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Archive for the ‘Butterflies and Insects’ Category

    I admit I didn’t make the hike as early as wanted. I had to “slap” on some paint on a new painting  just to get the direction in order. Also, I needed to  record a track on a CD I have been working on.

Water Snake

I was trying to make an important decision, as well. Should I go carp fishing along with a hike? Or should I just go on an “explorative” hike?  I decided to explore and take photos. After all North Korea just may blast a nuke into Pittsburgh and I should check out as many places as I can.

Cardinal FLower

 

 

Wood Turtle

I needed to drop off a Cd at a friend’s home so the decision to hike and explore Patterson Run was made since the drop off home would be in route to this

Damselfly

beautiful stream.

Patterson Run is an approved trout stream in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. I have hiked along some northern sections of the stream at various times, but I never explored the lower section. That would be my goal!

Bumblebee on Blue Vervain

I walked down over a hill to the stream and began to walk with the flow of water searching for photo opportunities and wildlife. And yes the stream is beautiful! I had on boots that went to mid-calf and much of the time I could find a route to avoid wet feet. Several times I needed to go over the embankment to circle deeper areas. I saw only one trout. The water was low for the most part and deeper holes were scarce.  The water was clear and only the deeper holes failed to see bottom, well.

I saw two deer on the walk. One fawn was bedded down in stream-side vegetation and erupted only when I was about twelve feet from the bed. A second deer was wading the creek, but tree limbs avoided any chance for a pic. I would see two hen turkeys with poults. Just how many poults is anybody’s guess since all I could see of them was moving vegetation.

I located two different Wood Turtles. One I removed from the creek bottom and waited for the inquisitive critter to emerge from the shell and head back to the creek. The second turtle was walking along the sandy ground. two handsome water Snakes were viewed on limbs prior to the falls into the water.

I saw a lot of Cardinal Flowers growing along the water course. This flower grows deep along creeks and rivers, but I didn’t see any more than ten feet from the water’s edge. That seems to be the norm from past encounters. I saw a lot of Damselflies fluttering along the vegetation. the actual name for this species is Ebony Jewelwing.

On another hike earlier this week I saw five deer, three of the deer were buck with nice racks!

Wood Turtle

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Indian Pipe

The weather was markedly less humid and cooler than recent days. I gathered up my gear and headed to State game Lands 105 in

Fritillary

northern Armstrong County. This is property maintained by the Pennsylvania game Commission.

I am always hopeful of seeing bear, but I failed to see anything resembling a bear on this jaunt. I had two exceptions. I walked into two separate baby Porcupines. Maybe with a good imagination one could see a slight resemblance to a bear…maybe??? They have black hair on their bodies don’t they?                                                                       

The first Porcupine I walked on was a small little feller. I would have liked to have held and petted this critter, but my smarts told me otherwise.  I was within a couple of feet of this little guy and he instinctively would turn his backside towards me. This is a defensive posture. I walked on through the woods and heard and saw another young Porcupine. This one was slightly larger than the earlier one. This Porky, also, had more white coloring on the body. This one didn’t stay put and began climbing a tree for safety!  

I saw five different bucks on this hike. two sported sizable racks and with a couple of months of growth yet to happen. I saw a few doe as well. I impinge fawns were nearby, but dense grasses and such would not allow any sightings of those little ones. I saw three young gobblers moving across a clearing.

Plenty of butterflies were dancing through the air waves. I managed a few photos of them.

 

Tiger Swallowtail

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Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

As August creeps along the wildflowers will, soon, be winding down their annual cycle, once again. As I was walking along today, I was thinking as to how the blooming is timed so precise.  I would imagine the blooming would fall within a two weeks margin every year.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

 

Bumblebee on Swamp Smartweed

Bumblebee on Swamp Smartweed

 

Pickerelweed

Pickerelweed

 

"Skippers" on Purple Loosestrife

“Skippers” on Purple Loosestrife

Today, I walked along the Allegheny River seeking flowers, and anything else worth photographing. I wasn’t disappointed. The one specie I purposely ventured out in the heat for was the Cardinal Flower. This flower’s scarlet color is about a deep a red one can find. Today, reached 90 degrees. However, the river provided a course for a breeze, albeit a warm breeze.

DSC_0015 DSC_0003 Butterflies were very abundant this day. they darted about everywhere the flowers were blooming. Interestingly, there were a number of Longnose Gars in the shallows. I guess I could safely say I saw, at least, ten of the needle-teethed fish enjoying the sun. Getting photos wasn’t easy due to the breeze stirring up the surface water.

 

Longnose gars

Longnose gars

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DSC_0019   I had planned to go fishing, but sinus pressure was a little burdensome early in the morning. However, as the morning moved along I decided to take a woodland hike at a local state game lands.                                                                    DSC_0028

I listened to some friend’s CD we all created as I traveled to the parking area. The music had me keeping time with my fingers on the steering wheel!

 

Boneset

Boneset

The wildflowers are over abundant along the trails. The most common flowers are the ironweed;  the, up to eight feet high, Joe-pye; Queen Anne’s Lace (Wild Carrot); Boneset; Jewelweed and many others. My dad told me of his family making Boneset tea years ago.

