Archive for the ‘Hikes’ Category


Another cool morning and a hike was to be happening. I entered the wood prior to the sun rising and began walking about to see what sites would be in the offering this fine day.

The old road I began walking on was covered with high grass. My feet while hid in my boots remained dry, but I was soaked to the groin as the time went on. Every time I would come onto a muddy or sandy area I would search for tracks. I saw lots of deer tracks and coyote tracks. I notice d several piles of fecal matter made by bear judging by the size of the pile.

Approximately eight thirty I rounded a bend and saw black!  The black was a Black Bear!  The animal was coming my way so I armed myself with the camera and began taking some shots. The bear stopped at around thirty-five yards and I could tell the critter was getting an occasional whiff of something that stinks. THAT STENCH WAS ME! The bear stopped and moved left and then right and suddenly the whiff must have been strong enough to move on the bear’s instincts for the black disappeared immediately in the dense brush.

  I saw several deer this morning and two hen turkeys. I looked for poults that they must have been well hid if any

Hard to stop the action on a flying turkey.

poults were present.

Later I found a Killdeer nest.







Killdeer eggs


Coyote track






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The view overlooking Paige Run and Red Run

After a rather rough night for sleep I had the tent packed and was on the road prior to sunrise. The eastern sky was illuminated and a nice day was to be reality.

Red Run

I stopped along the Quehanna Highway and walked back through the woods to, hopefully, hear some gobbling. I didn’t hear any turkey talk at all. I didn’t allow a lot of time to listen, for a had an agenda to follow. I wanted to be overlooking some deep hollows early to take advantage of the morning sun casting deep shadows. This should give up a few nice photo opportunities.

One of many deer sightings.

I walked along a trail to a huge rock where I could see a great distances. The sun was doing what I had hoped and I took a number of photos.

I followed this trail down over a steep and rocky hill until I could see, and hear, Paige Run. (Paige Run meets up with Red Run.) What a beautiful stream with fast waters cascading over many rocks. Rhododendrons added a much needed color contrast with the deep and lush greens. I climbed the hollow and eventually crossed the stream to head up the other side. I reached the top and noticed the sounds of the fast water were almost absent. Suddenly I heard it…a gobble way off! I listened until I knew the direction and you guessed it… the bird was across the big hollow I had just come out of. Off I went in reverse to see if I could locate this turkey.

 I heard the turkey once more as I entered the ridgeline from where the gobbling had occurred. I listened for a time and decided I should get to fishing. The first morning of trout season was already well on the way. I was to fish Red Run for native Brook Trout. There was one catch. (No pun intended.) I would not be fishing if the stream was crowded. I pulled over along the road to NO VEHICLES.  I was elated. The time was 9:30 in the morning.


Native Brook Trout

Action was fast. I began catching, and loosing, and missing Brook Trout immediately. I spent over two and a half  hours along the waters. I released all the trout. Native Brook trout never achieve and size in such streams, but that was fine with me for I was alone. Only two vehicles traveled the road during that time.

Wykoff Run

I was going to fish Jack Dent Run as I headed towards home only to find a lot of pressure on that stream. Apparently, the Pennsylvania Fish Commission had stocked these waters. I decided to travel slow on state forest roads to see what I could see and move on into Parker Dam to fish.

I arrived at Parker Dam and continued on. The people were everywhere fishing. I did some sketching for the upcoming painting before moving on towards home earlier than previously planned.







Reasons why my legs hurt!

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Last Snow?



Saturday, April 7, yielded a two inch blanket of fresh snow. I desired to get out early and take photos for the snow


wasn’t expected to be on the Pennsylvania landscape much into the day.

The wilds were beautiful as snow was covering everything. The scenes were likened unto a winter wonderland although officially we are a couple of weeks into the spring season.

The first tracks I saw were from the White-footed Mouse. A set of Weasel tracks were in that area, too. I wonder if the Weasel had a meal. Other tracks I had seen this morning were Deer; Coyote; Robins and Squirrels. I would only see three deer this day. Later I watched a turkey feeding in an open area where the snow had already melted.




Burdock seed pods

A lot of birdlife was viewed. Besides Robins many Juncos and Song Sparrows were out and about. I saw a pair of Mallard Ducks on a pond and a Great-Blue Heron. A Red-tailed Hawk finished the view. A number of crows, apparently, had an owl secured in a pine. The raucous they created would have waken up the dead, so to speak.

Red-tailed Hawk


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Woodland Adventures







Skunk Cabbage in ice

This past week we had a snowfall of around six to eight inches. The trees were loaded down with their white snow-laden limbs. It was beautiful to behold. I really wanted and needed to get out into that element, but commitments thwarted my efforts. Wednesday, I spent all morning and into the early afternoon with my family at the hospital. My  mother was going through tests to determine possible reasons for acid-reflux and hoarseness. Thursday I had a Bible study class I have been doing for a number of years and in the morning the family had breakfast together. In between these agendas Laurie and I cleaned up the church in preparation for Sunday. Friday was to be the time afield and it was!

