Archive for the ‘Wildflowers’ Category

I was almost to the top of the steep hill when I first heard the yelps. I wasn’t all that far with an estimated hundred to hundred and thirty yards distance. I yelped back before moving on to set up on the top. Soon I heard what I had hoped to hear and that was a booming gobble. I immediately gobbled back using my own abilities. He answered.

I completed setting up before calling more. The tom was answering my calls and was definitely interested. The timing wasn’t too long before I saw the black color ghosting through the trees searching for the source of his interest…ME!

In moments the bird closed in to within range and the shot boomed across the valley. I had a gobbler.


The title mentions a tribute. earlier this day I found out about the passing of a dear friend, Howard Meyers. Howard and I go way back to sometime in the early seventies…I am guessing around 1974. The deal at the time was for volunteers to plant various trees on reclaimed strip jobs near Crooked Creek Park. We were to, also, erect two turkey feeders along Cherry Run which is a tributary to Crooked Creek. Here I met Howard. We immediately were friends.

Howard was a Pennsylvania Deputy Game Warden before moving to Greensburg, Pennsylvania. from his home, Howard and I tried to get in some spring gobbler hunting and fall turkey hunting in the Cherry Run areas. the one fine memory I have is a time we doubled with fall jakes.

Howard and I were both active in the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. We attended many meetings during our “heyday” years.

Howard and I kept in touch after our federation days. He had moved to Clearfield, Pennsylvania so we didn’t see each other often, but we talked on the phone.

So, old buddy, rest in peace.

Witch Hazel

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Golden Rod

Yes, the summer season for the year 2020 is heading down the road to the autumn season.  Recently, this past week, I went for a walk to a state game lands pond approximately a mile back in. I obtain the benefits of walking plus fishing during one excursion. I have placed posts from fishing this pond in the past. I enjoy catching Carp on light tackle or even a flyrod.

One observation being very prominent this past week were the end-of-season wildflowers. Yes, with the golden fields of the Goldenrods the frosts can’t be far away, in fact, as I type this on  September 18, frost watches and warnings are being forecasted for counties north of SR 422. This land area includes northern Armstrong County where I reside. Oh well it is the last half of September.

Turtlehead Wildflower











New York Aster


Spotted Jewelweed


Bullhead Catfish

Dew-laden Mullein leaves

This excursion yielded two flocks of turkeys, one deer, a flock of Canada Geese and a very brief glimpse of a Black Bear at about thirty yards. The fishing wasn’t too bad either for I landed some Bullhead Catfish. I lost a few Carp due to the four pond test line on my light tackle rod and reel.

Buffalo Creek



Yellow Jewelweed 






Monday of this past week found my walking shoes along Buffalo Creek looking for whatever I could find to observe. I found a Red-spotted Newt. (Removed a Box Turtle from the road, too.)






Red-spotted Newt




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Summer Wildflowers


Button Bush










I have left the house early the last two days to do some hiking. I walk around early to beat the heat. For example, the temperature  is forecasted to reach in the ninty-degree range this day.

I awakened close to three-thirty in the morning for a nature call. My original intent was to go to the creek and set a minnow trap and go after some river fish. I didn’t act on that idea, but checked the long-range weather only to see rather warm nights for a long time. This morning was cool and fall-like with a temperature in the mid-fifty-degree range.  I made an executive decision and decided to go walking while it is cool. I will fish another morning. I needed some walking time anyway.

Yesterday evening a walked a mile long walk to pay the taxes and, of course, the place was locked up. I left the check in a lock-box supplied, but I was

Black-eyed Susans

angry. I am sick of all this BS happening over this very dangerous virus with a survival rate of over 99%! The political deception is running amuck. People are living i fear. I have not used a mask yet, but I don’t go many places anymore because I do not appreciate the looks and businesses bringing it to my attention. I have asthma and have an excuse, but in a free society I shouldn’t need an excuse. Sorry for the vent!

Back to the walk. The morning was cool and I had on a flannel shirt and was quite comfortable until the sun rose higher in the sky. I could feel the heat beginning to soar.

Birdlife was abundant. I did see some deer and fawns on occasion. I saw around six adult turkeys in a field and I couldn’t see any poults at all. Hmm, I hope that isn’t an omen in declining numbers this year.

I located one bear track in dry dirt and saw some ripped wood on a couple of utility poles.

