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Archive for May, 2022

The group responsible for this endeavor. (Notice my look for the rain was visible coming down the hollow.)

Recently I was approached and asked if I might be interested in suppling art and text for a kiosk. Once I learned of the details I accepted. The project was for a kiosk to be erected on the Freeport Trail telling the story of a young woman from the latter eighteenth century…1792 to be exact. In fact, this dedication of the kiosk happened on the exact day of Mrs. Harbison’s adventure.

The site of the kiosk is along the Freeport Trail as stated and the Allegheny River near the community of Freeport, Pennsylvania.

The completed kiosk.

The story of Massey Harbison capture by native Indians is a long and detailed story, one I am not going to take the time to write with completion here. There are many forms of her narrative available through the internet and books.

Imagine, living in the frontier of western Pennsylvania in 1792 when this capture occurred. Indian incursions were, once again, happening along the frontier. A fear of wonderment would be present by all. Most in times of potential trouble tried to move close to blockhouses where a defense could be had in the event of Indian raids in the area. Massey Harbison’s abode was within sight of such a blockhouse.

Very early in the May 22 of 1792, Indians entered her home leading to the murders of two of her children. She and her youngest child were carried off eventually settling in near the intersections of today known as SR 422, SR 38 and SR 68 in Butler County.

My painting called, The Escape of Massey Harbison.

Eventually, the brave and courageous woman escaped to begin the dangerous and fearful trek back towards the Allegheny.

She would in time arrive back in the hands of those settlers along the eastern side of the Allegheny River. She was exhausted and close to expiring herself when the rescue occurred. Traveling in the wilds can be a sentence to death.

As stated above, if interested in learning more of Massey Harbison and her capture and escape search for information. Lots of informative narratives are available.

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R. “Slim” Bowser Photo

Saturday, May 21, I attended a French and Indian war event at the Armstrong County Historical and Genealogical Museum in Kittanning, Pennsylvania. Besides myself dressed in period attire a group known as Proctor’s Militia were in attendance. (To allow the reader to see how deep into the abyss America is sinking, this group is threatened by facebook and not permitted to use the word, “militia.” A militia was all men capable of defending their families, communities and state and country against all forms of evil and tyranny both foreign and domestic. Today, the word is used to designate radical people and is “verboten.)

This group consists of men and women participating in educating the public on the 1754-1764 time of was locally. They are, also, in period attire., armed with flintlock muskets and all the accouterments required to engage in the eighteenth century.

Members demonstrated shooting off artillery at a few times.

I had the chance to meet a great group of America-loving people attempting to educate the public, as well as people interested in learning. History has not been taught well for generations and most of the people coming into the museum find themselves fascinated with the talks and demonstrations we do. they observe and they ask questions. many ask about the details of my French and Indian era paintings and other local historical events.

Trying to stay in the shade.

Tom Klingensmith of the Proctor’s Militia

Part of my display and my sister Ruthie smiling pretty.

I was fortunate for the day was very hot for a day in May. Temperatures were to possibly reach ninety degrees. However, I was inside and avoided the extreme, but the house was still rather warm.

The log building shown above, is being re-erected on site. Some work still needs to be completed to finish the display. The original building was saved recently from an Armstrong County site.

Two more of my paintings on display.

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I had some great time on a local trout stream on Wednesday, May 18th. However, I had a pain issue I was forced to work with.

Family and some friends know I have had asthma all of my life. I often forget of the realities of the pollen season. The coughing escalates until I take on chocking spells until I spew forth material from my lungs. On Monday I had one of these spells and apparently caused enough muscular strain somehow that my hip area and thigh dealt with some intense pains. However, I was determined to go fishing and I took some pills and headed off to enjoy some trout fishing.

I quickly realized I needed extra precautions while wading the waters. I ignored the pain issue as well as I could and began going upstream fishing and taking photos.

I reminisced as I walked upstream. I could see my dad fishing at this spot so many years ago. I took a photo at that time with my little instamatic camera, and I could visualize that photo. Oh, how if he could really be there!

Interesting rock being swallowed up by a tree.

