Archive for September, 2010

Buttermilk Falls Hike


Cowanshannock Creek

 I left this morning to run a few errands prior to strolling along the Cowanshannock Creek trail. The trail parallels the creek heading to an area known locally as Buttermilk Falls. I left the trail to follow the actual waters. The beauty of this creek always mesmerized me. The features are rocks and lots of them. Some of the boulders are bigger than trucks. Crawling around and over these features can be interesting as well as dangerous.

  The rocks in the morning hours are usually slippy to walk on due to the dew of the early morning hours. The waters are some of the most beautiful in Armstrong County. I noticed a number of fish while hiking along the creek. I saw carp; suckers ranging in the 15 to 18 inch range. I, also, saw some bass here and there darting along in search of minnows. 

Buttermilk Falls

On a sad note, much vandalism occurs in the area. Rocks are carved into. Others yield satanic and perverted symbols. Beer cans cover any areas where ATVs can get into. Trash can be discovered along the stream from high- water times. This “stuff” washes down from miles upstream and settles along the trees and rocks.

  However, the landscape, as a whole, still is beautiful. There are big, towering trees; hemlocks and rhododendrons make for dark green contrasts against the fall foliage. The colors should peak in a couple of weeks.

The acorns and beech are everywhere this year. the food supply will be long-lasting for the many critters that feed on them. I did see one turkey and several squirrels on this hike. 

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Laurie and I spent the morning hours at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium. We arrived at the site around 8:40 and surprisingly I spotted two old gobblers walking around the parking lot. They were both old birds with long beards. Although we were at the zoo, I managed to take flower photos and several of native butterflies. I hope you enjoy a few photos.



Laurie's favorite!

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Todd Sanctuary Hike

  Laurie and I went for a nice hike today at the “Todd Sanctuary” near Freeport. http://www.aswp.org/toddTrails.html  The lands are owned by the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania. This hike was sure better than the trek I made on Monday morning. Although I saw a deer, a number of squirrels; bear tracks and found a sheephead mushroom, I was caught in a heavy rain that wasn’t scheduled! I was soaked!

  Our hike today was great! The weather was perfect. We hiked on several different trails that snaked their way through a diverse number of habitats. We saw dense hemlock groves; big timber; pole-sized timber from past pasture lands and areas with large boulders rich with moss and polypody ferns. Another area featured seven-foot high goldenrods making for a sea of yellow.                                                         

            Another site features a nice pond loaded with frogs and newts and fish. We sat on a bench and enjoyed the traffic-less solitude. A couple of rock-laden streams cross through the lands. Of course, the water tables were low due to tha absence of rain these past several months.     

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   My friend, Dana Gould invited me as a guest to explore a section of Yellow Creek (Indiana County) at the Yellow Creek Trout Club property. We were there for a hike and not to fish. Due to hot temperatures and low water the trout population was in a stressed state. We saw one trout. We feared the conditions may have caused a die-off.  However, we did see bass; bluegills; carp  and one muskie. These specie can with stand warmer water temperatures. 

   The hiking was superb. The day was perfect! We walked the club property and ended at the Yellow Creek Dam and spillway. The water was low. We actually walked up and over the spillway. We saw many deer and two wood ducks. We found cub bear tracks and a rare native flower known as the closed or bottled gentian. A beautiful blue flower.   

Closed or Bottled Gentian

Other sites were the many water snakes among the  rocks normally covered with water. Crayfish were numerous in the small pockets of water. One interesting site was a beech tree clawed into by a  bear in times past.

Dana while watching me trying to photograph the wood ducks looked against a log and discovered two fishing outfits and a tackle box. They were hidden some time ago since bait fishing isn’t allowed. Apparently the person became fearful of being caught and “ditched the gear!” 

Dana Gould

To contact the club call:  724-463-2122 or e-mail:


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Hike-Civil War

I made a short hike this morning along Red Mill Creek Road. While walking back towards my vehicle I noticed the sound of water in an unnatural way.  I paused to gaze in the direction of the sound when a 5-point buck emerged. He was walking  directly down the middle of the small stream. I watched him for 150 feet or so before he looked up and caught me in a movement.  He was within 30 yards  for most of my sighting of him. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me.

Later in the day I had the opportunity to spend some time with my friend, Robert “Slim” Bowser. Slim is a Civil War reenactor. I took some photos for a possible future painting.  You can search his blogs by checking on the right side of blog page. Slim is a dedicated Civil War historian taking very seriously the sacrifices of the great men of honor in times past. He represents a soldier of the 62nd PA Volunteers, Company D. This unit was recruited in 1861 in Armstrong County, Pa. 

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Emlenton Trail

    Laurie and I decided to take a bike ride on such a fine fall-like afternoon. My friend, Frank told me about the bike trail along the Allegheny River at Emlenton, Pennsylvania.  He mentioned the scenic river sites.

The Allegheny River , is indeed, scenic anywhere north of  communities of East Brady through Parker and continuing northward. The waters here are much like the waters known to the natives tribes and early colonists and such. A visit to this area will quickly show a river with plenty of islands; large boulders; shallow rapid-like waters; deep colorful holes of green water; narrow and wide river sites. One will, also, see lush vegetation.     

In all we traveled 12 miles. Laurie wasn’t comfortable traveling through a tunnel that quickly lost all light. I wanted to bring along a flashlight , but forgot the device. Here we turned around. I vowed to attack the tunnel on my on some day this fall! Who knows she may decide to “git-er-done” too. 

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Latest Additions to the Art

If interested you can view my latest art additons and brief descriptions of each by clicking on the right heading…”Latest paintings” or “Something Different”. One example is shown here.

"Lifting Fog"

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I am behind with yesterday’s muskie fishing event. I decided to place both onto one blog.

Frank Maus alias "Muskie"

Rosston Island

   We entered the waters early with a fog and comfortable temperatures.  These conditions didn’t last long. the fog quickly burned off and the day reached into the upper 80’s by the time we quit fishing. Several hours of surface casting yielded no luck. More time trolling proved to be the same.  However, we had an enjoyable time in the boat continually laughing about the days of our lives while at work… and the people we had been involved with.

We quit around 1:00 in the afternoon as the heat began to scorch us.



While visiting with Kip, I gave him back one of the box call cases. A friend from West Virginia wanted a case with the eight custom box calls from Kip. However, he wanted me to paint a  turkey to the box.  Kip will have additional information lasered onto the box for this man. Kip is planning a bear hunt later this month to West Virginia and plans to hand deliver the case. 

You may visit Kip’s web-site. He will be adding more to this site in the future. The site is: http://www.ferociouscalls.com/

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