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Archive for the ‘Misc. Nature’ Category

Redbank Creek

Much trouble has been encircling me as of late. I had someone hack into my e-mail and used it to change passwords. HAVOC! I received a call from my doctor stating of a positive reading on lab work. That reading would eventually be deemed a false positive, but those words sure can mess a fellow’s mind up. A beautiful young lady I knew from church passed away at 35 from cancer. I heard of some friends who had just recently heard their daughter had that dreaded cancer. Lastly, my step-father, Bob Miller has had issues and those issues have been discovered to be cancer. His treatment starts next week. So I have been troubled.

  This walk along Redbank Creek was to be an avenue to escape these thoughts.  However, it took some legwork to accomplish that feat.  The walk lasted most of the morning.

I arrived along the creek early as I greeted the sunrise.

Beaver cuttings

Redbank Creek is a beautiful waterways that borders northern Armstrong County and southern Clarion County. the last time I walked this area was in a late winter hike with my friend, Frank Maus. We were fortunate to witness the ice jam let loose.

My walk estimated to be approximately seven miles by using the mile markers on the Redbank Trail. Periodically I would drop over the embankment and walk along the water. I found beaver sign, I saw a couple of Mergansers on the water, as well as, Canada Geese. I saw one deer feeding on acorns and a raccoon. I, also, saw a Porcupine moving in among some big rocks. Another interesting sighting was a Black Racer. The snake moved fast!

The early morning was fall-like with breezy conditions. I actually had some chills early on, but the weather warmed up as the morning progressed.

  On an earlier hike I saw two flocks of turkeys. I accidently walked in under a roosting site and spooked the big birds . later I heard yelping and gobbling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Not a good bear photo but the best when considering the early morning conditions.

I know my weird humor comes to play at times. This title is such a weird title. It is a play on words coming from one of Shakespeare’s plays. The strange truth of this title is even more bizarre for I actually saw seven bear this morning while hiking.

I was moving slowly along the woods where the terrain allowed for more openness.  To my left was a tangled mess of Spicebush, Multiflora Rose and Wild Grapes. One could not see through this mess. However, I could hear movement just beyond the thick brush. I assumed some deer may have winded me and were sneaking out. I was wrong!

Spicebush

A Black Bear walked into the more open woods from behind the brushy area. It was twenty steps away. Our eyes met and the camera came up and the bear turned on a dime. The photo showed a black blur. I moved ahead a little to walk off the distance when I spotted another and bigger bear approximately eight and no more than ten steps away. The same scenario occurred as our eyes met. I would guesstimate the first bear to be about 110 to 120 pounds and the second bear in the mid-two hundred pound range.

I quickly moved and turned left to go up the opposite hill in hopes of seeing the two again. The Spicebush and downed trees mad for less than

One of three flocks of turkeys I saw this morning.

desirable positions. I set on a log for about twenty minutes before exiting the way I came in.

Later, I spotted another bear about thirty-five yards from me. the bear moved over a steep lip on the hollow and went silent quickly. I looked about to try to find a quiet approach through the brambles and elected to listen and watch. Little time passed when I could see black on the opposite side of this steep gulley. There was my bear. I assumed this was one of the earlier viewed bear.

Soon I could more black . Another bear crawled up onto a tree. I immediately recognized this bear as a cub. I continued to watch and the first two bear walked out onto a big fallen tree. I could see three bear now. Shortly, a fourth bear became visible. I took a number of photos anytime an opening allowed. The bear were about seventy yards away. The woods were dark and shadowy due to the sun had not reached that side of the hill.

So I saw two bigger bear earlier and a nice sized mother with four cubs. My day was made!

 

 

A Garden Spider

 

Damaged corn from bears.

 

Sausage…bologna?

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I have been seeing many,  many turkeys over the last month here in western Pennsylvania. One day while out walking I saw four different flocks.  Some were concerned about poult survival rates due to the amount of rain we had had earlier this summer. I don’t believe the impact from the rain has had too much of an impact.

A few photos from various hiking adventures are below.

Foxtails in the dew.

 

Blue Vervain

 

 

 

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Cormorant

I haven’t added many posts recently. The program I had used to store and edit my photos went berserk! I would enter the card with the pics as usual and download them onto this program. No biggie. I would  crop and edit as desired on the program. Still no biggie! I could see the results. However, if I chose to place the edited photos onto this site of Facebook the unedited version would appear. Of course this frustrated me. I contacted the company of this photo program twice and nothing they suggested worked. I am currently using a computer-based program to edit until I decide what course of action to do.

Ring-billed Gull

Western Pennsylvania weather has been perfect. A trip to Presque Isle seemed appropriate. We checked out some familiar places and sites. Also, we went into a lighthouse to see the view. The lighthouse we visited internally is known as the Presque Isle Lighthouse. (I wonder how this one received that name.)   The last time we were in the area this site was not opened to the public for the structure, at that time, was privately owned. Much had changed and the lighthouse has been made  accessible for tours.

