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Archive for July, 2021

The fog was so thick at times I could not see much beyond thirty yards and sometimes less. I like to walk in the fog and this morning would prove to be a foggy one, indeed. Later this day the experts in weather claimed ninety degrees would cover the area. I wanted to be home long before this temperature reached me.

I saw some deer including two fawns. The fog didn’t allow any photos of these critters. I saw some rabbits and squirrels, too. Songbirds were abundant.

To my left was a remnant of an old logging road, I surmise. For a brief millisecond of time I saw a black color and it was gone. I truly believe the black was from a bear, but to be honest I can’t prove this in a court of law. It could have been the back of a gobbler, as easily as the sliver of back from a bear. Trusting my gut, I believe it was a bear. later I would find some rather fresh bear sign.

Looks like somebody spit out their “chaw.” (This is a bear dropping.)

Bear track

The walk continued for about two miles or more before the circle ended up back at the jeep.

A I always do, I photographed some summer wildflowers. and other items that interest me.

Chicory
A native grass.

Queen Anne’s Lace or Wild Carrot

Chestnut Hulls

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

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Turk’s Cap Lily

The Turk’s Cap Lily has always put my mind in awe. I can’t help remember Bible verses of Jesus stating to look at the lilies’ of the field and yet King Solomon temple and wonders couldn’t stand up to the lilies’ beauty. Christ was correct!

This summer lily will grow as high as eight feet. They are found in bottomland areas such as marshes and wetlands towering over all the other vegetations.

Blue Vervain

The blue blossoms of the Blue Vervain are individually small, but the density on each spike makes the flower’s colors stand out. They, too, are often found near damp areas or fields. They grow to around three and a half feet high.

Black Cohosh

Another name for the Black Cohosh is Black Snakeroot. They can grow quite high, but the ones I see average four to five feet high. They are found in woodland areas.

Flowering Raspberry

I am not sure how this plant got the name. I see them often near the river, but can find them elsewhere.

Maidenhair Fern

Although this fern doesn’t fit the category of a wildflower, I wanted to include this visual for this fern is a beauty of a plant. I find them here and there in clusters, but not everywhere in the woods.

Spotted Joe-Pye

Joe-Pye grows high, probably, averaging as high as seven feet or so. the blossoms to me look like they are about to emerge into something bigger or more colorful. the purple stalk identifies this specie of Joe-Pye. bees and butterflies love them.

Purple Coneflower

I don’t believe the Purple Coneflower is a native to my area, but it can be found in a naturalized states here and there. This flower may be found in areas of wildflower plantings along roadways and parks.

Teasel

The teasel is not native, but has naturalized very well. the plant can grow to six feet. Those making various crafts often use the dried teasel tops in flower arrangements and such. often found along roadways and other such areas.

Staghorn Sumac

the Staghorn Sumac received the name due to the limbs having a velvet-like texture resemebling the antler’s of male deer

Another shot of a Turk’s Cap Lily.

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I have been seeing much wildlife on recent walks. Deer are almost a certainty on any jaunt. Of course, getting photos isn’t always the easy part upon seeing them. Distance, brush, backgrounds, compositions and timing often keep a photographer from getting a desired shot. The two fawns cooperated rather well allowing for a few pics prior to the departure.

Whitetail Shed

Late last winter or very early spring a Whitetail buck lost an antler. The various rodents are gnawing at the shed to gain important nutrients and minerals.

Grey Squirrel

Of course, Gray Squirrels and the other species are usually spotted during woodland jaunts.

Cottontail Rabbit

Lots of rabbit sightings. I spotted eight different rabbits the day I took this photo above.

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I like the summer weather when the humidity is low and having cool early-morning temperatures. With such conditions I decided to spend some hours enjoying the conditions.

This venture would include a two or more mile hike and some fishing.

I was fortunate to see some wildlife this morning. I saw eight different deer and three buck. Two were running together in the fog and I managed one decent photo of one standing in the fog watching me. I saw two turkeys feeding along the woodland edge. I saw a Great-horned Owl fly out of a tree. if I would have been faster I could have managed a possible in-flight shot. Rabbits were out and about, as well.

Buck in the fog

During my walk I came upon a few bear tracks. I have been fortunate in recent weeks with bear sightings and I had hoped this one might appear somewhere along the trail.

Bear Track

Eventually I settled in for a little fishing. I had my very light tackle and began the fishing for Carp, but the catfish were biting well. I caught around seven or eight cats. One Bullhead managed a quick turn sending the pectoral barb into the fleshy part by my thumb. The barb actually stayed in the “meat” until I pulled on the fish to remove it. That has never happened before.

