Archive for the ‘Wildflowers’ Category

White Trillium

In 2020 during the complete shutdown of America, Laurie and I hiked the Rock Furnace Trail located in southern Armstrong County. We were discussing in 2019 of a possible cruise for our Twenty-five wedding anniversary. Eventually, we decided to not chance the trip due to the possibility of my stepfather, Bob Miller passing away due to cancer. That decision was sure the right decision for in March, when the trip was being planned, the ocean cruise ships were stopped on the ocean. they were not allowed to port. We would have been on one of those ships!

So, to compensate for the decision to not take a cruise we did some hiking and sightseeing. The above trail was one of those choices. We enjoyed dour time together on that hike. We, both enjoy the beauty of wildflowers, and the trail does not disappoint.

Recently we walked the trail again. the stream, Roaring Run parallels the trail. This stream has been recently classified as a stream of naturally occurring Brown Trout. The trout are reproducing!

Purple Trillium

Some areas along the trail produce literally thousands upon thousands of White Trillium plants.

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I discovered this nesting hen.

I had some worms and I decided to spend a little time on Buffalo Creek to see if the trout were biting. No luck. There was an insect hatch, and I would occasionally see a swirl as a hungry trout gulped one down. I fished approximately thirty-five minutes before my morel-hunting hike began. Along the stream I saw a pair of kingfishers fluttering back and forth emitting their rattling calls. I saw a pair of Canada Geese flying over. As I used a leaning tree for support while casting, I notice a Wood Turtle submerged along the shoreline. I managed one photo before the turtle entered the tree’s root mass.

Wood Turtle

The walk began upslope on a township road before diagonally walking through the woods in search of morel mushrooms. Eventually along the horizon line I would see seven deer in total, three Jakes and a longbeard.

The view from the summit.

I turned downward and reentered the woods. Here I would spot the nesting hen. I didn’t get too close for fear of disturbing her. I took some various wildflower photos while descending the hill. By ten o’clock the temps were hitting very warm degrees.

Coltsfoot seed pods.

The blossom of our native Wild Ginger. This blossom is always at ground level.

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Recently, another spring-like day was being forecasted. A hike was definitely needed, and I elected to do so along Mahoning Creek.

Although the day was to reach into the sixty degrees even seventy degrees the early morning was frosty.

Teasel backlit by the early morning sun.

A most interesting view occurred early when I was able to observe a flock of turkeys fly across the waterways. I had to wonder why they flew across for the very same food supply was on both sides. They are turkeys and turkeys do what turkeys do.

The walk was somewhere between eight of nine miles in total and my old knees and lower back were aching by the time I returned back to the jeep. I had hoped to see a Bald Eagle and I may have seen two immature ones far upstream flying from the trees. I heard a lone gobbler gobbling across the Mahoning but high up the slope.

First Coltsfoot blossom of the year.

Skunk Cabbage

Over the past two weeks I have noticed the Killdeer, Common Grackles and Red-wing Blackbirds are filtering back from their annual migration.

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The Deer Are Moving!

Yes, one thing I noticed over the last two morning hikes is the fact of moving deer. I saw four buck and many doe and fawns. I lost count. The velvet has been removed and the antlers are strong ready to face the rigors of this upcoming rutting season. I haven’t seen any buck scrapes yet.

Does and her fawns are fattening up and will be soon finding the need to run from aggression in the males. Truth be known I suspect this is already happening but will increase in intensity very soon.

The deer all have their winter hair.

I managed a few photos of deer over these last two mornings.

Full speed ahead!

White Snakeroot

Garden Spider on a dewy web out for a quick breakfast.


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Jack-in -the- Pulpit berries

I have managed to get in some walking despite encountering many demands on my being. A few photos from a couple of morning hikes are within this entry.

I have been playing lead guitar at a church for a few months now. The regular player developed an illness to be found out of his bladder cancer. he is taking treatments and has had some setbacks with infections and such. I am hoping Ray gets well enough to resume his position soon. Some Monday evenings I pay guitar at an event known as God’s Choice. This event is catered towards those with various handicaps. It is a rewarding venture to see them smile and sing along. Thursday evening, I have a Bible study class with ten to fourteen individuals interested in studying the Word. Other issues play a part in my life with serious health issues within the family.

Doe with her winter coat.

Button Bush Seed Pods

Monarch Butterfly

Spotted Jewelweed


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I believe this may be a species known as the Grasshopper Sparrow.

It doesn’t take long to see the natural world moving quickly towards the autumn season. As a wildflower enthusiast I have learned to tell seasons by the blooms of various species of wildflowers. The end of the season will be upon us before one knows it. Currently the Ironweed with the brilliant purples is in bloom as the Goldenrods are presently emerging into their bright yellow hues. The various Asters will be blooming soon.


Bull Thistle

I was about three feet before possibly stepping too close to this Bald-faced Hornet nest. It, probably, would not have gone well for me!

Not one hundred percent sure of this specie of Dragonfly, but it is a beaut!

