Archive for September, 2012

Buffalo Creek

I spent the morning hours finishing up details on a couple of paintings. A couple of errands were in need of doing too.

Mom believed me when I told her white caterpillars meant 12-15 feet of snow!

All done with the errands and a hike of a couple of miles would be the ticket on such a glorious morning. This walk would include both road and woodland walking.  Some trees, especially the maples, were already coming into full color and others were still holding onto their summer hues. The wild flowers are in various stages. Some have long gone to seed, yet others are in full bloom.

   One of the most prevalent flower in blossom now is the New York Aster. This flower has a slight sky-blue color with a golden center. Other white-colored asters are flowering yet. The woodland sunflowers are in seed and the Goldfinches were enjoying filling up on their seeds.

The coolness of the day had bird activity in high gear. Bluejays; finches; woodpeckers… were to be viewed everywhere! Chipmunks and some squirrels were busy gathering acorns.

While on the pavement I noticed a gobbler walking across the road. Shortly, thereafter, I heard him gobble at a loud ATV. I saw one deer feeding in the distance.

This evening, I will be playing lead guitar with the First Methodist’s church staff band at their Saturday night service. Tomorrow, the 30th, I will be playing with a put together band at the Burrell Township’s Annual Fall Festival. I am not sure of who will be playing at that event.                        

Yes, the fall season is upon us and expect autumn-colored trees to be included in upcoming posts.

New York Aster



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I have been walking some. However, I have been lazy in regards to this site. While walking about I have seen deer; turkeys; squirrels and many species of flowers and bird life.


White Snakeroot

Bob and I have walked  a couple of miles at my homestead. In fact, we have done this rural road walk twice in recent weeks. As we walked along this road I noticed what appeared to be a turkey wing in the ditch. It was! Apparently, the turkey was a road kill. Upon inspection of the remains I was surprised to see one inch spurs. Immediately, I thought I need to get these legs for my friend, Kip Feroce. He would make back scratchers from them. Unfortunately, when I returned to remove the legs some critter must have relocated the remains far away.                                                                                                                          

Another hike I did consisted of walking a rural road that one can  easily make a circle instead of backtracking. I am guessing th e entire walk to be , at least, 4 miles around.  I did, however, walk off the road to pass through the lower area of a local state game lands. Here I was blessed to see a march hawk  flying through the fog. These hawks tend to fly low often hovering in one spot watching for movement of a mouse.

Marsh Hawk

   Last evening, while planning to visit the land owner, I first went for a mile long walk to see if any turkeys were in a field searching for grasshoppers. I did see a buck in the field. Later, I would see about 15 turkeys within feet of another of the landowners building.  Later, I saw another buck and six does. Another two deer were viewed while traveling home before dark.

Today, I spent working on some art. I haven’t been painting lately and the rainy day helped inspire me to paint. I have been putting lots of hours working with a digital recorder and , I am , pleased to say I have completed the twelve songs. I have actually placed the songs onto a CD!  This has been a time-consuming venture, but I have learned a lot. I , literally have hundreds of hours involved with studying the manual; retyping the  instructions into a computer and making a guideline to ease my study. Most songs have, at least, seven different tracks of music!

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l-r: Al Mechling; JoAnne Cash and Brad Anthony

The rains began pummeling on the morning of Saturday, September the 8th.  More rain fell over the morning to early after noon on this day than we had received during the last two months! The people of the radio station WTYM in Kittanning had been planning a country music event for quite some time and the weather was surely hampering the day. This would cause an hour and half delay in all things!

However, eventually the skies began to open and the weather changed. A wind condition began and some coolness was the norm, but the rain had ceased. Good news for the musicians, the sound people and of course the event organizers.

l-r: Brad Anthony; Al Mechling; Harry Yates; JoAnne Cash Yates; Larry Smail; Walt Marr; Dick vernon; danna vernon

Finally, the band I currently play lead guitar with entered the stage. the band, GOOD NEWS COUNTRY began their part of the show. A number of bands and solo performers entertained  the patrons that eventually braved the weather to listen! We were having issues with the monitor system causing difficulty with me hearing myself and the steel guitar was dominate. As time went on the sound people improved this problem some.

