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Archive for the ‘Wildlife’ Category

 

 

 

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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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BEAR!

Low humidity and a temperature in the fifties pushed me to do a hike this morning. I began walking very early hoping to see wildlife and, of course, a bear.

The area was foggy as I watched hints of the sun glowing from behind the cover. As I walked I would see five deer in totality. I, also, saw one squirrel. I found eight or so bear tracks in muddy areas. That alone made for some hope of seeing a bear. This is mating season for bear so movement is highly likely anytime of the day.

The black form showed itself briefly. I couldn’t get the camera into position fast enough for the bear became lost in the dense woodlands quickly. I moved the thirty-five yards or so fast, but no bear was to be viewed.

Sun through the fog

 

 

Bear Track

 

Brown Thrasher

 

Cecropia Moth

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Snapping Turtle

Look at that eye!

This morning I was surprised to see a Snapping Turtle walking across a stony site. I moved to about twelve feet when the critter stopped and pulled his appendages close to the shell.  I didn’t like the site for photos and eventually walked up to the reptile. This feller didn’t want picked up and those snapping jaws reminded me to not allow my fingers to get too close.

Snapping Turtle

I grasped the carapace (Shell) and moved the snapping reptile to a grassy area with water. I needed to wait for a time until the two of us bonded in trust. Alas! I was getting some photos in a natural environment.

After some time the turtle turned and began digging in the mud to bury itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

Chicory

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 Turkey Vulture

I do not remember when I saw my first Turkey Vulture. (Turkey Buzzard) I know I was extremely interested with the bird once I learned proper identification. The wide-span, wing-spread aids with making the bird seem much larger than it is. Identifying the bird in flight is possible through two primary methods. The birds soar with a shallow-v appearance. They hold their long wings out and may soar for long periods of time without any wingbeats. This is possible through the use of their finger-like wing feathers located at the end of their upper primary feathers and the thermal wind drifts. So look for the finger-like wing tips and the shallow-v. They often wobble while soaring.

  The bird itself is close in size to a Canada Goose.  They appear dark-bodied, but actually have shades of brown included in their color.

The vulture is a bird that feeds on carrion. They are a scavenger. They have keen eyesight and a sense of smell. The birds can locate dead things via scent.

They like to nest in rocky areas.  Many years ago I was exploring steep rocky ledges. I pulled myself up to peer into the depths of some rocks and was immediately met with an adult vulture. The bird instantly came towards me and flew past my head as I ducked down to keep from meeting with a collision. Their were two eggs in the rocks which is normal. The adults soared close to me until I exited the area.

The little vultures are fed through the adults regurgiatatiing the carrion they have eaten. Yummy! They can fly in about nine to ten weeks.

Watch for the Turkey Vulture and enjoy with amazement their flight abilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Turkeys!

Today was the first day of trout season I Pennsylvania. I don’t care for the crowds on trout opener, so I decided to go for a walk and look for some Morel Mushrooms.

  I crossed a creek near to where I was raised and walked the steep slope towards the top of the hill. This woods is an open woodland, so I had high hopes of wandering onto some of those fine-tasting ‘rooms. I have found Morels at this location in past years, but the morsels evaded my eyesight.

The day, however, was a productive one in other ways. Squirrels were abundant, both the Gray and Fox squirrels species. Chipmunks raced over the dry leaf-litter. I saw some Rufous-sided Towhees. that sighting always insures soring is here to stay.

I heard a commotion and saw some movement along the side of a Wild Cherry tree. Young raccoons were at the den. the cute little buggers were inquisitive of my presence allowing a few photo  ops.  While moving about near their den tree I saw a turkey flying across the hollow. As I watched I heard gobbles way down the ridgeline. I believed I would venture in that direction.

I entered a field and eased over the terrain to see two turkeys about eighty yards away. I set up and called. Gil-obble-obble-obble was the response. I waited surprised to have four jake gobblers come within twenty yards of my position. The camera was shooting. One became nervous with alarm putting. I responded likewise , but they were all nervous. two more jakes and a hen entered the scene. they were right near me when two longbeards showed up. One had a massive beard close to a foot long I surmised. I tried to move the camera onto those beauties and the close birds began putting, too. they all quickly disappeared.

I used the field’s terrain to circle and saw them way off eventually in another field. I called, but the mood was gone.

I headed back towards the jeep still looking occasionally for Morels. I saw the two longbeards  again. I saw eight deer and a Red-tailed Hawk and the nest. I, also, saw a pair of Wood Ducks in a wetland-like area.

 

 

 

 

 

Frog eggs

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