I drove home on some old back roads I hadn’t been on for many years.


Even the spiders are messed up in the 2020 year!


Common Mullein









Wild Bergamot



Butterfly Flower


Canada Thistle


Downy Skullcap




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Dame’s Rocket

I have been missing some turkey hunting due to allergies and asthma issues. I still have a second spring gobbler tag ands would like to challenge another one to enter in front of my sights. I tried to go out on Wednesday morning, but quickly aborted the hunt. It is hard to tramp through woodlands when you feel miserable with sneezing, burning eyes and tight chest sensations hurting to breathe. ( I may try again tomorrow the 22nd depending , also, on the weather.)

  I had to do a few things at my old homestead for my mother and step father so I left early to take a short walk near a creek. The morning jaunt was for about a quarter of a mile lasting around forty minutes, if that. This woodland has been special to me all of my life. As a kid at home I would play along this waterway. I carried a tackle box, fishing rod and worms just to catch some chubs, maybe reaching eight or nine inches. I would catch “crabs” here during the day and wait for my dad to come home from work so we could go to the Allegheny River to fish into the early dark hours. Yes, this is a special area.

Some other special things are here in the is area. They are big trees, wildflowers and steep hills. The sun hadn’t reached the hollow yet, but the light was present. I

Rupp Run 

took some natural photos with trees and flowers. It is always great to spend time in old haunts.








Native Blue Phlox



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Good morning


The morning was shaping up to be a nice, and it was. However, the nice morning didn’t equate to much gobbling activity. I heard four gobbles very far off, across a deep hollow and on the top of the next ridge. I believed the bird moved onto a huge field with hens early. A dense fog hung on until after eight o’clock.

I remained in place feeling certain I would hear some gobbling soon and closer. Those gobbles never happened. I remained within  about two acres until almost ten o’clock waiting for a lonesome tom to explode his positioning.


Shotgun is getting worried.

On the negative side of life, I have been dealing with asthma issues regularly. I cough so hard at times I feel I about to pass out. Sometimes I expel phlegm from my lungs. Allergies are beginning to cause disruptions in my life, as well. I do the best I can and still manage to climb very steep terrain as needed, I just do it in the best pace to keep from having attacks.

Later in the morning I heard about eight shots at the same place. this was in the area of where the early morning turkey was heading. My theory is someone shot at the bird in the field way out of range and crippled it. the extra shots were attempts to catch up to the bird.

Sightings include: Deer and doe with a little fawn; two hens in field, squirrels, Racoon,  Great Blue heron and many migrating birds.

Fire Pink



Scarlet Tanager


Golden Ragwort

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NOTE: Before I write the enties of the two hunts I am going to state some “skunk” events here at the house. I Walked out very early recently to get the paper. I turned to go back to the door and I froze. A beautiful skunk came walking across the yard and exited down under my deck near the basement door. I knew she had been staying there. Both, Monday and Tuesday mornings as I prepared to go to hunt, Mama Skunk was about eight feet from the door at her den site gathering leaves.  She seems very unconcerned of my presence.

Tufted Titmouse


Tuesday,  very early in the morning, I had slowly and quietly moved in Indian-like stealth along a spring seep gulley before angling upslope. I had an area goal in mind to set up for a gobbler. It was dark! I was hoping to be in position, or close to position, at the first gobble. I wasn’t concerned if I bumped off the jakes I don’t want them around anyway for they cause me grief twice already. I didn’t it, but he was farther up the hollow allowing for an advance towards the top. I didn’t feel safe to move into the goal area.

Once towards the top I began to look for a good position to call from. Multiflora Rose is abundant a causing for sighting issues. I began calling and gobbles erupted all over. The jakes were in the same roosting area with gobbler #1. A hen below me flew from the tree after yelping. Soon all was quiet. Soon, I maneuvered higher on the hill. I called and a gobbler was heard farther out the flat area. I readjusted my position again.

Garlic Mustard

Time was short when I realized this gobbler was coming in. I was so confident that I removed my shotgun strap to lesson any chance of it swaying.

Shagbark Hickory

Another gobble followed immediately by a second gobbler and all was silent. More time and the proof of this event was obvilous…Something happened and i believe the jakes may have come up and over scaring the gobbler. Any option could be a hen.

I left the area to come back later. I set up in the cool, breezy conditions only to hear three gobbles across the hollow. I moved to try to pinpoint him better and a hen began yelping. I tried to call her in, to no avail. I set an hour and decided to head home.

