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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.

My positive result

To begin with this story, I feel the need to add some details prior to the explanation of my bout with covid. I have had asthma all of my life although I was not diagnosed until the 1980 time period. I usually keep the illness managed well enough to function somewhat. Also, I have dealings with vertigo, although the extreme is, thankfully, uncommon. I say that because I have had dizziness sensations much of my life. For example, if my dad would drive too fast over a certain bump at Brick Church, Pennsylvania, I would feel dizziness and nausea. Some spinning amusement rides would make me sick. My first vertigo attack was in 2013. That event was a terrifying one for me. I thought I was having a stroke. Today they are very uncommon for I have learned to do an exercise to keep those crystals in my inner ear in place.

Sunday afternoon of July 31, I felt a vertigo experience happening. I expressed either verbally or in my thoughts the words, “OH NO!” Immediately it stopped, but I was concerned. The rest of evening I felt slightly dizzy at times with a subtle headache.

The following day I was having the asthma common two-syllable, cough. No biggie for I could like this every day, so I wasn’t too concerned. However, on Tuesday the coughs were more prevalent. I played guitar at a church on Tuesday evening and noticed the inhaler wasn’t working well.

Tuesday, I mowed my yard and the neighbors and didn’t feel anything too bad.

Tuesday night I started harder coughing and slept very little. On the very early morning of Wednesday the 3rd, I began choking until I vomited up phlegm. I felt better afterwards but was exhausted. I remained in bed all day except bathroom breaks. I didn’t eat anything until I had awakened at 7:45 PM. The coughing began again, but I discovered I had a severe pain at the base of my left ribcage. The coughing had strained a muscle apparently. I tried to suppress the coughs the best I could.

Thursday morning, I was very suspicious as to if I may be dealing with covid and not the asthma. Laurie said she had a test kit sent from our insurance company. As you can see the test was positive. The coughing continued as did the nausea and dizziness. Early Friday morning I was vomiting again and that stopped the coughing for my lungs were, now, clear.

Friday afternoon found me on the computer asking covid questions. Can covid trigger vertigo-like effects and could covid trigger asthma-like coughs? Both responses were the same…YES! So, the covid virus was expressing itself on the 31st, but I failed to recognize it. The same with the asthma coughs.

I am typing this report on August 5 and with the exception of a slight headache and fatigue, I am feeling fair. I hope I do not need to come back here to type in reoccurrences.

Wild Bergamot

This past week held some adventures in hiking and fishing for me. One morning Laurie came with me. We would see nine deer including four bucks, two turkeys and a Bald Eagle. We entered a field’s edge and noticed two fawns bedded down.

One morning I fished the Allegheny River catching several Walleyes and several catfish. I saw an Osprey searching for fish to catch.

One of the walleye catches.

This catfish was close to twenty inches. Nice fight!

Another morning I walked alongside to the Allegheny River and a local rail to trails. I walked about five miles. I watched a Mink along a rocky edge. That is an uncommon sight to see in the wild. I, also, saw a Great Blue heron and a family of Common Mergansers.

Yellow Goat’s Beard in seed. Seed pod is approximately three inches across.

Thursday morning, I had time for a brief walk prior to stopping at my mother’s home. Very early I heard and later spooked a gobbler from a tree. On my way home I would see three longbeards.

With temperatures I the fifties I headed to a state game lands for a nice walk. I saw a number of deer. One doe offered some photos with the sun at a good angle. I would see other deer, as well. I saw several hen turkeys and a few poults. I walked upon a flock of gobblers. Although they were very close, I could not find an opening for a camera shot.

Indian Pipe

Turk’s Cap Lily

The Turk’s Cap Lily is one beautiful lily native to Pennsylvania. Those of us traveling along waterways quickly realize the height of various annual vegetation and wildflowers. Many areas over six feet high. This lily may reach and tower over the six feet species. I have seen some around eight feet high. I have this specie growing in my bottomland behind the house. They like bottomland areas that hold moisture.