I noticed this Black Snake emerging from my landscaping this afternoon. I ran for the camera. In the couple of minutes, it took to retrieve the camera the snake had ventured out onto the yard. I fell to my belly to snap photos. Most were blurred too much for the snake was moving as I tried to keep up.

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Wild Bergamot

This past week held some adventures in hiking and fishing for me. One morning Laurie came with me. We would see nine deer including four bucks, two turkeys and a Bald Eagle. We entered a field’s edge and noticed two fawns bedded down.

One morning I fished the Allegheny River catching several Walleyes and several catfish. I saw an Osprey searching for fish to catch.

One of the walleye catches.

This catfish was close to twenty inches. Nice fight!

Another morning I walked alongside to the Allegheny River and a local rail to trails. I walked about five miles. I watched a Mink along a rocky edge. That is an uncommon sight to see in the wild. I, also, saw a Great Blue heron and a family of Common Mergansers.

Yellow Goat’s Beard in seed. Seed pod is approximately three inches across.

Thursday morning, I had time for a brief walk prior to stopping at my mother’s home. Very early I heard and later spooked a gobbler from a tree. On my way home I would see three longbeards.

With temperatures I the fifties I headed to a state game lands for a nice walk. I saw a number of deer. One doe offered some photos with the sun at a good angle. I would see other deer, as well. I saw several hen turkeys and a few poults. I walked upon a flock of gobblers. Although they were very close, I could not find an opening for a camera shot.

Indian Pipe

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Turk’s Cap Lily

The Turk’s Cap Lily is one beautiful lily native to Pennsylvania. Those of us traveling along waterways quickly realize the height of various annual vegetation and wildflowers. Many areas over six feet high. This lily may reach and tower over the six feet species. I have seen some around eight feet high. I have this specie growing in my bottomland behind the house. They like bottomland areas that hold moisture.

Christ said in Matthew 6: 29 about the lily the following. “Yet I say to you that NOT even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.”


The Pickerelweed flower is a wetland species. I know of a few sites locally. The roots are deep in muddy areas and often times this flower is growing in water areas.

Cardinal Flower

I wonder how this native flower received the name, Cardinal Flower. I bet because of the brilliant red color!

Lizard’s Tail

This unique flower is white in color and hangs over and reminded someone of the past of a lizard’s tail, hence the name.

Square-stemmed Monkey Flower

This Sqaure-stemmed Monkey Flower grows up to around three feet tall. One will find this species growing along shorelines and wet areas.

Evening Primrose

The Evening Primrose is usually found just about anywhere including along the river.

Purple Loosestrife

The Purple Loosestrife, although a beautiful wildflower, is not native to Pennsylvania. It is considered a noxious weed with the possibility of overtaking native species.

Yellow Jewelweed

This Jewelweed, along with the Spotted Jewelweed, is usually found in moist areas can show up most anywhere. It may be referred to as Johnny Jump ups for the seeds pop open and fly in different directions as if they jump. This happens when ripe or touched.

Bumblebee on a Swamp Milkweed

Garden Loosestrife

This is a non-native species, also. It prefers swampy thickets.

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Not a wildflower.

The Teasel is beginning to bloom.

The humidity was up, but the moisture content in the air is supposed to drop later today. I dressed for the early weather-related timeframe. I had my tick-resistant clothing, rubber boots for the dew-laden grass and a light flannel short to help thwart any insect issues.


I always find wildflower stages interesting. I believe every two-weeks one will observe the next stage of wildflower blooms. They come and go rather fast. There were a lot of blue-colored species showing off their vibrant color during this morning’s adventure.

I would see three doe this morning, but only managed photos of one in the creek. I saw seven turkeys, including only one poult, at three different areas. The lack of poult visuals is concerning.

Blue Vervain

Downy Skullcap

Crane Fly

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The Canada Lily

Canada Lily

Every now and then, I stumble across a most beautiful wildflower native to my area of Pennsylvania. The wildflower is the Canada Lily. They are uncommon in the area, and I have, yet, to find any growing in a large number. The usual find is a few stalks only.

This was the case yesterday morning while I was walking near my old homestead prior to going to visit the family and have breakfast and mow.

I was walking around remembering a much younger Larry roaming the area. Oh, the times I had. I noticed a hint of red among the greenery thinking the color was, most likely, the Bee Balm for this native wildflower is starting to bloom, too.

However, I took a secondary glance and recognized immediately was the source of the red color was, and it was a few blossoms of the Canada Lily. I investigated and fold three stalks with only four blossoms. Unfortunately, I failed to carry my camera with me this particular morning which is rare for me.

After I returned home, I thought I should get back to the site soon, for those flowers do not have a long bloom time. A week may just fail to find them at this stage. This morning I went back to the site. I trimmed back the encroaching Multiflora Rose and Goldenrod stalks to allow for some photos.

There is a yellow-colored Canada Lily, but they tend to be more northerly like in Maine. I know of none in Pennsylvania.


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