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Archive for the ‘Wildlife’ Category

BOBWHITE!!!

Bobwhite

I had a fan on high on this hot July afternoon as I sat and read on the back deck. The time was about six thirty. Suddenly, I heard the shrill whistle-like bob-bob white! I stopped reading. Did I hear that sound correctly. The musical notes repeated. I was hearing a Bobwhite Quail singing down by the stream. I answered and the bird began answering my calls. WOW! I went for the camera.

I eased down over the deck steps to my lower yard and sat down. I had the male quail pinpointed and I began easing in the direction of the songs.

There he was! I spotted the bird along the creek among my habitat vegetation. I moved in and the little bird didn’t seem overly scared. I called and he called and the Bobwhite jumped up a log I have by the creek. Camera was clicking away.

Eventually the quail moved across the yard and I went in and told Laurie what I have been listening to and watching. She came out on the back deck and she seemed thrilled to hear and see a Bobwhite.

I took about thirty photos. I included several here to view. We enjoyed his calling almost to dark. What a joy and blessing to hear and see a Bobwhite.

We would set on my grandparents porch and listen to the quail calling as evening would come on. They would call and “flock up” for the night’s sleep. This is one of those very fond memories one wishes to relive as the years creep forward.

 

 

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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

 

Clementis

 

Flying Squirrel

 

Turk’s Cap Lily

 

Buttonbush

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Bear!

Another cool morning and a hike was to be happening. I entered the wood prior to the sun rising and began walking about to see what sites would be in the offering this fine day.

The old road I began walking on was covered with high grass. My feet while hid in my boots remained dry, but I was soaked to the groin as the time went on. Every time I would come onto a muddy or sandy area I would search for tracks. I saw lots of deer tracks and coyote tracks. I notice d several piles of fecal matter made by bear judging by the size of the pile.

Approximately eight thirty I rounded a bend and saw black!  The black was a Black Bear!  The animal was coming my way so I armed myself with the camera and began taking some shots. The bear stopped at around thirty-five yards and I could tell the critter was getting an occasional whiff of something that stinks. THAT STENCH WAS ME! The bear stopped and moved left and then right and suddenly the whiff must have been strong enough to move on the bear’s instincts for the black disappeared immediately in the dense brush.

  I saw several deer this morning and two hen turkeys. I looked for poults that they must have been well hid if any

Hard to stop the action on a flying turkey.

poults were present.

Later I found a Killdeer nest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Killdeer eggs

 

Coyote track

 

 

 

 

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Lots of wildlife photos below. be sure to see the Bighorn Rams at the bottom.

Pika

 

Osprey with fish

 

Moose

 

Moose Calf

One of the thrills for me on this western excursion was to see the varied and unique wildlife of the west.  We saw a lot of wildlife. I may forget some species but here is a list of western wildlife. Sand hill Cranes (In Indiana while traveling); Bald Eagle;  White Pelicans (In Illinois);  Big Horn Sheep; Pronghorn Antelopes; Mule Deer; Rio-Grande Wild Turkeys (Saw eastern Wild Turkeys  more easterly.); Canada Geese; Elk; Pica; Yellow-bellied Marmots; Moose and calf; Black-billed Magpies; Mountain Bluebird; Jack rabbits; Prairie Dogs; Swan; Snapping Turtle; Carp; Coyote; Least Chipmunk; White-tailed Deer (Easterly) Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel; Cottontail rabbit; Ravens; Sagebrush Lizard…I am, probably, forgetting some wildlife. A few in the list are native to Pennsylvania, too.