This band stayed on the stage once their time was completed and JoAnne Cash entered the stage. JoAnne is Johnny Cash’s younger sister. JoAnne is in her mid-eighties now. This and the weather would be a problem for the singer. JoAnne was having great difficulties with her voice. The damp air, no doubt, had caused some problems and she couldn’t complete many songs. She couldn’t apologize enough, but the crowd was very forgiving and loving towards her issues.

The band GOOD NEWS COUNTRY  features the following members: Danna Vernon with vocals;  Al Mechling on rhythm guitar and vocals; Brad Anthony on bass guitar and vocals; Dick Vernon on steel guitar; Walt Marr on drums and myself, Larry Smail on lead guitar. An event is being planned for next year. (Photos by Marla Mechling)

Good News Country on stage

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Prairie Dog

The weather was looking good when we decided to go and visit the Living Treasures along U.S. 422 towards New Castle, Pennsylvania. Living Treasures is a zoo-like site where individuals can walk about observing many species of animals and bird life. The site even has a small-scale aviary where one can walk about with the birds.    

Laurie, has always enjoyed visiting such places where feeding and petting many of the animals is permitted. Today was no different. We purchased some animal feed and raw baby carrots and off she went happily feeding!

Many of the animals present are exotic, that is coming from other countries. There are monkeys; Crowned Cranes; African lions; leopards (which we were blessed to see one of the new babies.); camels; tigers; McCaws; tortoises… me, however, I enjoy American species much more. Some of these included flamingoes; alligators (At least 36) lynx; otters; turkeys; some various waterfowl species; painted turtles; caribou…They had , both kangaroos and wallabies present. We saw several mothers with babies in their pouches!

Painted Turtle

  One thing that happened while we were there was very laughable to us. It seems a little boy ran ahead of his mother only to stop at a machine where animal feed can be obtained. Some species were only allowed Cherrios. This little lad was busy reaching about the containment area of this machine eating heartedly the Cheerios laying about! The young mother reached him gouging her index finger into his little mouth to remove as much as possible. Hilarious to watch!       

Afterwards, we stopped at my ex-in laws for a brief visit to pick up a gun ticket. Then off for an early supper. Later, my friend Joe Wagner stopped in to collect various flowers from my stock. His church in Chicora, Pennsylvania is needing many flowers for a planting project.

  The rest of the evening was spent in rest. This aging body enjoys rest! Hope you enjoy the few photos. 

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Autumn Is Coming!

  I haven’t been feeling my best as of late. I now have Vertigo and tension-style headaches are the norm….subtle but present. Don’t get me wrong, I will take these headaches over the Vertigo attacks anytime. They are terrible to endure! Yesterday, I felt really well and decided to take a trip to a local state game lands. Initially, I was planning to try to catch a carp or two. After 15 minutes, I couldn’t stand trying to catch them for they were ignoring my bait! The desire to walk and take photos took precedence!                                                                                                                                              

  The cool morning was coated with a fog and the beauty of the woods was always at hand. The trees are showing signs of the upcoming autumn season. Colored leaves are all about and in about a month the colors will be peaking. Hard to believe!

Spotted Jewelweed (Touch-Me-Not)

Wildlife was about too. I saw a deer and heard another snorting at me. I saw two gray squirrels bounding and chasing. These two were much surprised when they  ran about ten feet from me.  I saw a fox squirrel too. I was happy to see a ring-necked pheasant. Apparently, the bird was a holdover from last year.

The fields and woodland flowers are out in force. Kind of a last hurrah for flowers. Some of the species observed were white snakeroot; asters; Queen Anne’s Lace; jewelweed (Both the yellow and orange varieties.); goldenrods; red clover; Bull thistle; smartweed….

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar

By mid-morning the heat was becoming very pronounced and I headed home.                                                      

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The Civil War painting entitled, “THE WHEATFIELD-WHIRLPOOL OF DEATH”  has ventured into a new method of display. STONE! The process places a copy of the print onto flat, but irregular, stones. The contrast of the stone’s texture makes for an interesting touch of character to the image.   If anyone would be interested these are available for purchase. The original painting detailed the battle at Gettysburg featuring the 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. The site became known as the battle at the Wheatfield.

Further details of the painting and battle may be found by visiting my blog sites of July and August 2011.

Contact : Robert Bowser at 724-545-1330 or Jac-Lin Framing On Stone (Jack and Linda Kraft) at 814-647-8644 for details and options.  The art on stone can be set on a stand (nice on fireplace hearth) or hanged as a painting.

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