fish did not bite very hard for a few moments. I was wondering what species could be working on my nightcrawler. I would soon find out.

I was holding the rod and feeling these light bites when all at once the bite was much harder, and I immediately set the hook! WOW! The fish took off in the Allegheny River and the reel was roaring. I glanced down at the reel and noticed I was seeing the metal of the reel’s spool. My line was almost to the “end of the line” and I realized I need quick action.

I began following along the shoreline reeling in whenever I could do so without too much fear of line breakage…or I hoped! I had walked close to sixty feet along the river’s edge when I first noticed what I had caught. I saw the yellow-orange tail of a Carp.

I was happy when I began to feel the fish tiring and I continued to reel whenever I could eventually bring the fish to the shoreline. I picked the golden fish out of the water and walked back to get some photos.

I released the carp back into the Allegheny River. The fish was twenty-six to twenty-eight inches in length.

The release!

Another interesting story from the morning fishing expedition was the surprise of having a dog suddenly appear to my left. I was glad to see she was a friendly dog and I petted and talked to her for a time before she disappeared again. In a short time, I could see the dog’s owner below me along the river.

One more interesting event of the morning. I went to cast, and the line had wrapped around my bail causing a backlash of sorts. The hook still entered the river about five feet out. Just as I was about to complete the line work, I felt the tugging of a fish. I set the hook and reeled in a Rock Bass.

Yes, I had an interesting few hours along the Allegheny River.

Notice the deer in the background. I didn’t see the deer until after I took the photo.

Hedge Bindweed…a wild Morning Glory

Dew-covered Foxtail

A specie of Warbler that I haven’t identified.

I can honestly state I would have never guessed what encounter I would see this morning. I had moved down through the woods to a stream and when I was about the cross over a log, I immediately saw the owls. One was a Barred Owl and the other was a Great-horned Owl of the year.

I do not know what had transpired prior to my discovery but I believe the Barred Owl may have attacked the Great-horned Owl, perhaps believing a meal could be had. Mu approach closer allowed for the Barred Owl to begin to move away through short flights. I managed a number of photos.

Barred owl…notice the injury around the eye.
The Great-horned Owl by some rocks below some tree roots.

Close-up of the Great-horned Owl.

In time I had circled back around, and the Great-horned Owl was still in the area. The Barred Owl had left. The Great-horned Owl probably had some injuries, but I could not see anything obvious except ruffled feathers. I do hope the bird survives. This event brings about a reality of the natural world and that is the cruelty of nature.

Crooked Creek at the Mud Flats

I ventured out for some wildlife snooping at Crooked Creek State Park in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. One never knows what one might see on these lands. Today was no different.

I would see two fawns and a couple of adult deer. I saw a flock of young turkeys with their mother. I had not seen many poults this season thus far, so I was elated to see a flock of maybe ten birds.

As I walked the shoreline, I would see two eagles chasing each other. The birds were too far for a photo. I was setting on a log watching the skies and the water surface. I could see a nice-size flock of Canada Geese up and around what has been called the Mud Flats. This ground area on the lake has been increasing in very recent years. There is now vegetation growing on it. A couple of years ago I attempted to walk over onto this land and at one point sank in the mud up to my groin area. I placed a blog entry on that experience. I thought someone would find my white-bleached bones, but I managed to get out.

Boat launching area
Belted Kingfisher

Othe species of interest included a couple of Kingfishers. I managed a few shots. I would walk onto a flock of Cedar waxwings. These birds are nomadic and move about in small flocks. If you find some look quick for tomorrow, they may be moved to somewhere else. However, they are an attractive little bird. They get their name, in part, for a brilliant red area on the wing that looks like wax. I saw a Red-shouldered Hawk.

Cedar Waxwing.

One of many Killdeers along the water.

Nature Odd and Ends

I believe this may be a species known as the Grasshopper Sparrow.

It doesn’t take long to see the natural world moving quickly towards the autumn season. As a wildflower enthusiast I have learned to tell seasons by the blooms of various species of wildflowers. The end of the season will be upon us before one knows it. Currently the Ironweed with the brilliant purples is in bloom as the Goldenrods are presently emerging into their bright yellow hues. The various Asters will be blooming soon.

Ironeed

Bull Thistle

I was about three feet before possibly stepping too close to this Bald-faced Hornet nest. It, probably, would not have gone well for me!

Not one hundred percent sure of this specie of Dragonfly, but it is a beaut!

I noticed this Black Snake emerging from my landscaping this afternoon. I ran for the camera. In the couple of minutes, it took to retrieve the camera the snake had ventured out onto the yard. I fell to my belly to snap photos. Most were blurred too much for the snake was moving as I tried to keep up.

Lots of Deer!

The photos above were of two deer. I was sneaking along and saw the orange-red color among the underbrush. I knew immediately I was seeing two deer. As they fed with their heads down, I would move until I reached about thirty yards or so. I positioned with camera aiming towards an opening. The plan worked flawlessly and the two edged out into the opening allowing for some photos. It wasn’t long before the lead deer became suspicious just prior to a snort and a run.

I saw the fawn first, but I saw the corn leaves moving violently to the left. Mama doe emerged followed by a second fawn.

I finally read the book, “BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE”. And I must state the book was, quite possibly, the saddest book I have ever read!

A very similar scenario would take place with each, and every tribe involved. The scene often began with greedy men upon discovery of gold on Indian lands or of land speculators seeking to obtain their lands to sell at a huge profit. The next ingredient were the dishonest and powerful politicians. Indian agents would be sent out to make treaties with the various tribes with many promises. Once the treaty was signed and catalogued then the treachery and deceit would come into play forcing Indians onto reservation lands with more promises. Those who refused would be eventually hunted down for capture or death!

Some Indian leaders understood the lies and deceptions and would refuse to capitulate. Sometimes once these native people spent time on the reservations a rebellion would come into existence. Afterall, their way of life was forced into another way of life. They were forced onto lands nobody wanted. The leaders would see their women and children suffer diseases, hardships and the lack of food. Rations were always in the promises but often failed to arrive, were highjacked by greedy men charging high prices to the Indians or the rations were just bad and not the best for eating. Many times, the horses were suffering and thinning due to lack of grasses for them to eat. Younger warriors would become very agitated over these constant abuses often leading to their leaving the reservations to obtain food or take vengeance in some cases.

The book describes a number of instances where the soldiers charged into villages shooting and killing and mutilating any Indian. There are times when many, many Indian ponies would be corralled and shot. Bisons were killed by the thousands and left to rot.

The question to ask today is, what would YOU DO when pushed into a situation of no hope?

This entry is a “Reader’s Digest” version of events of those times. It will bring a tear to your eye as you see the corruptness, injustices and greed of the United States Government in collusion with the U.S. Military being ordered into such actions by politicians and wealthy individuals and groups wanting as much as they can obtain.

God have mercy on these native people.