Sunday, August 21, 2016

Summer's Winding Down

As summer winds down I find myself in a fishing frenzy. Going out 3 or 4 times a week to enjoy the water before the "fall spell" hits me and I start to haunt the grouse and woodcock coverts with Emma and Thicket looking for birds to pursue this fall.

 
I love to be along the riverbank before sunrise.

 
A nice rock formation  at Warrior's Path State Park.
 
I saw the 3 Otters again one morning but didn't get a picture of them hunting in the riffles. I was able to get a poor picture of an Osprey.
 
I caught my personal best fish this summer a few days ago. An honest 18 inch smallie that I slipped back into the river to grow bigger for next years fishing.
 
Some more rock formations. These are along Licking Creek.

 
The wild flowers that grow along the waters edge always catch my attention.
 



 
Sadly my turtle sightings have been scarce this summer. I was lucky enough to walk across this lovely box turtle on my was back to the truck yesterday. Possibly the biggest box turtle I've ever seen.

 
 
I still have a half a dozen or so spots that I've not fishing this year. Hopefully I'll be able to get out and enjoy the fishing and scenery for a few more weeks before summer ends.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Morning on the River

Fished the Raystown Branch this morning and the first thing I saw as I entered the water were 3 otters on  the opposite bank. This was the best pic that my little point and shoot camera could get.
 
I walked down stream for about 10 minutes before I began to fish to get away from the pressured area near the parking lot, but still the fishing started out slow.

 
I finally started to catch some fish both Smallmouth and Rock bass.


 
Rock bass are also known as Redeye's or Google eyes for a good reason.
 
This was the "catch of the day".  I snapped a couple of quick pics and slipped her back into the water. As I watched her swim away I realized that I had forgotten to measure her. I'm guessing she approached 15 inches , a fairly nice fish for this water.
 
As the morning progressed I saw a very large mink and an immature Bald Eagle neither of which gave me a chance for  pics.  I did get some pics of this curious little bird which was feeding on an exposed gravel bar in the river.  After looking through my Peterson Birds of Eastern North America I found the Spotted Sandpiper to be the only bird to come close to matching this bird.

 
As the sun appeared over the eastern ridge the temperature started to climb and I turned upstream and made my way back to the truck, satisfied with the morning's fishing and nature sightings.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Heat of Summer


The summer heat has come on with a vengeance.  This was yesterday at about 4 o'clock.



On the hottest of days some of the bees hang on the outside of the hive, their way of regulating the temperature inside the hive.


The start of the new chicken coop.  It's being built where formerly I had a 10 by 12 foot dog kennel.

I confess to neglecting my nursery of apple grafts this spring and that let the aphid population explode. The aphids feed on the new leaves, sucking the fluid out of them and making them curl up and eventually die. Several sprayings of Sevin and I have them under control and the grafts are putting on some good height.



My Cochin flock has grown in the past month.  I've added three Black Mottled pullets.









I've started fishing my "big water" The Raystown Branch of the Juniata River.

 

 
I've been able to catch a few smallmouth and enjoy some wonderful scenery.
 

 
 
As the end of July draws near, I tell Thicket that Fall is coming and we will make some wonderful memories in my coverts.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Some Fishing Pics

I've been getting out once a week for the past several weeks fishing some old familiar stretches of creeks and exploring some new waters.

My first trip was along a stretch of Licking Creek that I've fished for years. The old farm that it runs through was for sale last year and on this trip I noticed footprints and trampled weeds along the stream, the first time I've ever seen signs of anyone fishing this water. I was at first disappointed, but then I realized how lucky I had been all those past years to have this piece of stream to myself.





My second trip out as along another stretch of Licking Creek.  In my hurry to leave early in the morning I forgot my camera so I have no pics of this trip.  Only a few small bass were caught but the highlight of the trip was a Bald Eagle flying below the treetops down the creek and a large beaver who entertained me for awhile.

My trip this week was to some new water. A stretch of Little Tonoloway Creek that was before inaccessible due to the near vertical drop of the ridge that was the only reasonable access point to it. Last winter a logging road was carved down this ridge to access the timber in the bottom along the creek so I got to explore this section of creek. A view of the stream from atop the ridge.


I only caught a few small bass and I saw signs of other fishermen who probably accessed the stream from the old farm that bordered the steam opposite the ridge. I did get to enjoy the sight of two large mink hunting along the steam who proved too wily for a pic.



 
 
The stream levels have really begun to drop due to the dry weather we've been having. I'll try some of my "bigger" water next week and maybe improve my catch.