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More Carp Fishing

dsc_0014   I enjoy fishing. Most people know that fact. A couple of times in recent weeks I ventured to a pond where Carp have become the most prevalent fish. Carp are not native to Pennsylvania. In fact they are not native to the United states at all. They usually cause much habitat damage to any ponds destroying egg-laying sites of native species.

My fly rod and reel!

My fly rod and reel!

However, since they have been established in almost every water locally one might as well enjoy fishing for them at times. I sure do!

My last two ventures to this pond has found me enjoying the fight by using a fly rod. Carp averaging fifteen to eighteen inches of muscle on such a fishing pole produce an action paced fight.

I have fished in the river several times during the last few weeks. I have done well with Smallmouth Bass this year.

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Baker Trail Hike

dsc_0033  This hike was an earlier excursion in early September. The morning was heated to an already 73 degrees as I left the house in the early morning.  The dew point was at 69! So, this time in the woods was going to be a warm on.

Crooked Creek Dam

Crooked Creek Dam

I was walking the Baker Trail at the Crooked Creek dam area in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. This trail is actually 132 miles in length. The trail begins near Aspinwall, PA and ends in the Allegheny national Forest at Cook Forest Park. My section this day would only be about three miles one way. The trail was named in honor of Horace Forbes Baker.

Elbow Run

Elbow Run

 

Along the trail.

Along the trail.

As stated, I was walking at the Crooked Creek Dam section of the trail.                           dsc_0014

Crooked Creek Park is an United States Corps of Engineers project completed in 1940.  The dam was built as a flood control project. During World War 2 my dad told me a 50 caliber machine gun was placed at the dam area in case of enemy bombing attempts. No Germans or Japanese planes today!

The walk began at the parking area across from the Tunnelville Beach. I walked northerly  along a small stream named Elbow Run. this creek empties into the dam area.  There were a lot of fungus growth throughout the walk. the conditions were correct for their growth. I saw a lot of squirrels gathering nuts. Deer were rather common all morning as well. I Glimpsed an eagle flying through some hemlocks. I dropped over a steep hill to walk back along Elbow Run.  dsc_0035

The entire walked was a humid one, but I still enjoyed being out and about.

 

McConnell's Mill

McConnell’s Mill

One will find the beautiful and rugged McConnell’s Mill State Park as an area of awe. The Lawrence County, Pennsylvania park has a lot to witness. The landscape around the park covers often steep slopes with big, to huge boulders all around. The park surrounds a

Slippery Rock Creek moving slow.

Slippery Rock Creek moving slow.

section of Slippery Rock Creek Gorge.

This park has eleven miles of trails to hike and enjoy nature at its best.

The original mill was built in 1852 by Daniel Kennedy. Fire destroyed the mill, but a second mill was built in 1868. Thomas McConnell purchased the mill in 1875. This mill closed down in 1928.

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These waters can rage during other seasons.

These waters can rage during other seasons.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy obtained the are in 1942 wishing to preserve the area’s wealth of natural beauty.   dsc_0132McConnell’s Mill State Park became reality in 1952.

Immediately south of the old mill one will find a covered bridge over Slippery Rock Creek. (The bridge is currently as I type under renovation for preserving the structure.)  the bridge was built in 1874.

Slippery Rock Creek is a beautiful flow of water offering some danger. Far too many people have succumbed to the water’s treachery. For this reason the area at the park has no swimming. trout fishing is fine here.  Huge smooth boulders are found along the water’s edge. When wet they can become like an ice patch. Some stretches of the creek are smooth slower moving water and some are considered white water.

Trail

Trail

 

Female Hummingbird

Female Hummingbird

Slippery Rock Creek Gorge received a listing as a Natural Area and a National Nature Landmark in 1974. The creek received  designation as a State Park natural Area in 1998.                                                                                                  dsc_0012

Lake Arthur

dsc_0094 Lake Arthur is quite a sizable body of water within Moraine State Park. The area is a treasure for observing waterfowl; herons;

Green Heron

Green Heron

eagles, ospreys and many other kinds of wildlife. My time was limited so I didn’t spend a lot of time along this water, but the little time I utilized produced a lot of birdlife.

Lake Arthur consists of 3,225 acres of water with 42 miles of scenic shorelines. The depth of the water is between 11 to 36 feet. Moraine State Park  is a 16,725 acre mix of Lake Arthur, woodlands, and wetlands.

Backwaters

Backwaters

dsc_0095 One of first specie of birds I located was the little Green Heron. These bird often spends time along the creek at my home. They find the minnows and frogs a source of food!  I saw the Great Blue heron and a surprise, too. I spotted the white of an egret far off feeding along the opposite shoreline.  A very friendly woman had just mentioned the fact of seeing an egret moments before.                                                      dsc_0103

dsc_0104  Lots of waterfowl can be viewed in the back water areas. They were busy swimming around searching for some “grub”. Canada Geese are always a site at the lake.