North Pier Lighthouse

The Presque Isle Lighthouse was erected in 1872-73 and made seventeen feet taller in 1896. The tower is 57 feet high with seventy-eight steps to climb to the small room where the light is stationed.  The light still is used today to aid in navigation.

We, also, visited the North Pier Lighthouse. The original structure  was built in 1830. The one in this photo here was built in 1857. It was moved in 1882-1891 easterly 450 feet. This tower was moved again in 1940.  A long cement pier juts out into Lake Erie to the current site. The North Pier Lighthouse is thirty-four feet high. This tower is still in use today to aid in navigation.

Over 450 ships have been lost in Lake Erie, more ships lost here than the Bermuda Triangle.

Presque isle Lighthouse

Lots of wildlife to see as one watches the water areas and bogs. Turtles exist on logs. I saw several Great-Blue Herons, lots of gulls with the most common gull being the Ring-billed Gull. I saw a group of little birds yet unidentified by me. They are of the plover or sandpiper species. I saw Double-crested Cormorants and Canada Geese.

We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the beach and later spent time bare-footed walking along the beach trying to avoid the waves splashing  all about. That didn’t work for my pants became wet eventually although they were rolled up.

We visited some historical sites, too.

Later we enjoyed some time at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center.

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful little birds

 

the Huge Rubber Ducky in Erie Harbor

 

 

Oliver Hazard Perry Monument

 

View from the lighthouse

 

Cormorant in the water

 

Natural debris

 

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Indigo Bunting

I had planned to move out earlier than what I did this morning. Sometime after four in the morning I had one of those asthmatic coughing attacks. The coughing lasted only around five to seven seconds, but I almost blacked out. The result from such an episode is fatigue. Regardless, I forced myself to venture out for a couple of hours before the heat became too warm. I was glad I made the trek.

Yellowthroat Warbler

A light fog was about but was lifting fast as the warmth of the sun evaporated the moisture. I quickly noticed a couple of rabbits out and about in the

Mother trukey

dewy grasses. I, also, saw a couple of Groundhogs. As the dew evaporated the insect life began fluttering around. Most of the insects I enjoyed seeing, but the fruit flies were annoying. I managed to eliminate twelve or so. My other arch enemy the deer flies tried to get some blood. I killed about five of those pesky insect. The killings gave me satisfaction!

The butterflies and dragonflies are, always, enjoyable to watch.

I walked around a fence row only to see a hen turkey with nine poults. The little ones were the size of ring-neck pheasants. Ma ran off leaving the babes to stand around in wonderment. I could have enjoyed setting down and watching and listening to their kee-kee calls as they all got together again, but I wanted to make a circuit on this walk before the sun grew hotter.

I saw one small buck watching from the woodland edge. I managed a few pics.

I found a few bear tracks although recent rain weakened the sharpness of the tracks. This October Pennsylvania will be having a muzzleloader bear season. I may go out a couple of days depending on temperatures.

 

Turkey poults

 

Small buck

 

Monarch Butterfly

 

Beebalm or Oswego

 

Calico Pennant Skimmer Dragonfly

 

Downy Skullcap

 

Wild Bergamot

 

Black Cohosh or Black Snakeroot

 

Bear Track

 

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BEAR!

Low humidity and a temperature in the fifties pushed me to do a hike this morning. I began walking very early hoping to see wildlife and, of course, a bear.

The area was foggy as I watched hints of the sun glowing from behind the cover. As I walked I would see five deer in totality. I, also, saw one squirrel. I found eight or so bear tracks in muddy areas. That alone made for some hope of seeing a bear. This is mating season for bear so movement is highly likely anytime of the day.

The black form showed itself briefly. I couldn’t get the camera into position fast enough for the bear became lost in the dense woodlands quickly. I moved the thirty-five yards or so fast, but no bear was to be viewed.

Sun through the fog

 

 

Bear Track

 

Brown Thrasher

 

Cecropia Moth

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Indian Pipe (s)

There is no doubt about it, Locally here in western Pennsylvania we have witnessed many gallons of rain. Within the last two weeks I had been rained upon while fishing for carp, forfeited mush needed hiking times and trying to keep my lower flood-prone back yard mowed. And, I have been carefully watching for skunks within feet of my kitchen and basement doors. The old girl had babies and recently they have become restless and started digging more. Lots of landscape repairs once they exit the area.

Chicory

Despite rains I have fished a little and hikes a little. I caught some Smallmouth Bass in the Allegheny River a few weeks ago. (Today the Allegheny is high and swift and muddy!) I have been playing a lot of music as of late, too. For instance, last week I played six times.  So I have been busy.

I have been taking photos on these limited times. Today was a very nice first day of summer. NO RAIN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berry Season

 

Great-spangled Fritillary

 

A dainty White Iris. (I found some flowers in the woods in 2018.)

 

Seventeen-year Cicada

 

Red Squirrel

 

Smallmouth Bass

 

Garter Snake

 

Wood Duck Drake

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