I haven’t been “hit” by a catfish barb for many years and the realization of those experiences immediately came to be. I bled, I hurt and became slightly swollen and red. In fact as I type this entry on Monday the 12th I can still feel a slight pain.

Some readers may not know what I am talking about at this time. The catfish family have stiff barbs on their dorsal and pectoral fins. To release a catfish one needs to grasp the fish in such a way the barbs can not jab into the hand. I have heard some believe they have a slight toxin and they might have some validity.

This morning had another first for me. My brand new, never-worn, boots were on my feet. I walked behind to the Nature’s Restroom, and noticed something shining among the vegetation. I had tramped upon a fishing lure and the one treble hook was firmly in place. I removed the boot to remove the plug and luckily the hook was in the thick bottom of the boot and not through the thinner material.

I took some photos of various wildflowers during the jaunt. I found the source of the Coronavirus, too. They grow on small shrubs in Pennsylvania. See photo below.

Swamp Milkweed

Dogbane Beetles

Coronavirus Blossom on a Button Bush

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Huling’s Run

I hadn’t been in this area for some time and decided with the desirable weather I would revisit. Huling’s Run is a beautiful waterways, at least the upper part is. I haven’t been along the lower section of the stream for some time either. The last time I was in that area I was greatly disappointed. Man with ATV type vehicles had been all over causing great erosion problems.

Rhododendron blossoms

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That’s a Bear was heard. I don’t believe I audibly spoke those words, but I do know I thought those words in my mind, at least.

The sky was overcast at this time of the morning. The weatherman said the skies would open up soon, so I was in the woods early. The time was somewhere around seven o’clock when I saw the black form around thirty to thirty-five yards out. the moment our eyes made contact the form moved fifteen feet or so before stopping. I struggled to get the camera focused on the bear’s head. Saplings and leaves , along with the darkened woodlands forbade that focus as needed.

The bear began moving away when I noticed cubs coming up behind her. I no with certainty of two cubs, but with the terrain, vegetation and such there may have been three. As soon as the bears were over the grade I moved hoping to see them again, but they were out of my view already.

My day was made. I could have turned around and went home a happy man, but I continued walking to see what other things of interest were out ahead.

I would see six deer and one fawn before I headed off to home.

I saw three Ravens up close before they noticed me, too. More photos below of the adventure out in the woods this morning.

Land stage of the Red-spotted Newt.

Stink Horn

This Stinkhorn is a fungus having many subspecies. They have a foul-smelling odor with the spores.

Goat’s Beard Blossom

Goat’s Beard Seed Pod

I found an introduced plant of interest along the fields. The name is the Goat’s Beard. It yields an

attractive yellow blossom followed by a dandelion-like seed pod. However, the seed pod shown above is close to three inches in diameter.

Striped maple leaf glowing in the sunlight.

Bee Balm or Oswego

Indian Pipe

Indian Pipe is a parasitic organism. It is, also, known as the Ghost Plant, for obvious reasons.

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Late Wild Turkey Eggs

We have had some hot, humid weather recently and a 62 degree morning and lessening humidity was the ticket for me to get out for a morning jaunt. A always I had hoped to see a bear or two, but this morning proved to be “bearless.” However, I wasn’t disappointed with the wildlife sightings.

I did see four hens out and about feeding and one incubating her eggs. I was almost upon her when she unnerved and flushed. I was surprised to see a clutch of eggs this late into the season. She had, probably, lost her first nest for any number of reasons and re-laid a second clutch of eggs. I hope she returns to finish the task at hand.

Two of the hens had poults with them. The one in vegetation shielded the poults so I could barely see any, but I saw a back or two of poults. The second hen with poults had, at least, 5-6 visible babies. I am sure others were in amongst the vegetation. These poults were the size of a Ruffed Grouse or Pheasant. I failed to get any photos.

I saw four deer in totality with two being male deer.

I saw plenty of rabbits during the walk and one Grey Squirrel.

Various summertime wildflowers are blooming and I couldn’t resist taking some photos, as I always do.

I dressed accordingly to the season in regard to Deer Flies. In other words, I had a light flannel shirt and a hat on to deter these pesky and painful insects. I killed one and only witnessed several others. I was lucky for sometimes I am likened to a World war II, B-29 Bomber with many German Messerschmidt 109 fighters diving from all directions. Did I say I despise Deer Flies?

Beautiful morning

Hen turkey

Black-Eyed Susan

Dogbane Beetle

I was glad to find a number of the Dogbane Beetles. As a youngster I would catch these insects and study The brilliance of the iridescent colors. Many, probably, believed I wasn’t right as a child as many still do today.

Milkweed in blossom

Downy Skullcap

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