I painted a painting called Back To Moraine-Osprey some time ago. The painting was produced on a plate for sale.

Jack-In-The-Pulpit berries

Jack-In-The-Pulpit berries

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Back To Moraine-Osprey

 

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Prairie Vegetation

However, it happens, my computer received a nasty virus. Thanks to Bevington Technologies of outside Worthington, Pennsylvania for saving everything, and getting me back into business.  I have some catching up to do in so far as getting some  dsc_0074entries on this site.

Closed Gentian

Closed Gentian

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dsc_0053  Last week, a cool fall-like morning mandated some hiking time. I decided to go to the 300 acre Jennings Environmental area to walk about. I had hoped the Blazing Star wildflower may still have a few blooms left. However, I knew their time was over, but I hoped a few stragglers may yield some blossoms. This are has a lot of very big trees on the property. This area, also, has a prairie area, possibly the farthest prairie east of the Mississippi River. This area was established in the 1950s with the need to preserve the Blazing Star wildflower. This is a prairie flower.

Turtlehead

Turtlehead

Another interesting feature is this area holds the endangered Massasauga Rattlesnake, also known as the Pygmy Rattlesnake. I was told even trained

Members of the Pennsylvania Fish Commissions have difficulty finding them.                                                                                  dsc_0063

dsc_0070  I saw a number of deer while walking. Interestingly, I turned onto a trail named Deer Trail and immediately spotted two deer. I saw some migrating warblers and a lot of goldfinches eating seeds from various flowers. I found another rare wildflower known as the Closed gentian. I have only found one in Armstrong County. The prairie lands displayed a number of these blue flowers. This specie looks like flower bud ready to open into a bloom. However, this is the flower!

I walked a number of trails. I walked the Oakwoods Trail, The Deer Trail, the Blazing Star Trail; the Prairie Loop trail, the Massasauga Trail, the Hepatica Trail, and the Glacier Ridge Trail.

I found a lot of beauty this morning. Of course, this lead to a lot of photos.

What a beautiful native wildflower!

What a beautiful native wildflower!

 

George Miller showing Laurie some things of interest.

George Miller showing Laurie some things of interest.

This morning, Laurie and I, attended the Antique Firearms and Indian Artifact Show. This annual event was held at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds near Brookville, Pennsylvania. This would be Laurie’s first time on her feet for an extended time since her back surgery. She did well!

Reconstructed pottery from a dig.

Reconstructed pottery from a dig.

This event is spearheaded by my friend, Ken Burkett from hawthorn, Pennsylvania. Ken  is an archeologist. He has done much work locally at the Parker’s Landing petroglyph site along the Allegheny River. he was instrumental with dogs at the Fishbasket site along the Armstrong, and Clarion Counties. He, and I, are members of the North Fork Chapter. His wife, Cheryl was helping. Other friend were, Ed Kaufman. I had met Ed a long time ago when he, Ken, and I visited the Parker’s Landing site to prepare for a painting. I saw local friends, Rob Watt, and Rich Schall, too. These fellows are actually neighbors with me. Another dear friend, was George Miller. I met George a long time ago on a trip to the National Wild Turkey federation headquarters at Edgefield, South Carolina. We became instant friends. George, at that time, was a commissioner for the Pennsylvania Game  Commission.  he was active in atlatl throwing competition. George played a prank on a young fellow. he gave this lad a copper pipe sating it was a deer call. the lad bit blowing on the call. The result was powder on his faith. (I fell for such a trick years ago, only water was used.)

 

Lots of firearms, and nobody was shot! Imagine that!

Lots of firearms, and nobody was shot! Imagine that!

Another friend who showed up was Dana Gould of Distant, Pennsylvania. We have been friends for a long time as well.

Atlatl throwing.

Atlatl throwing.

Members of the Venango Chapter #30 had a display of a large clay, and dirt ball surrounding many pieces of Indian pottery. he would demonstrate the method of removing the surrounding dirt. Once completed, the tedious task of working the broken pieces together begins. Thankful people take the time to save such artifacts.                                                               DSC_0007

 

Cleaning away the dirt!

Cleaning away the dirt!

Along with seeing friends, many muzzleloading rifles , and such abound. powder horns, artifacts, and about anything one can imagine from our early history can be viewed . Flintknappers showed interested people how the Indians chipped away at flint to make beautiful , and lethal points.

We managed about half a day before deciding it was time to head home. (This was, of course, after lunch!)

There were a lot of flintlocks, percussion rifles, Civil war era rifles, swords, knives, tomahawks, and yet no killings occurred.

 

I began this painting of two chipmunks last May. I would be out, and about, the woodlands hunting spring gobblers, but I was looking for inspiration for the art. I spent much time rough sketching stumps, grape vines, saplings, and ferns. At some point I gathered my sketches, and thoughts to come up with the layout for the painting shown here. I began painting, and finished the art up in later June. Hope you all enjoy the art!

Chipmunks In May

Chipmunks In May