Archive for March, 2018

Woodland Adventures







Skunk Cabbage in ice

This past week we had a snowfall of around six to eight inches. The trees were loaded down with their white snow-laden limbs. It was beautiful to behold. I really wanted and needed to get out into that element, but commitments thwarted my efforts. Wednesday, I spent all morning and into the early afternoon with my family at the hospital. My  mother was going through tests to determine possible reasons for acid-reflux and hoarseness. Thursday I had a Bible study class I have been doing for a number of years and in the morning the family had breakfast together. In between these agendas Laurie and I cleaned up the church in preparation for Sunday. Friday was to be the time afield and it was!

I was in the woods just prior to sunrise on the cold morning. I was hoping to hear a gobbler or two gobbling their heads off from the roost. My efforts failed. I did see some old tracks from the day before as they walked along side of a hill. The snow was very granulated on any areas that had received warming sun from the day before. The snow was melting and with the cold temperatures of night had become frozen again. this caused for some loud walking.

Various open areas were on the eastern slopes. One such open area yielded a pair of Woodcocks. Another larger area had six deer bedded down. I kep moving while avoiding eye contact. They remained at rest.                                                      

Deer were everywhere this day. I saw them in their beds and kicked up some. Later towards noon the deer were up and about feeding . I was seeing deer while traveling back roads back towards home. I know I saw, at least, sixty-five deer. That count could easily be higher.

  I left one area and drove south a couple of miles and walked along the Baker Trail. I, also, walked along Cherry Run looking for photo opportunities. I realized this could be our last snow of the season and wanted to take some shots. Four fresh sets of turkey tracks were visible on this walk. I only saw one squirrel today. They must have slept in.





Sunrise glow

Water over the rock

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Along The Lake


Blue jay

Recently a need to get some fresh air surfaced and I went to walk along Crooked Creek lake in search of things of interest.

Bald Eagle nest

Much rain had occurred in past weeks allowing for back-up water at the dam. Remnants of this high water were viewed everywhere. sad to say, bottles and cans and other debris were left behind once the water receded. many limbs and logs were stationed at the high-water line. This happens most years with flooding.

I chose to mostly walk a trail called, Laurel Point Trail. However, I didn’t stay exclusively on this trail and purposely walked near the high-water line. I found some bobbers and lures among debris.

Porcupine gnawing.

I crossed Coal Bank Hollow Run through some shoe-gathering mud and walked along the slope where I could see the water readily. I saw some Common Mergansers and a few Hooded Mergansers enjoying their swim.

Coal Bank Hollow Run

I reached the point where the trail circled back, but I walked the ridgeline overlooking Crooked Creek. A bald eagle has an active nest across the watershed. The nest hasn’t been easy to see normally, but it appears to me the big birds may have added some limbs for I believe the nest is more easily spotted than past years. I could see Eagle activity at the nest and later heard the squawks form a mature eagle. I gathered some trash left behind on the ridgeline.


Ice Crystal Mushrooms

I would only see one deer on this trek.

Common Mergansers

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Last weekend a beautiful snow had fallen over western Pennsylvania. In fact, as I left for an excursion, snow was still falling  further adding to the beauty of the day.

I parked along a township road to walk about a mile before entering the woods to explore and take photos. I hadn’t walked very far when I could see three deer moving along higher upslope. A little farther I walked onto an area where dirt had been dumped. I walked to the edge to see what was hanging out below. While I looked about I saw movement at tree top level. A mature Bald eagle was flying down Patterson Hollow. I wondered about this sighting since this isn’t typical eagle habitat. they are usually viewed in areas where water sources are much larger such as rivers and lakes. Regardless, I enjoyed witnessing the big bird’s slow and methodical flight.

Finally I entered at State Game Lands maintained by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The downward slope was rocky and I felt the need to be extra careful as I moved towards Patterson Run. Patterson Run is a beautiful stream inundated with rocks along the banks in this area. The beauty of these snow-covered rocks with clear moving water offered many photo ops.                                                                                                  

Eventually I worked back towards the road where I crossed to further walk about the game lands. A Turkey Vulture flew close overhead eyeing me up. I imagined the bird was hopeful I might fall over allowing a for a feast. I didn’t oblige the bird.

Old stone wall

More deer were seen as I moved up and over this hillside.





Turkey Vulture

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