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Archive for October, 2016

I was surprised to find some old paintings that had been set aside and forgotten. Hence the title! Although they were completed in the past they are now like new.

The Great-Horned Owls is an 18 by 24 inch acrylic on Masonite. I completed this art in 1999. I think I was four years old at the time. This art is called dsc_0005“GREAT-HORNED OWL FAMILY”.

The other painting is a 12 by 18 inch acrylic painting done on 140 pound watercolor paper. This art is called “CROOKED CREEK”.

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Ruffed Grouse

I had a commitment this day so I didn’t even get started to hunt turkeys until 1:50.  I thought hunting on the hillside where I had found the turkey scratchings on Wednesday would make for a great starting point. I walked, and I walked, and I walked some more and I didn’t find any turkeys.   dsc_0010

The day was very warm and very breezy. I called periodically as I walked and if any turkeys answered my calls the wind cancelled their vocalizations out.

I saw a lot of squirrels. They are very busy gathering acorns and hickory nuts. Ya know winter is coming!

I did see some deer. One time I spotted two deer very close. The doe was cleaning her fawn. They were about 15 yards away.

I had one great experience this day as I was heading back to the jeep. I heard some rustling of leaves only to see a Ruffed Grouse sneaking along. I managed about six photos, but most were blurry due to all the limbs and vegetation. However, I managed to get two decent shots.

My aches and pains in my knee and leg areas constantly remind me that I am no longer twenty five years of age. I crossed two pipes along a gas line. These pipes cross over a creek. Once I reach the end I usually just leap the twelve or fifteen inches to the ground surface. Today, something happened and my legs gave out allowing me to slide into two feet of water. Sad!    dsc_0012

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dsc_0002  The early morning trek up the hill was noticeably colder with a heavy frost visible. The frost was present everywhere the upper leaf   dsc_0009canopy was slight. Also, a dense fog engulfed everything. The sights were quite impressive never-the-less.

I, immediately, noticed yesterday’s turkey scratchings upon reaching the hill top.  I turned left and walk along the back side of this hill and the turkey sign was everywhere. I couldn’t walk thirty yards without seeing scratchings.                                                                                dsc_0011

I continued walking the side of the ridge amazed at the amount of sign. I was seeing squirrels all about gathering acorns.Chipmunks, too! It seems the acorns were being utilized by all wildlife.

Hickory leaves

Hickory leaves

I reached the point of this ridgeline when I heard sounds every turkey chaser wants to hear. That sound was the sound of

Sassafras Leaf

Sassafras Leaf

turkey’s scratching in the leaves. Up and over I went and I immediately saw some turkeys running down the slope. A few went airborne as they all went down the hill. I sat for awhile to see if any began yelping. I heard none, but I didn’t stay put for more than fifteen minutes.

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Immature Bald eagle

Immature Bald eagle

I turned to drift along back towards the hollow I just circumvented when I notice a buck standing in the fog. he had a very nice  dsc_0028rack, but fled just as I was ready to snap a shot with my camera. I would see him again.

The leaves didn’t seem to be as colorful this year unless one was along bottomland country near water sources. They seemed as brilliant as ever.

Teasel

Teasel

dsc_0011 I walked along about a good half mile and went up and over another hill. Turkey sign was not as numerous on this side. I

Hornbeam

Hornbeam

spotted a buck moving away from me before stopping at about eighty yards. I started grunting to him. I could see his head looking back over his back. I started scrutinizing the brush and I saw another deer. When the deer turned I could see a very nice rack on him. The first buck turned and began circling me. He showed up about fifteen yards from me. I managed one good shot. the vegetation made focusing very difficult. The big buck didn’t come to me.

I would see some does here and there. I saw an immature Bald Eagle setting in a tree. I couldn’t believe the bird was so far from any major body of water.

 

 

 

 

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Saturday In The Woods

dsc_0019  October 15th was the first day of the early muzzleloading deer season here in Pennsylvania. I elected to not hunt. I may not  dsc_0017hunt until the end of next week when I will be tagging along with my step father Bob. he will hunt the senior rifle season beginning on October 20.                 dsc_0021

However, I did spend several hours in the woods enjoying the day. the afternoon temperatures reached around 72, but there was a frost in the Cherry Run area I was walking. The temperatures are being broadcasted to be near 80 half of the upcoming week.