The Pika is a small hamster/bunny looking mammal found at high altitudes living among rocky areas.  Two were chasing each others at times

Least Chipmunk

 

Yellow-bellied Marmot

 

Bull Elk

 

A Swallowtail Butterfly

 

Sagebrush Lizard

 

Prairie Dog

 

Pronghorn Antelope

 

Nice male Pronghorn Antelope

 

Mule Deer

 

Black-billed Magpie

 

Jack Rabbit

 

Mule Deer

 

Hummingbird. I believe it may be the Black-chinned Hummingbird

 

Bighorn Sheep Rams

 

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Baby Porcupine

I was blessed this morning when I spotted a baby Porcupine in the woods. The little one may have weighed two pounds. An interesting reality with Porcupines is how their defensive tactic is instinctively used at the approach of anything of potential danger. In this case that potential danger was me!!! Or, at least, the young un believed to be the case. I had difficulty getting the photos I wanted for this critter would always turn to keep his rearward side facing towards me. This area of the porky has extensive quillwork. The porcupine expands his arsenal through muscular work. In other words the quills are aimed towards an attacker.

We played the game for a time until I just set still and talked to the animal. After some time the porky began to maintain a trust or curious level to look at me, however, the war package was always engaged for action.

The Porcupine climbed a Sassafras tree to get higher than anything on the ground. This is another defensive tactic. CLIMB!

 

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Yes, the morning felt like the spring season has finally came to stay.  the woodlands certainly are looking like spring has “sprung.”

 

Wild Leek

Wildflowers are showing signs of a rapid spurt in growth. I checked past records of mine and many wildflowers at this time of the year were well on the way in regards to blossoms. Today’s jaunt had trillium species with buds, but I failed to see any in full blossom. Morels are non-existent, too. I have checked with other morel hunters across the state and few are finding any at this time.

The Wild Leek (Ramps) are up and doing very well. I checked on several large patches of them.  Mayapples are at different growth rates. Some areas show very young growth and other places have Mayapples around eight inches high. I have seen them much higher by this time of the year. The weather into April definitely affected their growth cycles.

Mayapples

I saw two male Ring-neck Pheasants this morning. I managed some photos of both of them. they looked beautiful with their colors. Their courtship is on!

I heard a distant gobble. Eventually, I was in the area and offered some yelps. Gil-obble-obble-obble was the response. I would hear three gobblers in short order. I called in all three of them. The underbrush caused only one photo. However, if the spring gobbler season had been on I would have filled out a tag.

 The one in the photo became alerted with my movement of trying to get a god focus. They all walked out uttering some alarm putts. They didn’t run away because the birds didn’t actually identify me as a man.

I circled a couple of hill and heard another gobbler at eleven o’clock. This turkey gobbled about four times deep within posted property.

I saw a Great Blue heron and two Canada Geese. One was at the nest.

Rattlesnake Flower

Chestnut hulls

Roadrunner

Handsome feller indeed!

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Wild Leeks or Ramps

This morning was planned to accomplish a number of items from my list. First in my mind was to be in the woods to hear gobblers at dawn. Surprisingly, I heard only one at this site.

  I had planted Wild Leeks, also known locally as Ramps, on my property. Last evening I dug up a few to transplant to an area where this native plant is missing. This area I often hunt and hike was in years past farmland with cattle and agriculture. This was way before my time. Today the area is a woodlands, however, those past farming practices often completely destroyed many native wild flowers. The Leek is one such plant.

The Leek is an interesting plant. Each bulb send up a couple of leaves that reach about six inches. This happens in April and by June the leaves are withered away and a stalk of small white flowers grows. The bulbs can be eaten for they have a onion-like flavor. In fact, some places actually have festivals and special feeds to commemorate the plant. I jus\t think the plants look great in the early spring woods. I know of some sites where the Leek grows dense and covers a large area.

Later in the morning I began skirting the property and planting a stalk at various places. I have hopes that in the future large areas of growth may, once again, find these hills home.

 

Canada Goose on nest

Another agenda item was to erect a bird house I recently made. Actually, I made three with leftover remodeling wood. I had one left and today the box was to find a home.

  I needed to visit my cousin, Donnie so I incorporated my traveling to stop at his home. I saw a number of turkeys at  several sites. Deer were everywhere!

I located a nesting Canada Goose. She stayed tight as the mate circled about giving me the evil eye. Two Mallard Ducks swam about as I watched.

 

 

 

 

 

Milkweed

 

 

 

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