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Archive for the ‘Wildflowers’ Category

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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Pumpkinseed Sunfish

I was feeling rather well early this morning. So well, I decided to go for a walk to a pond and do a little fishing. The early morning coolness felt good as I walked along. During the walk in I saw a buck with two-inch antlers budding forth.

Eventually I came to the pond and settled in for some fishing. I was not disappointed for a caught plenty of Bullhead catfish and a Pumpkinseed. During my time along the bank, I spotted a Snapping Turtle checking out that strange mass on the shoreline.

Bullhead Catfish

Snapping Turtle

The fishing was fairly constant with bringing in the fish and missing some fish, too. Ya know the big uns always get away.

I heard Canada Geese honking in the distance and was surprised to see a V-pattern with twelve to fifteen geese flying over. Usually, they are paired off for the nesting season and to see this many was interesting. I was pleased to hear a gobbler sounding off with about eight or ten gobbles high on the hill.

Turkey egg

Unfortunately, close to ten o’clock I was noticing some burning in the eyes. I decided to head out for these sensations almost always develop into a full pledge allergy attack. I was correct. I was walking back towards the jeep and the sneezing began in earnest. I became very miserable and before I was to the jeep, I was having many of the symptoms and not enjoying my life at all.

At least for a few hours I had a very enjoyable time afield.

Below are some additional photos of the morning.

Fire Pink

Little buck

Wild Geranium

Baby Red Squirrel

Wild Columbine
Deadly Nightshade

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Many species of wildflowers have different names. I am including the names I use.

Purple Trillium

Trout Lily

Spring Beauty

Foamflower

Golden Ragwort

Blue Phlox

Cut-leaf Toothwort

Yellow Violet

Round-lobed Hepatica

Jack-In-The- Pulpit
Blue Violet

Unknown

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Autumn is Official

Turtlehead

Last week I ventured to fish along the Allegheny River. Fishing was great for a little bit of time. The first three casts hooked two very nice Smallmouth Bass, however, after the second bass was caught the action stopped. I must have started fishing just as two rogue bass were patrolling for breakfast.

Eventually I began walking the shoreline casting and nothing happened. The fish stopped biting! was it something I said?

Purple Loosestrife




Cardinal Flower

At some point thoughts of fishing eased away and thoughts of recording some of the end-of summer wildflowers through photography. Now that the fall season has begun I realize the flowers will be subsiding quickly. A frost could occur anytime now.

Sneezeweed

As I record this entry the high is around 55 degrees. The sky is overcast. New thoughts are in my mind, now. I need to practice my latest firearm to see how it works. Hunting season for deer will be upon us quickly and I am not ready.

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I checked the weather and decided to get out for a walk and some Carp and catfish fishing. The heat and humidity would be building so I hoped to be heading home before noon at the latest. I left around 10:30.

the approach to the pond where I would be fishing hosted a doe and fawn. I didn’t get any photos because I wasn’t prepared at the time. Fishing gear and shoulder bag and my little friend Ruger all seemed to be in the way. later I would insert my little ultra-light pole through my belt so my hands would better prepared. , probably, looked like someone with an old CB radio antennae coming from my backside.

Fishing was good for I caught some fish, lost some fish and missed some fish. One Carp broke my light-weight line.

My arms must have been compared as landing zones for a beautiful blue Damselfly would land on it as did some of those Jerk Flies. Fish surface activity was common during those hours fishing. A small and brilliant green Praying Mantis was moving about some grasses, but I couldn’t get a focus.

The wildflower season is definitely moving towards a new look. Jewelweed varieties are common now.

Spotted Jewelweed

Pale Jewelweed

One flower to bloom towards mid-August and onward is the Goldenrod. This yellow is beginning to occur everywhere. Soon the yellow will be everywhere one looks.

Goldenrod
Horse Nettle

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Killdeer

Yes, even I can be stupid at times. When I worked the common term we, laughingly, used was, “Stupido.” We pronounced the word as Stew-peed-o. Well in one of those extremely rare times I discovered while trying to take a photo of a deer of a problem. I didn’t place the camera card in the camera. Yes i was disgusted with myself for the hike was only about 150 yards from the jeep and I would not be able to get any photos this morning.

