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A place to fish.

Yesterday  in the late afternoon I placed my minnow trap in the creek in my back yard. Half an hour later I had more minnows than I needed for the morning’s fishing. I collected about a dozen and returned the remaining minnows for another time.

This morning I edged along the vegetated shoreline to go to a place I have had luck in other fishing excursions.   I am careful while maneuvering the smooth river stones after all I am getting old and feeble.

Smallmouth Bass

Eventually I spotted a wooden pier-like object along the shoreline. The pier had  steel bottom as if it had been made to be pulled along behind a tractor or pickup. This would be an excellent place to fish from. From this site I caught some nice bass from around fifteen to seventeen inches. I caught a catfish around twenty-two inches in length. Nice action while fishing with light tackle.

 

 

 

 

 

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Two More Bears!

Thursday morning, September 5, I went for a mile walk prior to stopping at my mother’s home. The wildlife was out in force. In that short time I saw twelve turkeys, two deer, heard a Screech Owl and heard a gobbling tom turkey. The fall-like morning must have invigorated the wildlife.

This morning I was out prior to the sunrise and watching the fog lift. I went to another area where I have hunted before. I saw some deer along the walk.

  I came through some open pines onto a grassy gas well road when the sounds of a tank smashing it’s way through the forest abrupted the solitude. BEAR! I scared the bruin at about forty yards. Unfortunately, the thick Autumn Olive, grapes, briars would not allow for any photos. But wait! As I stared off I could see some small tree tops swaying along with some noise activity. The movement was coming towards me. I thought, “this is great!”  

Aster

The second bear came to about twenty-twenty-two steps before the bruin got a whiff of my scent. It turned upslope in a fast paced mode  and sounding like slobbering-grunts. I could see black here and there but no photos.

Of course I was elated to see the bears although I never saw any open enough to size.

 

 

 

 

 

Not a good bear photo but the best when considering the early morning conditions.

I know my weird humor comes to play at times. This title is such a weird title. It is a play on words coming from one of Shakespeare’s plays. The strange truth of this title is even more bizarre for I actually saw seven bear this morning while hiking.

I was moving slowly along the woods where the terrain allowed for more openness.  To my left was a tangled mess of Spicebush, Multiflora Rose and Wild Grapes. One could not see through this mess. However, I could hear movement just beyond the thick brush. I assumed some deer may have winded me and were sneaking out. I was wrong!

Spicebush

A Black Bear walked into the more open woods from behind the brushy area. It was twenty steps away. Our eyes met and the camera came up and the bear turned on a dime. The photo showed a black blur. I moved ahead a little to walk off the distance when I spotted another and bigger bear approximately eight and no more than ten steps away. The same scenario occurred as our eyes met. I would guesstimate the first bear to be about 110 to 120 pounds and the second bear in the mid-two hundred pound range.

I quickly moved and turned left to go up the opposite hill in hopes of seeing the two again. The Spicebush and downed trees mad for less than

One of three flocks of turkeys I saw this morning.

desirable positions. I set on a log for about twenty minutes before exiting the way I came in.

Later, I spotted another bear about thirty-five yards from me. the bear moved over a steep lip on the hollow and went silent quickly. I looked about to try to find a quiet approach through the brambles and elected to listen and watch. Little time passed when I could see black on the opposite side of this steep gulley. There was my bear. I assumed this was one of the earlier viewed bear.

Soon I could more black . Another bear crawled up onto a tree. I immediately recognized this bear as a cub. I continued to watch and the first two bear walked out onto a big fallen tree. I could see three bear now. Shortly, a fourth bear became visible. I took a number of photos anytime an opening allowed. The bear were about seventy yards away. The woods were dark and shadowy due to the sun had not reached that side of the hill.

So I saw two bigger bear earlier and a nice sized mother with four cubs. My day was made!

 

 

A Garden Spider

 

Damaged corn from bears.

 

Sausage…bologna?

Lots of Turkeys!

I have been seeing many,  many turkeys over the last month here in western Pennsylvania. One day while out walking I saw four different flocks.  Some were concerned about poult survival rates due to the amount of rain we had had earlier this summer. I don’t believe the impact from the rain has had too much of an impact.

