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Archive for the ‘Wildflowers’ Category

Good Morning Fog

September 1st and I am heading out for a walk about a local game lands. I wanted to make a circle around the property to beat the coming humid conditions and rising temperatures.

I spotted a familiar puss as I entered into the game lands. I stopped the jeep to talk about twenty minutes to my friend, Frank “Muskie” Maus. he was walking the roadway. We caught up on a few subjects and we went our merry ways.                                                                    

The humidity was already making some early morning fog which made for my eye glasses to steam up quickly.  I noticed how the wildflower season is quickly coming to a close. the goldenrods will be in full bloom shortly and many Asters are in flower.  White Snakeroot and Boneset are in blossom, too. The frost season could come anytime now, but not next week. The weather people are talking of some ninety degree days  for next week. Also, the Yellow and Black garden Spiders always are late in the summer to build their intricate webs.

I saw two turkeys and a Gray squirrel on today’s venture.

Yellow and Black garden Spider

 

 

 

Boneset

 

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Summer Wildflowers

 

Blue Vervain

The wildflower season is beginning to show the latter day species in bloom. In the weeks ahead fewer and fewer species will be in flower. Currently the Asters are in bloom as well as, White Snakeroot and Goldenrods.  Time will continue on and before we know it snow will be blanketing the landscapes protecting the seeds and rosettes and bulbs of next year’s blooms.

Horse Nettle

 

Steeple-Bush

 

Downy Skullcap

 

Jewelweed (Yellow variety)

 

Ironweed

 

Spotted Jewelweed

 

Turtlehead

 

Blue Lobelia

 

Woodland Sunflower

 

Buttonbush with a Monarch Butterfly

 

Queen Anne’s Lace

 

Swamp Milkweed with Monarch caterpillar

 

Culver’s Root

 

Thin-leaved Coneflower

 

Cardinal Flower

 

Purple Loosestrife

 

 

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I have quite a variety of wildlife and flowers within my backyard. I have witnessed the fourth generation of rabbits so far this year. Chipmunks and Red and Gray Squirrels. Deer are nightly visitors, as well as, Flying quirrels. The “crick” that flows through has many Damselflies and Dragonflies. Minnows abound. Water Striders are all over searching for ants that I often help into the water. recently while reading on the deck after dark I had two Screech Owls land on the rail. The three Flying Squirrels at the feeder disappeared quickly.

Male Ebony Jewelwing

 

Water Strider

 

Bee Balm or Oswego

 

Common Daylily (I have about six varieties)

 

Purple Coneflower

 

 

Dogbane Leaf Beetle

 

Clementis

 

Flying Squirrel

 

Turk’s Cap Lily

 

Buttonbush

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Indian Paintbrush

 

Native Lupine

 

I enjoy the natural world. All that know me can attest to that fact. So, with that in mind it is not difficult to understand how I was always on the lookout for western wildflowers. Unfortunately, I don’t have them all identified in this entry. The wildflowers usually all have varied localized names, as well, so my names here may be different from other wildflower identifying books. Just enjoy their beauty.

Golden banner

 

 

 

 

Scarlet Gilia or fairy trumpet

 

Prickly Pear Cactus

 

Coneflower “Mexican Hat”

 

Apache Plume or Old Man’s Whiskers

 

 

Prickly Pear Cactus showing more of stalk

 

Oyster Flower

 

 

A flower of the Alpine region.

 

Alpine Buttercup

 

Alpine Forget-Me-Not

 

Sage

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Purple Trillium

My friend Kip Feroce has beautiful lands around his property. Big timber, moss-covered logs, Mayapples in abundance may be

Leeks

found along the very steep  slopes. However, many of Pennsylvania’s native wildflowers were absent upon my time traveling about those lands. I have many species on my property planted to allow to spread and transplant to lands barren of them. More later.

I found not seeing many common species of wildflowers an issue with me. I mentioned this issue to Kip and he readily agreed to for me to reintroduce some native species of wildflowers. I hope to see them flourish and spread as needed to beautify the forest even more.

This morning, beside the plantings, found me needing to stop by another friend, Frank Maus. To further make all of these plans work best, it was decided to hunt turkeys until mid-morning. I made all of these ventures fall into place within half a day. Perfect!

