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Archive for March, 2014

Freeport, Pennsylvania

Freeport, Pennsylvania

I had time to kill since a local car dealership was having unbelievable computer issues to deal with. I spent approximately three hours hiking trails at Harrison Hills Park. The wooded park borders the Allegheny River between Freeport and Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania.                                             DSC_0002

The two trails I traveled were a  little over three and half miles in length winding hills and hollows. the diversity was obvious. Some areas consisted of maturing oaks. Other sites had a mixture on multiflora rose and wild cherry. Some areas could see sycamore and aspen or locust woodlands.

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I elected to walk the Wetland Trail first since the freezing temperatures would allow for frozen ground. For the most part this held true. Some sites were muddy and wet too. The second trail was called Spicebush Trail. This trail winded along more mature woods.

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Wildlife was present. I saw many small birds common to the area. I, also, saw a mockingbird. This was the first one this season. I saw seven deer and three squirrels too.

Mockingbird

Mockingbird

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  DSC_0042  I visited a friend to drop off some venison prior to heading down the Cherry Run watershed for a hike. I pulled along a wide area at the Crooked Creek property. The Cherry Run stream continues through these lands in route to Crooked Creek. Crooked Creek empties into the Allegheny River.                                                                                                                DSC_0048

I hadn’t walked far when mink tracks became obvious. Later I would see fisher tracks too. Other tracks included deer; turkey; ‘coon; coyote; fox; rabbit; skunk; grey and pine squirrels; chipmunks; crow; white-footed mouse and shrews. The mating season is upon the natural world and    the animals are out in search of mates for the season.

DSC_0058    The creek, an approved trout waters, was beautiful with the whites of the snow often contrasted with hemlocks. Icicles hung solidly from the rocks bordering the creek. We would take a hammer and remove ice from such overhangs to make home-made ice cream. Great memories!       DSC_0052

There was plenty of ice along the banks. Tree damage, from the moving ice, was obvious throughout the hike. Large chucks of ice were visible at many sites. Often the ice was approximately three feet above the normal water level of the creek. It appears there was flooding at some point.

DSC_0050   Wildlife sightings were sparse today. However, I did see ten deer at three different places. I, also, witnessed a flock of about 12 turkeys flying from one hill top to another. I wondered what had happened to cause their escape.                                                                                                       DSC_0053

I have lots of memories from the Cherry Run watershed. Over the years many of my relatives have lived here. Some still do. I have walked  from above Route 422 south to Crooked Creek. I have been all over this stretch of stream. Thank you dad for spending time with me and introducing me to the great outdoors.                                                   DSC_0067

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