A few photos from various hiking adventures are below.

Foxtails in the dew.

 

Blue Vervain

 

 

 

I enjoy slapping some acrylic paints on interesting things.  This Black Bear shoulder bone worked perfectly to complete a painting of a Black Bear. I was waiting to hear back from  the plumbers. They were to do some repairs for me. While waiting for their call I hurriedly did this art.  I may do additional details.

Cormorant

I haven’t added many posts recently. The program I had used to store and edit my photos went berserk! I would enter the card with the pics as usual and download them onto this program. No biggie. I would  crop and edit as desired on the program. Still no biggie! I could see the results. However, if I chose to place the edited photos onto this site of Facebook the unedited version would appear. Of course this frustrated me. I contacted the company of this photo program twice and nothing they suggested worked. I am currently using a computer-based program to edit until I decide what course of action to do.

Ring-billed Gull

Western Pennsylvania weather has been perfect. A trip to Presque Isle seemed appropriate. We checked out some familiar places and sites. Also, we went into a lighthouse to see the view. The lighthouse we visited internally is known as the Presque Isle Lighthouse. (I wonder how this one received that name.)   The last time we were in the area this site was not opened to the public for the structure, at that time, was privately owned. Much had changed and the lighthouse has been made  accessible for tours.

North Pier Lighthouse

The Presque Isle Lighthouse was erected in 1872-73 and made seventeen feet taller in 1896. The tower is 57 feet high with seventy-eight steps to climb to the small room where the light is stationed.  The light still is used today to aid in navigation.

We, also, visited the North Pier Lighthouse. The original structure  was built in 1830. The one in this photo here was built in 1857. It was moved in 1882-1891 easterly 450 feet. This tower was moved again in 1940.  A long cement pier juts out into Lake Erie to the current site. The North Pier Lighthouse is thirty-four feet high. This tower is still in use today to aid in navigation.

Over 450 ships have been lost in Lake Erie, more ships lost here than the Bermuda Triangle.

Presque isle Lighthouse

Lots of wildlife to see as one watches the water areas and bogs. Turtles exist on logs. I saw several Great-Blue Herons, lots of gulls with the most common gull being the Ring-billed Gull. I saw a group of little birds yet unidentified by me. They are of the plover or sandpiper species. I saw Double-crested Cormorants and Canada Geese.

We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the beach and later spent time bare-footed walking along the beach trying to avoid the waves splashing  all about. That didn’t work for my pants became wet eventually although they were rolled up.

We visited some historical sites, too.

Later we enjoyed some time at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center.

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful little birds

 

the Huge Rubber Ducky in Erie Harbor

 

 

Oliver Hazard Perry Monument

 

View from the lighthouse

 

Cormorant in the water

 

Natural debris

 

 

Original sketch layout

One original idea I had sketched out and actually drew a layout to size featured a Bald Eagle flying. I liked the pose of the eagle, but after reconsidering the layout

More definition and some color for depth.

decided the positioning of this flying bird forced the size of the bald eagle to not fill the allotted space well. I believed I needed to rethink and do a painting where the subject was much more prominent.

My early thought on this particular positioning featured White Pine trees and limbs. Later, on my thought moved towards an autumn scene and eliminating the pine concepts.

I did this concept several times and made adjustments as I felt necessary to do. The layout shown on the right here defined with some watercolor strokes. I did this to bring out the feathering. I liked the look.

The next step was to transfer the image onto a gessoed-covered and sanded sheet of Masonite. I like painting on treated Masonite panels for rigidity.

I squeezed out a few colors of acrylic paints and slapped on the paint to aid in form. I do not have concerns at this stage with color accuracy. This step gives the initial form and feeling of the art. the colors are literally slapped on without concern of color or covering up existing lines at various places.  I may do several slap-on stages before settling down with a little more detail color.

I didn’t have the body of water in the early painting. that concept evolved  as did the old snag between the eagle resting spot and the water. I can same for the maple leaves.  As I said the earliest concept had White Pines and pine limbs to be included. I guess that impregnated my mind due to several close eagle nests in White Pines. However, I went with yellow  and orange hues of maples to brighten up the painting.

Early slaps of paint

 

A little more detail.