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Hickory hulls

Hickory hulls

I walked the hill searching for buck and turkey sign, as well as, observing tidbits of the natural world. The woods became alive  dsc_0020with chipmunk and squirrel activity. I saw three gray squirrels in one hickory tree gathering hickory nuts.

I was easing along a flat area when I noticed the hindquarters of a deer at about 45 yards. I silently stalked the deer until I positioned myself behind a larger cherry tree. If the deer continued moving as she was I would have a great opportunity for some nice photos against yellow vegetation. As deer so often do she turned and walked on my  left side. This caused me to turn strongly to my left while my knees were still facing forward.

 

Sulfur Mushroom

Sulfur Mushroom

dsc_0023  As she moved upslope I slowly turned my upper torso while holding the camera on her. I managed a number of shots before she   dsc_0020

Dogwood berries

Dogwood berries

walked out outside of  movement zone. If I would have been hunting the hunt would have been over since this doe was only about thirty yards from me. I would see several other deer as I walked.

I would see some old turkey scratchings as well as plenty of buck rubs and scrapes. I saw three woodies on Cherry Run as I crossed the creek. They  dsc_0025returned their escape flying directly over me for the second time.

 

Sheephead Mushroom

Sheephead Mushroom

Mushrooms are everywhere. the conditions have been perfect. I found some more Sheepshead mushrooms. I gathered a nice one last week. I love the flavor of these  ‘rooms. Some call them Hen of the Woods. The largest I found was about 18 inches in size. I gathered two smaller ones for ease of carry.

I spent the afternoon on the deck watching the antics of the red squirrels and the many birds at the feeder. I did some reading and writing, too.

Cherry Run

Cherry Run

 

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River Time

dsc_0013  My friend, Frank Maus, and I had planned on a muskie fishing excursion. We were saddened to hear of our friend, Greg Kunkle with his passing. This passing was discussed during our fishing day. We talked of all the changes with PennDOT since we had retired nine years ago. (We would learn that evening of another passing of a friend. His name was Ike Hooks. I would learn of Laurie’s cousin passing that same day as well. So, I attended three services this week.)                               dsc_0020

Early in the morning on October 5th a very thick fog engulfed the river. Setting in a boat surface casting lures into the water surrounded with white fog can cause an eerie adventure. However, the fog was short-lived. The day would prove to be a beautiful early fall day. The temperatures were comfortable under blue skies.

dsc_0019 We casted a few hours before turning to trolling. Frank told me of a recent sighting of a Fox Squirrel swimming the river. (I received  a message this morning of Frank saving a very tired Chipmunk swimming across the river.)

We trolled until about 2:30 without any strikes or follows. Frank said the fishing is great, but the catching not so much! dsc_0001

We saw several Great Blue herons;Mallards; a large flock of Canada Geese; Red-Tailed Hawks and a Bald eagle. I saw seven deer while traveling in the morning.

Early morning glow

Early morning glow

 

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dsc_0166   Laurie and I took her mother into elk country. We wanted her to see some the big beauties!

Bedded cow elk.

Bedded cow elk.

The are we chose to check out was in and around Bennezette, Pennsylvania. We, also, visited a White Birch forest site in the Quehanna. We saw a number of elk at various places. We saw a bull aggressively chasing his cow harem. We saw another bull with seven cows and calves. We saw some bedded elk.

One nice bull was seeking out a cow in dense vegetation. I managed a number of photos of him. I saw one doe and a black squirrel.                                                dsc_0162

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dsc_0185  White Birch trees always create special feeling within me. I love the white color and the deep contrasts against green pines and  dsc_0188 laurel patches. I asked Anne and Laurie if they wished to see the Marion Brooks  site of natural White Birch growth. They agreed the observation would be of interest.

 

My mother-in-law, Ann Craft, upon hearing of my past rattlesnakes in area.

My mother-in-law, Ann Craft, upon hearing of my past rattlesnakes in area.

dsc_0179 This area consists of over 900 acres of a natural White Birch stand within the Quehanna Forest. In this acreage are a lot of surface  dsc_0181rocks. Little ground cover exists but the conditions are great for birch. Waist-high ferns cover the ground. Teaberry plants at the ground level area readily viewed. Some other trees are intermixed within the birch trees, too.

We walked a scant trail through the site. The two women weren’t very happy once I informed them of seeing five rattlesnakes in this habitat two years ago. they got over it…well sorta!

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