**********************************************************************************************************************************This morning, I awoke to rain. I debated to go hunting or not. Three times while in transit I pulled over to ponder what to do. Of course, i ended up giving the morning a try. I donned on my camo rain gear and up the hill I went. This was a different area to hunt.

As I moved up a hill I noticed the winds picking up. I must be nuts! On a went.

I listened for any gobbling, but didn’t hear anything. Between wind and rain hearing wasn’t the easiest thing to do. I began a tour of calling and listening. I later saw a hen. My plan was to transverse along a ridge to the end calling in various spots. I reached the end of the point around eight o’clock and headed to the jeep. I was wet in some areas and damp in others and slightly chilled.

Mayapple growing through a leaf


Apple b;ossom


Coltsfoot going to seed



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Pale yellow Trilllim


I headed out to some woods I know very well. They are close to my homestead and I grew up traversing the hills and hollows and playing in the “crick.” I like to walk in these areas for they, too, like so many areas are being swallowed up through development.

I left to check out for morels, those delicious morsels of fungi. I failed to fins any, but I enjoyed turkey activity. I called two nice gobblers to me. Later, I would see five gobblers and two hens. The

Yellow Violet


old-longbearded tom was suspicious of me, but his suspicions stopped when several jakes closed in to him. He turned and chased them every time they ventured too close.

I spotted a squirrel watching me from the safety of a hole in the tree.

   The unusual find mentioned in the title of this entry is the yellow trillium in the above photo. I actually found two of them.  This is color-variant of the Purple Trillium for this beauty was in the midst of a cluster of the trilliums.







Purple Dead Nettle

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No Morels.

Purple Trillium

I wasn’t sure if I would find any morels or not, but rain was coming and I decided to head to the woods hoping to come across some tasty morels. The place I was planning to check is mixture of mature oaks, beech, wild cherry and poplars. The forest floor wasn’t very thick with leaf litter for I could see bare ground here and there. The mayapples are up as well as, many wildflowers. but no morels.

   Although I didn’t find any mushrooms I still enjoyed being out. I saw a ring-necked Pheasant and turkeys in three different spots.

Steep country

One area of this country has a very deep hollow loaded with wildflowers and leek. (ramps) As my friends know, I enjoy watching the yearly seasons change with the wildflower growth. I remember one time many moons ago when my dad and I were hunting for morel mushrooms. I carried a little tablet and made colored illustrations of the flowers. I wonder if that little tablet is still around mom’s attic. Hmmm. may need to look around for it would make for a good laugh.









Wild Leek (ramps)


Rue Anemone


White Trillium




Cut-leaf Toothwort



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Although the temperatures were below freezing this morning, Laurie agreed to go for a walk.  I was surprised!

We walked about seeing what we could see during the morning jaunt. We didn’t hear any gobbling, but ended up seeing turkeys at three areas.  We, also, saw five deer.

  The previous day I had work to do at my homestead. A Blue Spruce tree had fallen and actually landed on my mother’s home. My cousin cut it up. My job this morning was to drag all the limbs and burn. I spent about four hours cutting the limbs down to size so I could easier maintain the fire for  control. I still have to return tomorrow and try to finish the job.

I managed a short walk below the home to find where Beavers have been busy. I was elated to see Beavers on Rupp Run for in my life I have never seen any beavers in the area.






Wild Ginger


Dutchman’s Breeches


Recent jobs From Around the House In Landscaping



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Beautiful Pennsylvania

Saturday, April15th, I found myself walking some familiar landscape on State game Lands 105. My hopes were to find some morels…maybe hear some gobbling and see a bear. I failed on all three hopes this morning, but the hiking time was enjoyable. However, I did walk upon a gobbler with his two hens. the only photo I managed to get was a turkey’s back dropping over a slight drop in the terrain. Wildlife seemed scare this morning and that happens. The only mammal I saw was a rabbit.

I didn’t look extremely well for Morels only looking whenever I came upon a place that looked, “mushroomie.”  I found several other species. One, I   believe, is called Red Elf Cap or something similaer. Two others I am not sure enough to type in.

Later, I discovered a Beaver dam. I love exploring such dams. those mammals intrigue me with their instinctive building skills.


Beaver Dam



Juneberry or Serviceberry blossoms



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