I had some luck and managed to find a few trout. I caught Brown trout and one hybrid trout. I released all of the fish back into the stream.

Brown trout

Hybrid Trout

The morning was a beautiful one, but as the day moved towards noon the cloud cover began increasing for rain was coming. I returned home about noon and climbed on the riding tractor for the grass needed mowed and nobody else was going to do it.

I would see seven deer during the morning.

Mayapple blossom

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Many species of wildflowers have different names. I am including the names I use.

Purple Trillium

Trout Lily

Spring Beauty

Foamflower

Golden Ragwort

Blue Phlox

Cut-leaf Toothwort

Yellow Violet

Round-lobed Hepatica

Jack-In-The- Pulpit
Blue Violet

Unknown

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Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Baltimore Oriole
Common Grackle

Yellow-throated Warbler

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Non-migratory)

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I was walking down a township road with the intent of stopping at the landowner’s son’s place. He has an interesting hobby, and I had a piece to add to it. I was going to place it on his porch and head up over the hill and hopefully be at a good listening post in a handful of minutes. The time was about 5:15. Suddenly I thought I heard a gobble. I listened and indeed I did hear a gobbler. To continue walking down the road was a no-no for I would need to walk below where he was roosted.

I quickly backtracked and moved quietly along the lower side of a field. The gobbler would now be on my left. I set up about a hundred or so yards from the gobbler and called sparingly. The bird seemed interested.

All of a sudden, I heard another muffled gobble, but didn’t determine the distance with accuracy. I waited to hear another to pinpoint the direction.

The spot I chose to set up consisted of a couple of leaf-covered multiflora rose bramble patches. I was about fifteen feet or so in the woods where I could see the field. I expected, and hoped, the turkey would fly down and approach me in this field.

There they were! Two longbeards were in the field and coming from right to left. When I saw them the one was already past the brambles. I couldn’t effectively move so they walked by my position and were slightly alerted for they must have seen my glasses shining. They didn’t run, but they watched intently as they walked away.

After the two toms went out of view I began to call again. In a short time, I could see a gobbler coming towards me from the left. As the bird approached, I noticed I couldn’t see any beard. Was it a jake? Once it came into the opening, I could see a nice beard seemingly sticking tight to the bird’s breast’s feathers. However, the beard left loose. Maybe wet grasses caused the beard to initially hold tight against the breast feathers.

The gobbler walked behind the second brambles. I called and the bird strutted and drummed and gobbled. This was my chance to maneuver the shotgun to the right. I laid the gun partially upon a limb but couldn’t get the stock against my shoulder. I elected to hold the gun without that benefit. The shot pushed my knuckles against my jaw. Ouch…that smarted! It didn’t matter for the gobbler was down.

The shot was about 28-29 steps away.

Upon getting home, I weighed the turkey. He weighed twenty-two pounds. He sported a nine-and-a-half-inch beard and had spurs of one and an eighth and one and a sixteenth.

The time of the shot was 6:05 A.M.

Luckily, I got the bird early for Laurie called around seven-thirty explaining of her involvement in a wreck. That changed my morning plans tremendously. Fortunately, she is Ok, but the car isn’t well at all.

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May 3

I should do a short story on the third morning of the 2022 Pennsylvania Spring Gobbler Season. I hunted a different site closer to home for the weather people were talking of rain coming in towards eleven o’clock. I was still having cold symptoms although not too bad…just an occasional cough mostly. But I still thought getting soaked may not be a good idea. The season is young.

I failed to hear a single gobble all day. My buddy, Frank “Muskie” Maus shot early bagging a nice tom. I heard the shot and later texted him. I did see some gobblers way across a huge hollow in the field. This area is posted. I bumped into a turkey of unknown gender…maybe it was a trans turkey anyway.

Later, after calling, I continued a walk only to have a gobbler spot me. He was in a field.

Interestingly, as I left the parking area, I spotted a strutter with two hens along the wood line. They were close to a hundred yards or so from the road. I chose to not try circling around to call for him especially with the closing time not far off and thick multiflora Rose behind the birds and the fact of having two hens with him.