I managed to stimulate a gobbler. The big bird was in posted property and over two hundred yards off. I didn’t have a positive thought, but the gobbler very quickly moved to about 80 yards of me. WOW! I had hunting related issues. The terrain between the gobbler and me besides being posted yielded a deeply cut gas well road that runs parallel to the property I was hunting on. Even worse between this gas well road and me was dense Multiflora Rose…and I mean lots of this terrible plant. I had only one card to play and to try to call the bird over that embankment and through the roses thickets.

Trout Lily

 

White Trillium

As I expected, the gobbler walked and gobbled that road back and forth. The terrain would have allowed an unethical and illegal shot, but that is not how I roll. I played around with this gobbler for about two hours moving five or six times in attempts to lure him to me. Well, off to Frank’s nearby home.

Frank and I shared turkey stories for, at least, half an hour before I left to transplant the wildflowers.

I planted approximately forty individual wildflowers on Kip’s property. I had just finished when I heard his truck coming up the lane. Now we need some rain to set those roots and bulbs. I imagine many years ago this may have been pasture land with years of cattle traversing the lands thus killing out many species of wildflowers.

The species I planted were: White Trillium; Purple Trillium; Jack-In-The-Pulpit; Dutchman’s Breeches; Trout Lily; Bloodroot; Virginia Bluebells and Wild Leek. Hope they survive and spread rapidly.

 

Virginia Bluebells

 

 

Leaf of Bloodroot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, the morning felt like the spring season has finally came to stay.  the woodlands certainly are looking like spring has “sprung.”

 

Wild Leek

Wildflowers are showing signs of a rapid spurt in growth. I checked past records of mine and many wildflowers at this time of the year were well on the way in regards to blossoms. Today’s jaunt had trillium species with buds, but I failed to see any in full blossom. Morels are non-existent, too. I have checked with other morel hunters across the state and few are finding any at this time.

The Wild Leek (Ramps) are up and doing very well. I checked on several large patches of them.  Mayapples are at different growth rates. Some areas show very young growth and other places have Mayapples around eight inches high. I have seen them much higher by this time of the year. The weather into April definitely affected their growth cycles.

Mayapples

I saw two male Ring-neck Pheasants this morning. I managed some photos of both of them. they looked beautiful with their colors. Their courtship is on!

I heard a distant gobble. Eventually, I was in the area and offered some yelps. Gil-obble-obble-obble was the response. I would hear three gobblers in short order. I called in all three of them. The underbrush caused only one photo. However, if the spring gobbler season had been on I would have filled out a tag.

 The one in the photo became alerted with my movement of trying to get a god focus. They all walked out uttering some alarm putts. They didn’t run away because the birds didn’t actually identify me as a man.

I circled a couple of hill and heard another gobbler at eleven o’clock. This turkey gobbled about four times deep within posted property.

I saw a Great Blue heron and two Canada Geese. One was at the nest.

Rattlesnake Flower

Chestnut hulls

Roadrunner

Handsome feller indeed!

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Wild Leeks or Ramps

This morning was planned to accomplish a number of items from my list. First in my mind was to be in the woods to hear gobblers at dawn. Surprisingly, I heard only one at this site.

  I had planted Wild Leeks, also known locally as Ramps, on my property. Last evening I dug up a few to transplant to an area where this native plant is missing. This area I often hunt and hike was in years past farmland with cattle and agriculture. This was way before my time. Today the area is a woodlands, however, those past farming practices often completely destroyed many native wild flowers. The Leek is one such plant.

The Leek is an interesting plant. Each bulb send up a couple of leaves that reach about six inches. This happens in April and by June the leaves are withered away and a stalk of small white flowers grows. The bulbs can be eaten for they have a onion-like flavor. In fact, some places actually have festivals and special feeds to commemorate the plant. I jus\t think the plants look great in the early spring woods. I know of some sites where the Leek grows dense and covers a large area.

Later in the morning I began skirting the property and planting a stalk at various places. I have hopes that in the future large areas of growth may, once again, find these hills home.

 

Canada Goose on nest

Another agenda item was to erect a bird house I recently made. Actually, I made three with leftover remodeling wood. I had one left and today the box was to find a home.

  I needed to visit my cousin, Donnie so I incorporated my traveling to stop at his home. I saw a number of turkeys at  several sites. Deer were everywhere!

I located a nesting Canada Goose. She stayed tight as the mate circled about giving me the evil eye. Two Mallard Ducks swam about as I watched.

 

 

 

 

 

Milkweed

 

 

 

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