Archive for the ‘Butterflies and Insects’ Category

State Game Lands 247 trail

I am feeling it! I am feeling the “dog days of summer” drifting towards fall-like days! I had a number of errands to run but I decided to hit the game lands between Skinall and Center hill and look for natural things of interest. Actually, I was looking forward with having both feet become saturated with dew. .. a great sensation!  (That is sarcasm.)

I was blessed to see lots of butterflies this morning. Have you ever noticed the intricate designs and colors on butterflies. They are truly beautiful insects.I saw dragonflies and damselflies at the pond area. They are tough to get photos of because they dart around continuously as the day warms.

Caterpillar stage of the monarch butterfly.

In the pond’s waters I saw several carp. They tend to keep the waters stirred up with their continual digging in the mud. The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) has erected several duck nesting sites here. Years ago, I carried all the “stuff” needed to erect a wood duck box. (Two trips on foot.. I was young then!)


On my return down the hill towards the road I saw several groundhogs and later met up with ny friend, Jerry Kespelher and Wildlife Conservation Officer Gary Toward both  PGC employees.

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Limestone Run

I decided the temperature was cool enough that a hike would be the proper thing to do. My “to do” list was changed. I headed for the Limestone Run area of Armstrong County to see what things of interest would be available. The climb to the top of the hill caused moisture to form within the various parts of my body prone to perspiration. (I had chosen to wear a light flannel shirt to help control skeeter bites.”   The walk allowed me to approach to about 20 feet of a resting deer. The deer was behind a fallen tree. The sudden snort alarmed me and the vegetation allowed only a hint of reddish- orange deer color to be viewed.

The “fungus among us” time of the year is at hand. The rainy, hot and humid days with ample rain has allowed many specie of fungus’ to grow in the woods.                                                  

Indian Pipes- a parasitic plant.


While strolling along the creek I noticed the shiny shell of a turtle. The “wood Turtle” had, apparently, recently left the water. He wasn’t very considerate to me and avoided coming  out of it’s shell for a good photo. Eventually, I placed him back into the water and in short order the head and feet emerged and off the turtle went. My dad used to call them “land turtles”. However, they are always in the water or close to the H2O supply.

Wood Turtle

I edged around the creek’s bend and I could see muddy water along the shore. I thought a turtle may be digging  around, but upon checking, deer tracks were scattered along the bank. They get thirsty too.   

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Black Swallowtail

Monarch butterfly on a swamp milkweed flower.

I knew I would be recycling this day so a summer hike surely would be good.  You know the old phrase:  Kill two birds …. I chose to concentrate on some old gas well roads in hopes of finding bear tracks or, better yet, see one. Wild critters were not in abundance this morning, but as the sun warmed the flowers many butterflies began to flutter around. 

I saw my first monarch butterfly this morning. I, casually,

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

checked some milkweed leaves for the white, yellow and black striped caterpillars. I didn’t find any of the caterpillars. However, I discovered two on my “personal stash” of milkweed plants.

Bumblebee on Bull Thistle

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