DSC_0042

The butterflies and bumble bees were common any place the flowers were exhibiting their beauty. Unfortunately, honey bees are scarce everywhere!

Hornet!

Hornet!

 

Blue Vervain

Blue Vervain

I visited a pond where I saw about six carp digging up the shallows. Maybe, I should have gone fishing!

At one area, I found some turkey sign. Some soft stool from a turkey was attracting about a dozen flies. A white-faced hornet kept busy trying to catch one. He failed in all attempts while I watched. I remember, as a kid, how I was intrigued watching hornets catching flies around my granddad’s farm. It doesn’t take much to thrill me!

DSC_0041  On milkweed I noticed a colored beetle. Unfortunately, my aging brain can not remember the specie, but I remember, again as a kid, seeing many of these behind the house. I thought how beautiful the beetle was then and I still do now. (Looked up the beetle: It is the Dogbane Leaf beetle.)

Great Blue Lobelia

Great Blue Lobelia

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Phlyox

    I have had a week with many aspects of it better off forgotten. However, I have some positives as well

My last entry, I wrote of, my upcoming trip to Old Bedford Village. The prints, of “The Wheatfield-Whirlpool of Death” were later being completed than we had expected. I rushed to sign and prepare packaging. These prints and the original were scheduled to be with Civil War historians and reenactors at the village. Plans were soon  changed!

I was approximately 15-17 miles away from Bedford when I stopped to enter the woodland area for a “nature call.” Upon returning to the car nothing happened. After some thoughts and time the car started , but, with flashing lights and a loss of power. I exited Exit 10 towards a small community . I stopped and the car wouldn’t start. I flagged down a state trooper and was given contacts. To be brief, the auto man couldn’t find out what was wrong. After discussions of options I elected to have the car hauled to the dealership near my home of Kittanning, PA.  The main computer modem had failed. Insurance only covered a third of these costs.                                

Boneset

   

Turtlehead

  Today, after a tooth was repaired, I walked about my park-like yard examining the wildlife; flowers and insects. Late August and early September see the final flowering of many specie. My yard is no exception. One flower of interest is called the “Turtlehead”. The flower actually appears to be an unopened bud.

The “jack-in-the-pulpit” of spring is now yielding its bright scarlet berries. They are quite attractive.   

"Pulpit" seeds

“Boneset” is a white cluster flower that my dad told me was used as a tea for a number of ailments in our histories past. I have never tried making a tea. As I age I might need some of that tonic!

Jewelweed

   The “jewelweed” is in bloom now. I have the common orange and brown specie with a few yellow and white varieties along my stream. The hummingbirds enjoy these flowers. As a child, I would touch the ripened seed-producing pods to watch them explode their contents for next year’s plants. It didn’t take much to entertain a country boy! Some use the plant to soothe poison-ivy.

I planted a winterberry shrub some time ago. I like the deep red berries that hang on well-into the snow season. This allows for a nice contrast against the dreary grays or whites of late fall and winter.

Monarch caterpillar

  I planted milkweed plants years ago too for the monarch butterflies to eat. This year is no exception for I have the colored-striped caterpillars eating the leaves. They will eventually be those bright orange and black butterflies.

Let us hope a better week is in store!    

Winterberry

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     I had a couple of errands to do and Laurie and I decided to go for a walk along the Allegheny River at the park in Kittanning. The morning hours were beginning to become rather warm as we walked north and south on the river banks or in the park. Few people were involved at any park activities.    

I carried my trusty camera along for I knew wildflowers and waterfowl would be present somewhere along the banks.  I wasn’t disappointed as a lot of colors were to be observed.

    We, also, saw some mallards and mergansers on the water. We saw some chipmunks, one of which was at the amphitheater and hadn’t a quick place to dart into to. He ran the total length to escape.

We chatted with some friends and strangers before heading home.

Male mergansers

                                                                                 

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Sexton Beetle (Carrion)

  Yesterday I found a tick in the early stage of feeding on me. I eliminated her in a bad way. This brings me joy! This morning I have a welt with a dark center. I will need to monitor this bite for a while. I certainly do not like the idea of Lyme’s Disease.

Strangely enough I have seen ticks far worse than I have this spring. I have quit counting as I approached thirty ticks crawling over my clothes and hands. I eliminate them all!

Bob removed one from his arm prior to the spring gobbler season. He still has a mark too.

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Gobbler sign

   The gobbler wasn’t where I had hoped this morning. In fact, he was across a township road. I headed in his direction, but discovered he was located within posted property. I tried to lure him the 300 yard expense of woodlands to no avail. he headed up and over the hill. I relocated in the area later in the day hoping he would begin calling on his own.

           I did have the opportunity to observe four deer at close range. They were feeding on leaves. One doe lovingly licked the back of one of fawns from last year. My cousin, Donnie told me he found a new-born fawn today. I saw a hen, several squirrels and a grouse today. I, also, saw a red fox puppy!

I searched for some morels for mom while waiting for a turkey to gobble. I ate some of my stash once I returned home. Yummy! 

Rattlesnake Weed

 

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