I returned to the jeep and left the camera and lenses behind.

I walked a gas well road at the top of the hill. As I emerged from the road onto a field of soybeans, I saw a doe and fawn. The photo would have been a good one with dew over the soybeans and the green background. I saw other deer in the huge field, too.

Woodland Sunflower

I continued walking the road watching the field intently on my left before entering another wooded area. You guessed it! As I exited the wooded area to an old field of knee-high vegetation I spotted a nice buck at about twenty yards. two other bucks were just beyond. They stood around and watched me. No camera! It gets worse!

Turkey poult

I walked across this field before entering another woodlot. I would be descending gradually. I looked about 25 yards to my left and spotted a Barred Owl perched on a limb. No camera!

Purple Loosestrife…and invasive specie.

Eventually, I reached Cherry Run and began to head towards the jeep. I searched around looking for trout. Suddenly, I saw waves in the water next to the bank. My first thought was a Muskrat. However, the animal crawled upon a rock and I was viewing a Mink. The mammal even crawled up a leaning tree for a couple of feet. I missed some great photo opportunities again.

This morning I made sure I had my camera card. All of the photos shown here are from today’s excursion.

Allegheny River

I set the minnow trap about five this morning and after catching a few dozen I went off to catch the “big un.” The river was beautiful with some fog conditions early making way for a clear morning.

The fish weren’t biting very well, but I did land a nice Smallmouth Bass. There are literally thousands upin thousands of shiners near the river’s edge. Occasionally, many would leap from the water escaping a bass.

Smallmouth Bass

With a couple of hours fishing behind me, I removed a little trash from the river’s shoreline. Afterwards, I spent some time looking for things to photograph. I saw several hens with several, nice-sized, poults.

Shiners
Blossoms of the Arrowhead plant. They are found in wetland areas usually.

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The fog was so thick at times I could not see much beyond thirty yards and sometimes less. I like to walk in the fog and this morning would prove to be a foggy one, indeed. Later this day the experts in weather claimed ninety degrees would cover the area. I wanted to be home long before this temperature reached me.

I saw some deer including two fawns. The fog didn’t allow any photos of these critters. I saw some rabbits and squirrels, too. Songbirds were abundant.

To my left was a remnant of an old logging road, I surmise. For a brief millisecond of time I saw a black color and it was gone. I truly believe the black was from a bear, but to be honest I can’t prove this in a court of law. It could have been the back of a gobbler, as easily as the sliver of back from a bear. Trusting my gut, I believe it was a bear. later I would find some rather fresh bear sign.

Looks like somebody spit out their “chaw.” (This is a bear dropping.)

Bear track

The walk continued for about two miles or more before the circle ended up back at the jeep.

A I always do, I photographed some summer wildflowers. and other items that interest me.

Chicory
A native grass.

Queen Anne’s Lace or Wild Carrot

Chestnut Hulls

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

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Turk’s Cap Lily

The Turk’s Cap Lily has always put my mind in awe. I can’t help remember Bible verses of Jesus stating to look at the lilies’ of the field and yet King Solomon temple and wonders couldn’t stand up to the lilies’ beauty. Christ was correct!

This summer lily will grow as high as eight feet. They are found in bottomland areas such as marshes and wetlands towering over all the other vegetations.

Blue Vervain

The blue blossoms of the Blue Vervain are individually small, but the density on each spike makes the flower’s colors stand out. They, too, are often found near damp areas or fields. They grow to around three and a half feet high.

Black Cohosh

Another name for the Black Cohosh is Black Snakeroot. They can grow quite high, but the ones I see average four to five feet high. They are found in woodland areas.

Flowering Raspberry

I am not sure how this plant got the name. I see them often near the river, but can find them elsewhere.

Maidenhair Fern

Although this fern doesn’t fit the category of a wildflower, I wanted to include this visual for this fern is a beauty of a plant. I find them here and there in clusters, but not everywhere in the woods.

