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Archive for July, 2010

Limestone Run

I decided the temperature was cool enough that a hike would be the proper thing to do. My “to do” list was changed. I headed for the Limestone Run area of Armstrong County to see what things of interest would be available. The climb to the top of the hill caused moisture to form within the various parts of my body prone to perspiration. (I had chosen to wear a light flannel shirt to help control skeeter bites.”   The walk allowed me to approach to about 20 feet of a resting deer. The deer was behind a fallen tree. The sudden snort alarmed me and the vegetation allowed only a hint of reddish- orange deer color to be viewed.

The “fungus among us” time of the year is at hand. The rainy, hot and humid days with ample rain has allowed many specie of fungus’ to grow in the woods.                                                  

Indian Pipes- a parasitic plant.

                                                                                                                                                     

While strolling along the creek I noticed the shiny shell of a turtle. The “wood Turtle” had, apparently, recently left the water. He wasn’t very considerate to me and avoided coming  out of it’s shell for a good photo. Eventually, I placed him back into the water and in short order the head and feet emerged and off the turtle went. My dad used to call them “land turtles”. However, they are always in the water or close to the H2O supply.

Wood Turtle

I edged around the creek’s bend and I could see muddy water along the shore. I thought a turtle may be digging  around, but upon checking, deer tracks were scattered along the bank. They get thirsty too.   

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I spent a few hours along the mighty Allegheny River this morning. A fog engulfed the area. I enjoy watching the fog drift past me like  wisps of smoke from a wood fire. One never knows what might appear as the fog lifts.

I didn’t have a lot of worms, but, I did manage to catch a couple of nice smallmouth bass.  I had some subtle nibbles at times. The end of the pole would dance, but ever so slightly. Suckers?   I used to catch a lot of Eastern Sand  (We would call them Sand Pikes in our youth.) Darters. is fish never grew to over nine inches or so. They were difficult to catch. Their mouths were small so bigger hooks caused many a miss. I had one interesting thing happen. A muskie followed one of my retrieves to within six feet of me. The Two-footer remained in site for several minutes.

Mother mallard (Notice the yellow duckling.)

Other critter sightings included a mother duck with two ducklings and various small birds. I quit around 9:00 in the morning and eventually went to the church to prepare a 16 foot 18th century-style cardboard ship for vacation Bible school.

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Black Swallowtail

Monarch butterfly on a swamp milkweed flower.

 
I knew I would be recycling this day so a summer hike surely would be good.  You know the old phrase:  Kill two birds …. I chose to concentrate on some old gas well roads in hopes of finding bear tracks or, better yet, see one. Wild critters were not in abundance this morning, but as the sun warmed the flowers many butterflies began to flutter around. 

I saw my first monarch butterfly this morning. I, casually,

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

checked some milkweed leaves for the white, yellow and black striped caterpillars. I didn’t find any of the caterpillars. However, I discovered two on my “personal stash” of milkweed plants.

Bumblebee on Bull Thistle

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On Monday, July 12th, my friend, Frank Maus and I spent some quality time trolling for muskies. Although we didn’t catch any we enjoyed the day on the Allegheny River. (I jinxed him!)  We did see deer; gulls and other things of interest. I saw one muskie at the surface of the water.

Fort Run/ Allegheny River

The mouth of Fort Run flowing into the Allegheny River.

Today, July 15th, I fished a little south of the lock at Kittanning, PA. I failed to have any luck too. (Frank jinxed me from afar!) I saw some mallards; gulls and a plover. I watched two young fellers wade across to the island. They were waist deep.

The island.

  

I decided to do some exploring for whatever I could find of interest. Wildflowers seemed to take the priority since many were in blossom along the shoreline.

Cardinal flower...a vivid red color.

              

Oswego….better known as Bee Balm.

                                                                        

Turk's Cap Lily

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THE MUSIC I PLAY

I enjoy playing music.  After quitting the nightclub and bar scene around 1982, the guitar was seldom picked up. When the mood to play “hit me” I would play along with albums and cassettes at that time. My aunt was instrumental at my resurgence when she and others started a campground along Cherry Run called Maple Grove. She asked to come around and with further encouragement from my wife, Laurie, I did just that.

Acoustic guitar work with the gospel band; IN TRANSITION

Playing along with Roy Rubin from New Castle

I have played many types of music and my style of playing varies dramatically depending on the fellow musicians I am engaged with at the time. I can’t explain this  but the variances just happen. Since I started to play the guitar once again I have played many types of music: contemporary and traditional gospel and hymns; traditional country and bluegrass; polkas; square dance  music; western swing…I occasionally may  play some rock but, to be honest, I do not actively seek it.  (Maybe a sign of maturing.) Prior to my quitting, I played  country; top 40; oldies; hard rock; country rock and others.

I am happy to be able to set in and improvise (fake) my way through with many bands. I have made many friends since coming back to music.

The photos above are a few of the nine or ten bands I played along with over the 4th of July weekend. (That can be tiring.)

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