Christ said in Matthew 6: 29 about the lily the following. “Yet I say to you that NOT even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.”

Pickerelweed

The Pickerelweed flower is a wetland species. I know of a few sites locally. The roots are deep in muddy areas and often times this flower is growing in water areas.

Cardinal Flower

I wonder how this native flower received the name, Cardinal Flower. I bet because of the brilliant red color!

Lizard’s Tail

This unique flower is white in color and hangs over and reminded someone of the past of a lizard’s tail, hence the name.

Square-stemmed Monkey Flower

This Sqaure-stemmed Monkey Flower grows up to around three feet tall. One will find this species growing along shorelines and wet areas.

Evening Primrose

The Evening Primrose is usually found just about anywhere including along the river.

Purple Loosestrife

The Purple Loosestrife, although a beautiful wildflower, is not native to Pennsylvania. It is considered a noxious weed with the possibility of overtaking native species.

Yellow Jewelweed

This Jewelweed, along with the Spotted Jewelweed, is usually found in moist areas can show up most anywhere. It may be referred to as Johnny Jump ups for the seeds pop open and fly in different directions as if they jump. This happens when ripe or touched.

Bumblebee on a Swamp Milkweed

Garden Loosestrife

This is a non-native species, also. It prefers swampy thickets.

Bald Eagle

I had an errand to run this morning, so I incorporated some waterways walking very early. There was a light fog over the Allegheny River as I began exploring the banks for anything of interest. My plan was to take photos of wildflowers. I will save those photos for a separate entry.

I had, later, moved to another hike along Buffalo Creek. I had an errand at the feed store. As the humidity was climbing with the temperatures, I began my walk along the road back to the jeep when I could hear a vehicle slowing down behind me. The woman stopped. She asked me if I got any photos of it? I was puzzled at first. She thought I was a fellow named Mark. I told her my name and she informed me a friend had spotted a Bald Eagle. (The it.) She thought I was a fellow named, Mark. Her friend had mentioned of another fellow named Mark with a camera. She told me of a Bald eagle sighting just ahead and said jump in.

In a couple of moments, we were at the area where the Bald Eagle had been seen. I quickly spotted the big bird and expressed to her of seeing the eagle. The photos here are a few pics I managed to get before the bird flew off. Thank you, Connie, for stopping and letting me know of this magnificent bird.

Notice the talons below the limb.
Great Blue Heron with Shad

I watched the Great Blue Heron for quite some time below the dam. The bird captured and devoured two fish during that time. Notice from the above photo the size of this fish. The other one was just as big and the bird simply “gulped” them down.

the Allegheny River was in nice shape this morning as I trekked through the underbrush heading to a place, I enjoy fishing. The first cast produced a hard bite, and the hook was set. Unfortunately, the sizable fish broke the eight-pound test leader, even though, I was not forcing the fight. the second cast produced my first catfish, a whopping eighteen-inch powerhouse of a fighter. I would catch more cats during the morning.

This guy insists on following me around trying to scare away the fish. Actually, this is my friend, Frank “Muskie” Maus fishing for muskies.

Prior to eleven o’clock I would catch a Freshwater Drum or a Sheepshead. Between the first catfish and Drum I would lose another big fish due to line breakage. Another catfish in the twenty-inch range came to the surface just prior to throwing the hook. I missed a few strong bites, too.

One of the Cats.

Freshwater Drum

Not a wildflower.

The Teasel is beginning to bloom.

The humidity was up, but the moisture content in the air is supposed to drop later today. I dressed for the early weather-related timeframe. I had my tick-resistant clothing, rubber boots for the dew-laden grass and a light flannel short to help thwart any insect issues.

Chicory

I always find wildflower stages interesting. I believe every two-weeks one will observe the next stage of wildflower blooms. They come and go rather fast. There were a lot of blue-colored species showing off their vibrant color during this morning’s adventure.

