Archive for March, 2021

This morning we have rain and clouds. Yesterday, was a sunny and pleasant day. If I had to chose which day to hike the answer was obvious ,,,yesterday!

I had no destination in mind so I went to Lock #8 on the Allegheny River to walk up the tracks towards the old Reesedale Power Plant. This would allow to watch over the river for soaring Bald eagles since there is a nest near. I didn’t see any eagles this day, but a Turkey Vulture soared the skies.

I walked along keeping aware of my surroundings. I noticed the Coltsfoot flower blossoms present, but not open. Remember the temperatures this morning was around thirty degrees. Ice was hanging from exposed rocks and a sheen of ice was present on areas of standing water.

Coltsfoot blossoms

I saw some small birdlife here and there, but one thrill occurred when I heard something moving in the leaves. Three gobblers had been surprised by my approach. How they missed me would prove to be rare for turkeys tend to not miss much.

Canada Geese and Mallard Ducks were spotted here and there along the river. i saw another specie of waterfowl but couldn’t identify them. I found some tadpoles in the cold water. They didn’t seem to be concerned with the icy water at all.

This little tadpole would not quit watching me.

One bird that surprised me as I was returning was a male Ringneck Pheasant. I managed several photos of this beauty.

White-throated Sparrow

Ice balls

Dripping water

Read Full Post »

Immature Bald Eagle

Has spring arrived to western Pennsylvania? Weather-wise the indication is yes! Today was a day of sun and warming temperatures. I suppose the warmth factor reached close to sixty degrees with another day of warmth tomorrow. Regardless if winter shows up again or not, the need to get today was high for me. I elected to travel to the Mahoning Dam area to see what I could see.

The Mahoning Dam was completed in 1941 as a flood control measure for those along the Allegheny River. The dam received the name from the watercourse being controlled. The waterway is known as Mahoning Creek.

Mahoning Dam

I parked high on the hill and walked in to the dam area and later walked to another area to move along the Baker Trail. After all this was to be a day of relaxation and exercise. for me. I was on no time schedule only a sense of completion would rule the plans.

There were no people at first and I walked to the area below the dam. Here I would see Common Mergansers and two Bald Eagles. One mature eagles didn’t offer to me a photo but the immature eagle sure did allowing for a number of quick flying shots.

Later I returned to the parking area and walked a different road to the actual top of the dam where a trail was taken to explore. This trail was a part of the famous Baker Trail, however, I left the trail where it turned abruptly upslope. I wanted to walk along the shoreline of the backwaters of the Mahoning. I was surprised to see the backwaters were about ninety percent covered in ice.

Interesting sounds erupted the solitude as I ventured along the rocky slopes. Ice was creaking all over the northern slope of the dam. The southern slope was void of ice, but it became steeper the farther I walked. Eventually, I was forced to go higher and get into the wooded area due to the steepness of the banks. The water level was about thirty feet or so from the high water line on the steep slopes.

Before the shoreline became steep
Last year’s Common Mullein stalks.

Interesting natural designs in the dried mud on the rocks.

Wind moving the open water areas.

Below the dam.

Read Full Post »

Wartime Rationing

Rationing Books with rationing stamps

Yesterday, I found some items of interest to me. As someone who enjoys history the find was a good one. The items were two World War II era rationing books and some rationing stamps. I don’t imagine many of these exist across this country. the books were dated in 1942 and had my mother’s signature on them. (Ruth E. Yount) One had my grandfather’s signature. (James Edward Yount)

My mother’s most vivid memory was the peoples’ reaction and parade while in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania at the war’s end. She would have been 16 years of age. Interestingly, her future husband was in Europe at the time and I would be born ten years after the war. I am old!

Also, another find was a photo of the R.M.S Queen Elizabeth. (I had found another photo of this ship in the past.)This was the largest ocean liner of the time and my dad went to England aboard this ship with many, many other soldiers. One story of interest he told me concerned this ship. German propaganda machine was placing statements the liner had been sunk by a German U-boat.


Read Full Post »

Recently I went out walking to watch the Bald Eagles. I enjoy watching all wildlife and having opportunities to watch Bald Eagles in flight, on the ice, tormenting each other or perched high in a tree are all enjoyable to someone like myself.

I wasn’t disappointed in the early day venture. I saw, at least, seven different eagles including two mature eagles.

I elected to set down in a position to conceal myself some. I was placed into a humorous situation. Six pairs of Canada geese were nearby watching and honking. Once I sat down their curiosity took over and the birds slowly approached my position. They wer close and allowed for a number of photos with one included here on this entry.

A pair of Killdeer were walking about, too. I saw some Mergansers, mallards and a Scaup, too.


Mallard pair

More Bald eagle photos.

Read Full Post »

I was traveling to southern Armstrong County to explore an area I had never been at before. I was moving towards the area on this mid-teen morning while seeing the eastern sky glow just prior to sunrise. This morning was to be chilly but sunny and I felt good taking the opportunity to move about.

I began walking on an establish gas line/ trail and moved downslope for a short distance when huge rocks were viewed. Here was the area where I would be moving along at first. A narrow trail followed the hill’s contour sometimes on ground and sometimes over and across rocky outcrops. The slope itself was rather steep on my right. Occasionally, I could see hints of the Kiskiminitas River.

Rearick’s Ford area of Crooked Creek

I was pleasantly happy to see these huge rocks and no graffiti. That is a rare site!

Eventually this narrow trail turned downhill and sharply to my right. I could hear high water way below. The stream I was hearing is called Flat Run. This watercourse featured some big rocks with water cascading through them.

Kiskiminitas River

After enjoying this fast-moving water I elected to move farther down over and walk on the trail towards Edmon, Pennsylvania, Interestingly, this part of the Roaring Run Trail was not on an original railway. This section had hills and hollows. I saw five deer, a Fox Squirrel and two Grey Squirrels. Once I was close to the river I would see Mallard Ducks and Mergansers. I noticed a shadow over the muddy water of the river and upon looking up saw a Bald eagle. Later I would see three more deer.

The western side of the hill. Notice the sun-lit hill in the background.

Beaver works

Before returning towards my home I stopped over at Crooked Creek Park. the dam was holding back lots of water, but the Bald eagles were truly enjoying there time. I am not sure, but I must have seen seven to eight eagles. They were flying, soaring chasing each other and landing on remnants of ice. Later, at the Allegheny River I would see Common and Hooded Mergansers and Ring-billed Gulls.I had an enjoyable day.

This tree was around fifteen inches in diameter.

Mature Bald eagles

Immature Bald eagles

Read Full Post »

Henry Blystone

Henry Blystone

I don’t know much about one of my ancestor of the name of Henry Blystone. This is a sad reality of history. henry was one son out of a family of His family lived about a mile, or so, south of the Cherry Run intersection at 422. henry was born in 1830 and he would die in 1912.

Henry Blystone holding baby

Henry served in the Civil War beginning in 1863 and discharged in July 0f 1865. He served in Co I, 46th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. He served under General Sherman and was with him throughout the war traveling to the sea. It has been said he loved his commanding officer so well, he named his one son, Sherman. Seven brothers in this family served in the Civil war with three dying during the conflict, although there seems to be some discrepancy with the one. he died with typhoid, but death dates vary. One son named, John was only in the service for less than a month. No details are known for this brief time.

Henry Blystone in front row with crutch second from the left.

Henry is buried in the marker shown below. He was interned at the Beulah Church cemetery, not far from both Apollo and Edmon, Pennsylvania. His grave is along the woodland area with a couple of other burials. I can only speculate as to why.


Read Full Post »