Archive for the ‘Wildflowers’ Category

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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Recently I returned to a large track of land to further explore and learn about the diversity. I love checking out new areas, however, finding such spots has become increasingly difficult over the times

I arrived about 7;30 to begin walking a trail. I almost immediately saw a deer up ahead. That would be the last deer sighting of the day. The flats featured some nice timber prior to the descension to the creeks on both sides of the point. I could hear the fats water from my high vantage point. At various places I observed “statues of rocks” someone had created in their jaunts. My early

Golden-crowned Kinglet

thoughts reminded me of ancient times and the worship of Baal by pagan Gentiles. However, I truly doubt and human sacrificing occurred on these altars.

I was slightly disappointed upon reaching a road and coming onto different property with many posted signs on the trees. Oh well, that is the norm in our current society. I returned to the parking place while walking along Bear Creek before going up and over the steep hill.

I entered another area of this property and enjoyed a nice trip through secluded woodlands. I am not sure how the dumping occurred for the area was polluted with hundreds and hundreds of tires and other debris from past travels along this, now-gated, trail.

While traveling this area I managed to get some photos of a Golden-crowned Kinglet and that isn’t an easy task. Those birds set long enough to get a focus and then dart to another limb searching for food. Out of a half a dozen shots I only got one decent photo.

Wood Turtle

I walked along a creek bottom and noticed just how high the creek had become after last week’s torrential rain. At one point I noticed a Wood Turtle along the bank. I couldn’t help wondering if that turtle rode out the recent high water. Maybe the critter had washed down stream for half a mile. Regardless, the turtle wasn’t overly frightened with my presence allowing for many photos.

The Coltsfoot flowers were blooming profusely. Yes, spring is here. The flowers are, often, called dandelions by many, but they are a separate specie.

I found some Round-lobed hepatica flowers almost ready to burst open . Golden Ragwort flowers have buds, but they will soon see a quick spirt in growth offering yellow flowers at around 15-18 inches high.

I was fortunate to see a Great-Horned Owl flying from a tree. No photos of that beauty. Other sightings included Turkey vultures, Canada Geese and Wood Ducks.

I saw an animal in a tree. At first I wasn’t sure if I was seeing a Porcupine or a Raccoon. Eventually, as I closed in, the Porky became obvious.

Coltsfoot Blossom



Stacked Rocks


Bear Creek


Round-lobed Hepatica


Wood Ducks


The morning sun


Some fast water




Close-up of Wood Turtle


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Two More Bears!

Thursday morning, September 5, I went for a mile walk prior to stopping at my mother’s home. The wildlife was out in force. In that short time I saw twelve turkeys, two deer, heard a Screech Owl and heard a gobbling tom turkey. The fall-like morning must have invigorated the wildlife.

This morning I was out prior to the sunrise and watching the fog lift. I went to another area where I have hunted before. I saw some deer along the walk.

  I came through some open pines onto a grassy gas well road when the sounds of a tank smashing it’s way through the forest abrupted the solitude. BEAR! I scared the bruin at about forty yards. Unfortunately, the thick Autumn Olive, grapes, briars would not allow for any photos. But wait! As I stared off I could see some small tree tops swaying along with some noise activity. The movement was coming towards me. I thought, “this is great!”  


The second bear came to about twenty-twenty-two steps before the bruin got a whiff of my scent. It turned upslope in a fast paced mode  and sounding like slobbering-grunts. I could see black here and there but no photos.

Of course I was elated to see the bears although I never saw any open enough to size.






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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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