Spotted Joe-Pye

Joe-Pye grows high, probably, averaging as high as seven feet or so. the blossoms to me look like they are about to emerge into something bigger or more colorful. the purple stalk identifies this specie of Joe-Pye. bees and butterflies love them.

Purple Coneflower

I don’t believe the Purple Coneflower is a native to my area, but it can be found in a naturalized states here and there. This flower may be found in areas of wildflower plantings along roadways and parks.

Teasel

The teasel is not native, but has naturalized very well. the plant can grow to six feet. Those making various crafts often use the dried teasel tops in flower arrangements and such. often found along roadways and other such areas.

Staghorn Sumac

the Staghorn Sumac received the name due to the limbs having a velvet-like texture resemebling the antler’s of male deer

Another shot of a Turk’s Cap Lily.

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That’s a Bear was heard. I don’t believe I audibly spoke those words, but I do know I thought those words in my mind, at least.

The sky was overcast at this time of the morning. The weatherman said the skies would open up soon, so I was in the woods early. The time was somewhere around seven o’clock when I saw the black form around thirty to thirty-five yards out. the moment our eyes made contact the form moved fifteen feet or so before stopping. I struggled to get the camera focused on the bear’s head. Saplings and leaves , along with the darkened woodlands forbade that focus as needed.

The bear began moving away when I noticed cubs coming up behind her. I no with certainty of two cubs, but with the terrain, vegetation and such there may have been three. As soon as the bears were over the grade I moved hoping to see them again, but they were out of my view already.

My day was made. I could have turned around and went home a happy man, but I continued walking to see what other things of interest were out ahead.

I would see six deer and one fawn before I headed off to home.

I saw three Ravens up close before they noticed me, too. More photos below of the adventure out in the woods this morning.

Land stage of the Red-spotted Newt.

Stink Horn

This Stinkhorn is a fungus having many subspecies. They have a foul-smelling odor with the spores.

Goat’s Beard Blossom

Goat’s Beard Seed Pod

I found an introduced plant of interest along the fields. The name is the Goat’s Beard. It yields an

attractive yellow blossom followed by a dandelion-like seed pod. However, the seed pod shown above is close to three inches in diameter.

Striped maple leaf glowing in the sunlight.

Bee Balm or Oswego

Indian Pipe

Indian Pipe is a parasitic organism. It is, also, known as the Ghost Plant, for obvious reasons.

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Late Wild Turkey Eggs

We have had some hot, humid weather recently and a 62 degree morning and lessening humidity was the ticket for me to get out for a morning jaunt. A always I had hoped to see a bear or two, but this morning proved to be “bearless.” However, I wasn’t disappointed with the wildlife sightings.

I did see four hens out and about feeding and one incubating her eggs. I was almost upon her when she unnerved and flushed. I was surprised to see a clutch of eggs this late into the season. She had, probably, lost her first nest for any number of reasons and re-laid a second clutch of eggs. I hope she returns to finish the task at hand.

Two of the hens had poults with them. The one in vegetation shielded the poults so I could barely see any, but I saw a back or two of poults. The second hen with poults had, at least, 5-6 visible babies. I am sure others were in amongst the vegetation. These poults were the size of a Ruffed Grouse or Pheasant. I failed to get any photos.

I saw four deer in totality with two being male deer.

I saw plenty of rabbits during the walk and one Grey Squirrel.

Various summertime wildflowers are blooming and I couldn’t resist taking some photos, as I always do.

I dressed accordingly to the season in regard to Deer Flies. In other words, I had a light flannel shirt and a hat on to deter these pesky and painful insects. I killed one and only witnessed several others. I was lucky for sometimes I am likened to a World war II, B-29 Bomber with many German Messerschmidt 109 fighters diving from all directions. Did I say I despise Deer Flies?

Beautiful morning

Hen turkey

Black-Eyed Susan

Dogbane Beetle

I was glad to find a number of the Dogbane Beetles. As a youngster I would catch these insects and study The brilliance of the iridescent colors. Many, probably, believed I wasn’t right as a child as many still do today.

Milkweed in blossom

Downy Skullcap

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