Archive for the ‘Wildflowers’ Category

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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Indian Pipe (s)

There is no doubt about it, Locally here in western Pennsylvania we have witnessed many gallons of rain. Within the last two weeks I had been rained upon while fishing for carp, forfeited mush needed hiking times and trying to keep my lower flood-prone back yard mowed. And, I have been carefully watching for skunks within feet of my kitchen and basement doors. The old girl had babies and recently they have become restless and started digging more. Lots of landscape repairs once they exit the area.


Despite rains I have fished a little and hikes a little. I caught some Smallmouth Bass in the Allegheny River a few weeks ago. (Today the Allegheny is high and swift and muddy!) I have been playing a lot of music as of late, too. For instance, last week I played six times.  So I have been busy.

I have been taking photos on these limited times. Today was a very nice first day of summer. NO RAIN!








Berry Season


Great-spangled Fritillary


A dainty White Iris. (I found some flowers in the woods in 2018.)


Seventeen-year Cicada


Red Squirrel


Smallmouth Bass


Garter Snake


Wood Duck Drake

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The Lady’s slippers are a most beautiful and unique wildflower. Pennsylvania has three species and I believe all are endangered in many areas. This specie of flower has growth and survival demands seldom duplicated by home flower gardens. Therefore they should NEVER BE TRANSPLANTED!  They take a very long time to regenerate even in their element. If one discovers their growth in a woodlot enjoy their beauty only.

The specie of Lady’s Slipper in my area of Pennsylvania is the Pink lady’s Slipper.  Another name for this flower is Moccasin-Flower. This plant requires very acid soil or bogs to survive. I know of a few local sites. The site where I took these photos was discovered by myself some thirty years ago. The area was around a half acre in size. This recent trip to relocate and photograph these flowers remained approximately the same size of half and acre to maybe three-fourth of an acre. Like I said, DO NOT REMOVE!

  The Yellow Lady’s Slipper is  found in bog areas and mossy swamps. I have, yet, to find any locally. There are a few sites in western Pennsylvania. There are two  sub-species in the Yellow lady’s Slipper.

The Showy Lady’s Slipper  is found in northwestern Pennsylvania in acid bog sites. This special is white with pink.




I took some photos of Canada mayflowers and Fire-Pinks as I searched this evening for the Lady’s Slippers.

Canada Mayflower


Fire Pink


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Lots To Do


I haven’t hunted since last Monday when I bagged a nice gobbler.  I had plenty of things to do, so I elected to wait for some time to pursue filling my second spring gobbler tag. Some of the tasks at hand were to complete my fourth CD. I was to work on a painting that is close to being done. However, I failed to accomplish these goals. I had some issues with the digital recorder causing the loss of two songs. That was very frustrating, but even more frustrating were the many hours redoing the one song only to have the recorded stop. These facts caused me to rethink the CD song amounts. There will now be only fourteen songs on this CD…so there!

Also, I had to do music at two places. However, I did spend some time in the woods this past Thursday. I was, and am, still hoping to discover a mess of morel mushrooms. I haven’t had any success to date.

As one might expect of me I did do a lot of photography mainly with wildflowers. I take photos every year of those beautiful species.

Virginia Bluebells


Wild Geranium


Golden Ragwort


Sweet William


Greek Valerian


Yellow Violet


Mayapple (No blossoms yet.)


Old stomping grounds




Purple Trillium


Rue Anemone


White Trillium


Spring Beauty


Dutchman’s Breeches


Blue Violet


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Wolf Rocks

I began this trek to the Laurel Highlands in the dark hours of the morning. I wanted to on the trail I selected early not long into sunrise. The temperature was in the thirty degree range as I began to walk to an area known as Wolf Rocks. I was at the Laurel Summit State Park for this particular hike.

Overlooking Linn Run

The traveling wasn’t easy due to many rocks on the trail, however, the walk was mostly level. I discovered why this area is known as Laurel Summit. Often times the areas to my right and to my left were covered with dense Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel.  Intermingled with these evergreen plants could be found our native green briar. I wasn’t very interested in trying to go through this mess, so I didn’t!

Rocky trail

I was surprised at the woodland silence this morning. Not one gobble was to be heard. I heard one raven. Very few other birds were heard. I saw some deer and heard and spotted an eagle flying over.

I moved a mile down the road to walk another trail. This trail is called Beam Rock Trail. I was impressed with these rocks once I arrived to them. Rock climbing is allowed on site and I hare to admit I did do some limited rock climbing.  The years kept telling me to not push this adventure. Body parts might break easier now! I could see snow and ice among some of these huge boulders.

Around noon I went down slope and hiked along Grove Run in the Linn Run area. Here I first saw green spring life. I found hepatica, Spring Beauty, Trout Lily and some young emergences of a few other species. I did not find any Morels. I left Linn Run around three o’clock. I hoped to have time in Ligonier to see the f Fort Ligonier Museum.





Beam Rock view




Snow between rocks


Mountain laurel blossom remnant from last year.

Flowers from the lowland hike:

Round-lobed Hepatica


Trout Lily


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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






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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




Downy Skullcap


Jewelweed (Yellow variety)




Spotted Jewelweed




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




Flying Squirrel


Turk’s Cap Lily



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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



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