I was in the woods just prior to sunrise on the cold morning. I was hoping to hear a gobbler or two gobbling their heads off from the roost. My efforts failed. I did see some old tracks from the day before as they walked along side of a hill. The snow was very granulated on any areas that had received warming sun from the day before. The snow was melting and with the cold temperatures of night had become frozen again. this caused for some loud walking.

Various open areas were on the eastern slopes. One such open area yielded a pair of Woodcocks. Another larger area had six deer bedded down. I kep moving while avoiding eye contact. They remained at rest.                                                      

Deer were everywhere this day. I saw them in their beds and kicked up some. Later towards noon the deer were up and about feeding . I was seeing deer while traveling back roads back towards home. I know I saw, at least, sixty-five deer. That count could easily be higher.

  I left one area and drove south a couple of miles and walked along the Baker Trail. I, also, walked along Cherry Run looking for photo opportunities. I realized this could be our last snow of the season and wanted to take some shots. Four fresh sets of turkey tracks were visible on this walk. I only saw one squirrel today. They must have slept in.





Sunrise glow

Water over the rock

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Last weekend a beautiful snow had fallen over western Pennsylvania. In fact, as I left for an excursion, snow was still falling  further adding to the beauty of the day.

I parked along a township road to walk about a mile before entering the woods to explore and take photos. I hadn’t walked very far when I could see three deer moving along higher upslope. A little farther I walked onto an area where dirt had been dumped. I walked to the edge to see what was hanging out below. While I looked about I saw movement at tree top level. A mature Bald eagle was flying down Patterson Hollow. I wondered about this sighting since this isn’t typical eagle habitat. they are usually viewed in areas where water sources are much larger such as rivers and lakes. Regardless, I enjoyed witnessing the big bird’s slow and methodical flight.

Finally I entered at State Game Lands maintained by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The downward slope was rocky and I felt the need to be extra careful as I moved towards Patterson Run. Patterson Run is a beautiful stream inundated with rocks along the banks in this area. The beauty of these snow-covered rocks with clear moving water offered many photo ops.                                                                                                  

Eventually I worked back towards the road where I crossed to further walk about the game lands. A Turkey Vulture flew close overhead eyeing me up. I imagined the bird was hopeful I might fall over allowing a for a feast. I didn’t oblige the bird.

Old stone wall

More deer were seen as I moved up and over this hillside.





Turkey Vulture

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I am behind my times. Yes, the walk I am writing about occurred a week ago during a beautiful snowy day. I have been   remodeling a room and have neglected to add this entry.

The interesting truth of the matter is of this past week with record breaking heat and rain. The temperatures actually reached into the upper seventies. I find this hard to imagine since a week ago I was in a snowy heaven.

As stated, I had been working with remodeling a room. However, the snow-laden landscape was nudging at me and I elected to head out for an evening hike. I knew the planned walk would bring me full circle after daylight had ceased for the day. Yes, this was to be a grand time afield for me. I hadn’t gone far when I found four sets of deer tracks. they were obviously not very old since the falling snow would have erased the detail I was seeing. I worked a ridgeline peering down over to try to see deer. As I approached a basin-like hollow I noticed the four deer exiting across form me. They went up and over the hill side.

I walked a short distance and found more tracks crossing before me. I would see three deer at this point.

  The hike was so peaceful. The air was still as possible and the snow falling was straight from heaven. The trees and limbs were all holding an inch or so of snow.

As dusk approached a beautiful pinkish hue covered all things. I was in awe at how the dusk was surrounding me. I stopped to listen and watch and take it all in.

Darkness was becoming dense and I would not be able to take any more photos while hand-holding the camera.  I jumped several deer and would see five altogether in thick goldenrods. I barely could make them out at this time.                                    

I reached the jeep well into darkness.truthfully, I hated to end the jaunt, but I had witnessed a grandeur seldom sensed by mankind today. Peace on earth!





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Buffalo Creek



  My friend, Frank “Muskie” Maus and I walked  the trail beginning at Lanesville, PA. The morning was cold and

Mallard Ducks

crisp, but we didn’t feel any discomfort. The discussions covered a variety of subjects, such as, recent deer and turkey hunting adventures; people from where we both had worked; politics; loss of lands tp venture in, etc. We didn’t solve many of the world problems, but we still managed to have some laughter.

The snow-covered trail showed little human use. We saw two joggers and that was it. However, we saw plenty of deer activity and some fox and ‘coon tracks. Buffalo Creek flows alongside of the trail. We saw some Mallard Ducks and Common Mergansers. The Mallards didn’t concern themselves with our presence but the Mergansers didn’t tolerate our approach.

The one subject I took note of was the ice formations hanging from the exposed rocky outcrops. I took some photos simply because I thought they appeared “neat.”  I took some pics of these unique formations.











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