Wow! Can you believe this weather for the end of January? The temperatures are to reach into the 60 degree mark. So, how could I stay home this day with weather seemingly spring-like? The answer is.. I couldn’t!
I had some errands to run so I incorporated the trip into a nice walk along the Armstrong Trail. I parked just north of Kittanning, Pennsylvania and began a long hike. I turned around to return just a little south of Mosgrove. The walk ended up being approximately eight miles long. Invigorating!
The Allegheny River was known by the French during the years prior and during the French and Indian War as the “Belle Rivera”. (mid-eighteenth century) The English translation is, Beautiful River. Indeed, the river is beautiful! The river was known for years as the Ohio river too. Later, individuals separated the two giving the Allegheny River the name.
This morning the river appeared as a sheet of glass. Yes, the waters were moving, but the absence of wind made the river look smooth. Any reflections were still and obvious! Later, as I was walking back the winds picked up causing surface disturbances.
Mammals were few. I, only, saw one gray squirrel. Bird life, however, was a little more prevalent. I saw a flock of 30 or so Canada geese. I saw and heard winter wrens and crows. Other species I witnessed were the junco; chickadee and goldfinches.
The wooded ares between the trail and the river had many signs of beaver activity. Some were old and weathered and others rather recent. These beavers are bank beavers since they usually build their lodge against the water’s bank and tunnel.
Ancient human activity too can be seen along this route. One such site displays a high rock wall. This was , probably a coke furnace site in times past since lots of slag can be viewed too. I always find the construction of the early men to amaze me. I can’t help wondering how working men maneuvered those big rocks into place. I, also wonder why their construction outlasts more modern works. This is especially true when you realize the plans for newer construction are, no doubt, figured out by college engineers! Makes one think!
The walk lasted close to three hours with a steady pace. Upon my return home the task of cleaning up sawdust from the garage was needed. I have been replacing and adding mouldings and the dust was everywhere.
I am seeing daffodils pushing through the soil. The maple buds are in place waiting for the proper time. Spring, regardless of the remaining winter weather, is coming soon!