May 4

I didn’t go out early due to rain but once the weather changed, I headed for the woods. I hurried to the back side of the property calling periodically hoping for a response. Once I reached the site, I was originally heading for I called. I spoke to myself, “I think I heard a gobbler far off in posted property.” I called again and he gobbled a couple of more times before becoming silent. I took his silence as being a moving bird, so I set up where a grassy opening was next to the adjacent land.

Now the land between the two properties has lost of multiflora rose brambles. Would the gobbler come through this mess? Maybe. Another obstacle to overcome would be to convince the gobbler to walk off of a grassy gas well road. Typically, they like to strut and gobble on such places.

The next gobble was on that road. He continued walking the road eventually ending up at a strong right and behind me. I adjusted. Directly behind me was thick multiflora rose and the bird came off the gas well road and crossed through the brambles onto the property I was hunting.

A real hen began clucking and I watched her cross the grassy area. The gobbler was closing in on me but seeing him was difficult. Finally, I had the opportunity to adjust the 870 Remington at an opening. He stepped into the opening and the shot was sure. The bird was down. the distance for the shot was seventeen steps. Now the long walk back carrying the gobbler was the task at hand. I could tell he was a bigger than average bird.

Upon returning home the first step was to weigh the gobbler. I have an old brass scale that was my father’s scale. I was very much surprised to see the metal marker go below the 24 number. The scale only went to 24 pounds so how big was the gobbler? Could the weight reach twenty-five???? Possibly!

The beard was ten and half inches long. The spurs were one and a quarter inch on one side and one and three sixteenths’ inches on the other. It was a good day, and the obstacles were overcome. Hunting with obstacles often do not turn out with such success.

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APRIL 30

Hen turkey on her nest.

I watched an interesting celestial sighting early in the pre-dawn moments. The planets of Jupiter and Saturn were in close alignment. I had to try to photograph this sighting.

I guess I am getting ahead of this morning’s story. I need to go back another day. Friday, April 29, I began noticing a discomfort in my throat. My wife, Laurie had felt the same beginning the previous Sunday and she developed a cough. Was I getting her illness? It sure seemed so. I felt slightly better in the early moments of the first day of the Pennsylvania Gobbler Season. That feeling wouldn’t last for as the morning progressed, I found myself couching. I would try to suppress any coughs.

I would hear a far-off gobbler deep into leased land. Further waiting failed to hear any oter birds so I began a slow trek of calling and listening. I failed to stir up any birds.

In time I was approaching a field that I walked in on early in the day. I was shocked when I heard a gobbler in the field. I moved ahead and set up and heard him once more. Any calling failed to get another response. Hens? Coyote?

Dogwood blossoms emerging.

By the time I returned home my coughing was getting more severe. Foolishly, I went to play some music with some friends. I left early due to coughing and by 8:30 I was in bed. Sunday and there would be no church for us…in fact I slept off and, on all day, too.

MAY 2

I woke up and decided I was not feeling so bad so off I went to hunt gobblers. I failed to hear any birds during normal roost time. A tour about the area failed to rattle any old gobblers up. As before I approached the field. I was run down and decided to set in the woods near the field and see what might happened.

A little after eight a gobbler sounded off and within moments, I could see three birds entering the field way out of range. My calling would often hear a return gobble. the birds entered the highest point on the field and locked up waiting for the hen they heard (Me) to show in the field. In time they would very slowly move away some but now they had a hen with them.

Foggy morning

I tried circling below the horizon line to get closer but couldn’t get a peep out of them. I made a bold decision. I was going to sneak up and come down onto them and try for a scatter. The birds were not there! I walked a little farther and watched the four turks in the fields towards where I was originally. I backed away and returned to my original post and got some gobbles out of them Something very strange began at that time. A helicopter flying not very high began flying back and forth..at least twelve times. The birds went silent and quickly headed into the woods. I came home for mowing was needed

I continued coughing throughout the morning at times. My chest hurts so bad for the earlier hard coughs. Tomorrow rain is being called for.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Male)

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