I would see three doe this morning, but only managed photos of one in the creek. I saw seven turkeys, including only one poult, at three different areas. The lack of poult visuals is concerning.

Blue Vervain
Teasel

Downy Skullcap

Crane Fly

Quiet Time Gospel

The CD cover shown above featured within this blog site entry is called, “Quiet Time Gospel.” This selection of sixteen gospel/ traditional hymn songs came about through an interesting discussion.

Currently, Laurie and I have been attending the Kittanning Free Methodist Church which is actually several miles from Kittanning, Pennsylvania. Their site is: https://www.kittanningfmc.org/ The church has some great people and friends. The covid issue caused some problems with the attendance numbers, but I understand many churches have been struggling with regaining their numbers.

The pastor of this church presently is, Jeremy Andrews. We get along fine. He is a kind, compassionate man. However, I am not so much…haha.

Recently, he discussed the possibility of myself playing a non-amplified acoustic guitar during a time he refers to as Quiet Time. This is the reasoning behind the title of the CD. I tried doing the guitar a couple of times and was not happy with my sound, so I suggested another option of doing some songs on a CD to use in my place. The pastor was receptive, and I hurriedly made a CD of sixteen songs. I purposely arranged the songs to be in an easy listening style. I did four to eight tracks per song with various acoustic and electric guitar work, bass guitar and keyboards. So, in the few minutes prior to a prayer time one of these recorded songs are played softly during the Quiet Time.

As an afterthought, I decided to take these songs and add some light drum work for a more completed sound on a CD which is the result shown above. I had taken some photographs the previous week of Canada Lilies and thought one of those pics would make for an attractive CD label.

I am currently in the arrangement and recording stage of another Quiet Time CD featuring some more “contemporary” gospel songs.

The Canada Lily

Canada Lily

Every now and then, I stumble across a most beautiful wildflower native to my area of Pennsylvania. The wildflower is the Canada Lily. They are uncommon in the area, and I have, yet, to find any growing in a large number. The usual find is a few stalks only.

This was the case yesterday morning while I was walking near my old homestead prior to going to visit the family and have breakfast and mow.

I was walking around remembering a much younger Larry roaming the area. Oh, the times I had. I noticed a hint of red among the greenery thinking the color was, most likely, the Bee Balm for this native wildflower is starting to bloom, too.

However, I took a secondary glance and recognized immediately was the source of the red color was, and it was a few blossoms of the Canada Lily. I investigated and fold three stalks with only four blossoms. Unfortunately, I failed to carry my camera with me this particular morning which is rare for me.

After I returned home, I thought I should get back to the site soon, for those flowers do not have a long bloom time. A week may just fail to find them at this stage. This morning I went back to the site. I trimmed back the encroaching Multiflora Rose and Goldenrod stalks to allow for some photos.

There is a yellow-colored Canada Lily, but they tend to be more northerly like in Maine. I know of none in Pennsylvania.

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Snapping Turtle

The pole didn’t move much at all before the line tightened to the point for me to set the hook. Immediately I recognized something very different about this fish. I was fishing for Catfish and Carp, and I knew this battle was not familiar as the how those two species fight. My very next thought was…turtle!

I was correct as the Snapping Turtle came to the surface the first time. I hung on for this turtle was not appreciative as to me catching it. The pole was deeply bent with the tugs and weight.

Once I brought the turtle to the shoreline, I had few options. I would not be unhooking this feller by hand. Snappers can bite hard and lock their jaws. Naaa… I think I will cut the line.

I did catch some catfish and was enjoying the morning when I felt the very similar battle as with the first Snapping Turtle. Could have I caught another Snapper?

Again, I had hooked a second Snapping Turtle and I, once again, cut the line to reserve my fingers for other things. Both turtle shells were between twelve and fourteen inches in length.

So, I caught two Snapping Turtles within an hour. I, also, watched a doe during her potty time and would see a gobbler as I walked out of the area. It was a good and interesting morning.

The lonely pole.